Mid to Late Round Targets for Steelers
Aug 31, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; Kentucky Wildcats linebacker Avery Williamson (40) recovers a fumble by Western Kentucky Hilltoppers running back Antonio Andrews (not pictured) during the first half at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports
Each day we inch closer to the draft. We are now slightly over a month away before the big day and it is time to get acquainted with some of the later round prospects in the draft. Here are three of them that would make excellent fits on the Pittsburgh Steelers roster.
Meet my favorite player in the draft, Avery Williamson. He is not being highly touted by many draft analysts but he has the ability of any other inside backer in the class, save CJ Mosley. Williamson is a 6’1″ and 246 pound monster who has the intimidation of few others while roaming the middle. Despite his imposing size, Williamson also has intriguing athletic ability. He has the makings of a true three down linebacker at the next level. When watching Williamson the first thing that sticks out is his downhill defense. Whether it is pass rushing or run defending, he shows tenacity, fearlessness, and sure tackling to make him an immediate helper in the box. He also shows the athleticism to succeed as a coverage linebacker, but he lacks some of the nuances the position requires. He needs to work on his footwork in coverage and he also has to study the coverage schemes that being an every down player will require him to know. He will need some time to develop, either on the bench or as the a part time player, but he should be a stud in five years.
Looking at all of the Steelers needs, wide receiver may get pushed into the later rounds if the teams brass elects to select a tight end like Eric Ebron early. If the team waits to the fifth round to make their move at receiver, Norwood could be the pick. He has good height at 6’2″ but may need to bulk up a few pounds so he can weigh between 205 and 210. He will likely be utilized as a possession receiver at the next level because of his great body control and extremely strong hands. He is also a good blocker, although not as good and Hines, but he is continuing to develop and he has plus football IQ. He clearly understands the game and is a hard worker. He didn’t put up huge numbers at Bama, but he was clearly AJ McCarron’s go to receiver in the clutch. Some downsides to his game are his stiff movement and lack of deep speed. He also struggles against press defense because of his lack of bulk. He is continuing to improve and because of his good hands and body control should have a long career as a possession receiver.
Reeves is a lesser known running back, mostly because he played at a smaller school in college. Reeves definitely deserves more attention than he is getting and has the potential to be the Alfred Morris of the 2014 draft class. Reeves is nicely built at 5’10” and 210 pounds. He also has good enough speed and power to command a few carries at the beginning of his career. Because he played at a smaller school he doesn’t have quite the polish of some other running backs in the class and has lots of room to improve. He should be able to be at least a timeshare back who gets around 10 touches per game. He could be a good addition in Pittsburgh as the third back initially and then work his way up to being the primary backup for Le’Veon Bell.