Up For Another Falling Star?

A trade down in a deep draft would suit the Steelers tonight in the first round, but what if another big-name prospect falls to them? Jim Wexell has the scenario:

The juicy draft news always seems to take its sweet ol' time coming out, but it eventually comes out.

And you may have heard this from your sources, too, that the Steelers would like to trade down and gain more picks in the deepest draft in Kevin Colbert's 30 years in the business.

Coincidentally, the San Francisco 49ers would like to trade up, and according to the draft value board the Steelers could cop something close to a second, fourth and fifth, or a second and third, from the 49ers for moving down 15 picks.

The 49ers reportedly are in pursuit of WR Odell Beckham, who on many boards is ranked about 15th, or right where the Steelers are picking.

But the latest is that Beckham -- the most polished of the college WRs -- very well could be drafted before Mike Evans, the 6-4 3/4, 231-pounder who's so similar to a young Plaxico Burress.

And since the WR position is the deepest position in the deepest draft, and scouts are saying that 10 could be drafted among the top 50 picks for the first time in 20 years, a team in the top 14 would logically look to the second round to procure their wide receiver and allow Evans to fall right into the lap of the Steelers.

It's not as if that scenario hasn't happened in recent drafts. In fact, the Steelers topped their own Radio City Music Hall short-shuttle record in getting the pick to the podium last year in 3.62 seconds to draft Jarvis Jones. It topped their own league record of 3.75 in drafting David DeCastro the previous year.

Do you think the Steelers would run to the podium to draft Plax II? Or would they trade that pick to the 49ers?

I'm thinking they would draft Evans and that Ben Roethlisberger and the city would party for a good long while.

Nice dream, isn't it?

Could it happen? Well, it happened in my publisher's mock early in this bloated media draft season. And I was actually disappointed that I had taken Evans once I got to the second round, because there I was awash in talented receivers and really, really, wanted a cornerback.

That's why I'm going to wake up from this dream and stick with Darqueze Dennard as my prediction for the Steelers.

Yes, I prefer Kyle Fuller. And, yes, there are those recent reports that teams are concerned about Dennard medically because of his double hernia surgery following the 2012 season.

"Some detractors say Dennard has tight hips," wrote former NFL team physician Dr. David Chao, in his column for National Football Post. "The question is whether that is related to his hernia issues. Being able to have full mobility and flip one's hips is an integral quality for an NFL cornerback."

I swear I saw the pain in Dennard's eyes the first time he tried to "flip his hips" out of his backpedal at the combine.

But I won't be deterred. I'm still taking Dennard. I like his physicality and have gotten past his lack of off-coverage experience. He was Michigan State's press man in its cover-3, and, once Ike Taylor leaves, the Steelers will need another one.

I also like the stats draft analyst David-Te' Thomas dug up for Scout.com, that Dennard allowed the lowest target completion percentage (19.8) of any starting cornerback in 2012, and for his career Dennard allowed 20.8 percent completions for 9.5 yards per catch and a ridiculously low 2.0 yards per attempt.

And if the Steelers think they can pick up an extra pick because of a two-year-old surgery, all the better.

So I'll go with the following predictions without a trade-down for Dennard. But when it's all said and done, a trade down would really help their roster.

1. Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State.

2. Donte Moncrief, WR, Mississippi.

3. Taylor Hart, DE, Oregon.

4. Jerick McKinnon, RB, Georgia Southern.

5a. Charles Leno, OT, Boise State.

5b. Beau Allen, NT, Wisconsin.

6a. Shaquille Richardson, CB-S, Arizona.

6b. Shaquil Barrett, OLB, Colorado State.

7. John Brown, WR-RS, Pittsburg State.


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