Round 2 Pick 34 – Dontari Poe, NT, Memphis – I think a trade down to the top five picks of the 2nd round is our best bet because that is the latest I think we can get Poe. The Colts might be willing to trade up to get a cornerback like Minnifield or Gilmore before teams like the Broncos, Patriots, and Giants have their turns to get CB’s.
Round 2 Pick 56 – Kevin Zeitler, G, Wisconsin – Zeitler is my 2nd favorite guard in the class but he should be around here. If he is not, we should take a guy like Brandon Washington or if Ronnell Lewis falls, we could take him as well. Zeitler is a do it all guard who even can play center. He is versatile, effective, and very, very good. He should be a day 1 starter at guard.
Round 3 Pick 65 – Amini Silatolu, G, Midwestern State – Silatolu’s stock is on the rise and is now a late second to early third round prospect. Getting a second, starting quality guard will instantly help the Steelers running and passing games. Silatolu is a great small-school prospect and I believe if he came from a BCS school he could be a first round pick.
Round 4 Pick 98 – Isaiah Pead, RB, Cincinnati – Pead is an explosive back who has great vision and a great burst. He has 4.4 speed and is very secure with the ball. Similarly, he can catch the ball out of the backfield. He has starting potential and might not be here come draft day.
Round 4 Pick 120 – Brandon Taylor, S, LSU – Taylor is a good safety prospect who is flying under the radar. What I like about him is he can also play some nickel corner and cover slot WR’s while also contributing on ST’s. He is the type of versatile player we need to back up the two safeties and get Will Allen out of the 4th safety spot.
Round 5 Pick 152 – Chris Marve, ILB, Vanderbilt – Marve is a thumping ILB built in the mold of our very own James Farrior. He is not slow by any means but is not quite the athlete that some of the other, higher rated ILB’s are in this class. However, with Timmons entrenched at one ILB, we need a guy who can plug holes and make tackles around the line of scrimmage.
Round 6 Pick 184 – Jeff Allen, OT, Illinois – Allen is a major sleeper prospect who I think will end up being a 4th round pick. However, right now he is a sixth to seventh round prospect and therefore, we could land him here. He has the tools to be a solid backup at both tackle spots and that is what we need. Drafting Allen will allow us to cut Jonathan Scott and bring back the cheaper and more effective Trai Essex. Speaking of Essex, in my opinion, he is one of the best backups in the league on the offensive line. This is because he can play all five OL spots at an average level while being above average at guard. It is rare to find a guy like Essex who can play all the spots on the OL.
Round 7 Pick 216 – Jarret Boykin, WR, Virginia Tech – Boykin is a 6’4" WR with good speed as well. He is not a great route runner but has good hands. I think he could be an effective redzone WR and be a good 5th/6th WR. The big question will be: can he play special teams? Coming from Virginia Tech (the master of special teams), I think the answer is yes.
Round 7 Compensatory (Eason) – Austin Davis, QB, Southern Mississippi – Davis is a developmental QB with a lot of potential. He projects as a solid #2/3 QB which is what we need. What I like about him is that he is mobile and is best fit to play in an offense where he is allowed to leave the pocket some which means he will fit in here, because Ben does that a ton. That means should he have to enter a game, it is less of a transition as far as scheme for the rest of the team.
Round 7 Compensatory (Spaeth) – Greg Zeurlin (sp?), K, Michigan State – I don’t know how to spell Greg’s last name but he is incredibly accurate and has strong leg. He has some injury problems but if he is just kicking FGs and kickoffs he shouldn’t get hurt again. If we tell him "Never tackle anyone" that should prevent anymore injuries.