There has been a lot of speculation on which direction the Pittsburgh Steelers will go in this year's 2014 NFL Draft. Such names as Michigan State's cornerback Darqueze Dennard, UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr, Notre Dame defensive tackle Louis Nix III, Louisville safety Calvin Pryor, and Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert have been mention as #15 prospects.
And what about the much needed "BIG" wide receiver that Steelers quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger has been asking for? Players like Clemson's Sammy Watkins, USC's Marqise Lee, and Florida State's Kelvin Benjamin come to mind as viable #15 picks. As well as Texas A&M's Mike Evans and LSU's Jarvis Landry come to mind, each one of these receivers 6 feet and above.
In addition to those players, the Steelers also played host last week to Notre Dame defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt, South Carolina receiver Bruce Ellington, Mississippi receiver Dante Moncrief, Minnesota safety Brock Vereen and Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk. These players being the least noticed throughout the media, and basically would be looked upon as late round picks, if picked at all.
Out of all of those very talented NFL draft hopefuls, there are five(5) specific players that have very good chances to becoming a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round. Those players being cornerbacks Darqueze Dennard and Justin Gilbert, wide receivers Kelvin Benjamin and Sammy Watkins and free safety Calvin Pryor. But as we all know, there can only be one.
My #15 mock pick of the 2014 NFL Draft will be...
Darqueze Dennard, CB Michigan State
The 5' 11", 199 lb. Dennard will and should be the best needed player on the draft board at #15. I say "NEEDED" because the Steelers really need to address the corner position. The re-signing of Ike Taylor and the questionable signing of former Houston Texan, Brice McCain has done absolutely nothing to improve from last season's dismal corner play.
Dennard is known for his physical nature and measured 5-foot-11 and 199 pounds at February's NFL Scouting Combine. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.51 seconds, and although that may not be considered as fast, he is the NFL Ready. He plays with aggression and shows off excellent athleticism, and is very good in man coverage. And although he may have a year to develop his off-man coverage, he could still be starter ready as a rookie. And with a little fine tuning as well as mentorship Taylor, Dennard could develop into possible shut down corner.