What appeared to be a Day 1 steal was followed by Day 2 disappointment. The Pittsburgh Steelers missed out on one of my top second-round targets in Maxx Williams when the Baltimore Ravens traded one pick in front of the Steelers to take away Heath Miller's heir apparent.
Last week in my story on the second round, I mentioned the difference in having the 14th pick of the second round last year compared to the 24th this season and how it could be the difference in having a borderline first-round talent fall available instead of being left with third-round talent. That's what happened when Rowe and Williams were selected.
I'm not sure why the Steelers couldn't be more aggressive and move up a few spots with a fifth-round pick to acquire Williams. It's not as if they've been a bastion for fifth-round drafting success lately. But they didn't, and the Steelers were left taking a 5-9, 176-pound nickel corner.
I like Senquez Golson. I just liked him in Round 3. If I'm drafting a corner in Round 2, I want to draft a top two corner who can play on the outside, not a number three.
It's now three straight years that the Steelers have drafted a receiver-type in the third round. Meanwhile, I see the Ravens draft the likes of Brandon Williams and now 6-5, 322-pound Carl Davis, and it's no surprise to me why the Steelers are getting owned at the line of scrimmage by the Ravens. And while the rest of the division was building through the trenches, the Steelers were drafting the diminutive Golson and a one-trick pony wide receiver who dropped passes last season at a 19.1 percent clip.
There were players I thought the Steelers could target to fortify their defensive front such as Xavier Cooper and Henry Anderson, who were drafted following the pick of Sammie Coates. One of my favorite corners went off the board as well in Steven Nelson.
Both Day Two selections were pre-draft visits. Expect more of the same pattern today. It seems like the Steelers bring in their late-round targets to make sure everything checks out before they select them.
Teams will re-stack their boards before the fourth round. Past drafts have indicated a run of the players available at the start of Round 4. From there, it's anyone's guess as teams start filling needs. I expect the Steelers to draft another cornerback, as well as a tight end, guard, running back and possibly a safety. The Steelers seem to be content with what they have along the defensive line based on the lack of interest they showed in line prospects with their pre-draft visits and by passing on Cooper last night for a fourth receiver with bad hands. Nevertheless, here are my top fourth-round targets:
1. Grady Jarrett - I have no faith the Steelers will select this high-motored one-gap defensive tackle. The thought here is he would be an asset in the nickel. I would like a low center of gravity lineman to provide a different role for the rest of the group. I'm not holding my breadth.
2. Doran Grant - Another player I apparently have overvalued. I see the Steelers instead targeting someone taller who's a better candidate to play on the outside. Team captain who flashed all last season.
3. T.J. Clemmings - Provides the athleticism and nasty to make the Steelers tougher up front. His foot injury has likely caused his slide. Though I should do a better job of trusting my own evaluations because I think he plays way too high.
5. Jay Ajayi - Bigger than Langford. Ajayi can be a three-down back, but an injury has knocked him down the charts.
6. Michael Bennett - Another case of needing to trust my film study. I wasn't overly impressed with this undersized player. He spends too much time on the ground and gets too high at times for a player who's 6-2. I still think he can be good as a rotational sub-package player. He presents good value in Round 4
7. Josh Shaw - He's big and fast, which fits a much-needed profile that the Steelers missed out on in the first three rounds of the draft. Shaw appears too stiff in coverage to be a reliable corner but might make it as a safety.
8. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu - Probably not on Steelers' radar after this 5-9 player tore his ACL. But he has early second-round talent.
9. Adrian Amos - Good size and speed free safety with man coverage abilities. Amos was not brought in for a pre-draft visit, so I don't think he'll be a Steelers target.
10. Darryl Roberts was a pre-draft visitor. At 5-11, Roberts is taller than the rest of the cornerbacks that had visits. His 4.38 speed at his pro day fits closer to the ratio Mike Tomlin seems to covet. The still-glaring need for a corner with some size combined with his speed and the Steelers' pre-draft interest leads me to guess that Roberts will be the Steelers fourth-round selection.
Tight End: Jesse James.
Outside Linebacker: Za'Darius Smith.
Wide Receiver/RS: Jamison Crowder
Running Back: Javorius Allen
Outside Linebacker: Davis Tull
Outside Linebacker: Kyle Emmanuel
Tight End: Wes Saxton
Running Back: Josh Robinson
Tight End: C.J. Uzomah
Guard: Quinton Spain
Fourth Round - CB Darryl Roberts
Fifth Round - S Kurtis Drummond
Sixth Round - TE Wes Saxton
Sixth Round - RB Josh Robinson
Seventh Round - OG Quinton Spain