Well, the Patriots defeated the Rams in a less than thrilling Super Bowl, and all 32 teams are now in the business of building for the 2019-2020 season. With NFL Draft season now in full effect, I took a pool of questions from my FanPost and will answer them here.
There will be one posted every Wednesday in the FanPost section, so if you would like to ask me some questions, check that out every Wednesday.
Lets get to the questions.....
Pre-combine, obviously, but do you have any one that you’d consider is off the radar that could be a viable option for Pittsburgh? (regardless of round)
Watch out, especially in Round 2, for Lonnie Johnson from Kentucky. He is a CB that really had a strong senior bowl and showed great press coverage that you love to see. He has picked up some real buzz around the league, and he has the ideal length and playing style for the Steelers to nab him in Round 2, and it is not a bad thing either.
Who would you say is ILB #2 at this point behind Devin White? Testing is obviously important, but based on tape.
What if I told you Devin White was LB2? Yeah, it’s crazy, but I have serious concerns about his processing and tackling concerns. I like Mack Wilson a heck of a lot more. He is not as athletic as White, but he is still above league average athleticism wise. The dude is an elite coverage LB and while he does have some issues, I think that he is more pro ready as well. White has the highest ceiling of any ILB in the draft, but Wilson has a pretty high floor and ceiling.
The Steelers have already talked to 2 TEs, is that a target? Who would look good, to you, in Black & Gold? (excluding Fant/Hockensen!)
Texas State TE Keenan Brown is my guy. He is a complete TE that will be able to block and run routes out of the in-line spot at the next level. He moves surprisingly well, but he is a former WR, so it is to be expected. Dude has high upside, so I think he is a great candidate to get.
Have you watched Trayveon Williams? Do you see RB as a need in the draft?
I think we need a late RB to not have a repeat of Stevan Ridley, yes. Trayveon Williams is a pretty good scat back who give it his all in pass protection, that is for sure. He is the type of RB I would want. A quicker, dynamic type of RB that can break a game open. Darwin Thompson is another notable name that fits that mold. Thompson reminds me a ton of Tarik Cohen, so that should interest us.
The Steelers are really good at finding WR value late in the draft. Any guys that catch your eye? My favorite so far is Anthony Ratliff-Williams, have you had a chance to look at him yet?
Ratliff-Williams is a good one. Fantastic at the catch point and a great YAC guy. Raw in his routes but his tree is diverse, so the transition should be easier than it was for a guy like James Washington. My guy for the Steelers would be Keesean Johnson or DaMarkus Lodge. Both are 3rd-4th round guys who will far outplay their capital. They are deep threats but can also work on the intermediate plane and make something out of nothing. They would be great picks.
Is DL a need? If Gary or Wilkins is there at 1.20 are they an option? Do you have any late round guys you like?
It is a need, but it is not a Round 1 need unless a guy like Ed Oliver is there. Wait for later in the draft and get a guy like Daylon Mack or Khalen Saunders. Those would be terrific value picks.
How do Devin Bush and Mack Wilson stack up against each other?
Both are great players and should be on the Steelers’ radar for a round one pick. Bush would be a slight reach, but for the need, and for what the player will be in the future, it is a fine pick. Both of these are high IQ LBs that process especially well. They can shoot gaps and disrupt plays rather easily. The big difference is that Bush is much rawer at coverage than Wilson is. Wilson might be the best coverage ILB in the draft, so he is incredibly alluring. Bush and Wilson both have some block shedding issues and need to fill out their frames, but they sift through the trash well. Both are good prospects, but the coverage aspect is a big separation.
How far did Terrill Hanks climb up boards after the Senior Bowl?
Hanks won himself a lot of fans that week. His processing looked raw on tape, but at the Senior Bowl, he looked instinctive and sharp. He was a flying missile the entire time while he was out there. He climbed up 2 rounds likely just from that and showed off legitimate 4.4 speed. He is a former Safety, so it is to be expected, but he was amazing in coverage. I think he is this year’s Fred Warner. I want him on the Steelers badly.
Who do the Steelers go for at CB if they pass one up in Round 1?
The Steelers should be looking right at Rock Ya-Sin. He is a bit raw, but he is more than ready enough to play right now. He is that long press-man CB that the Steelers will want and need. Dude is crazy feisty too, I love it. Hamp Cheevers is another really underrated option. He reminds me a ton of Falcons CB Robert Alford. He will be a good #2 because he is just so smart at mirroring receivers. The guy never gets burnt. He is a great 3rd round option.
What’s your take on Wes Hills?
He is wiry that is for sure, but I like the kid. He put that Slippery Rock team on his back this year, and while he was at Delaware he flat out was a beast. He has better hands than people are telling you right now, too. I think he is a pretty complete back aside from his pass protection, but he has a great frame to learn how to do that with. Great contact balance and big play ability makes me extremely interested in him.