The Pittsburgh Steelers are not really that ready to move on from Antonio Brown, but it has become increasingly inevitable that he is no longer a Steeler come next season. Whether they keep him or not, however, they have to start preparing for some change on the offensive side of the football. Le’Veon Bell is gone, and AB won’t be here that much longer even if he somehow does work out his issues with the organization.
Therefore, I did a mock up to the Steelers’ selection at No. 20, and here is what I came away with, even if it is a bit more controversial.
- Arizona Cardinals — EDGE Nick Bosa
- San Francisco 49ers — IDL Quinnen Williams
- New York Jets — EDGE Josh Allen
- Oakland Raiders — ILB Devin White
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers — OT Jonah Williams
- New York Giants — EDGE Brian Burns
- Jacksonville Jaguars — QB Dwayne Haskins
- Detrioit Lions — EDGE Clelin Ferrell
- Buffalo Bills — IDL Ed Oliver
- Denver Broncos — ILB Mack Wilson
- Cincinnati Bengals — QB Drew Lock
- Green Bay Packers — EDGE Jachai Polite
- Miami Dolphins — QB Kyler Murray
- Atlanta Falcons — IDL Jeffery Simmons
- Washington Redskins — S Deionte Thompson
- Carolina Panthers — OT Cody Ford
- Cleveland Browns — CB Greedy Williams
- Minnesota Vikings — OL Dalton Risner
- Tennessee Titans — CB Byron Murphy
20. Pittsburgh Steelers — TE Noah Fant, Iowa
I know, please, do not kill me for selecting a TE here, I will explain. For one, with Antonio Brown theoretically gone here, the Steelers have a few options here. They can get a WR to replace Antonio Brown, or there is another option, and they can get a receiving Tight End who can pair with Vance McDonald and be a nasty mismatch.
In comes Noah Fant, who is just a ridiculously good Tight End. Not only can he block pretty well, but the man moves and runs routes like a receiver. He can work in-line, out in the slot, or outside. That gives OC Randy Fichtner a myriad of new options for his offense and packages. Just check out how good Fant moves here anyways.
It’s stupid how well Noah Fant moves for a TE. Dude runs routes like a WR and gets vertical as fast as them too. He’s gonna be a huge issue in the NFL, especially since he grew as a blocker last year. He’s a monster. pic.twitter.com/CzYIC1GmtR— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) January 21, 2019
This is an amazing route by Fant for a Tight End. Look at how he sets the CB up to the inside and then uses that foot speed to catch the outside and thus gain the leverage. Then, like a natural receiver, he simply stacks the guy as he gets vertical and thus gains the long separation. Stuff like this is at a premium for receiving Tight Ends. Not many guys can actually do this.
So, when you are looking to replace a guy like Antonio Brown, a guy like Fant can be a huge help in creating mismatches and being a player who can bail you out. You have that in JuJu Smith-Schuster, but honestly, Fant takes a ton of attention away from JuJu, and even more so, it will open up the way for James Washington.
I can’t say it enough. I love the way Iowa uses TE Noah Fant. They move him all over the field with various motions and formations in order to create mismatches. He’s a match up nightmare for LBs and DBs. pic.twitter.com/6b8TMxFDjw— Jordan Reid (@JReidNFL) June 24, 2018
And when you can stretch the field vertically like this as a TE, and be a huge weapon on motions, it is pure offensive art. Fant is not a reach talent wise, and would add a huge weapon to the Steelers offense that they otherwise would not have.