The question on many people’s mind when the 2014 NFL Draft resumes Friday night is will be the Pittsburgh Steelers pull off another shocker in the second and third rounds, similar to drafting Ohio State linebacker with the No. 15 overall pick.
I, like many other feel the need to draft a receiver or cornerback in the second round is too great to ignore, but I feel the team will go in a different direction, thus I earlier predicted them to select Notre Dame nose tackle Louis Nix III with the 46th overall pick in Friday’s second round.
That brings me back to the need for a corner or receiver in the third round.
Kevin Colbert and his staff can go plenty of directions with the No. 97 pick, but at the end of the day they can’t ignore the need for a playmaker for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
While I would love to get my hands on Marqise Lee, Allen Robinson or Donte Moncrief in the second round, there will likely be a big run on receivers early on and the Steelers options will be limited in the third.
The 6’4″, 211-pound Bryant is a big, long target with great speed who could make an impact right away. He has been linked to the Steelers at numerous times this offseason and would be a great addition.
He’s not a finished product by any stretch of the imagination, but comes with tremendous upside.
That being said, he is likely to be off the board long before the Steelers look to address the position.
Norwood on the other hand could be a depth piece to a Steelers receiving core that has lost at least one key component two years in a row.
He played in 48 games over four seasons in Tuscaloosa, and had only 29 receptions as a junior to go with 38 as a senior.
But as a pro prospect Norwood brings plenty to table. At 6’2”, 198 pounds he has a powerful frame to go with 4.44 speed in the 40-yard dash at the scouting combine earlier in the year.
Norwood is a savvy player with a high football IQ. Throw in the fact that he is an instinctive route runner who understands what the defense is trying to do in many situations. Overall he is a pretty technically sound player with few glaring holes.
He has exceptional hands and is coming off a pretty impressive performance in the Senior Bowl.
While his collegiate numbers may not have been eye popping, the intangibles he brings are off the charts.
When it all comes down to it, if Bryant is available he is my pick, but I am banking on the fact that he won’t be.
For that reason alone, the Steelers select Alabama WR Kevin Norwood with the No. 97 overall pick.