Round 1, Pick 28: Leighton Vander Esch, LB Boise State
Leighton Vander Esch is the type of linebacker that would thrive in the Steelers 3-4 scheme. With the absence of Ryan Shazier this year, he could offer a spark in certain situations.
He would not need thrust into the starting gig with the Jonathan Bostic signing. He can sit back and learn how to be a pro and be a Steeler behind veterans while still garnering play time.
There is always the possibility he beats out a veteran for the job, much like T.J. Watt did in 2017. With his instincts and ability to play every down, he is a candidate to have a big impact in his rookie year.
Vander Esch could go early but injury scares could make teams shy away. This could let him fall right into Pittsburgh’s lap to which Gerry Dulac reported that the team has no concerns.