4 Prospects the Steelers must avoid in the NFL Draft
By Scott Long
The NFL Draft is fast approaching, and while there are some great prospects for the Steelers to consider, there are also some they must stay away from.
The NFL Draft is one of the most integral parts of building a roster, and the Steelers have been known for building their team mostly through the draft. While they have sprinkled in some free agent moves, and trades over the years, the crux of their roster is typically found through the draft.
This should be no different this year, as they made some nice free agent signings to fill out their roster, but the team has some important decisions to make in this year’s draft that will heavily impact the team’s success now and in the future.
With a need at the quarterback position, as well as several other positions, the Steelers must be careful of who they select and make sure they get the right guys. The following players are prospects that the team must avoid taking in this year’s draft.
1. Sam Howell, Quarterback
It’s no secret that the Steelers have been scouting quarterbacks in this year’s NFL Draft, and thus the selection of one in the early rounds is a distinct possibility. One of the names that has come up is Sam Howell, and while he is a talented prospect, the Steelers should steer clear of selecting the North Carolina product.
Howell entered this past season as a projected top 5 selection but didn’t play up to expectations after his top playmakers all left for the NFL. Due to his down year, Howell tends to be ranked as either the fourth or fifth quarterback in this year’s class. In addition to the down year this year, Howell has size concerns, and at 6′ 0 5/8″, his measurables are very comparable to Baker Mayfield, which has drawn that comparison quite frequently.
With the Steelers sitting at pick 20 in the first round, and 52 in the second round, Howell becomes a player that doesn’t really fall within their draft range. Selecting Howell at pick 20 would be a reach, but expecting him to fall to pick 52 seems unlikely. Of course, the team could either trade back from pick 20, or trade-up from pick 52, but there are better options at the quarterback position this year, and the Steelers shouldn’t just pick at the position unless they are confident who they are selecting is their guy.
When you combine Howell’s small stature, comparisons to Baker Mayfield, and the down season this year, with the fact that the Steelers would have to reach to ensure they get him, it makes it clear the team should avoid him. Howell may not be a bad quarterback in the NFL, however, he doesn’t appear to have the tools to be a player that can win unless everything around him is strong.