The Steelers waited until a spot at which they drafted a cornerback last season.
Hopefully, Arizona cornerback Shaquille Richardson, their pick at 157 in the 2014 NFL Draft, has more success than Terry Hawthorne did in 2013.
Hawthorne was injured in training camp, didn't make the team and as of this offseason is not signed to an NFL roster. Richardson becomes the third cornerback in the past five drafts to be taken by the Steelers in the fifth round, following Hawthorne last year and Crezdon Butler in 2010. They also have taken Cortez Allen in the fourth round in 2011 and Curtis Brown in the third round that same year.
2014 NFL Draft
2014 NFL Draft
Allen is the only one still on the roster, and while Brown played out his rookie contract, he didn't amount to much during his tenure with the Steelers.
Cornerbacks taken around that spot by the Steelers don't have a great rate of success. Perhaps Richardson will buck the trend. He has the explosiveness and speed to do it (something Hawthorne did not have). He's a ball-attacking kind of cornerback, one that if he was a better tackler, one might think he'd be a prospect at safety.
He's 6-foot-0, 194 pounds but is pretty thinly built. A playmaker, though, and could be someone who battles for special teams contributions while working toward crafting the art of the cornerback position.
Richardson was kicked out of UCLA before his freshman season. after falling under suspicion for felony theft.
If fans expect Richardson to be groomed to start in 2015, the odds are pretty long.