2013 NFL Draft: Second round targets for the Pittsburgh Steelers

Thearon W. Henderson

The Steelers have picked Jarvis Jones the pass rushing outside linebacker out of Georgia with the 17th overall pick. Addressing one of their main areas of need one defense. Now it is on to day two the Steelers will reset their board. Here is a list of potential targets they could be looking at.

Second round running backs

Johnathan Franklin, UCLA

Franklin is 5-foot- 10 205 pound runningback who tore up the PAC 12 for 1734 yards and 13 TDs. Despite being small Franklin plays bigger than his weight. He has great patients and vision. Franklin has enough speed to break a tackle but really excels with his quick moves. His nickname was "Jetski" at UCLA because of the way he left defenders grasping air with his cutting ability. His vision and quickness will be great tools in a zone running scheme.

Montee Ball, Wisconsin

Montee Ball is a 5-foot-11 215 pounds. He has probably the best vision of any runningback in this draft easily finding the cut back lanes. Ball has very good ball and and runs with a low pad level. He is a determined runner who will never stop his feet until he hit the ground. He has good quickness but average long speed. Despite this Ball is a perfect fit for the new type of running offense the Steelers want to run.

Eddie Lacy, Alabama

Lacy is 5-foot-11 231 pounds. He is a big power back with surprisingly quick feet and a deadly spin move. He has good vision and decent quickness but is lacking the long speed to break away on runs. Regardless how I feel about Lacy there is some that screams Steeler football about Lacy.

3rd Round RBs

Christine Michael, Texas A&M

Christine Michael will likely drop to the third round because of the small amount of carrier he had in 2012 and because of the potential character red flags. Regardless Michael is a 5-foot-10 220 pound RB that runs the forty yard dash in the low 4.4s and has deceptive quickness. He runs with power and a low pad level and has the vision to be a starting running back in the NFL

LeVeon Bell, Michigan State

Le'Veon Bell is a big back at 6-foot-2 230 pounds. He displays some good power and surprising athleticism. The Steelers have met extensively with Bell. While I am not a fan of bell I think the Steelers like him.

Wide Receivers
2nd Round WRs

Robert Woods, USC

Robert Woods is 6-foot-1 and 201 pounds. He has one of the best set of hands in this draft class and runs very good routes. He is good at creating yardage on short passes and has good long speed running a 4.42 forty. There are questions about his quickness though and he did have an ankle injury for a lot of 2012. Regardless Woods reminds me a lot of Reggie Wayne.

Justin Hunter, Tennessee

Justin Hunter is one of the physical freaks of this draft. He is 6-foot-4 196 pounds and fast running in the low 4.4s in the forty. Hunter has some quickness and can separate in routes. He excels with his leaping ability and one tape can go up and make some amazing catches. In routes he reminds me of an unpolished AJ Green. However in 2012 he was coming off an ACL injury and had quite a few drops all over his tape. Hunter's potential could make him the best WR in this class but I can't help but be reminded of the last 6-foot-4 second round wide receivers in this draft.

Cornerbacks
3rd Round CBs

Blidi Wreh-Wilson, Connecticuit

Blidi Wreh Wilson is the cookie cutter mold of what the Steelers look for in their corners. Wreh-Wilson is 6-foot-1 195 pounds with long 32 inch arm length. He has the long speed to match with wide receivers and the foot quickness in zone. Wreh-Wilson struggles with flipping his hips and thus would excel in an off- zone defense which lucky for the Steelers LeBeau happens to run a lot of.

Inside Linbackers
2nd Round ILBs

Arthur Brown, Kansas State

We broke down the Judge already. Brown is 6-foot-1 241 pounds and athletic. He is very technically proficient when taking on the block and instinctive. Brown also has the speed to play side line to side line and cover well in zone.

Manti Te'o, Notre Dame

There may not be a more football intelligent or ready ILB in this draft than the 6-foot-1 241 pound linebacker out of Notre Dame. Say what you will about his social ineptitude but he understands coverages, and runs fits extremely well and he great instincts. If any rookie LB can learn LeBeau's defense it is Te'o.He isn't great in space which mean he will fit best as a 3-4 Buck linebacker. He isn't flashy but he is a very solid player. If drafted he could be to Timmons what Ryan Clark is to Polamalu. I have consistently compared him to James Laurinaitis

Sio Moore, Connecticut

Sio Moore is 6-foot-1 245 pounds. He played the 4-3 OLB and some DE for UConn. Moore is a football player. He just finds his way to the football as a decent edge rusher and a good zone defender. He is fast and pretty quick and possesses good awareness. While the 3-4 ILB might not be his ideal position I think Moore can excel in this role.

Safety
2nd Round Safeties

Johnathan Cyprien, Florida International

Johnathan Cyprien was my second rated safety this year. He is 6-foot 217 pounds. He is a guy who I believe can play inside the box or in coverage. He is from a smaller school so there are level of competition concerns but I think Cyprien is a starting strong safety in the league.

3rd Round Safeties

Philip Thomas, Fresno State

Philip Thomas is 6-foot-1 208 pound safety for Fresno State. He was always around the football in 2012 playing a majority of the time in the box. He is an aggressive player with some ball skills to snag interception but there are major question about his speed. Personally I am not sure if Thomas can be an impact player in the NFL.

Conclusion

If I had two choose the second round prospects the Steelers will choose I would go offense. I think there will be a run on defensive backs early in the round and the Steelers could be looking at there pick of receivers Robert Woods, Justin Hunter or running backs Franklin and Ball. Don't be surprised if you hear Robert Woods name going to the Steelers in the second round.

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