As the season is starting to clear up, it's becoming more clear that the Steelers will be a top 15 pick. Looking at the top players in the draft I have come up with my list, in order of probablility of the Steelers first round selection. I would love to get some feedback and see some other peoples lists.
1) Chris Kouandjio-LT Alabama, Matthews will be long gone. Not to mention I believe Kouandjio to have the higher overall ceiling. This is the most athletic LT in the draft. He is a day 1 plug in and an instant solution to the Steelers LT woes.
2) Cameron Erving-LT FSU, Another athletically gifted LT. While many draft boards have Lewan ahead of Erving, I'm not so sure Lewan is all that. Erving is reported to be smooth, fluid and agile for a big man. I think you could flip flop him and Kouandjio...as both IMO would be ideal franchise LT's.
3) Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, DB-Oregon, probably the most physical corner in this draft. Probably by mid season he is getting significant playing time in specialty packages, year 2 starter. I really like Dennard out of MSU, but with his injury history and the lack of elite WR talent in the Big Ten, I have to pass on him. Olomu is a big hitting ball hawk and should instantly infuse turnovers into our D. I am concerned about his lack of elite speed. He might make a better safety.
4) Ha Ha Clinton-Dix-FS, he would look real good beside the shark and should solidify our safeties (barring injury) for many seasons. The knock on him is physicality. But, in today's game having a head hunter in centerfield has become less important. This guy is a ball hawk with terrific playmaking ability. If we are drafting around 15, he becomes a real consideration.
5) Louis Nix, NT Notre Dame, huge and agile but struggled against the Alabama OL last season. Guys like him don't come around after the first round. We now know how important the NT position is for LeBeau. But, I think there are a few things that keep the Steelers from drafting him. First, he is a two down player with endurance issues. Second, he has struggled against elite talent. Also, I think the Steelers have their future NT in Al Woods. I have heard reports of him being "unblockable" in camp which makes me think it was more a cerebral issue keeping him off the field until now.
On the outside looking in.
1) Mike Evans-WR- Tex A&M, wow, I really like this guy but he is a luxury the Steelers can't afford. While I know the Steelers try to pick BPA, I don't think they go with WR in the first this year. They are in bit of a hole and have to dig themselves out.
2) Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech-terrific receiving TE, but issue with attitude/maturity and questionable blocking will keep him off the Steelers draft board.