Steelers Seem Intent On Drafting A Cornerback

When you look at the pre draft visitors that the Pittsburgh Steelers have had in thus far by position, it is becoming clear that the cornerback position will likely be addressed in the draft later this month.

The Steelers let unrestricted free agent cornerback Keenan Lewis walk via free agency uncontested, so that leaves Ike Taylor, Cortez Allen and William Gay, who was signed back prior to the start of free agency, as the only three who are locks to make the 53 man roster at this point.

Behind those three players sit Curtis Brown, DeMarcus Van Dyke, Josh Victorian, Justin King and Isaiah Green. While one of those five players might make the 53 man roster, the odds are good that the rest won\’t if the Steelers invest an early pick in another cornerback.

Last year, the Steelers kept only five cornerbacks on their opening week 53 man roster and the previous two seasons, they kept six. The flexibility of safety Robert Golden to play in the slot, might result in only five cornerbacks being kept again this year.

Brown enters his third year on the team and really needs a great training camp this year after disappointing so far. Van Dyke, who the Steelers claimed off of waivers just prior to the start of last season, has done nothing but draw penalties on special teams.

The Steelers addressed the cornerback position last year in the draft with the selection of Terrence Frederick in the seventh round, but he failed to not only make the 53 man roster, but the practice squad as well.

The Steelers have so many areas of need heading into this year\’s draft that it is hard to imagine them spending a fourth-round pick or higher on a cornerback, but it isn\’t impossible.

  • steeltown

    I think alot of this is due diligence, but when you factor in that Ike Taylor is no spring chicken and the fact that C.Brown and Van Dyke are enigma’s they very well could draft CB somewhere around the 4th Rd, which seems to be a good Rd for them (Ike Taylor and C.Allen were both 4th Rd picks)

  • I agree and other than the first round or 2 (which should be for offense), the other picks will be for depth positions for a year or 2 anyway. To me, I think the Steelers are a bit more focused on the back end of that defense than what I originally thought and rightfully so. Hopefully Brown can pull a Keenan Lewis off this season and put us all at ease.

  • James

    We should have re-signed Lewis this year even if it meant cutting Ike. Odds are Ike could be a cap casualty in 12 months anyway so we need
    either DVD or Brown to step up to be able to play opposite Allen as well as adding depth behind them.
    There’s a lot of pressure to get this draft right if we want to stay competitive in the near future.

  • steeltown

    C.Brown is a very good tackler.. its his coverage skills that are lacking. I just keep reminding myself that he has received far less playing time than Cortez, so maybe he can turn the corner eventually, I guess we’ll see

    But if they address RB, WR, Safety and LB in the earlier Rds, you can bet they’ll draft a CB in the mid-late Rds to compete with Brown and DVD….. someone like Will Davis for example

  • mokhkw

    Lewis wanted to go home to New Orleans. He turned down a higher offer from another un-named team. Even if we had the $s to sign him – which we didn’t – he still would have ended up back home in NO.

    Same goes for Wallace – he wanted to play somewhere warm and was not interested in a better deal from the Vikings.

  • You are exactly right and you do not cut the guy who trains like a beast and still covers the opponents best wide outs.

  • SteelerDave

    I know most want offense or a LB in round one but I personally hope we take Xavier Rhodes. We need a corner with his kind of speed and skills. A future with Allen and Rhodes once Ike retires or becomes a casualty is solid.

  • mokhkw

    I’m starting to lean towards a very heavy D focused Draft for the Steelers. I can see the 1st 4 rounds being used on DB, S, NT & LB (not in that order) and as many as 6 of the 8 picks going to D.

    Most the FAs linked to the Steelers atm have been for O. I think they’ll plug a few gaps via FA for 2013 and hope to hit on a few starters for D in 2014 after they spend a year learning the D.

    Steelers have & will probably always be a D 1st team & I think that will become evident in a few weeks time. After 2013 we’ll likely be looking to replace Keisel, Foote, Taylor, Clark, Hampton (if he returns) and Troy (if he can’t stay healthy). We have to Draft some of those replacements in this year’s Draft.

  • steeltown

    Not to mention, Ike has taken C.Allen under his wing and the two are training together with Shaw. I like that alot.

  • steeltown

    I think Heyward is the eventual replacement for Keisel and the hopes are Mclendon or Ta’amu can replace Hampton.. but I agree we need a future BUCK ILB, a future SS and another CB

    Also, after they sign the eventual rookie draft picks, they wont have much room for FA, and thats including Colons designation $$$.. They will and have to draft WR and RB, hopefully earlier than later

  • Me too! I would not be surprised if Gay is down here too. I love the fact that our 2 starting corners are training together.

  • steeltown

    Gay trained with Shaw before… I hope he is now.. would mean our 3 top CB’s are training together, with one of the best conditioning coaches in the World

  • Jollyrob68

    Love Rhodes, he can instill some fear into opposing WR.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    Way I see it, there are two directions: top 3 picks mean ike taylor’s tenure is coming to end sooner. If its 5th round or later, they want the player to compete for nickel cb, but a dime cb at the moment.

    Cornerbacks were our defense’s strength last season, it makes sense that they want to continue the trend.

    I’m really high on Webb from William and Mary, a good complimentary to Cortez Allen.

  • Jollyrob68

    If Xavier Rhodes is on the board I hope he’s the pick or it will be A Guard or TE Eifert.

  • Jollyrob68

    Brown has to slow down. He tries to play so fast that he’s out of control. Remember it didn’t click for Lewis until last year.

  • TsarPepe

    I am really tired of all the people speaking about the Honey Badger. If these are your wet dreams, that’s fine with me, but there is no chance in hell it will happen. Just what the Steelers always wanted: a guy who can’t get off the crack pipe!

  • willy steel

    Actually, it was what happened with Keenan after the Broncos game in 2010 that put him at the bottom of the depth chart, not his ability or his inability to grasp the playbook. Remember, he had an opportunity to start as a second year player, but after he blew up in Denver, they felt he wasn’t mature enough at that point.

  • RMSteeler

    Because of all the QB FA moves made in the past few weeks, and just for the heck of it….say the teams in the first half of the first round maintain a little sanity and don’t go on a QB frenzy. Instead they feed on all the best OL, DE, LB, WR and Safety/DB’s hoping the teams in the bottom half of the first won’t draft a QB and they think they can get a QB in round two. You’re sitting at #17 and no one below you wants to trade up with you. All the guys you really want are already gone, and Geno Smith or EJ Manuel falls in your lap. Do you draft the QB anyway if you think he’s the best available player hoping that the teams that thought a QB would fall to top of 2nd round trade their high 2nd and maybe a high 4th for the QB you took in the first? Crazy? Maybe, but how crazy have the last couple of drafts gone in the first two rounds. Not likely, since 1st and 2nd round QB’s did well last year, and the worst teams in this year’s draft want 3 or 4 QB’s in the hope they may get a one franchise one. It COULD happen though and however unlikely, I bet the Steelers have a plan if this scenario magically appears. Not a no brainer like last year when DeCastro fell, but worth some kicking around. I’ve only seen one blog that said the Steelers could end up with Geno, but then went on as if the Steelers would keep him, not try to leverage him. What say you?

  • charles

    Geno could be a great trade for Sanders, if he was still there at number3. Someone who completes 62 of 64 passes at the combine should be looked at very seriously in any round.