I’ll be the first to say it – I don’t have any hot takes about who the Pittsburgh Steelers should take with their first-round pick, 30th overall.
I wouldn’t even be opposed to a quarterback in the first, if Patrick Mahomes is available from Texas Tech, I say take him and let Ben Roethlisberger teach him until he retires.
There aren’t any glaring needs the Steelers have to remedy this year, and there shouldn’t be for a team coming off an AFC title game appearance last year. However, this team has seven picks this week, and they have to be used.
As much as it may pain old-timers who remember the Steel Curtain and Greg Lloyd, or even younger fans who can recall Troy Polamalu jumping over offensive lines, the Steelers have adopted the passing game as a major component of their recent strategy, making good use of their elite receiving corps.
Receiver, Markus Wheaton, recently left the team and signed with the Chicago Bears. While his absence doesn’t leave a huge gap in the Steelers’ offense, they could certainly do worse than drafting a young receiver in the second or third round to join the elite corps led by Antonio Brown, Eli Rogers, Sammie Coates, and the conditionally reinstated (fingers crossed) Martavis Bryant.
Exhibit (curly, mulleted) A is Alabama receiver, ArDarius Stewart. Stewart comes in at 5’11 and 204 pounds. The NFL’s draft guide says Stewart “brings a physical play demeanor to the field at all times.” (Sound familiar?)
He also has “kick return talent that translates into the NFL,” so the Steelers can put him on special teams and worry about him getting injured and unable to run routes on offense. Maybe he’ll be Dri Archer, but useful.
Even Stewart’s negatives seem positive. Call me crazy, but 70 percent of his total yardage being earned from running after catching the ball doesn’t seem so bad. Plus, he “[benefits] from screens, pop passes and reverses,” so if Todd Haley decides to go back to screen passes on 3rd and 13 or puts Le’Veon in at QB in the wildcat in the traditional New Year’s fool-around game against Cleveland, he’ll be ready.
He’s projected to go in the second or third round, which could be good for a team like the Steelers. This draft is a wild card for this team, so why not use it to beef up the personnel regiments they already have?