Safety or cornerback, that is the question looming over the Pittsburgh Steelers and their draft board as the 2016 NFL Draft kicks off. The battle really is what Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin and General Manager Kevin Colbert deem the most important and most needed position to fill in their defensive backfield which needs an upgrade.
Tomlin and Colbert have had quite a few draft day busts and as the defense continues its transition with 2nd year defensive coordinator Kevin Butler, the first round pick will be vital to the upcoming years defense and for year’s to come.
I believe that the Steelers are actually considering taking a cornerback in the first round and a safety in the ensuing rounds, so with that in mind, I project a possibility of three options for the team depending on how things fall. Here are the three:
Eli Apple-Ohio State (6’1, 200 lbs): he has the physical tools needed to excel in the NFL, is highly competitive and faced quality opponents but on the downside he does not have a natural nack for reading quarterbacks , not that physical (i.e not a run stopper) and has a tendency to hold when he is defending.
Vernon Hargreaves III-Florida (5’10, 204 lbs): he has great instincts and body control, understands the game and schemes and is willing to step up to defend the run game. His competitive aggressive side leaves him vulnerable to double moves by wide receivers and does not have good closing speed.
William Jackson III-Houston (6’0, 190 lbs): he has great speed and closing speed especially, good hands and able to react to the ball in the air. He is not physical in defending the run game or in making tackles and got called for an overabundance of penalties.
In looking at the three I think the Steelers would prefer to draft Vernon Hargreaves III who is more their type of hard-nosed player but will he fall to them is the real question.
My prediction with the 25th pick the Pittsburgh Steelers select…..William Jackson III.