Steelers mock draft: OL, defense addressed instead of QB
By Andrew Falce
The Steelers saw two of their starting cornerbacks depart last offseason, and while the team has found a way to still field a solid group, Joe Haden is entering a contract year. While the veteran has been key in the rebuild of this secondary, his age makes the odds of resigning him slim. Thus, the Steelers will have a massive hole at cornerback next season.
Ideally, the team can sign a free agent to fill that need, but a rookie should still be brought in to keep this unit deep and to develop for the future. While a natural slot corner would make sense here, I didn’t find a third-round guy that I was thrilled with. Thus, Virginia Tech’s Jermaine Waller fills the void. The tall cornerback has flashed some ball skills, but he needs to develop more at the next level.
In particular, his physicality is regularly tested. While a taller corner, he doesn’t match up well against big-bodied receivers. He needs to get some more play strength to hold his own against some of the NFL’s physical freaks at receiver. On the plus side, he is solid in man coverage and has regularly been left on an island while at Virginia Tech.
The Steelers track record for drafting corners hasn’t been strong, but Waller would present the team with a prospect relatively sound in coverage but lacking in some of the physical departments. Assuming the team addresses this position in free agency, he wouldn’t be required to start right away. He could sit and bulk up to be a better matchup with bigger receivers.