While priority No. 1 for the Pittsburgh Steelers when the 2014 NFL Draft rolls around is to improve on the defensive side of the ball, don’t discount the fact that they still may look to grab a talented wide receiver with the No. 15 overall pick and focus on the defense the rest of the draft.
With that in mind, could LSU’s Odell Beckham, Jr. be an option?
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and other team personnel were recently at LSU’s pro day to take in the workout of Beckham and even took him out for dinner the night before.
If you ask NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah, that answer is yes, as he expects Beckham to be in play for the Steelers at No. 15.
“Absolutely,” Jeremiah said on Friday’s “Path to the Draft.” “He’s my third-rated wide receiver in this draft class behind Mike Evans and Sammy Watkins. (Beckham) is electric with the football in his hands. He gives you so much explosiveness. Plus, you have the added value of seeing what he can do in the return game. I think he’s a very exciting player.”
If the Steelers are high on Beckham, it likely won’t be at No. 15 as they would likely end up trading down to get him.
It wouldn’t be all that surprising to see the Steelers reach a little for someone like Beckham, who has risen quickly to become the third-best receiver in the draft in Jeremiah’s eyes.
Unless Evans were to somehow fall to the Steelers, which is doubtful, Kevin Colbert and his staff could wind up grabbing a receiver who brings plenty of speed to the table even if he’s not the biggest in the draft, at 5-foot-11.
Beckham is coming off a big year at LSU in which he caught 59 passes for 1,152 yards and eight touchdowns. He has good hands, great balance and terrific leaping ability. He has playmaking ability as he can create after the catch.
Beckham would look good in Todd Haley’s offense. It’s just a matter of whether the Steelers are willing to sacrifice defense and reach for him at No. 15.