5 draft prospects who could realistically fall to Steelers after the NFL Combine
The Steelers may land a ‘hot commodity’ at OLB
As I have stated many times before, finding an OLB who is a true ‘scheme fit’ for the Steelers base 3-4 defense has been challenging over the years. Zack Baun, who played OLB at Wisconsin, would be a natural fit for our scheme.
Why would he be a natural fit, you ask? Wisconsin’s base defense is a 3-4. The Steelers base defense is a 3-4. It seems logical to me that we would want to draft a player who it would appear is a good ‘scheme fit’. Listed at 6′ 2″ and 238 lbs, Baun is admittedly undersized for an OLB, which is why he might fall to us in the second round, for example. Baun ran a 4.65-second 40-yard dash and benched 225 lbs for 24 reps, so he does not possess ‘top-notch’ speed, but he’s not slow either.
So then I guess the question is this: If Claypool, Cushenberry, Ruiz, and Baun are all still ‘on the board’ when our turn comes in the second round, who do the Steelers take? I have no idea, honestly. As we know, the Steelers have traditionally had a ‘knack’ for drafting and cultivating linebackers, both ILBs and OLBs.
Obviously, not every linebacker prospect we have drafted has panned out, but I think it’s fair to say that more have panned out than have not panned out. In any event, could Baun possibly play ILB? His size and weight are probably more suited to play ILB or ‘sub-package’ LB, but I think it would be a good problem for the Steelers to have to figure out where Baun would fit into the defensive scheme.
The Steelers will hopefully have some decisions to make come draft day
Is it possible that all of the prospects about whom we talked will be available to the Steelers on draft day? Sure. It is possible that none of the prospects about whom we talked will be available to the Steelers on draft day? Sure. Are any of these prospects perhaps considered ‘under the radar’ prospects? Sure.
The prospects mentioned above are just a sampling of prospects who may have helped themselves with their performance at the NFL combine. I know that the Steelers, like every other team in the NFL, place stock not only on combine results but on game tape as well.
Will any of the aforementioned prospects be part of the 2020 Steelers draft class? That remains to be seen but we are going to find out shortly as the draft is ‘right around the corner’.