Nov 2, 2013; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans cornerback Darqueze Dennard (31) raises his had before a play during the third quarter against the Michigan Wolverines at Spartan Stadium. Spartans beat the Wolverines 29-6. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Draft: ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. calls Darqueze Dennard 'a Steeler'

When the 2014 NFL Draft rolls around, many expect the Pittsburgh Steelers to target a cornerback in the first round, even though that is a position they rarely target in first rounds of previous drafts.

Jan 1, 2014; Pasadena, CA, USA; Michigan State Spartans cornerack Darqueze Dennard (31) reacts during the 100th Rose Bowl against the Stanford Cardinal. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Many also expect that if Michigan State’s Darqueze Dennard is on the board, he will without a doubt be the Steelers selection.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. loves the fit, going as far as to call Dennard “a Steeler.”

“I think the ideal pick if you’re the Steelers is Darqueze Dennard,” Kiper said of the Michigan State cornerback during a conference call on Wednesday. “He’s a Steeler. Rough, tough, aggressive football player, plays with a chip on his shoulder, very good in coverage, plays faster than he timed. Just a whale of a football player.”

However that may not happen as not even Kiper believes the Steelers will select Dennard when they are on the clock at No. 15.

That’s because he has the St. Louis Rams taking Dennard, the winner of the Jim Thorpe Award in 2013, two picks ahead of the Steelers.

Kiper has the Steelers selecting LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.ZLINKPULL::100001 with their first pick in his latest mock draft.

The Steelers also have been linked to corners such as Oklahoma State’s Justin Gilbert, Ohio State’s Bradley Roby and others, but Kiper projects that selecting any corner other than Dennard at No. 15 will be a reach.

Tags: 2014 NFL Draft Darqueze Dennard Pittsburgh Steelers

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