The secret is out. Most who passively watch this team (and certainly plenty who follow it closely) feel again the cornerback position is a top need for the Steelers in the 2015 NFL Draft.
SB Nation's Dan Kadar feels that's the case. In his second consecutive mock draft, he's sending a cornerback to the Steelers with the 22nd overall pick. The first one was Michigan State's Trae Waynes. This time, it's the school-less Marcus Peters, formerly of the University of Washington.
Peters was kicked off the team for allegedly battling with coaches, something he reportedly did multiple times in his tenure there. There were even allegations he choked an assistant coach, but the school would later deny that.
Certainly a team wants a level of fearlessness in its defensive backs, arguably the toughest defensive position in today's regulated and pass-happy NFL. But seeing it get to the point of dismissal due to arguments may be a bit too fearless. No one disputes Smith's talent, though, making him a truly appealing prospect, provided a team's coaching staff believes they can find a way to peacefully co-exist while coaching Peters to become the best player he can be.
From a character standpoint, Peters to Pittsburgh might be a little bit of a stretch. But when Peters was getting along with coaches at Washington, he projected as a top 10 pick. That sort of talent can't be overlooked.
Early in the process, it appears Peters is this year's quintessential Boom or Bust pick. The Steelers have a need at cornerback, perhaps enough of one to make the position its target in the first round - something they haven't done since 1997. Peters appears to be an excellent one, but now certainly isn't the time to take on a player who will cause problems. How he explains the situation, and more to the point, how he owns his share of the problem at Washington, will be pretty much the only factor in whether Peters will be a first round pick.
If he sells them on his character, he may be a steal at 22.