The 2017 NFL Draft is just around the corner, and for all 32 NFL teams, the anticipation of adding talent is almost at a fever pitch. Fans can’t seem to get their hands on enough mock drafts, analysis and predictions to get a feel for who their favorite team might be taking in the early rounds of the selection process.
For the Pittsburgh Steelers, who pick 30th in Round 1, the process is slightly different that some other teams who select higher. For teams who draft in the first half of the first round, you almost have your pick of whichever prospect you want. For the Steelers, and other playoff teams from 2016, you have to trust your scouting, and take the best player available at key positions.
So, what would those positions be for Pittsburgh?
Outside linebacker, cornerback, running back, tight end, defensive line and inside linebacker would all fall on that list of team needs.
But which two players would be considered their perfect pair in Rounds 1 and 2? NFL.com provided that answer for fans of all 32 teams, and the Steelers perfect pair consists of a linebacker and a tight end. See who they have slotted as the black and gold’s perfect pair.
Perfect draft pair: Temple LB Haason Reddick (Round 1, pick 30); Ashland TE Adam Shaheen (Round 2, pick 62)
Jeremiah on Reddick: Reddick is a classic Pittsburgh Steeler. He's instinctive, tough and physical. He's versatile, too. He can play with his hand down or stand up and play outside linebacker. I think his home, especially in the Steelers' scheme, is at inside linebacker. He was outstanding at the Senior Bowl. He's a plug-and-play guy.
Brooks on Shaheen: The Steelers need someone big on the inside who can affect the passing game. Shaheen can run like the wind. He's a physical blocker. He's a Steeler-type of player. Shaheen is physical, aggressive and has nice hands.
For those who follow college football, and the lead up to the draft, if the Steelers first two rounds fell this way you wouldn’t hear much complaining from many who think both of these players are ridiculously talented and could help the Steelers offense and defense find a new level.
While Shaheen could very well be there when the Steelers pick in Round 2, many believe Reddick has done too much in his final season at Temple, All-Star games and at the NFL Scouting Combine to be available when the Steelers pick at No. 30. However, many said the same thing about Bud Dupree when the Steelers selected 22nd in the 2015 draft, and we all know how that played out.
Needless to say, if the Steelers were to get a player with Reddick’s versatility, speed and tenacity, combined with the dual threat of Shaheen, it would be a very good start to the team’s 2017 NFL Draft.