Steelers Draft, Brown Returns, Defense Concerns


The NFL free agency period is in full swing and you can bet that we won’t miss a beat of Steelers coverage. While the Steelers are releasing players, signing free agents, restructure and extending contracts and re-signing their own free agents we’ll be busy looking around for mentions of your Black & Gold. Here’s your Steelers Morning Huddle for Sunday, April 5th.

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Who’s it gonna be?

We’re just within a few short weeks from the 2015 NFL Draft and this time of year there are more mocks than you can shake a towel at. Aside from our own pair of draft guru’s, Dom and Anthony, the “experts” have weighed in on who the Steelers will select with the 22nd pick. Brian Baldinger and Lance Zierlein both think the Steelers go with Kentucky’s OLB Bud Dupree.

Bucky Brooks and Charles Davis say the Steelers go secondary in the first round and go with Washington’s cornerback Marcus Peters. Charley Casserly says the Steelers go outside linebacker but he thinks they’ll pick Clemson’s Vic Beasley while Daniel Jeremiah thinks the Steelers go with Alabama’s strong safety Landon Collins.

What can Brown do for you?

He can return some punts. He can also kick punters in the face but that’s beside the point. ESPN’s Scott Brown explains that while Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said he’ll give Dri Archer a chance to earn his job back for returning kicks we shouldn’t expect Antonio Brown to give up his punt returning duties any time soon.

Brown has been returning punts since 2010 and he was eighth-best in the league in punt returns last season and actually likes having that be a part of his contributions to the team. He doesn’t want to be just a wide receiver, although he’s one of if not the best in the game, but he’d be reluctant to voluntarily give up returning punts regardless of how fast Archer might be.

How bad is it?

While the Steelers offense has the potential to be top notch in the upcoming season Ed Bouchette of the PPG reminds us that the defense could be legendarily bad. I like to have unreasonable optimism this time of the year because this is the time of the year for unreasonable optimism but the reality is that the Steelers linebacking corps could be the weakest link of the bunch while the secondary could be even worse than that.

A lot is riding on the draft and the bounce-back abilities of many key pieces like Jarvis Jones, Mike Mitchell, Cortez Allen and Ryan Shazier. And the draft. Did I mention the draft is going to be important?

Next: Will the Steelers trade up in the Draft?

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