4 players who could tempt Steelers to go defense in round one of the NFL Draft
By Tommy Jaggi
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
It’s been forever since the Steelers have had two dynamic inside linebackers next to each other on defense. Though Devin Bush has loads of upside with his elite athletic traits, they still need to find another player to pair with him for the foreseeable future. Robert Spillane is a free agent this offseason and could return on a reasonable deal, but he isn’t likely to be a long-term fix. Meanwhile, Vince Williams could be a potential cap casualty this year.
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (or JOK, as he has been called), is everything you want in today’s NFL linebacker. Though he doesn’t have the stopping power of a player like Williams, he’s long, athletic, and rangy – very much in the mold of players like Fred Warner and Darius Leonard.
The Steelers love to run their nickel defense, but they seem to always have one linebacker on the field who is a major liability in coverage. JOK would not only sure up one of the weakest positions on Pittsburgh’s defense, but he would also immediately turn inside linebacker into one of the biggest strengths on the team. Owusu-Koramoah comes from a great football program and he would be really hard to pass on if he were to fall this far in the draft.
It’s entirely possible that all four of these players are off the board before Pittsburgh is on the clock with the 24th overall pick. However, if one of them manages to slide, you better believe the Steelers will have an interest. Don’t be surprised if the temptation to take one of these players is too great to pass on.