Could the Pittsburgh Steelers select a cornerback in the first round for the first time in over a decade in the upcoming 2015 NFL Draft? In a recent SB Nation mock draft, where all editors for all 32 SB Nation NFL sites put on their general manager hats and made selections for their teams, the Steelers were able to snag one of the best cornerbacks in the draft by selecting Marcus Peters with the No. 22 pick.
Here is what was said about the selection from yours truly:
22. Steelers: Marcus Peters, CB, Washington
Hartman: The Steelers have needed to address the cornerback position for years now, and 2014's abysmal secondary combined with most elite pass rushers off the board has given the Steelers a chance at a top-tier cornerback in the first round. Peters comes with baggage, but Pittsburgh has a close-knit locker room run by a very player-friendly coach in Mike Tomlin.
Peters is considered one of the most talented defensive backs in the upcoming draft, but his issues off the field have dropped him off many draft boards. Peters' physical style will be a perfect fit for the Steelers' defensive system, and his talent out of Washington certainly will be needed in a thin secondary.
With the Steelers seeing the Ike Taylor tenure coming to a close, Peters will have every possible chance to see significant playing time as a rookie, when the only cornerbacks on the current roster are William Gay, Cortez Allen, Antwon Blake and B.W. Webb.
On top of my selection, SB Nation's Dan Kadar gave his analysis on my pick for the Steelers in this particular mock draft:
Dan Kadar, SBNation.com: The pick of Peters by the Steelers is, ahem, a steal. Get it? Peters is the draft's best cornerback and the player the Steelers need. Pittsburgh has gone too long without drafting a high-level corner, and it shows in the team's depth chart. Peters could be brought in and put on an island on the outside. He's a big-time playmaker, and a really good choice.
If Peters is available at No. 22, and most of the top-tier pass rushers like Shane Ray and Bud Dupree have already been selected, the team would be wise to consider taking the troubled cornerback as he could help sure up a secondary which ranked 27th in the NFL against the pass in 2014.