The 2019 NFL Draft is over, and now begins the evaluation process. Not just for the players selected, but also the positions which were targeted, etc. There are a myriad of angles you can approach evaluating a draft class, and recently the fine folks here at SB Nation went through all 32 NFL teams and selected which pick they thought to be their ‘A+’ draft pick.
Many would expect the writers to select the Pittsburgh Steelers’ first round draft pick Devin Bush as their A+ pick, think again. No, it was third round selection Justin Layne who was considered the team’s best pick.
Getting Joe Haden’s apprentice. The veteran cornerback only has a year left on his contract, but he has an understudy in third-round pick Justin Layne. The Cleveland native watched Haden playing for the Browns and will soak up advice from Haden like a sponge.
If the purpose of this exercise is to pick which of the nine Steelers’ picks would be playing, and making an immediate impact, right away, Bush would certainly be the front-runner for this award. However, when it comes to a complete evaluation, position, value, etc., it is hard to disagree with Layne as the pick.
After the NFL Scouting Combine Layne’s stock rose notably to the point where some experts saw him as a potential late first round draft pick. He fell to the third, despite a great combine and measurables, and the Steelers were able to reap the benefits.
Layne is expected to be the heir apparent for Joe Haden on the outside, and the former Cleveland city product has the look, on paper, as the first player since Ike Taylor who could solidify the secondary for not just a few seasons, but for years on end.
When you look at the team’s top draft picks, who would you give the A+ grade to? Remember, it isn’t all about the prospect, but what was done to obtain him, what kind of positional need the team has etc. Let us know your thoughts in the live chat, and if you agree or disagree with those experts at SB Nation.