This is a 7 part series. I will begin with round 1 and continue to post right through round 7 over the course of the next week
Round 1 has been one of the very controversial rounds on BTSC. We all know what we need: OG, OT, CB, and NT are our major needs. We all know that Colbert takes the BPA in round 1 as well. We also know that picking at 31, their is a lot of uncertainty about who will and won't be available. Lets take a look at some prospects that I think the Steelers will have on their board in round 1:
1. Mike Pouncey, OG, Florida: Pouncey is the best guard in the class and many say he will not be available when we pick. But I don't recall the last time (excluding Iupati who was just an exceptional prospect) a guard with no positional flexibility has went in the middle or latter portion of round 1. However, Mike's draft stock will be elevated by some teams because of his brother's success. If Mike is available, even though I would want somebody else, I think the Steelers will take him. Other teams that could look at Mike are the Bucs, Giants, Eagles, and Bears.
2. Brandon Harris, CB, Miami: Harris is the 3rd best corner in this year's draft (IMO) due to his great speed, athleticisim, ball skills, instincts, and tackling. While he is only 5-9, he makes up for his lack of height with a 41" vertical leap and a nose for the football. Harris is an incredible tackler and thrives in press man coverage (Alistar, I know you are going to tell me he is not good in press coverage but he played press coverage his entire year at UM). This would be my ideal 1st round pick for the Steelers. Other teams that could look at him are the Lions, Eagles, Seahawks, and Ravens.
3. Phil Taylor, NT, Baylor: Taylor is by far the best NT in the draft. He has incredible size and speed and has a great ability to eat up multiple blocks and still collapse the pocket. He has seen his stock rise incredibly over the last month and likely won't be available when we pick. Even if he is, I could see the Steelers going in another direction. Other teams that will look at Taylor are the Texans, Chiefs, and Jets.
4. Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State: Sherrod is the 4th best tackle in this draft and if he is available, I would be happy taking him. He excels in pass blocking but is also strong enough to be a good run blocker. He works hard and has good footwork and could become a very good tackle in the NFL. Other teams that could look at him are the Patriots, Giants, Colts, Eagles, Falcons, and Bears.
5. Rahim Moore, FS, UCLA: Moore is the best safety by far in this draft class. He has great size and speed and has a nose for the football. I give him a 1st round grade due to his ability to become a stud FS. He would likely push Ryan Clark right away for the starting spot. He will almost definitely be available when we pick.
6. Anthony Costanzo, OT, Boston College: Costanzo is the 5th best tackle in the draft and has great potential. He could play either tackle spot and if we don't retain Colon, then tackle becomes a pretty big need. Costanzo works hard and loves to compete. Other teams that could look at him are the Colts, Patriots, and Bears.
7. Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado: This is how low I have Smith. Even though he is extremely talented, he is just too big of a headcase to be the Steelers pick. I honestly don't think the Steelers will even look at him but if we take him and get him to focus on football, he will be a great player. If he keeps acting like a thug, he will be traded away very fast. Other teams that will look at him are the Lions, Eagles, and Seahawks.
8. Marcus Cannon, OG, TCU: Cannon is a massive guard that is also very athletic. He would be a huge upgrade at RG and, IMO, is very close to Mike Pouncey's talent level. He is coming off a great combine performance and would be a decent pick in the 1st round.
That wraps up the list of players I think the Steelers should look at in the 1st round. Other possibilities are Cameron Heyward and Ras I Dowling, but I see Dowling as a 2nd round pick
Who do you want in the 1st round?