Re-Doing the Steelers Draft, One Week Later

Round 1: Devin Bush (ILB)

The trade up for Devin Bush was perfect. He is an outstanding player who can lead the defense for the next decade. No complaints here.

Round 3: Hakeem Butler (WR)

I actually really, really like Diontae Johnson. But Hakeem Butler’s 6’5″ 227 lbs frame is too hard to pass up on. He’s a tremendous deep threat who’s size makes him a redzone threat as well. Drafting a 6’5″ receiver also gives the Steelers the ability to pass on Zach Gentry, a 6’8″ Tight End who was likely drafted by the Steelers primarily due to his size. Ben Roethlisberger would adore him, and he is the perfect outside receiver to round off the Steelers’ receiving core.

Round 3: Justin Layne (CB)

I loved the value of Layne in the 3rd round as well. Though many Steelers fans are scared of his low floor, he is different from Cam Sutton and Artie Burns. Layne is most definitely heading in the right direction and offers top-tier ball skills. He might take a year to sit back and learn, but I would not be surprised if he started Year 1.

Round 4: Deionte Thomspon (S)

The Steelers clearly don’t think of safety as a major need. But I do. Sean Davis is solid but unspectacular. And Terrell Edmunds is the exact opposite–he’s flashy (though he needs to force more turnovers) and simultaneously terribly inconsistent. Deionte Thompson gives the Steelers the much needed depth and upside they need from the safety position.  He can up play up high, allowing Edmunds to shift into the box, where the opportunity for him to make major mistakes decreases.

Round 5: Blake Cashman (LB)

Blake Cashman is an outstanding inside linebacker and an absolute steal in the 5th round. He might start off as a solid depth piece, but he has starting potential. He’s physical, solid against the run, and great in coverage.

Round 6: Sutton Smith (EDGE)

Sutton Smith was another great pick by the Steelers in the 6th round. He’s a versatile EDGE rusher who can rush the passer as well as drop back into coverage. Though undersized, Smith offers tremendous upside and could make the roster despite being a 6th round pick at a relatively crowded position.

Round 6:  Alex Bars (OL)

Alex Bars went undrafted, so he might be a slight reach in the 6th round. But I believe he is a 4-5th round player, so he is still a steal in the 6th. He’s versatile, can play all across the line, and can take either B.J. Finney or Matt Feiler‘s role as their contracts expire.

Round 6: Rodney Anderson (RB)

I don’t hate Benny Snell at all, but I believe he was a slight overdraft in the 4th round. On the other hand, the very high-upside, if injury-prone, Oklahoma RB Rodney Anderson makes way more sense in the 6th round.

Round 7: Isaac Nauta (TE)

Zach Gentry was easily the most questionable pick by the Steelers in the draft class. He was a reach in the 5th round and offers very little upside as a receiver or a blocker. But Isaac Nauta, while slow, is a gritty blocker who offers receiving upside. He proved to have significant potential in his years at Georgia, but his draft stock plummeted after a poor combine performance. Still a steal in the 7th.


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