The future is now for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and with the 2018 NFL Draft just weeks away it is time we go through specific scenarios and discuss just what could go right, and wrong, with the Steelers in the first round of the draft.
We will be doing almost one scenario a week, and more leading up to the draft, which will always provide a different result, as well as the explanation behind the selection.
Time for the Steelers 2018 NFL Draft scenario 1.0.
Scenario: The usual suspects are off the board when most would expect. However, there was a surprising run on safeties and cornerbacks midway through this draft. Jaire Alexander from Louisville went to the Bengals, Justin Reid to the Titans and Ronnie Harrison to the Atlanta Falcons.
There were other interesting prospects who were gone at the time the Steelers selected too. At this point, with the addition of Morgan Burnett and Jon Bostic, the Steelers have options with their first round pick. With that said, it is worth noting the following players are off the board. RB Derrius Guice was selected by the Lions, Da’Ron Payne went to the Cowboys and linebacker Josh Sweat went to the Saints one pick before the Steelers select at No. 28.
With some key prospects, like Reid and Harrison, off the board, it is worth noting there are two very big names left in regards to inside linebacker. Leighton Vander Esch of Boise State and Rashaan Evans of Alabama both remain on the board, but so does Mason Rudolph, quarterback from Oklahoma State.
Options remain, but what do the Steelers do?
Steelers Pick: The Pittsburgh Steelers need an inside linebacker, and while Rashaan Evans might be the more dynamic player, his injury history certainly is a concern. Safety Jessie Bates of Wake Forest is still on the board, but the team is taking the risk and thinking he will still be on the board when the team picks in Round 2.
As for the quarterback situation, the Steelers simply don’t feel the need to take a gamble pick in the first round. However, if Rudolph is still on the board in the second, or third, round this would be an enticing prospect.
With that said, the Steelers choose Leighton Vander Esch from Boise State with their first round pick of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Analysis: The Steelers are entertaining several positions with their first round pick, and it all depends how things shake out. There is a strong chance Vander Esch will be off the board, which will move another player to ‘available’ status. In this specific scenario, addressing the need at inside linebacker trumped the need at other positions. Best Player Available (BPA) lives on...