Expert breaks down Steelers' draft choices
Dave-Te' Thomas is a talent evaluator and personnel consultant who operates Scouting Services Inc. and produces a publication provided by the NFL to the media in preparation for the annual draft.
Thomas analyzed the Steelers' needs for the Tribune-Review. He projects the Steelers' selections in each of the seven rounds — one prediction based on positional need and the other based on the best available athlete.
Thomas doesn't rule out the Steelers selecting a running back in the first round. Citing concerns over pass coverage, Thomas isn't as high on Alabama linebacker Dont'a Hightower, a noted run stopper, as some who have Hightower going to the Steelers at No. 24.
Moreover, Thomas cautions that the Steelers' recent drafts have featured an organizational tug-of-war between selecting the best athlete and addressing a positional need with the top pick.
Round One (24th selection)
Draft Need Selection: MICHAEL BROCKERS, Defensive Tackle/Nose Tackle, Louisiana State
Best Available Athlete Selection: CORDY GLENN, Guard/Tackle, Georgia
Round Two (56th)
Draft Need: BRANDON BROOKS, Guard, Miami University
Best Available Athlete: MOHAMED SANU, Receiver, Rutgers
Round Three (86th)
Draft Need: ROBERT TURBIN, Tailback, Utah State
Best Available Athlete: MIKE MARTIN, Nose Tackle, Michigan
Round Four (119th)
Draft Need: BOBBY WAGNER, Inside Linebacker, Utah State
Best Available Athlete: KEENAN ROBINSON, Inside Linebacker, Texas
Round Five (159th)
Draft Need: ZEBRIE SANDERS, Tackle, Florida State
Best Available Athlete: TAUREN POOLE, Tailback, Tennessee
Round Six (193rd)
Draft Need: JURON CRINER, Receiver, Arizona
Best Available Athlete: NICK FOLES, Quarterback, Arizona
Round Seven (240th)
Draft Need: B.J. COLEMAN, Quarterback, Tennessee-Chattanooga
Best Available Athlete: ROBERT BLANTON, Cornerback/Safety, Notre Dame
Round Seven (246th)
Draft Need: BRETT ROY, Defensive End/Tackle/Inside Linebacker, Nevada
Best Available Athlete: BRADIE EWING, Fullback, Wisconsin
Round Seven (248th)
Draft Need: BLAIR WALSH, Kicker, Georgia
Best Available Athlete: DERREK CARRIER, Tight End/Receiver, Beloit College
John Harris is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com.