Now that the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine is over, we can expect a new round of mock drafts from several of the major media draftniks. On Wednesday, Rob Rang and Dane Brugler of CBS Sports both released their latest educated guesses as to the way they see the first-round of the 2014 NFL Draft playing out and both have the Pittsburgh Steelers taking a safety, albeit different ones, with the 15th overall pick.
Rang has the Steelers taking Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, while Brugler has Louisville safety Calvin Pryor landing in Pittsburgh.
With age and bloated contracts catching up to the Steelers, there could be sweeping changes in Pittsburgh, especially in the secondary. Fluid and instinctive, Clinton-Dix could provide an eraser in the deep middle to patch up holes quickly.
The Steelers need to find the long-term replacement for free agent Ryan Clark at free safety and Pryor has the versatile skill-set to play the deep half of the field and attack the run.
It certainly is conceivable that either Clinton-Dix or Pryor could wind up being the Steelers pick, but outside of drafting Troy Polamalu 16th overall in the 2003 NFL Draft, the team hasn’t drafted a safety in the first-round since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970.
The safety class this year appears to be deeper than it’s been in several years and the Steelers might very well decide to wait until the second or third round to address that need. While the Steelers reportedly met with both Clinton-Dix and Pryor this past week at the combine in Indianapolis, they also reportedly met with Florida State safety Terrence Brooks as well.
Brooks, as I wrote this morning, ran the fastest 40-time of all the safeties at the combine and also had a vertical jump higher than the ones posted by both Clinton-Dix and Pryor. Brooks, a converted cornerback, is considered to be a second or third-round prospect.
Chime in below with your thoughts on these players.