Keeping with the theme of mocking cornerbacks to the Pittsburgh Steelers, ESPN's Todd McShay predicts the Steelers will select Washington's Marcus Peters with their No. 22 pick in the first round, according to his Mock Draft 2.0 (ESPN Insider required).
Peters, who has been mocked to the Steelers in several other speculative drafts, is considered the best cornerback in the draft. McShay describes him as "a good combination of ball skills, coverage ability, toughness and instinct", while draft colleague Mel Kiper Jr. has also spoken highly of Peters' abilities, citing his overall level of talent as a major reason flaws in his game can be overlooked.
With 11 interceptions in three seasons and spending his time marking some of the most talented receivers in one of college football's most difficult conferences, Peters certainly has the abilities to make a smooth transition to the NFL.
While Peters' game-tape is relatively flawless, character issues are the reason the Steelers are in position to draft college football's best cornerback in the bottom half of the first round. Peters was dismissed from his Washington team after an altercation with members of the coaching staff allegedly became physical.
The Steelers, in desperate need of secondary help, particularly cornerback, although they haven't selected a cornerback in the first round since 1997 and typically avoid "problem" players, opting to weigh talent and character on the same scale. General Manager Kevin Colbert, however, is granted with the rare opportunity of landing a top-tier positional player at the bottom of the first round. So, the Steelers could potentially draft a position of dire need while also acquiring a clear value pick.
In McShay's original mock draft, he predicted the Steelers would select nose tackle Malcom Brown from the University of Texas.