NFL mock draft: Pittsburgh Steelers go with Marcus Maye

In the first round of the SB Nation NFL writers’ mock draft, Behind the Steel Curtain executed one of the best picks in taking Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley at No. 30. He’s a player who could leapfrog average performers like William Gay and Ross Cockrell on the Pittsburgh Steelers roster.

That’s one of two big needs for Pittsburgh checked. The other is pass rusher, where opposite Bud Dupree the Steelers only have James Harrison. While Harrison thus far has shown himself to be immortal, his football days are winding down.

It stands to reason that the Steelers go with a pass rusher with this pick. They could, but Jeff Hartman and Nicholas Martin of BTSC decided to go in a different direction.

“White has been a constant for the Tigers for most of his four-year career in Baton Rouge. He was never a superstar corner on the level that Tiger fans have become accustomed, but he was incredibly consistent at staying with receivers down the field, disrupting the catch and limiting big plays. He NFL 21 Cheap Jerseys can also support the run well and looked great in some limited snaps at the nickel position early in 2016 (injuries forced the Tigers to keep him outside more often). Additionally, he’s a leader in the locker room and was awarded the coveted No. 18 jersey here as a junior and senior.” — Read More at And the Valley Shook

White teamed with safety Jamal Adams to give LSU one of the SEC’s toughest secondaries in 2016. The Tigers ranked 15th in the FBS when it came to passer rating allowed, in large part thanks Plain Cheap Jerseys to White’s ball-hawking abilities. He’s aggressive in coverage, jumping routes early and letting his instincts take over. It paid off last fall — he broke up 14 passes and intercepted two more in LSU’s 8-4 season.

It’s unlikely that Samuel will fill an identical role in the pros

Given a chance to prove himself after Melvin Gordon left, Wisconsin’s Corey Clement proved he is capable of a heavy load and reliably catching. But his explosiveness was sporadic (he was hurt multiple times), and he was dreadfully inefficient, recording five or more yards on just 31 percent of his carries in both 2015 and 2016. A lot of backs in this draft more consistently proved their upside.

Samuel was the H-back in Urban Meyer’s offense, which is essentially a hybrid receiver and running back. Meyer’s approach, which we’ve seen with guys like Percy Harvin during his Florida tenure and Braxton Miller in 2015, is to get the ball in the hands of his most dynamic offensive weapon. That was definitely Samuel last year for the Buckeyes.

It’s unlikely that Samuel will fill an identical role in the pros, because at 5’11 and 196 pounds, he lacks ideal size for it. He’s talented and versatile, and can be a spark for the Panthers’ offense.

What makes Samuel so exciting? It’s tempting to force a quarterback to the Texans, and that certainly could be the direction they go in, but they’ve never shown a tendency to be desperate in the past. If they don’t have a prospect they love at the position, I believe Bill O’Brien when he says he’s fine with Tom Savage. Instead, the team can address two other needs by taking Robinson in the wake of Derek Newton’s serious injury, and by selecting Williams to possibly start ahead of Andre Hal.

This could finally be the draft when Washington decides to actually Cheap Blue Jays Jerseys add an interior defensive lineman. For some reason, the team took just one defensive linemen in the Cheap Jerseys China NHL first three rounds over the last five years. But with McDowell on the board at No. 17, it’s a match made in heaven. So, too, would be the opportunity to take Baker, giving the team a better option than D.J. Swearinger at safety.