There is no denying the team needs for the Pittsburgh Steelers entering the 2019 NFL Draft, but while some have them set in stone, the future of Antonio Brown certainly could shuffle the positions quite a bit.
Assuming Brown will be traded, the Steelers’ Top 3 team needs could be listed as follows (in no particular order):
In CBS Sports’ latest mock draft, they have the Steelers sitting back at No. 20, and waiting to see who falls to them. It is at that point they take the best prospect left on the board among those three positions.
Before getting into specifics, it should be noted this mock draft did not have any type of compensation for a potential trade for Brown’s services. In other words, there is a real chance the Steelers could have two first round draft picks when then 2019 NFL Draft actually arrives.
With that said, let’s take a look at who CBS projects will be gone before the Steelers make their first pick at No. 20.
- Devin White to the Lions at No. 8
- D.K. Metcalf to the Bills at No. 9
- Devin Bush to the Bengals at No. 11
- Greedy Williams to the Buccaneers at No. 13 (trade with Miami)
This all leads up to the Steelers’ selection, and they take:
Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia
Take a look at the justification of the pick:
Some people believe Baker is the best corner in this draft class, and he could go sooner. In this mock draft, however, the Steelers are happy to snap him up at No. 20.
If you are like me, you might not know much about Baker as a prospect. If that is the case, check out the recap on him, courtesy of The Draft Network:
PROS: Feisty and energetic in his play demeanor. Physical at the line of scrimmage. Despite not being the biggest corner, seems to have solid length. Experience playing in press, press-bail, off-man or zone. Mentally sharp and constantly alert in his area. Press coverage is a strength, typically in control at line of scrimmage and rides receivers off the snap with good technique. Physical down the field to avoid getting stacked. Does his job in the run game, turns things back inside as a perimeter defender. Experience playing both outside corner spots and the nickel.
CONS: Long speed is a major concern. Ran by several times against Missouri, and in other games as well. Consistently gives up vertical separation by simply not being able to match speed, especially at the top of routes. Stiff-hipped to the point where mirroring-and-matching is an issue. Average overall athlete without great click-and-close ability. If he can’t get his hands on you throughout the rep, he’s in danger of giving up separation. At times can be overaggressive in chasing routes in zone coverage, vacating his responsibilities. Needs to put on weight and get off blocks in the run game more consistently.
At this point, you can allow the discussion to begin regarding what your thoughts would be if the Steelers did select Baker in the draft?
Clearly, these mock drafts don’t mean anything, but they are good for discussion. Let us know what you think of the possibility in the comment section below!