Former NFL general manger and current NFL Network analyst Charley Casserly released his first mock draft of 2019 a few days ago and he curiously has the Pittsburgh Steelers selecting a cornerback with their first-round pick.
Casserly has the Steelers drafting Georgia cornerback running back Deandre Baker 20th overall in his first mock draft of 2019 and here is what he wrote about the selection:
An ILB is a definite possibility here, too, but they go CB in this scenario.
Baker being linked to the Steelers by Casserly early in the mock draft process certainly isn’t a huge surprise as we’ve already seen the Georgia cornerback get slotted to Pittsburgh by quite a few of the major media draftniks since the 2018 regular season ended.
Baker, in case you haven’t been following along, registered 116 total tackles in the 51 games he played in at Georgia to go along with 7 interceptions, 24 pass breakups and 2 forced fumbles. Baker was also PFF’s highest-graded SEC cornerback in 2018 on his way to a 40.2 passer rating against him when targeted in coverage.
Entering this year’s scouting combine, which gets underway this week in Indianapolis, the one major concern regarding Baker is his long speed so it will certainly be interesting to see what times he runs his 40-yard-dash in. After sitting out this year’s Sugar Bowl, Baker also declined his Senior Bowl invitation so the combine will be the first time the Steelers will get to spend some time with the Georgia cornerback.
While not a huge concern, Baker, this year’s Jim Thorpe Award winner, will turn 23 years of age in September. 2015 was the last time the Steelers drafted a senior in the first-round of a draft and that was outside linebacker Bud Dupree, who had just turned 22 years of age a few months before Pittsburgh selected him 22nd overall.
A few other interesting nuggets concerning Casserly’s first mock draft of 2019 is the fact that he has Washington cornerback Byron Murphy, Florida edge rusher Jachai Polite, and LSU linebacker Devin White all being selected in the first 17 picks. He still, however, has a few other players we’ve seen mocked to the Steelers several times this offseason still on the board come time for Pittsburgh’s selection and they are Michigan linebacker Devin Bush and Alabama linebacker Mack Wilson. Curiously enough, Casserly also has Temple cornerback Rock Ya-Sin as a later first-round selection.
In case you’re scoring at home, last year Casserly had the Steelers selecting former LSU running back Derrius Guice 28th overall in his first mock draft of 2018. Guice was ultimately drafted last year by the Washington Redskins in the second-round with the 59th overall selection.