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First Round Draft Grade for Pittsburgh Steelers Cornerback Artie Burns of Miami

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We grade the Steelers' pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft being cornerback Artie Burns from Miami.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers decided to go with a cornerback with their first round pick of the 2016 NFL draft, making it their fourth straight year of selecting a defensive player in the first round.

That player was Artie Burns, cornerback from the University of Miami. This article provides an initial grade on that pick. Keep in mind that honest grades at this point cannot be accurate, based on the fact of not being able to foretell how a player will pan out, but can measure a few key attributes:

Best Player Available: meaning that according to our official BTSC big board, constructed by our own Scott Pavelle, this player was ranked either at the top or close to the top of the remaining candidates. The closer to the top the higher the grade.

Positional Need: meaning that Pittsburgh addressed a key position needed for their depth chart. The bigger the need, the higher the grade.

NCAA Performance: this metric grades the players' reputation based on their performance in NCAA.

Combine Statistics: based on the numbers posted at this year's scouting combine.

Each metric will be measured on a 1-10 scale, ten being the highest and one being the lowest. The total of the scores will average out to a grade that allows for a normal range:

A: 9-10

B: 8

C: 7

D: 6

E: 5 or below.

Kevin Colbert stayed true with selecting the best player available and simultaneously addressed a key need for the Steelers' defense moving forward. The Steelers' general manager has been a model of consistent success in the NFL draft for decades now, so it was not hard to imagine the grade being as high as it is.

Best Player Available: 6. Burns was graded as a late second round pick on our big board. His senior year at Miami was a huge boost to his resume but with several players that made first round grades still left on the board, this pick can be considered one of the most unexpected.

Positional Need: 10. Cornerback has been a major need for the Steelers for years with their secondary losing key players as the leaders of the late 2000's have all retired. Backing up their second round pick of Senquez Golson in the 2015 NFL Draft supports the notion that the Steelers have recognized their weakness in the secondary and are ready to make that a strength.

NCAA Performance: 8. Burns' best note on his record is his performance in the NCAA. He was a three-year-starter for the Miami Hurricanes and had a stellar final season with recording six interceptions. The problem is that his tape yields multiple fundamental flaws with his backpedal and overall form in coverage. While a great athlete and a track and field star for Miami, his college tape shows that he has a lot of technical work needed for his professional career.

Combine Statistics: 8. 4.46 40 yard dash time with a 31.5 inch vertical, but a 33 inch vertical on his pro day. His 6'0" 193 lbs. frame makes for the large cornerback many Steelers fans have been looking for oer the years.

Overall Grade: B

Overall, Burns is a fast athlete that addresses a major need for the Steelers' defense. That alone makes him a good pick on its face, but what leaves us scratching our heads are the several players Pittsburgh left on the board to take cornerback that might have been available in the later parts of the second round. Time will tell if the Steelers knew who they were jumping up to draft or if this was a reach in order to address a position that has lacked a first round pick for almost two decades.