This past Sunday night, I was talking to my friend about the Steelers’ needs as they prepare for the 2016 NFL Draft, which begins this Thursday evening at 8 p.m., and I said, “As long as they draft a player from a position of need, I’ll be happy.”
- My friend retorted: “That’s a pretty passive way of looking at things.”
Of course it is. I’m no draft expert, but I do know what Pittsburgh’s draft needs are, specifically on the defensive side of the line of scrimmage. Therefore, if Steelers draft choice at number one selection is a cornerback, defensive lineman or safety, and this player is one that I’ve read about and has been projected to go in the first round, I’ll be satisfied with it.
If it’s an offensive lineman, wide receiver or running back, well, I might scratch my head and immediately engage in a “wtf!” text message conversation with my brother. After all, I realize general manager Kevin Colbert likes to preach about the best player available each spring when he talks about the draft, but come on. There are certainly enough defensive prospects in the 2016 NFL Draft that Pittsburgh should be able to pull the trigger on one and hope for the best.
I do have my favorites, of course:
- Eli Apple, the cornerback from Ohio State
- William Jackson III, the cornerback from Houston is even more attractive
- Andrew Billings entices as a big, hulking defensive tackle out of Baylor.
However, I think at least two of these players will be long-gone by the time the Steelers pick at 25, so I’m not going to emotionally invest in any of them.
As for the plethora of defensive linemen available this year, to be honest, when it comes to those guys, there’s so much information out there, I’m on overload; I don’t know who is a first rounder and who should be selected on Day 2 or Day 3, but if one of the non-Billings’ names I’ve heard about–Vernon Butler, Louisiana Tech; A’Shawn Robinson, Alabama–is the pick, I can’t see why I’d throw a fit.
As for other corner prospects, I don’t have a feeling about Mackensie Alexander, the highly-thought of cornerback from Clemson, but I know he’s a great cover guy, so I would be happy with him. In-fact on Monday, Peter King, Sports Illustrated’s very good football writer, had Alexander coming to Pittsburgh in his official mock draft on his site, Monday Morning Quarterback. Heck, I’d be happy with Artie Burns, the lesser-known cornerback from Miami who has been mocked to the Steelers in a few drafts.
With less than a week away, am I feeling excited about the 2016 NFL Draft? Not really. But I trust the Steelers will do the right thing.