After weeks of projecting a linebacker to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the opening round of the NFL Draft, the experts were almost unanimous in selecting a cornerback in our latest look at the recent mock draft offerings on Wednesday. But had they listened to Joe Haden, he might have suggested going a different way.
When asked what he thought Pittsburgh needed from the draft during an appearance on the NFL Network’s “Total Access” show on Thursday, Haden left no doubt that he believed the Steelers should prioritize linebacker and wide receiver this year.
“What do we need? I think linebacker, linebacker would be a spot. I think ever since we lost Shazier, that’s been something that, Vince Williams and our linebackers that we have are great, but at the same time, losing Shay, you can’t really replace him with one person. So I think a linebacker will help us.”
“And then losing Antonio Brown is another great thing, he’s the best receiver in the league. You can never have too many offensive playmakers to help out with JuJu, James [Conner] and James Washington. So definitely, I feel like inside linebacker and wide receiver will help us out a lot.”
But with the best two options available at linebacker in 2019 looking increasingly likely to the off the board with pick No.20, it would be something of a surprise to see Pittsburgh select a wideout in the first-round if Devin White and Devin Bush had already been taken.
That being said, barring perhaps D.K. Metcalf, there is a good chance that the Steelers would have their pick of the wide receivers when their turn comes in Round 1. An opportunity that might be too good to ignore if the front office feels the same way Haden does.