How are experts grading the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2017 NFL Draft?
Pittsburgh Steelers first-round pick T.J. Watt holds first press conference
The 2017 NFL Draft is over, so it’s time for the experts to weigh in with their grades. Here’s what they’re saying about the Pittsburgh Steelers’ draft:
Credit to the Steelers for taking a 3-4 pass-rusher with their first pick, knowing that James Harrison (soon to be 39) won’t be around forever and that former first-round pick Bud Dupree hasn’t exactly lit the league on fire (8.5 sacks in two seasons).
The best story of the draft is the pick of third-round runner James Conner out of Pittsburgh. This is a kid who overcame cancer. Love that.
The key selection here could end up being fourth-round QB Joshua Dobbs. The Steelers have struggled to find a capable backup to Ben Roethlisberger and it’s possible that he could become the guy to fill in capably for a few games per season whenever Roethlisberger suffers the consequences of his rugged playing style.
Cornerback Brian Allen is the next long, tall Utah cover guy with great potential, and getting long, athletic Western Michigan pass rusher Keion Adams late in the seventh will pay dividends.
A forward-looking haul and perfect example of why it takes time to realistically grade any draft. First rounder T.J. Watt might need more refinement as he continues to learn the linebacker position, but he fills a need and brings unquestionably good genetics.
There were moments at USC where second-round pick JuJu Smith-Schuster looked like a first-round pick. He’s a physical pass catcher who is a little bit like Anquan Boldin after the catch.
Ben Roethlisberger may hand the baton over to Joshua Dobbs in a few years.
OLB T.J. Watt (pick No. 29) tested off the charts and the Steelers will love his effort level, but there were edge defenders deep into Day 2 who might have been capable of providing just as much pop as pass rushers.
James Conner will prove that he’s not a sentimental pick, and Brian Allen has a chance to be a starter on this team in 2017 — they landed him in the fifth round.