Steelers mock draft: New weapons and completing the defense
By Shayne Kubas
Round 2, pick 52: Steelers select Zyon McCollum
Zyon McCollum may be a small-school prospect, but you wouldn’t know that if you only look at his athletic testing from the combine. A 4.33 40, 39.5′ vertical, and a 6.48 3-cone are all unbelievable numbers for any player, but doing that at 6’2″ and nearly 200 pounds is unheard of for a corner.
His RAS score is a perfect 10, something very few players have ever achieved since scores have been recorded. Athleticism isn’t everything, but at a position as difficult to play as corner it is very important. Receivers are only getting bigger, faster, and stronger and corners who can hang with them are more valuable than ever.
McCollum’s tape is what you would expect from a player with his traits playing lesser competition at Sam Houston State. He forced 19 turnovers (13 ints, 6 forced fumbles), was great at pressing receivers at the line, and showed all the speed and quickness his workout numbers would suggest. He even has experience as a gunner on special teams, which is where he could have an impact early with the Steelers.
He is definitely a bit of a project, but his combination of ball skills and athleticism is something Pittsburgh hasn’t had in a long time. He would have time to develop behind Ahkello Witherspoon and free-agent addition Levi Wallace, allowing him to work on his technique. He may even have some safety potential due to his size and tackling ability if he doesn’t work out at corner long term.
The Steelers need playmakers in the secondary to compliment Minkah Fitzpatrick, and McCollum is a player who will end up being a steal as a late 2nd-round pick if he reaches his ceiling. After playing it safe in round 1, I would love a swing for the fence’s pick like this.