As the Pittsburgh Steelers' organization prepares itself for the 2015 NFL Draft, so do we at BTSC. In the latest of our 1st round draft scenarios the Steelers see some quality cornerbacks fall off the board before their 22 position in the first round. On top of losing some top tier defensive backs come off the board, the cupboard is rather bare for the defensive line when the Steelers' pick comes calling. Despite the disappointment of the previous players already being selected, the Steelers find themselves having to pick between three pass rushers with their first round draft pick.
Thanks to our friends at fanspeak.com, we were able to construct a scenario which left the Steelers wondering if the risk of players with a past are worth the potential reward they could bring to the organization in the long-term. Not all players have the off-field issues, but when talent accompanies those issues somehow they often get overlooked.
What do the Steelers do?
Top defensive backs Trae Waynes, Marcus Peters and Landon Collins have all been drafted before the Steelers make their selection. Malcom Brown, Arik Armstead and Danny Shelton are also off the board and the team is facing a pass rushing list without Bud Dupree, Vic Beasley, Dante Fowler and Randy Gregory. The top ranked pass rushers remaining are Shane Ray, Owamagbe Odighizuwa and Eli Harold.
The Steelers cannot be impressed by the cornerback crop remaining in this scenario, and decide to go against conventional wisdom of having to select a cornerback in the first round and focus their attention on the pass rushers remaining on the board.
Shane Ray has his issues both physically with his foot and off the field. Ray has done a stand up job dealing with the marijuana citation, and isn't running and hiding after the news broke Monday morning. Owamagbe Odighizuwa seems to be a reach in the first round, and although holding a tremendous upside could be a project the Steelers aren't willing to take on as they look to build themselves into a championship caliber football team. Eli Harold also seems to be a stretch for the first round, but many are extremely high on this prospects intangibles.
When the dust settles, the Steelers can't get over the ability of Ray and the potential he could bring to help the 2015 team in obvious passing situations as well as special teams.
With the 22nd pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers take defensive end Shane Ray from Missouri.