Anyone who follows the NFL, and especially those who follow the Pittsburgh Steelers, know what Pittsburgh's team needs are heading into 2016. The offense is as dynamic as any in the league, but the defense certainly has its shortcomings. They could use depth along the defensive line, and a tremendous amount of help in the defensive backfield.
With the Steelers selecting 25th in the upcoming NFL Draft, who will be available will likely determine what position they target in Round 1. Nonetheless, as experts do this time of year, Mock Drafts everywhere have the Steelers taking a cornerback in the opening round.
Forget about the team's past of not selecting a defensive back in the first round, those who supposedly know better than the layman say Pittsburgh will take one of a handful of cornerbacks with the 25th pick. One of those experts would be none other than the famous Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN.com.
In his 2.0 Mock Draft, Kiper Jr. has the Steelers taking Kendall Fuller, cornerback from Virginia Tech. See what Kiper had to say about his decision to have Fuller slated to go to Pittsburgh.
25. Pittsburgh Steelers
*Kendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
The Pittsburgh secondary really held the defense back in 2015 and will be a big focus this offseason. Unfortunately, the Steelers can't win bidding wars in free agency because of the cap situation, so they need to add help in the draft and also hope that Senquez Golson comes back ready to provide an impact.
Kiper's selection wouldn't be a bad selection for the Steelers, but it would all depend on other players who might be available when it is their turn to make their selection. For instance, Kiper has Robert Nkemdiche, DL, from Ole Miss being drafted 26th by the Seattle Seahawks. An interesting prospect with some off-field issues, but the Steelers would be foolish not to look long and hard at a player like Nkemdiche if he is still available that late in the first round. He is considered a Top 10 talent, but his off-field situation is making many teams shy away.
If the Steelers think Fuller would be able to step onto the field as a rookie and contribute, then their draft selection wouldn't be a bad one, but the team needs to find a rookie, similar to Bud Dupree in 2015, who will be able to see the field a significant amount. The Steelers are in a "Win Now" mode, and need all hands on deck to get the job done, not a draft pick who will need 1-2 years to develop before making an impact.