Who do the Steelers target if they trade up to the 9th selection in the NFL Draft?

Ohio State Buckeyes Luke Wypler  and offensive tackle Paris Johnson work out during Ohio State
Ohio State Buckeyes Luke Wypler and offensive tackle Paris Johnson work out during Ohio State / Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA
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Who do the Steelers draft at 9?

This was initially an easy question to answer. Despite all the mock drafts that seemed resigned to the fact the Steelers are taking a cornerback, it may be fair to assume a cornerback was never in their first consideration, despite what Mike Tomlin may have said at league meetings to indicate otherwise. So if they obtain the 9th pick who do they select?

Paris Johnson OT, Ohio State

If we use traditional wisdom, the likely selection by the Steelers would be Paris Johnson, the offensive tackle from Ohio State. It’s not that the Steelers don’t have deficiencies in other positions that need to be addressed. They do need to ponder taking players at other positions, such as cornerback, safety, or edge. Aside from Paris Johnson, there is also Peter Skoronski and Broderick Jones, both of whom should be on the draft board with the 9th selection.

Certainly, some people read this like Paris Johnson, but others would say Skoronski or Jones is the better selection. Still, others would favor a cornerback. If you’re in the latter category, you could be correct. However, regardless of how you feel about it, we know Omar Kahn and Mike Tomlin, like Paris Johnson, above the other available prospects. Plus, Tomlin had a dinner meeting with Johnson. Thus if the Steelers opt for an offensive tackle, we know their preference is Johnson.

Thus if the Steelers ultimate goal is an offensive tackle Paris Johnson or not, the 9th position would be the best place to do so mainly because the Bears, Titans, and Jets all could take a tackle, meaning there is a chance neither would be available at pick 17.  

However, new rumors have surfaced that now seem to indicate Paris Johnson is not the intended target if they trade up to 9.