As important as it was for Pittsburgh Steelers’ general manager Kevin Colbert to come away with a big part of the future on day one of the NFL Draft, it’s just as important that he does the same on day two.
There can’t be any Limas Sweed’s, Bruce Davis’ or Kraig Urbik’s this year. Colbert has to come away with two pieces that can contribute immediately.
After landing Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones in the first round on Thursday, he may have to look for help on the offensive side of the ball on Friday.
With that being said, here’s a look at what the Steelers could end up with in rounds two and three as my 2013 NFL Mock Draft continues.
Round 2 (No. 48)
Robert Woods, WR, USC: I have a feeling there will be a run on quarterbacks early in the second round, which is good news for the Steelers if they are targeting a receiver or running back with this pick. I would love to see them end up with Woods or Tennessee’s Justin Hunter, but I have Hunter rated a bit higher and have the feeling he will be gone by the time the Steelers are on the clock.
With that being said, I would be thrilled if Woods fell to the Steelers. He’s not the fastest receiver in the class, and he’s been dogged by ankle injuries throughout his career. But he is a guy who produces, catching 252 passes at USC, which included 76 catches for 846 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2012.
Woods runs a complete route tree and can take a hit over the middle without dropping the ball. He also isn’t afraid to run block and he’s noted for being a team player who works hard in practice. Maybe more importantly, Woods 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.
Round 3 (No. 79)
Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin: If the Steelers go wide receiver in the first round, that likely takes them out of the running for the top two backs in the draft- Alabama’s Eddie Lacy and UCLA’s Jonathan Franklin. With that being said I doubt either is still on the board when the Steelers select at No. 48 so it makes sense to target a receiver first and come back for the running back in the third round.
Franklin is the guy I like the most, but if he isn’t an option they could have their choice from Ball, Le’Veon Bell, Marcus Lattimore or Giovanni Bernard at No. 79. Given the options, I like Ball the most.
He’s used to carrying the ball a lot and has excellent vision to go along with good balance. Ball takes care of the ball, gains yards after contact, and is a very patient runner with good feet. He doesn’t have the best speed, needs to improve his blocking and isn’t the most physical back I have ever seen. But the pros outweigh the cons and Ball is NFL-ready.
They need a guy that’s capable of being a feature back and I like him for the Steelers a lot.