Gerry: Brown, Werner could be surprise Steelers picks Wednesday, 24 April 2013 16:57 Written by Gerry Dulac The Steelers go into tomorrow’s NFL draft with any number of four or five players who they think will be within their reach at No. 17.
Among those are tight end Tyler Eifert, wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, outside linebacker Jarvis Jones and safety Kenny Vaccaro. You can even throw in running back Eddie Lacy.
To me, Eifert was the best player I saw at the NFL combine in February and, since then, have advocated the Steelers picking him in the first round.
First and foremost, the Steelers need more receiving threats to surround Ben Roethlisberger and Eifert might be the best of them all. Sure, he is not going to replace Mike Wallace, but let’s face it – Todd Haley’s offense is not the best fit for Mike Wallace.
Having Wallace run underneath routes or curl patterns is not the best way to employ him. Wallace and his speed are best suited for an outside, over-the-top type of attack, like the Steelers had with Bruce Arians.
But they don’t play that way with Haley, who likes to keep the ball in the middle of the field and usually underneath the deep coverage. That fits perfectly with Eifert, who could be paired in combo with Heath Miller and give the Steelers two big, sure-handed receivers in the middle of the field.
That being said, I want to alert you to two players who could be surprise picks on the first round for the Steelers:
Inside linebacker Arthur Brown of Kansas State.
And defensive end Bjoern Werner of Florida State.
The Steelers love Brown, who could be the most athletic defensive player in the draft. He was a middle linebacker at K-State and that’s where the Steelers see him as well, even though a lot of draft boards list him as an outside linebacker.
The Steelers thought they found a replacement for James Farrior last year when they drafted Miami’s Sean Spence on the third round, but Spence may never play football again because of a severe knee injury suffered last preseason. It’s the reason they had to re-sign veteran Larry Foote for another season.
Werner was projected as a top 10 pick at the combine, one of the best 4-3 defensive ends. But, for some reason, he has been dropping in a lot of mock drafts.
Still, the Steelers saw enough athleticism and agility in Werner to convince them he could play at outside linebacker. He is rangy at 6-3, 261, and can pressure off the edge – something the Steelers have been lacking since the middle of the 2011 season.
So, if you looking for two surprise picks for the Steelers, remember those players.
Tyler Eifert @ 17