Signs suggest LSU WR Odell Beckham is in play for the Steelers at 15

Stacy Revere

A draft analyst feels the Steelers' wining and dining of LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham is legitimate, and he could be the team's option at No. 15.

Whether it comes to fruition or not, the Steelers have paid an awful lot of attention to LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham, having taken him to dinner after his Pro Day earlier in the week. NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah thinks thinks it's legitimate interest on behalf of the Steelers, who will select 15th in the 2014 NFL Draft.

"Absolutely," Jeremiah said on Friday's "Path to the Draft." "He's my third-rated wide receiver in this draft class behind Mike Evans and Sammy Watkins. (Beckham) is electric with the football in his hands. He gives you so much explosiveness. Plus, you have the added value of seeing what he can do in the return game. I think he's a very exciting player."

There are lots of receivers who are described very similarly to all of that. He has great lateral quickness, and was used on deep targets often in college. He appears to be more of a slot option at the next level - a position the Steelers are likely to address at some point in the draft.

But the 15th pick, though?

It seems a bit high for one of the weakest receivers available. It's worth pointing out (even while swallowing grains of salt) he managed just seven reps of 225 on the bench press. This wouldn't be a concern if, upon watching his film, that relative lack of strength does not seem obvious even to amateur scouts on film.

Not that the slot receiver role isn't a valuable one, but his lack of strength will keep him running only inside timing-based routes. That suggests his lack of dynamic ability will yield a less-than-adequate return on such a high pick.

Speaking of returns...he has good special teams contribution value, but the Steelers have managed to find a return man somewhere on the roster every year, and while the return phase of the game can be improved (without resorting to Antonio Brown), it again calls into question whether the 15th pick should be used on such a player - especially with so many of them available in this draft.

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