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Peter King: "it's hard not to like what Pittsburgh did" in the draft

Veteran NFL reporter Peter King summarizes the Steelers' first four picks succinctly and positively in his post-draft review.


It's not the end-all, be-all, but few anywhere in the media are as connected around the NFL as Sports Illustrated's Peter King. Even fewer have as much experience covering drafts and the NFL. He pointed out, in his "10 Things I think" portion of Monday Morning Quarterback, the Steelers had a lot of positives within their draft, the first four picks in particular.

7. I think it’s hard to not like what Pittsburgh did. Ryan Shazier can be next in the line of outside rushers (and five or six teams wanted him badly in the late teens or twenties) developed by Dick LeBeau. Stephon Tuitt has the body type to be a 3-4 Steeler end, good against the run and with potential to rush the quarterback. The fastest player in the draft, Dri Archer, will be used as a Darren Sproles type—very good value at 97 overall. The boom-or-bust pick is Clemson wideout Martavis Bryant, a 4.4-speed long-strider at 6-3 ¾. Will he be Limas Sweed? Or will he work to become a complete and more physical receiver, which Ben Roethlisberger needs badly right now? Either way he’s a good fourth-round risk.

There's a recurring theme here about Shazier playing outside linebacker. Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert has said he's going to play on the inside, and the only reason he was listed as an outside linebacker in all the draft material leading up to it is because more teams saw him as a weakside outside linebacker in a 4-3 defense.

Or maybe there's something we don't know. We don't know plenty, but we do know Shazier will be an inside linebacker in Pittsburgh.

Archer's value comes into question when compared with the idea of finding a starting level cornerback - something the Steelers likely didn't get when they selected Shaquille Richardson in the fifth round. Again, maybe (and hopefully in this case) there's something we don't know.

We're happy with what King thinks he knows about the Steelers draft, though.