The Pittsburgh Steelers’ season has now been over for a few weeks, so it’s time to get into the off-season mindset. Although free agency comes first on the calendar before the 2020 NFL Draft, the NFL Combine will occur before either of them. With that said, it might be nice to have an idea as to some of the names associated with the Steelers in the second round. The Steelers’ first round pick has already been named an All-Pro player as Minkah Fitzpatrick can be thought of as the Steelers’ choice. So let’s look at prospects who may be available at the 49th selection and see what they could bring the the Steelers in 2020.
When talking about mock drafts or NFL free agency, you have to first identify the team’s main needs for the offseason. Here are some of the projected positions of need for the Steelers in no particular order:
There could be other positions added to the list, but when it comes to what position the team will target with their first pick, it is certainly up for debate.
In the latest second-round mock draft by fantasypros.com, they have the Steelers addressing the quarterback position with their first pick in the second round. While many who follow the Steelers know there are other more pressing issues in which the Steelers need to address early in the draft, it is undeniable that quarterback is the most important position on an NFL team. With Ben Roethlisberger coming off of elbow surgery and neither Mason Rudolph or Devlin Hodges blowing the doors off of anyone, some feel the Steelers need to address the position. And if you’re going to get a quarterback, early in the draft is usually the place to find them.
Check out the pick:
49. Pittsburgh Steelers | Jacob Eason | QB | Washington | JR |
As many players are declaring their eligibility and preparing for the NFL Scouting Combine, there are plenty of players most fans have not seen play in 2019. Since this is the case, here is a breakdown of Eason according to thedraftnetwork.com:
Arm Accuracy - Boy, does he throw a pretty ball when he’s afforded room to work. If his sequence is hurried or if he’s staring down pressure, he can be prone to missing high. But his deliberate placement on back shoulders, slant routes, speed outs, crossers and more set receivers up for success.
Decision Making - He doesn’t make the fastest decisions but he typically does a nice job of avoiding putting ball security at risk. Only got trapped a few times in zone coverage. He’s more than happy to eat the ball and try to extend versus throwing up a prayer into tight coverage.
Progressions - Needs to quicken his pace here. He’s missed some check downs and taking big hits because he’s prone to wait on the first read. Had a lot of build in leveraged reads on double slants or spot concepts and did well there. Doesn’t often make it through the full field of reads.
Anticipation - His spot throws are really, really nice. He’ll zip in rhythm throws to deep outs, slants and spot routes with great placement to hit receivers in stride. Shows good feel for throwing away from leveraged defenders and has found success throwing fades and back shoulders, as well.
Poise - He’d be well served to have a reliable interior line in front of him. He’s definitely tough as hell and willing to stand in against pressure, so kudos are due there, His off-script ability brings flashes of success but also the occasional lapse in judgment.
Arm Strength - Absolute cannon for an arm — he’ll throw haymakers up the seam or down the sideline with ease. Will rip apart tight spaces in zone with his velocity. Does well to generate ample heat on the ball when he’s rolling or moving off his platform. Deep out throws come in on a rope.
Pocket Awareness - Needs to be more open to alternative escape routes out of the pocket that don’t involve rolling left and turning his back to the defense. He’s got a fair sense of pre-snap pressure but needs to be more willing to climb the ladder or slide within the pocket to break pursuit angles.
Mechanics - He’s got a fine release, doesn’t illustrate a significant loop in his delivery and ball pops off his hand well, he’s a natural thrower within the pocket. He can help himself when he’s forced off his spot by being more consistent to square lead shoulder to the LOS on the move.
Footwork - He doesn’t have the lightest feet and he can definitely help himself by having a more active base within the pocket when under pressure. He’d currently prefer to squat on his base, lock the lower half and throw into teeth of pressure versus sliding and resetting to throw.
Mobility - He’s athletic enough. Wouldn’t consider him a threat to packaged QB runs or RPOs but he’s athletic enough to break contain and stretch the defense horizontally before finding an uncovered receiver. Dangerous on the move because of how strong his arm is to zip throws deep.
Best Trait - Arm Strength
Worst Trait - Progressions
Best Film - Oregon (2019)
Worst Film - Utah (2019)
Red Flags - None
Player Summary - Jacob Eason has all the tools to be a high end starting quarterback at the NFL level. Eason, despite getting run as a starter at both Georgia and Washington, does still needs to find more confidence in his progressions to work more quickly through his reads, otherwise he will be prone to taking a lot of unnecessary pressure. Eason has a cannon for an arm and projects best into an aggressive vertical passing offense to take advantage of his arm talent to the deeper levels of the field.
For all you draft junkies out there, what do you think of the selection? Would you be on board with the Steelers taking a quarterback with their first pick, albeit in the second round? If so, is Eason the right player to take? Or should the team target another position/player at that spot? Let us know in the comment section below, and remember these mock drafts are merely speculation and caused to create discussion among the fan base.