Using History As A Guide, CB Ike Taylor Thinks The Steelers Go Defense In Round One

Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor loves watching college football and on Tuesday, he shared his thoughts as to the direction that he believes his team will go in the first few rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft during his show on Trib Live Radio.

“This time, I think we might get a D-tackle, but we might lean towards getting a young secondary corner guy and take our chances with the other guy from Clemson. Not Sammy (Watkins), but the other receiver from Clemson,” said Taylor.”

The other Clemson receiver that Taylor is talking about the Steelers possibly taking in the second round is of course Martavis Bryant, one of the taller wide outs in this year’s draft class.

Taylor, however, later hedged on the Steelers going wide receiver in the second round.

“I think we might go defense-defense, because history has shown that’s what we did over the last couple of years when we had the 15th pick. We went defense and defense. So first round defense, second round defense.”

With all due respect to Taylor, the Steelers have only selected 15th overall in the draft once during the Kevin Colbert era. That’s not a lot of history to go on.

The last time the Steelers had the 15th overall selection was in 2007 and the drafted linebacker Lawrence Timmons. They followed up that pick in round two by selecting another defensive player in linebacker LaMarr Woodley.

In 2003, however, the Steelers traded up to in the first round and selected safety Troy Polamalu with the 16th overall selection. In round two of that draft, however, they stayed put and drafted linebacker Alonzo Jackson with the 59th overall selection.

Taylor is throwing draft darts like the rest of us, but whoever the Steelers do wind up taking in the first few rounds this year, the Steelers veteran cornerback thinks they better be ready to contribute right away as rookies.

“We need some impacts,” said Taylor. “Whether these kids know or it not, they are going to have to come in fast and play fast, and get grown fast, so they can help us out for this 2014 season. A lot of kids last year, who probably didn’t think they was going to play a lot, got an opportunity to, one, play a lot or start in some situations.”

There is no word as to when the Ike Taylor Draft Guide will be released, but you can probably bet he’ll have more to say about draft prospects over the course of the next two weeks.

  • Bill Sechrengost

    I don’t disagree with his belief about defense in 1 and 2. I would like to see Dennard/Fuller in the 1st round and Tuitt in the 2nd round, if available. Otherwise, I would think WR in the 2nd. Only a little bit longer then two weeks, and we’ll find out for sure.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    As long as we do what we normally do in the draft….stay focused…I think we will be fine. I am still a HUGE supporter of moving down in the draft and picking up additional picks, but we will have to see.

  • 804Stiller

    I would be good with that DB/DL direction OR the Beckham first and double dipping at DB. As long as pick 15 has splash play ability, I would be happy. An impact WR that is dangerous in the return game or a corner with some ball skills would be greatly welcomed. We haven’t replaced our defensive playmakers over the years. If it’s been Troy’s INTs or Deebo/Woodley’s strips sacks, we need those splash plays back.

  • Eric Brill

    Actually, according to recent history, the Steelers will go offense in the first round.

    Not since 1988 when they drafted Defensive End, Aaron Jones, have the Steelers drafted a defensive player in the first round of an even numbered year.

    1990: Eric Green (TE)
    1992: Leon Searcy (OT)
    1994: Charles Johnson (WR)
    1996: Jamain Stephens (OT)
    1998: Alan Faneca (G)
    2000: Plaxico Burress (WR)
    2002: Kendall Simmons (G)
    2004: Ben Roethlisberger (QB)
    2006: Santonio Holmes (WR)
    2008: Rashard Mendenhall (RB)
    2010: Maurkice Pouncey (C)
    2012: David Decastro (G)
    2014: ?

  • cencalsteeler

    It’s nice to read about all of this draft speculation and everyone’s theories, but, it sure seems like draft day is taking an eternity to arrive!!!

  • cencalsteeler

    Nice post and an interesting trend!

  • What if we took Dennard in first and some how (I don’t think it will happen but for the sake of discussion) fuller is available in the 2nd? Would steelers go out of the way to shore up secondary? Or to many holes to fill right now?

  • Bill Sechrengost

    As always, I think it will be who is available in the second round when they pick. That would be amazing to have an opportunity to get both of these guys, but if Tuitt were here, I would take him over Fuller. They have so many holes to fill, I don’t think they can afford to take the same position for both the 1st and 2nd round. WR would be another position in the second round, they could fill, if it is a CB in the first round.

  • Not a bad list, really. Odd how these coincidences come to look like a concerted plan.

  • I’d like to know whom Pope Francis has us taking in the first. Or maybe Putin has some thoughts.

  • Biggie

    That is interesting however there are only 4 offensive players I would want them to consider at #15 and that is Matthews, Robinson, Watkins and Evans and all 4 will be long gone by our pick. Don’t want Lewan the 3rd rated tackle, don’t want overhyped one dimensional TE Ebron and don’t want to reach for WR as deep as that position is in the draft. Prefer # 1 or 2 CB (Gilbert, Dennard), #1 ILB (Mosley), #2 OLB (Barr), possibly even a top DL in a move back (Nix, Tuitt). I think defense is the call this year to break the trend unless somehow Evans magically drops, which would make my day.

  • Nolrog

    They also have alternated offense / defense in the first round for a while (the last time they took the same side of the ball in multiple years was Ben/Heath/Holmes in 2004/2005/2006. Since then it has been O/D/O/D and last year was Jarvis Jones.

  • Nolrog

    That’s because it is. Last year, it was April 25 – 27, this year it’s two weeks later.

  • RW

    The four players you mention are projected to go top 10, and deservedly so. There is fantastic value at 15 outside of those four.

  • Eric Brill

    I agree. I’m certainly not advocating for offense, I was just playing devil’s advocate to Ike Taylor’s theory. I would love any of those four players but obviously its extremely unlikely that any of them will be there. What I think I’m pulling for at this point is trading down with the hope of landing one of the other top corners (Fuller or Verrett), a wide receiver (Maybe even still have a shot at Beckham but I’d also love to land Jordan Matthews) or go for a guy like Mosley or Nix if available. Net a second rounder and move from there.

  • For the sake of discussion that would be awesome to get fuller and Dennard but I agree with you if Tuitt was there you kind of have to take him. CB,DE, OLB, and WR are all must gets.. WR is real deep and we have done a great job of finding talent in later rounds. (Allen hurns is super underrated WR who can block and has great hands).. So I hope the steelers get good defense of players early

  • Bill Sechrengost

    Thanks for the heads up on Allen Hurns. That’s the first time I’ve heard his name mentioned. I see the Bengals had him in for a visit.

  • pkeats86

    I agree on moving down. I think if Gilbert and Evans are gone, I would look into that 49ers deal. It’s a big drop BUT, if you look at the pics the 9ers have it could net us a 2nd and maybe even a 3rd.

    Via the draft value chart (I know, no one uses it BUT!) #15 is 1050 and #30 is 620. That leave 430 points. #56 is 340. That leaves 90 points. #94 for the 9ers is with 124. Possibly overpaying but, keep in mind the 9ers have two 2nds and three 3rds. They could trade a couple of those pics to get the player they want and save on having to sign 12 drafted players.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    The good thing about this year is we have so many options.

    Dennard, Gilbert, Fuller, Tuitt, Barr, Mosely, Pryor. All of those guys could help us. And that’s just on defense.

    Benamin, Beckham, Ebron, Lewan, would all be nice assets on offense. Anybody who can help us score more points would be a welcome addition.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    I agree that we probably will draft an offensive player but… If I was Colbert, I’d look harder at trading down for a defensive prospect or trade up (Khalil Mack) because Colbert and Tomlin blew two consecutive drafts in row…

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    Odell Beckham is a better overall wide receiver than Matt Evans, truly the only thing Evans have going for him is his size… That being said when playing as a flanker on our offense both probably will produce equally so I won’t complain if it was either Evans or Beckham.

  • Aric Brown

    Dennard in the first round with Jordan Matthews in the 2nd would be a godsend

  • Nolrog

    We know who Putin is taking in the first. Ukraine. In the second, maybe Chech republic or Slovikia.