Steelers mock draft: Unspectacular, yet realistic selections

Alabama Crimson Tide running back Najee Harris (22). Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Alabama Crimson Tide running back Najee Harris (22). Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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FSU’s Janarius RobinsonSun Bowl 2019 022 /

Round 3:

The Steelers’ edge depth has been crushed this offseason, as the team now has just their starters and a below-average backup on the roster. Finding a potential rotational rusher and sound special teamer has to be a priority in this draft. Unfortunately, this class isn’t particularly deep at edge, meaning the team has to draft the position a little higher to get a potential impact player.

Janarius Robinson has a lot of potential coming out of Florida State, but he will need some development at the next level to be an impact player. He is a big edge defender standing at over 6’4 and 266 lbs., but that should mesh well with some of the lighter edge rushers the team currently has. He needs to develop a better array of pass-rushing moves, but serving as a depth piece at first would provide him that opportunity.

The Steelers haven’t shown any explicit interest in Robinson, but they had both Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin at the Florida State pro day. Add in defensive line coach Karl Dunbar, who works with the edge rushers often, and the team should have gotten a good view of Robinson. While his 3-cone time wasn’t elite and his college production was lacking, there is a major drop off in edge options after him, meaning the team hopes to develop him as a backup at the next level.

Others considered: Trey Sermon (RB), Aaron Robinson (CB), Tommy Tremble (TE)

Both Sermon and Tremble would be tempting options (Sermon if running back has been ignored to this point), but the Steelers will not leave day two without a defender. This makes edge and cornerback the likely options given the needs there, so Robinson would be the most likely alternative pick here. He is a physical slot corner in the mold of Mike Hilton that needs to improve his coverage. That said, the lack of day three edge rushers makes Robinson the more valuable pick.