The Pittsburgh Steelers will likely add at least one wide receiver to their roster during the 2017 NFL Draft, but not until the later rounds.
The Steelers head to the NFL Draft with no rush to add another wideout to their roster. They do understand they’ll have to select one at some point, but their strategy likely won’t be until the end of the draft. As all Pittsburgh fans know, though, the last time they took a chance at a late-round receiver they really didn’t need, he turned out to be the best in the NFL.
In 2010, the Steelers wanted to add a wideout to their roster to compliment Hines Ward and Mike Wallace. So, they drafted Emmanuel Sanders in the third round. The speedy wideout was supposed to be the perfect addition to the slot and add another element to their already explosive offense.
When the sixth round came around, the Steelers decided to double up on wide receivers and take another player named Antonio Brown. With the 195th pick in the 2010 draft, the wide receiver out of Central Michigan wasn’t expected to be much of a contribution in the NFL.
Well, as we all know now, Brown has blown all expectations out of the water. He’s arguably the best receiver in the league and is just his NFL career. In 2010, when the Steelers used their sixth round pick on Brown, they never would have expected him to turn into the AB we all know and love.
This year, Pittsburgh is looking to add another nobody wideout. With defense being their primary focus in the early portion of the draft and quarterback taking up the middle, a receiver won’t be on Pittsburgh’s to-do list until at least the fifth round.
Brown, Eli Rogers and hopefully Martavis Bryant are a great receiving core in the NFL. When all three are available, Pittsburgh is considered one of the top receiving units out there. With all the talent, the Steelers draft pick at receiver will come in looking to be nothing more than a quality backup.
People are so unconcerned about the Steelers drafting a receiver, there aren’t even a real list of players to guess from. Names like Amba Etta-Tawo, Artavis Scott, and Dede Westbrook all sit near Pittsburgh’s fifth and sixth round picks, but none are locked in as an option for the Steelers.
Although when Brown was drafted, the Steelers did need a receiver. But they were only taking Brown to be another option in case Sanders didn’t pan out. No one in a million years thought the Central Michigan product would do what he has, though.
This year, the scenario is different but still similar. This new receiver will come in with little expectations and no pressure to succeed. Maybe, they’ll get lucky, and he’ll turn out to be the biggest steal of the draft much like AB.
Don’t get too excited. Chances are whoever Pittsburgh drafts doesn’t turn out to be much more than a second option on the outside to rest Brown and Bryant. You never know, though, people probably said the same thing when the Steelers drafted Antonio Brown.