The NFL draft just weeks away as we try to zone in on which players Pittsburgh could be targeting. Here is the latest edition of my Steelers fan mailbag.
The 2020 NFL Draft is set to take place in less than two weeks, and the Steelers still have a lot of positions that need to be addressed. There has been much speculation surrounding both players and positions they could look to target early.
In my third Steelers fan mailbag, we look to uncover the secrets of the draft for Pittsburgh this year and narrow in on players they could be targeting with the 49th overall pick? Here are questions sent in from fans and my responses to each:
Question: Who do you see #Steelers drafting in late rounds? Depth players? Or Need? Also…any last-minute FA’s signings out there that might surprise folks?
Answer: It could be a combination of both. I think linebacker, safety, cornerback or offensive line are all positions that could be addressed on day three. As far as free agents go, I think the Steelers have been hinting that they are done with any big signings.
Question: Who do you think they are taking at 49?
Answer: If I had only one guess, I’d go with Michigan edge defender/linebacker, Josh Uche. He’s young, athletic, and versatile. He can play multiple linebacker positions, and it doesn’t hurt that he’s from Michigan. There’s a chance he could go higher though.
Question: What’s an absolute rogue pick for Pitt at 49? Throw “needs” out the window.
Answer: I heard they have a lot of interest in Boise State OT Ezra Cleveland, but I’m guessing he goes late first round. A.J. Terrell is an outside possibility as a rouge pick. They met with a few second-round CB prospects at the Combine and send the house to Clemson’s Pro Day.
Question: Do you think the Steelers priorities are as follows: Guard, NT, MLB, RB, WR?
Answer: I think edge defender, nose tackle, offensive tackle, and running back are all near the top of their list. I’m not guaranteeing they will address all of these positions, but they have made mention of them at some point this offseason.
Question: If Taylor or Dobbins is sitting there at #49, will the Steelers take a RB?
Answer: They have a lot of interest in J.K. Dobbins, from what I’m told. I really don’t think they like Jonathan Taylor. It could be because of the ball security issues or massive workload. They didn’t send anyone to Wisconson’s Pro Day before the travel bans.
Question: Who’s a big-time sleeper pick you’d like the Steelers to pick on day 3? I love Khaleke Hudson from Michigan & Bravvion Roy from Baylor.
Answer: There are a handful of players I would take a chance on during day three. I like A.J. Dillon a lot if he falls to the 4th round. Isaiah Coulter and Darnell Mooney are late-round small-school WRs I would gamble on. I’d also include Benito Jones, L’Jarius Sneed, and Jamycal Hasty.
Question: If Edmunds was in this class, where would you rank him among the safeties?
Answer: It’s not a great safety class, but I had a 2nd-3rd round grade on Edmunds coming out. He would still rank 5th among the 2020 safeties – between Jeremy Chinn and Kyle Dugger for me. I have Grant Delpit, Antoine Winfield, Xavier McKinney, and Jeremy Chinn as better prospects.
Question: If the Steelers were to pick an offensive lineman, who would be the best possible player available for them with their first pick?
Answer: There will be a run on offensive tackles in the first round this year. They would love to be able to snag Ezra Cleveland, but he goes higher than this. OT Josh Jones will also be gone. I would say their best-case scenario would be one of either C Cesar Ruiz or Llyod Cushenberry.
Question: What percentage chance do you give us trading back from 49? 102? 124? Etc.
Answer: Pretty small still. The Steelers rarely trade back, but I could see an outside chance of this happening in a year they are short on selections. Let’s go with 10 percent.
Question: Any chance the Steelers get D’Andre Swift at 49?
Answer: Not really. He doesn’t fit the mold of what they typically look for at the running back position, and he will likely already be gone before their pick. They like the bigger backs who can touch the ball 18-25 times per game. I think Cam Akers and Zack Moss are more realistic.
Question: I’ve seen two so-called experts say the Steelers should draft a QB at 49. Bucky Brooks says Jalen Hurts and McShay said, Jacob Eason. What is the percentage chance that actually happens?
Answer: Very small. Kevin Colbert made it a point this offseason to say that he is “comfortable” with the quarterbacks on their roster. If one falls at the right point in the draft, there is an outside chance, but it’s very unlikely.
A lot more information should unfold during the coming weeks, and we may be able to find out a little bit more about the Steelers draft plans during that time. For now, we have a pretty good idea of the positions and players they may target with the 49th overall pick.