NFL.com has a slew of mock drafts from several staff writers, and while several predict the Steelers will take Georgia combo lineman Cordy Glenn with the 24th overall pick, Alabama S Mark Barron and Virginia CB Chase Minnifield came up in two of them.
Barron, a 6-foot-1, 225-pound safety, looks like a strong run defender, but today's safeties will really be looked upon more for pass defense. Considering the onslaught of huge but nimble tight ends, bringing in a safety-sized defensive back to play the nickel position is becoming more en vogue.
Bucky Brooks has the Steelers taking Barron - who, at least physically, looks like the kind of player who could grow into that kind of a role. However, many other mocks have him off the board by the time the Steelers are on the clock.
Minnifield, son of former Browns DB Frank Minnifield, is probably a stretch at 24, but he has Steelers size (6-foot-0, 197 pounds) and tackles well for his position.
Considering the stable of young and talented cornerbacks the Steelers have (with similar size to Minnifield), taking a cornerback with their first round pick doesn't seem likely. But there's an adage in football - you can never have enough cover guys. Depth is crucial in the secondary, and incidentally, neither of our rookie corners (Curtis Brown and Cortez Allen) were available for our playoff game against the Broncos. So while there may seem to be too many immediate needs at other positions, it wouldn't be too surprising if the Steelers again dip into a project cornerback in the middle rounds.
Elliot Harrison, Chad Reuter and Charles Davis all have Glenn going to Pittsburgh.
Opinions seem to vary on Glenn. The guys at DraftCountdown.com have Glenn going at 31 (their mock was made before the playoffs were over), and the Steelers taking Wisconsin OG Kevin Zeitler.
BTSC exchanged emails with Draft Countdown writer (and reputed Steelers fan) Shane Hallam, who seemed to disagree with his site's prediction of Glenn getting past the Steelers at 24.
"If Glenn is sitting there at 24, the Steelers will more than likely consider him," Hallam wrote. "Though it may be tough for a team to devote three Top 50 picks over the past three years on offensive line, the poor depth and quality of the left guard position has hurt both the run and pass game.
"Glenn is the type of player that Kevin Colbert and the Steelers look for, so it would be a natural fit. Depending on what other players are available, the Steelers would likely scoop up Glenn without looking back and plug in at guard as a Day 1 starter."