Depth At Wide Receiver, Cornerback Highlight Focus On Day Two Of Steelers Draft

The Pittsburgh Steelers opted not to play into the hands of the strengths of this draft class when they selected inside linebacker Ryan Shazier in the first round with the 15th overall pick, when many assumed that they would choose a cornerback or a wide receiver instead.

Perhaps this was a wise decision, given the comparative paucity of depth for capable inside linebackers after the top of the crop. That also helps explain why the Baltimore Ravens jumped on the opportunity to take C.J. Mosley a couple spots after the Steelers got their inside linebacker.

Shazier was obviously a prime target, and they took him exactly when they needed to, given that the Dallas Cowboys were allegedly poised to select him one spot later before the Steelers drafted him.

General manager Kevin Colbert has spoken on a number of occasions during this offseason about the immense depth to be found at both the wide receiver and cornerback positions in what he described as the deepest draft he’s seen on the job.

With that in mind, it made sense to take the linebacker early, given that the quality of available targets declines far more steeply after the first few candidates than can be said for either cornerback or wide receiver.

But now that leaves those two positions as focal points for day two of the draft, featuring the second and third rounds.

The Steelers should ideally come away with one player from each position at the end of the day, though if a defensive lineman is mixed in there, it would be more than understandable.

Still, for many, the focus on the Steelers’ second day strategy will be on those who catch the ball and those whose job it is to intercept the ball.

The Steelers lost two of their top three wide receivers from last season, and their top cornerback, Ike Taylor, is in what will likely be his final season in the league. Not to mention Cortez Allen for the time being is also only under contract for this season.

With only five wide receivers taken in the first round, there’s an abundance of interesting talent on the menu for today, including Marqise Lee, Donte Moncrief, Jordan Matthews, Davante Adams, Jarvis Landry, Cody Latimer, and Allen Robinson. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if one of these pass catchers throw on a Steelers jersey in the near future.

At cornerback, the cream of the crop has already been selected in the first round. But the Steelers aren’t exactly known for relying on premium pedigrees for their cornerbacks. The top three players at the position right now have come in the fourth and fifth rounds.

The Steelers clearly loved Shazier, and that’s of course why they chose him above all other reasons. Because of the depth available at other positions of need, however, it made sense for them to wait, even if so many were coveting a first-round cornerback.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • Jacque Strappe

    Well, I would have bet the farm that they would have taken a CB, and my farm would be gone now. So, maybe tightend will be the 2nd rd selection.

  • Caesar

    For the receivers, gimme: Adams, Latimer, Matthews, Moncrief, Robinson, Lee, Landry.

    The CB group, I have no idea what to expect…

  • shawn

    LOL .. That would be very interesting and would throw me for a loop ( i wanted a TE before for sure .. ) but considering our 1st pick we can’t afford to pick TE early unless there are a few trades i dont know about coming after the draft !

  • Jacque Strappe

    I’m guessing they hope the kid from Duke is still there in the 3rd, maybe 4th. I bet they’ll go WR or Dline in the 2nd. Gotta wonder how long Tuitt will be on the board.

  • shawn

    Matt .. considering the 1st pick … and considering we picked up Wr Moore … u really think we can afford to get a WR in the 2nd round ( I was a big fan of this idea before) ? Considering our options now doesnt it make more sense to get a DL in the 2nd round ( great value) and a CB in the 3rd round ( likewise good value)

    otherwise we will have a high draft pick or pick up WR sitting the pine and still have a hole at DE because of the choice !

    ironically it seems better at this point to pass on WR until later and concentrate on DL & CB the next few rounds

  • dgh57

    Just wondering if this makes sense. Do we take a chance on CB Aaron Colvin sooner than later or take Desir sooner because he may not be there at #97? Or was that the plan all along? Your thoughts?

  • shawn

    I like Colvin in 5th or 5th comp … could be good slot guy as well as back up outside … great value as we dont need him this year anyway …. No way we can afford to pick Desir in 2nd … man i wish we had a mid round 3rd pick … we might be out of luck if both Gaines and Desir are gone …

    if that happens i have a feeling they will reach and pick Jaylen watkins which i think would be a worthless pick


    And if Nix should be available to us in the second, that’s hard to say “no” to. We could be improving the secondary by improving the front 7.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    with the talent on the board on the DL I would assume we would go there.

  • dgh57

    Yes that mid 3td rd pick would come in handy. I have seen some say Colvin as high as the 4th rd. O well, hopefully it works out for us at the CB position cause we sure need one.

  • Brendan

    Matthews, Lee or Tuitt would be great.

  • John21

    Martavius Bryant & Phillip Gaines
    Colbert is good at making it sound like whoever he picks was the top target. Makes the prospect feel great while we scratch our heads
    WHY did Dennard fall?

  • Yiz

    Hey, what about this kid McGill a CB from Utah (6′-3″ 4.4 speed), I thought I heard Dave Te speak on him (possible 3/4th rd)

  • Birdman

    Meh he’s already 25 and doesn’t like to tackle. Pass

  • Steelers12328882

    With the 1st rd. pick I think it’s obvious the Steelers want best available player, not so much positions of need, so my top targets would be Ra’Shede Hageman, Demarcus Lawrence, Scott Crichton, Stephon Tuitt and maybe a WR like Cody Latimer. There is no CB worth a 2nd rd. pick in my opinion.

  • Steelers12328882

    I think he’s rated as one of the next best CBs available for rd. 2, so not really who I’d want the Steelers to go after.

  • scott2443

    i am guessing cb or wr next but the way 1st round went i think it will go DE…unless there isnt one on there board they like because the beards sitting there waiting for the call ..shocker it be if they take OL next but as we learned talent out ways the need ..almost sounds like a star trek quote the many out weight the one.

  • Phil Heidenreich

    I guess we’ll find out when we play the Bengals.

  • Steelers12328882

    Right, I was thinking the same thing just now. What if someone like Morgan Moses or Cryus Kouandjio is sitting there at 46?

  • Rye Stye

    Don’t be surprised if they go DT or DE. There are about 6 top players at those positions day 2, but they will likely start coming off the board quickly. There will be good WR and CB available in the following rounds.

  • Yiz

    Didn’t realize he was that old, I think we could still get a good corner after rd 2. I want WR/DL today. I wouldn’t mind Tuitt/Hagemann/Will Clark or Lattimer/Matthews


    That’s a great point – IS THERE a CB worth the 2nd round pick? Given that we have always taken CBs in rd 3 or later, my guess would be DE but then again, I would never have thought we would take Shazier.
    I think we were primed to take Fuller, didn’t like Dennard (too grabby for the pro level?), and so took the next guy on our board at a position of need.
    One thing we have been missing is the pressure up the middle – the old ‘X’ blitz that we used to use right around the center.
    Guess we gotta trust that they know what they’re doing!

  • John

    We NEED one more playmaker on offense at the receiver position. We can draft two corners and DL later on and backfill otherwise in the last few rounds. Let’s draft one other guy that can make an impact and then go developmental from there. That is why the draft is so odd. You have teams selecting No. 2 overall that take a player that is still a bit of a project instead of taking a guy they know can be a quality player for 5-6 years. That is why various teams fail. Let’s not do that.

  • wdhammer

    TE’s don’t win Super bowls . Defense does …

  • Biggie

    If Nix or Tuitt are there I’d jump on it. Love Robinson or Matthews. I could see waiting on CB till Rd 3 and them hitting it twice or even three times by end of draft and bringing in some UDFAs too. Get Nix or Tuitt and with Shazier at ILB opposite Timmons and for the future you’ve fixed the front 7, which helps the secondary not having to stay on an island so long.

  • wdhammer

    Maybe the actual people that coach football know more than the average guy on the computer..We don’t have game film .we don’t talk to the kid .we don’t coach or talk to other coaches . You scratch your head because the so called experts that have nothing to do with football tell you who they think will go in what rd..and what team should pick them .. PS, As long as I’ve been following the draft Mel kiper has been wrong 90% of the time … ..

  • chris ward

    Hope the Steelers go WR in the 2nd and CB in the 3rd, wouldn’t mind seeing the Steelers select Tuitt if he is still on the board when they pick in the 2nd.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    I always thought SJB and Colvin in the 5th was a possibility with great upside potential. Now, you would have to think WR much later, and perhaps DL in the 2nd. And all these teams, even our beloved Steelers, might have us scratching our heads. And the 3rd rounder would be like gold if they still had one.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    And keep in mind that since last year they seem to prefer Captains, responsible types, some guys with superior intellect. The interview process is something we do not have access to view.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    The depth at WR and CB didn’t include depth and elite quality. Shazier is a significantly better prospect than dennard but the depth CB and we’re means good players will be available into the 4th.

    Amazing college numbers and intangibles to go along with elite combine numbers across the board and he is questioned because a slow CB that fouls on every play was available? Weird.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    Slow, small and uses his hands too much to play in the nfl without changing his style first.

  • shawn

    ??? .. what does that have to do with what i said … but thanks for the tip !

  • Alan Felicia

    Tuitt, Jernigan, or Stanley Jean-Baptist

  • shawn

    True … a good front usually helps the back end a lot !

  • StrengthOfVictory

    Should we just all but eliminate names of WR that the Steelers haven’t met with? To my knowledge, that nixes Jordan Matthews and Davante Adams. (Latimer only had one Steelers’ rep at his pro day). They’ve met with Moncrief and Bryant, but I have to wonder if the guy they’re targeting is Ellington (small, fast, shifty, and kick-return capable) who they also met with. He could be picked in the third.

  • JAMN86

    Live in Buckeye Country
    Not an OSU grad but watch their games because they are always on
    Not 100% sold on the pick due to size only but I can say this young man was all over the field last year. It seemed like any time OSU needed a play, Shazier was there.
    He plays the game like a Steelers linebacker.
    Only time will tell but the local radio stations in Columbus talked about his high character along with his football skills all day yesterday.
    People hate to hear this but both Shazier and Dennard played in a pretty weak Big 10.

  • shawn

    i sure hope he lasts til the 5th … but not even sure if the team is high on him ?

  • steeltown

    I wouldn’t be upset with Seferian-Jenkins

  • shawn

    i know … so true … how ironic that this year seems like one of the most important and valuable years to have a 3rd rounder and we are empty, comp pick aside .. i agree with u i think we gotta go DL in 2nd and kick the can down the road regarding the WR …. think Colvin would be great 5th round pick up, but unfortunately doubt SJB will last past mid 3rd round …

    At the very least i hope we find a GOOD/SOLID slot CB in the end of the 3rd to replace Gay next year (what should have been Curtis Browns position if he hadn’t been a bust)

  • shawn

    Ya, i think thats the best play … so considering that … the steelers will probably surprise us again and do something else lol

  • shawn

    it wouldnt be a bad pick … but would u leave the DL prospects on the board … ?

  • Rob

    They are going D-Line–gaurunteed!

  • Ernest

    thats what i’m thinking. Even though I wanted CB-WR in first two rounds. I’m thinking they are trying to solidify the front 7, I wouldn’t be surprise if they go DT and DE in 2nd and 3rd.

  • Rob

    We are thinking along the same lines. I’m thinking Tuitt or Hagemen in the 2nd. It would be so nice to have our front 7 solid again. It’s been deteriorating for years. We could get a cb and receiver later–we’ve done well with the latter in later rounds. The front 7 needs flexibilty, dept, and higher quality starters.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    You just never know. Jean Baptiste has been picked to go anywhere from late round one too late round three. Crazy but who knows.

  • dirtbag66

    I’m thinking DL as well. I thought the conventional wisdom of the comments would be CB or WR. Glad I’m not only one thinking DL.

  • shawn

    the guys is a bum … cement blocks for feet … out of position, strictly a S prospect

  • cencalsteeler

    I’m probably on an island with this, but I really like Jarvis Landry. What good is height, if you can’t catch? Landry has the best hands coming out of college.

  • wdhammer

    All we have is what we see and maybe a game on TV. As far as breaking down film watching him practice what schemes he fits -well none of us on here are into that . We can speculate like the rest of the so called no it alls ..

  • Jacque Strappe

    Are you having trouble following the sarcasm, Captain?

  • Jacque Strappe

    Totally agree with this.

  • steeltown

    Not Tuitt, no

  • Weiss Chad

    Bad feeling if Tuitt gets past texans he won’t get past redskins

  • LucasY59

    Niners would be the team to pick Colvin up earlier than anyone else, they need CB, but have a lot of picks and took Lattimore last year knowing they would have to wait a year, so they are willing to take an injured player if they have talent.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Yes, and I agree that Kiper’s a goof, and even though many of those guys spend their lives trying to figure out stuff, they still can’t get it right. Is it any wonder that we, also cannot? And that’s why I’m not into fantasy and mocks, except for the fact that it does make a slight difference in the players the Steelers will pick. I just want them to improve.

  • RedCarpetDefense

    Oh no not another 2nd rd OT….lol.

  • RedCarpetDefense

    I agree, kinda hoping 2nd rd plays out like the first where our choices get whittled down because teams picking before us selected players the Steelers may have been targeting. Makes our choice pretty easy at that point provided there are still a couple or at least one player they wanted all along when our pick is up.

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    Picking in the middle is good we can still get decent picks through out the draft

  • wdhammer

    Here’s another tip .Miller will play another 2 -3 yrs

  • shawn

    still need an athletic RZ TE to split out … not to mention Heaths replacement …. thats 2 TEs we need over the next 2 years … should have gotten one over the last couple years or this year … but we’ve kicked that can down the road once again !

  • wdhammer

    I don’t think TE is that important NOW!!

  • shawn

    well i guess we think differently … RZ production is an achilles heel of ours and 2 TE sets with hybrid athletic receiving TEs are the new norm … so we are late to the party …. its hard to argue with the results as 2 of the best offenses use them (Pats and Saints)

  • Bob

    Gotta have a fat man in the middle. The LBs are rounding into shape so we’ll be ABLE to stay in base defense more often.

  • wdhammer

    I think D is more important right now ..

  • Brendon Glad

    I’m big on Phillip Gaines…unfortunately I don’t like how high his stock has skyrocketed in 2 months. So clearly scouts have confusion about him…which may make a second too costly of a risk. I’d love him at 3rd rd. though. Deion Sanders (whom i’ve observed to be VERY good at nailing DB evaluations in the combine), loved Victor Hampton (S.Car. cb). So he’s become a guy I’m intrigued with. For today, I’m hoping for Tuitt and Gaines in that order. We will see.

  • shawn

    I think they are both important … but with our selections at this point i tend to agree and stick to defense … really liked the Tuitt pick up … and absolutely LOVE the Archer pick up

    A tad early (would have preferred him in 4th/5th) but considering that J. Brown and Mckinnon started coming off the board I’m glad they picked him up … He was in my mock and think he is an absolute beast … instantly the fastest guy in the NFL …. and hard to believe but plays even faster on the field than on tape … a lot of people think he might be a WR, but i think he is great at RB and does an excellent job between the tackles … not concerned about his size at all …. much better than the Rainey pick up and we FINALLY have a home run hitter for our Kick Returns !

  • wdhammer

    Great draft so far .still need D .Love the archer pick too .like I said you can never get enough speed..

  • shawn

    i am usually offensive minded but I’m all about the D right now … hope we trade up the next 2 rounds and double dip ( Desir, Colvin, Tre Boston, Dowling ) all are intriguing DBs that can be had late … would be great if we can get some sleeper picks like that OLB from Col st.