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Steelers Combine Draft Primer – Possible 1st Round Targets

  • Rashaan Evans, Linebacker, Alabama:

If you’re a Steelers fan this is the pick you pray for right after you pray for Shazier to get healthy. Evans on field play to me could not have been more similar to Shazier. Evans plays with elite speed, agility and explosiveness. He possesses a very good spin counter in either direction and his burst on the delayed blitz from inside linebacker is very hard for offensive linebackers to handle. He has played in 3 straight National Championship games and would start day one with the mentality and pedigree of a winner.

 

  • Malik Jefferson, Linebacker, Texas:

The loss of Ryan Shazier was a huge blow to the Steelers defense down the stretch especially against the run. Leonard Fournette ran for a total of 109 yards and 3 touchdowns in the AFC Divisional game against the Steelers last year. That is not a recipe for success. Adding Malik Jefferson would be a big improvement over Sean Spence who filled in for Shazier down the stretch. Jefferson is a big and physical presence with a lot of speed. Last year he was a tackle machine at Texas and possesses the skill to drop into coverage like we have seen Shazier do very well over the course of his career.

 

  • Marcus Allen, Safety, Penn State:

Before Ryan Shazier was drafted many experts said out of the gates that he was made to be a Steeler, now the same is now being said of Marcus Allen. He is a very big and physical safety who does his best work at the line of scrimmage. The Steelers could use an upgrade over Mike Mitchell who was rated as the 62nd best safety on Pro Football Focus last year. Whether Allen will be a 1st round pick or somewhere in the 2nd – 3rd round range will likely depend upon his 40 time as any scouts have deemed his speed as his biggest weakness.

 

  • Derrius Guice, Running Back, LSU:

With all of the drama surrounding Le’Veon Bell’s contract negotiations many experts think the Steelers will use their 1st pick on a running back. Multiple mock drafts have pegged the Steelers to draft Derrius Guice. Guice like Bell has a great combination of speed, power and balance with great recognition of early trouble at the line of scrimmage and is great at improvisation when he looks to be stuffed. He is viewed by as a player comparable to Marshawn Lynch. This could be a great pick for the Steelers if they decide to part ways with Bell. Guice would be a much cheaper option and would give the team more cap flexibility to possibly address holes on defense through free agency.

 

  • Dallas Goedert, Tight End, South Dakota State:

Goedert is a 6’5”, 255-pound tight end who has drawn comparisons to players like Gronkowski and Ertz. Assuming he performs well at the combine the Steelers may not be able to pass on him. His ability as a playmaker at tight end is something the Steelers have not seen since Heath Miller. Goedert possesses excellent hands and speed with very good ball skills and body control. His biggest weakness will be as a pass blocker but if the Steelers draft based on their usual best available option he may be their pick. At this point he would be more of a luxury than a necessity.

 

Other Notable Players to keep an eye on: Lamar Jackson QB, Marcus Davenport EDGE, Leighton Vander Esch LB, & Sony Michael RB.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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