While NFL fans now experience the hangover that is the day after the Super Bowl, the next big event for football fans is the 2017 NFL Draft. Teams not residing in New England are all looking for the pieces of the puzzle which could put them over the top.
For the Pittsburgh Steelers, there aren’t a ton of glaring needs on the team, but despite spending their first two picks in the 2016 Draft on the defensive secondary, they should still be targeting a cornerback in the upcoming selection process.
With Artie Burns and Ross Cockrell as the solidified starters at their respective positions, Justin Gilbert, William Gay, and Al-Hajj Shabazz round out the team’s cornerback depth. Although Cockrell and Gay had decent seasons, there is a reason to think an upgrade could be coming this spring.
In comparison to other draft classes, this year’s cluster of cornerback prospects don’t carry the same clout as previous groups, but are solid nonetheless. Today we take a look at Fabian Moreau, cornerback from UCLA, as a possible target for the black and gold in the draft.
I called upon BTSC’s draft guru Nick Martin to help us find out more about Moreau:
Weight: 205 LBS
Arm length: 31 3/4"
Hands: 9 1/4"
All-Conference Honorable Mention in 2013, second team all conference selection in 2014, named team Co-Captain, played 3 games in 2015, but sat out the rest of the season with a Lisfranc injury in his left foot. 2016 started in all 12 games, led the team with 10 passes defended, named honorable mention All Pac-12 by coaches and finished the season with 2 interceptions and one forced fumble.
Fluid, twitchy player. Has ideal foot quickness and hip fluidity to mirror and react. Generally sticky in man coverage, often on the hip pocket of the receiver but also has the speed to recover when he is beat. Uses the sideline to his advantage. Scheme versatile CB who can play both off man coverage, press, or any type of zone coverage (played both man and zone at UCLA). Never really caught out of position, generally disciplined with his assignment and is a willing tackler.
Can be susceptible to moves off the line. Has trouble getting through blocks and mostly tries to work around them. Can be a better tackler in terms of technique, as he has a tendency to tackle high. Teams must make sure the Lisfranc injury in 2015 will not be a recurring problem (medical checks).
Late 1st - Mid 2nd
NFL Comparison: Bradley Roby
If the Steelers are indeed looking to spend a high draft pick on the cornerback position, they need to hope he is an NFL-ready player, in the mold of the trio of rookies who turned into starters in 2016.
Will Moreau be the player Pittsburgh targets in the 1st round? They like to draft the best player available at that time, and it all depends on how the chips fall. Nonetheless, Moreau should be on the team’s radar heading into draft season.