6 prospects on the Steelers 'do not draft list' following the NFL Combine

Clemson defensive back Nate Wiggins (DB42)
Clemson defensive back Nate Wiggins (DB42) / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

With the combine wrapped up, the next crop of NFL stars got to put their athleticism on display in hopes of boosting their draft stock. While quite a few players did a lot to help their stock, there were also a handful of names that didn’t live up to expectations, and the Steelers should tread cautiously because of that.

Some of these players have legitimate athleticism concerns, and all we need to do is remember the Jarvis Jones pick to remember why athleticism plays a part in this process. Others tested fine, but some of their measurables are lacking. Kendrick Green and DeMarvin Leal are the prototypes for the team going against their trend with players and it not working out.

I’ve scanned the combined results and taken into account each player's perspective ranking and have identified six first-round options that should be off the Steelers board because of their combine results. I’m not taking into account their tape, this is purely their profile ahead of the draft, but these six players don’t seem like good fits for Pittsburgh at pick 20.

Braden Fiske, DT, Florida State

You will actually find Braden Fiske on many people's winners columns given his dominance in drills. He looks like a freak athlete and holds his weight well. While he is a little on the short side, that isn’t the reason I think the Steelers should avoid him.

The issue with Fiske is his arm length, as he only has 31” arms. That is really short for this scheme, and it will impact his ability to take on tackles as an end. He seems like a player that could thrive in a different system with him positioned along the interior. I don’t see him working in Pittsburgh though.

Keon Coleman, WR, Florida State

No one was expecting Keon Coleman to light up the combine, but his results were disappointing. A bigger, more physical player in college, Coleman was never going to test as a freak athlete, but a 4.61 forty is hard to work with.

His tape backs this up, as he won in college with contested catches as opposed to separating and gaining space. Historically, players like that have struggled to transition to the NFL with elite defensive backs. Coleman screams bust to be given how he wins, and in a deep receiver class, there are a lot of better options elsewhere.

Jer’Zhan Newton, DT, Illinois

Of the six names on this list, I think Jer’Zhan Newton would have the best chance of succeeding with the Steelers. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be as a conventional starting end, as I think he would have to shift inside to nose tackle. That means anywhere from 30-45 percent of the defensive snaps, and that is hard to justify with a first-round pick.

Newton is short and stocky but moves well. I actually see some resemblance to Javon Hargrave in his game given his power and speed to get off his blocks. Hargrave was a good player for the Steelers, but he has gone on to be a great player in schemes that suit him better. Newton will be a good player, but he doesn’t fit this defense well, and his best position is hard to justify taking in the first round.

Troy Fautanu, OT, Washington

This may be one of the best offensive tackle classes in a long time. The top of the class is incredibly deep, and there are some intriguing prospects in the middle and late rounds to develop. A name that is moving up boards because of his athleticism is Troy Fautanu.

The Steelers like their tackles big, and while Fautanu is close to meeting those requirements, he is smaller than what the team prefers and his length isn’t as long as they would like. I think he would make a dominant guard on the Steelers, but that isn’t a need this year. Instead, there are plenty of other tackles this team can target to better their offensive line.

Byron Murphy II, DT, Texas

If Fiske was a tad small, I don’t even know how to classify Byron Murphy. While he was a dominant interior defender at Texas, I just don’t see how he can fit into what the Steelers like for their defensive linemen. He has better length than Fiske, but it isn’t great. He is also extremely small at just a little over six foot.

I think Murphy can win in the NFL, but at his size, he needs to be an interior lineman who can focus on quickly penetrating. Steelers interior linemen take up space and multiple blocks, and that isn’t something Murphy does well. His size makes him a bad fit for this defense, and I hope the team passes on him if he is available.

Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson

I haven’t been a big proponent of taking cornerback in the first round of this draft due to the strength of the offensive linemen available. If they do decide they need a cornerback that early, Nate Wiggins has to be off the board. While his tape fits the profile of a tall press cornerback and the athleticism is there, his size isn’t.

He is underweight at 173 pounds and he has short arms, which will make it harder to jostle a receiver off their route at the line of scrimmage. I’m nervous his lack of size will lead to injuries at the next level and make him a liability in the run game. There are better first-round cornerbacks for this team than Wiggins.

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While the combine is just a part of the predraft process, these six players should have seen their Steelers stock take a hit. Some tested poorly as athletes and others lacked the size to succeed with this team. Because of this, they should not be considered in the first round for Pittsburgh.