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An Early Look at the Steelers’ Mid-Round Prospects

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The Steelers need to hit on some later draft picks to get them back into the Super Bowl conversation, especially after losing Shazier. We have needs all over the defense, but specifically at ILB, S, and EDGE, and WR, RB, QB on offense. I expect the Steelers to take Safety Ronnie Harrison in the first round, which plays a large role in who we select in the later rounds (mostly focused on ILB).

2nd Round:

  • Fred Warner (ILB) – Warner is a speedy linebacker who played a kind of an EDGE role in college, though he would be perfect at ILB for the NFL. Warner is very fast, has got quick reactions and can cover well, though he definitely struggles in block shedding and consistently getting to the passer.
  • Hercules Mata’afa (EDGE) – Mata’afa is a stud. He, at only about 250 pounds, played Defensive Tackle for Washington State. Even then, Mata’afa was great against the run and was constantly getting pressure on the Quarterback. He’ll be perfect in the rotation that really only consists of Watt and Dupree right now. On obvious passing plays, Mata’afa can replace Stephon Tuitt (who’s great against the run, but not so good at getting to the QB) and play on the interior. With him, Watt, Dupree, and Heyward all on the field at once, the Steelers D-line could be very scary
  • Shaun Dion Hamilton (ILB) – Shaun Dion Hamilton is like Fred Warner; He’s got great speed and coverage ability, but struggles getting around the big guys up front. And he has some injury concerns. Yet, his undeniable talent makes him a very viable option for the Steelers in the 2nd round.

3rd Round:

  • Jack Cichy (ILB) – Cichy is a well-rounded ILB who’s stock may drop due to his injury concerns. He’s got above avergae speed, he’s very smart, can rush and cover, and would likely love to be reunited with Watt (the two were a dynamic duo in college). He might not be worth the 3rd round pick, as the Steelers need an anchor at ILB right now. Cichy might not be able to be that due to his recent injuries.
  • Terrell Edmunds (S) – Terrell Edmunds, the often overlooked brother of Tremaine Edmunds, is actually very good. He’s well rounded and would be a good pickup in the 3rd round to fill a big hole
  • Josh Adams (HB) – This pick is based entirely upon Bell’s contract situation. If he resigns, no need for Adams. If he does not, Adams is a quality option. He’s big, strong and is surprisingly elusive.
  • Allen Lazard (WR) – Lazard is an absolute mismatch. Though many have their concerns with Lazard, the big-bodied receiver could be a great pickup in the 3rd round. He’s got great hands, startlingly good at route-running, and can go get the 50/50 balls. But, he lacks speed and quickness big-time. He was originally a 5th round prospect due to this, but his great 4.55 40 yard dash put the majority of his speed concerns to rest.
  • Kyle Lauletta (QB) – Lauletta wasn’t even on draft boards at all just a few months ago, but is now looked at as one of the top mid-round QBs in this class. He’s got a slightly above average arm, but his other attributes are off the charts. He’s very smart, makes great decisions, and looks off defenders. Great QB to sit for a little and develop.

 

5th round (2 Picks):

  • Marques Valdes-Scantling (WR) – Valdes-Scantling is another perfect candidate to replace Martavis Bryant. He is 6’5 and ran a stunning 4.37 40 yard dash. He’s a mismatch, but struggles with route running quite a bit. He’s inconsistent and struggles with some easy drops, but is still a great option in the 5th round.
  • Troy Fumagalli (TE) – Fumagalli started off as a top TE prospect, but for some reason has fallen quite a bit, though due to no fault of his own. People are simply overlooking him. He’s very well rounded, can block well, and has the debatably the surest hands in the draft, even with a missing finger.
  • Justin Watson (WR) – Watson played very well in college, but against almost nonexistent competition. He’s very well-rounded, can do everything, and is consistent. Great 5th round option.
  • Justin Jackson (HB) – Jackson, who played behind Northwestern terrible o-line, was sill succesful. He ran very well in his college career, but is a weapon in the passing game as well. May be a good addition to a rotation, if Bell eventually leaves.
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