Cameron Hayward was rated by far the most solid player available when the Steelers went on the clock. They made their move as quickly as a guy playing speed chess, and then they slammed the clock. There was absolutely no doubt. The speed of the choice shouted their confidence to the world. He was not only their BPA, they were obviously surprised and delighted to see him available at 31.
They literally picked him in a New York minute.
I see a lot of the Heath Miller pick here: a terrific, if seemingly unspectacular pick at the end of the first round. Absolutely no character issues. He'll fit in from day one and likely be pledge class president, like Pouncey and Hood before him. He wants to pledge Black and Gold, and was genuinely thrilled to get his bid.
I also see a bit of Polamalu and Timmons here....He has the speed and agility to do things you wouldn't normally expect at his position...Having a defensive end of his size being able to drop back into coverage effectively adds many new options to LeBeau's defensive packages. "Adaptability is a good ability," is one of Homer's favorite Tomlinisms, and Hayward is a multidimensional defender who is very, very difficult to block.
Every one of us knows there are weaknesses in the Steeler secondary, but shopping for shutdown corners isn't like heading down to the Wal-Mart Supercenter and grabbing one off the shelf and putting it in your cart. There were only two sure shots, and with Peterson gone at 5 and the Prince gone at 19, the question came down to BPA versus reaching for need.
If there is one thing we've learned from Kevin Colbert's success it is that he has never whiffed in the first round, because he doesn't EVER reach in round one. For the Steelers, that's become the 11th commandment.
Cameron Hayward - born and bred in Pittsburgh - was clearly Colbert's best player available, and he fills an obvious need with stalwarts Kiesel and Smith getting long of beard and tooth, respectively.
Welcome to Black and Gold House, Pledge Hayward. Steeler Nation is glad to have you aboard!