The Pittsburgh Steelers waited until rounds four and five before drafting the two positions they needed the most.
In round four the Steelers drafted Martavis Bryant, a 6-foot-4, wide receiver out of Clemson while in round five the team finally grabbed a cornerback, Shaquille Richardson from Arizona.
The biggest need was at corner while the second was receiver but the team elected to pick a receiver in the fourth round before a corner. Good idea.
Bryant is the kind of receiver the the Steelers have been looking for, especially for Ben Roethlisberger. At 6-foot-4 Roethlisberger finally has the tall receiver he’s been wanted ever since Plaxico Burress left the team in 2005.
Bryant is not only tall but he posses excellent speed for his size. Perhaps overshadowed by Sammy Watkins at Clemson, Bryant reeled in 42 receptions for 828 yards and seven touchdowns. He averaged nearly 20-yards per catch and his size allows him to be a threat in the red zone.
Last season the Steelers had trouble on trips to the red zone. Things should be different this season though. With the addition of running back LaGarrete Blount, a big back to bulldoze the pile for short goal line situations and Bryant a tall receiver in the red zone often times provides a mismatch.
This fourth round pick is a good one. I thought they’d target a receiver in the second round but instead of reaching they managed to get a quality, tall, player who will certainly help this offense.
The other pick, Richardson, was a fifth round pick, a position they should’ve address in the very first round.
The Steelers desperately needed a corner and although they drafted one, he won’t make an immediate impact. The Steelers passed on Michigan State corner, Darqueze Dennard, a corner who could’ve made a difference right front he get-go.
Richarson is a player who won’t be relevant for at least a season or two. He needs time to develop. He’s young and inconsistent but could be a good work in progress for seasons to come.
There’s no doubt the team was in need of a corner but to draft one who won’t serve as a immediate answer for a lackluster cornerback core currently with the team is very disappointing.
The Steelers put their focus on the front-end of the defense rather than the back end. They seem content with the corners they currently have and believe the help up front will help the play in the secondary. That remains to be seen but if the pressure doesn’t help, the corners could be in for another long season.