The Pittsburgh Steelers got their man on day one of the 2013 NFL Draft as Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones fell to them with the 17th overall pick in the first round.
Now as the draft turns to its second day, you have to think the Steelers strategy will change as the focus may turn to the offensive side of the ball as there is an immediate need for help at the running back and wide receiver positions.
That’s not a given though as Steelers’ general manager Kevin Colbert could continue to look to upgrade his defense as there will be some talented players on that side of the ball available when the Steelers are back on the clock with pick No. 48.
It’s unknown right now which direction Colbert will go, but one thing is for sure and that’s the fact that the Steelers should be in a good position to add at least two more quality players to the roster on Friday night.
With that being said, here’s a look at some players they could be targeting during Day 2 of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends
The need is there as for the Steelers to have success in 2013, they must surround quarterback Ben Roethlisberger with more weapons. Losing Mike Wallace hurts, but the opportunity is there to add a quality playmaker in Round 2 if that’s the direction the Steelers should choose to go. However if it is a receiver they are targeting, it should likely be in the second round as there are a lot of quality targets available. However the pickings could get slim by the third round. Of course there is a chance that a run on receivers occurs early in the second round and the top five targets will be gone before the Steelers select.
Here’s a look at who the Steelers should have their eyes on.
Keenan Allen, WR, California: Early on Allen was the top receiver on the board, but his stock took a hit. He may be the most well-rounded wide receiver in the draft and is a playmaker that can play on the outside, which would allow Emmanuel Sanders to shift back to the slot where he is more effective. I would be shocked if Allen is available for the Steelers in the second round, but if he is it will be an easy pick to make.
Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee: Similar to Allen, Hunter could likely be long gone when the Steelers pick, but if he is available this is a guy the Steelers will love. Hunter is the big target that Roethlisberger will love. His size adds a dimension to the Steelers’ offense that they don’t have outside of Plaxico Burress. But in addition to Hunter’s size, he also has great speed and good hands and is a guy that can play on the outside. I like him more than Allen.
Quinton Patton, WR, Louisiana Tech: The last Louisiana Tech wide receiver the Steelers took didn’t work out so well- think Troy Edwards. Patton has good hands and is tough after the catch. He’s also a very good run blocker. He will go in the second round and could be available when the Steelers select.
Robert Woods, WR, USC: Here’s to hoping Woods falls to the Steelers. If he does, he is the pick I like the most. Woods isn’t the fastest receiver around, and he’s been dogged by ankle injuries throughout his career, but he caught 252 passes at USC, which includes 76 for 846 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2012. He runs a complete route tree and can take a hit over the middle without dropping the ball. Woods also isn’t afraid to run block and he’s noted for being a team player who works hard in practice. He doesn’t have the diva trait that plagues most wide receivers. He’ a playmaker and a throwback. One the Steelers would be foolish to pass on if he’s available.
Markus Wheaton, WR, Oregon State: If the Steelers decide to target a receiver in the third round, Wheaton could be the guy. NFL.com compares him to Antonio Brown, but unlike Brown, Wheaton has the ability to be a vertical threat. He eclipsed both Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh as the school’s all-time leader with 227 receptions; including catching 91 passes for 1,244 yards and 11 touchdowns as a senior. He should be available in the third round.
Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford: If I were going to go with a tight end early, it would have been Tyler Eifert, but Ertz isn’t a bad option, although I’m not crazy about him. He’s a good receiving and blocking tight end that would give the Steelers a great red-zone target and would create matchup problems for opposing defense. But he averaged a drop per game in college which isn’t a good thing.