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Pittsburgh Steelers Fact or Fiction: Post-NFL Draft edition

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BTSC takes five bold statements surrounding the completed Steelers and the 2019 Draft and labels them as Fact or Fiction.

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

There are many narratives surrounding the Steelers after the completion of the 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville. With so many questions to be answered on the need to trade up or reaches or how a player will actually play...BTSC takes bold statements and labels them as Fact or Fiction. Lets take a gander.

  • Devin Bush needs to be a Week One starter to justify trading up.

Fiction

Bush is a strong candidate to start the Steelers’ opener in New England, but it is not absolutely necessary. The thought process is that Bush will probably seize the spot, but it all depends on how exactly they view Mark Barron. My guess is that the newly-minted No. 55 is starting in prime time, but he’ll see a lot of time even if he doesn’t.


  • Comparisons of Diontae Johnson to Antonio Brown are fair to put on the third rounder.

Fiction

If Johnson is statistically half as good as AB, you have a great selection. Yes, he is of comparable body dimensions and comes from the MAC. He also possesses good hands and decent route running ability, plus a lot of fans never heard of him. However, let this kid be his own player. He doesn’t need the comparisons or pressure to justify his selection. Let this all play out.


  • Justin Layne should be the one to break the streak of underwhelming picks at the cornerback position.

Fact

The Michigan State CB had First Round grades from many teams, but the whole position group dropped with only Deandre Baker going at the end of the First. Layne is 6’2” with good coverage skills as a bump-and-run corner. He could be next man up and will likely start at times late in the season. There is a strong opinion among fans and “experts” that Layne could be a draft steal.


  • Lack of size will sink Sutton Smith

Fiction

Ryan Shazier, at 6’1” and 229 lbs., is merely an inch taller and four pounds lighter than Smith at 6’ and 233. Smith plays with a ton of heart and sacked QBs 15 times with 26.5 tackles-for-loss in 2018. He had 14 and 30 respectively in 2017. The Norther Illinois product will have to earn his way on via special teams, but I’d bet on him to do something special when he does.


  • Seven of the nine selections make the 53-man roster

Fact

Kevin Colbert got this one right. The top four selections of the Steelers (Bush, Johnson, Layne and Snell Jr.) should very well make the roster with ease. With the lack of depth at TE and Bucky Hodges having been released, Zach Gentry should be the TE3 on the 53. The next four guys have battles in camp, but I can see Buggs push past McCullers and Sutton Smith get the nod over “Dirty Red” Matakevich because of ST play, regardless of his being an ILB or OLB. Ulysses Gilbert and Derwin Gray may need to start out on the Practice Squad.


Agree? Awesome. Disagree? Fine, Agree to disagree? Cool with that too. Lets discuss in the comment section and lets welcome our new Pittsburgh Steelers.