1) Donta Hightower MLB Alabama
I think if Higtower is there at 24, he will be the pick. MLB is a need, but in this case it is also a luxury pick. Hightower has had his stock up and down over the last few years, looking like a first rounder early and then a mid rounder after his injury when he didnt really play that well and looked sluggish off the snap. Since then however he has been a force in the middle of the Alabama defense. Running a 4.6 at the combine has me sold on any speed question marks he once had. At 6-4 260 that speed is ridiculous. He is a perfect compliment to timmons in the middle and will start early in his career. Has the size to take on blockers, he has the blitzing ability to get to the QB both through the middle and off the ede at OLB so if harrison and woodley both are hurt we wont be crippled at OLB, and he has the size and strength to play DE on passing downs and just get after the QB. Very versatile, but will be a key in the middle of the defense for us, ive compared him to Adalius Thomas in that he can line up anywhere on the defense pretty much. imo hes a better prospect than Rolando mcclain in every way
Other possible picks:
Cordy Glenn- Big, mauling guard. A rare athlete at the position, instant upgrade at either guard spot
Mike Adams- 19 reps isnt a problem imo, these 6-8 guys usually do about that much, starks did 21. Great athlete and would be a great duo at tackle with Gilbert.
Dontari Poe- If hes there
Peter Konz- Upgrade at guard or an EXTREME upgrade at guard if they move pouncey and put Konz at center
2) Brandon Brooks OG Miami (OH)
Heres a guy that has quickly risen up my board, hard to judge someone playing at Miami Ohio that didnt get a combine invite, but heres a little info on Brooks pro day:
I think the bold is a positive thing much more than it is a negative thing. He kind of reminds me of Heath Benedict, a prospect who passed away a few years ago that the steelers were very interested in coming in and replacing Alan Faneca. Big violent guard that showed a great punch and nimble feet. I have him as a 3rd round prospect at the moment, but the steelers take him near the tail end of round 2 after missing out on Decastro, Konz, Glenn, B. Washington, K Osemele, and maybe Kevin Zeitler. But Brooks is a great consolation prize to missing out on the top guards in a pretty good guard class.After sizzling during the testing portion of his workout, Brandon Brooks continued to impress during a 10-minute segment of position drills. According to scouts Brooks moved well around the field, looking fluid and smooth. At one point during bag drills he knocked over a coach from the Pittsburgh Steelers after violently striking the bag with his powerful hand punch.Brooks is slated for a second workout next Thursday, March 8, where he will solely participate in offensive line drills. The expectations from NFL decision makers at the workout is Brooks will be the first non-combine participant drafted in April
Miami (OH) Guard Brandon Brooks had a very good pro day. He showed great athleticism (4.98, 32 inch vertical) and is a very big guy at 346. Not sure why he didn't get a Combine invite.
Other Possible picks: Brandon Washington, K. Osemele, Kevin Zeitler, Stephen Gilmore, Alfonzo Dennard, Chase Minnifield, Alemeda Taamu, Jared Crick
3) Josh Chapman NT Alabama
Heres a guy that fought through injuries to play on arguably one of the greatest collegiate defenses ever, and he played a position that got no glory while opening up things for guys like Hightower, Upshaw, and Kirkpatrick to be first round picks. He wont be able to work out til this summer but he had a good showing on the bench (like 33 reps i believe) and he looks te part of a NT that we look for. We dont need a NT to run a 40 to draft him in the 3rd round, his tape speaks for itself
Other possible picks: Brandon Boykin, Doug Martin, Vontaze Bufict, D. Posey, Chris Polk
4) Isaiah Pead RB Cincinatti
RB probably needs to be addressed with Mendenhall starting out on the PUP list and his status being unclear. Dwyer, Clay and Redman are not guys i am comfortable with as RBs to start the year with and who the hell knows what they have planned for Baron Batch. My guess is Batch wins the 3rd down back role, but doesnt do much more than that. The steelers have shown a lot of interest in Pead and he had good workout numbers, definitely good enough to warrant a 4th rounder.
5) Chad Deihl FB Clemson
Massive 6-2 265 pound FB, no arians leaves a window open for the steelers to use a real FB again. This man has head hunter potential. Hes got good acceleration, a mean punch, and never misses his assignments. Watch some stuff on him, hes a crushing lead blocker. Not sure what the steelers actual intentions are to use a FB in the next year, but if they go back to a mosre traditional FB running scheme, Diehl is a hell of a jumping off point.
6) Ron Brooks CB LSU
Never started at LSU but was impressive in drills and ran in the 4.3s, its hard to find a starting spot when you are playing behind 2 top 6 picks in Peterson and Claiborne, and a Heisman Hopeful in Tyrann Mathieu, but hes athletic and can cover and be a beast on ST.
7) Blair Walsh Kicker Georgia
Best kicker in the draft, bring him in to compete, it is about time to make moves on a kicker that can be reliable.