LATEST STEELERS DRAFT BUZZ
Georgia OLB Jarvis Jones is indeed the Steelers top target at the No. 17 overall selection, multiple sources said Wednesday evening. If he’s there at No. 17 (they will be thrilled if he is), all signs point to the Steelers taking Jones, but the chances of Jones being there at No. 17 might not be as high as a lot of people think.
The Steelers internal information has them believing that it will be an upset if Jones falls to No. 17 and the team is said to not be very confident of Jones being there. The top teams linked to Jones in front of the Steelers include the New York Jets (No. 9, No. 13) and the New Orleans Saints (No. 15).
Jones who has his share of question marks from being a medical risk, to running a 4.92 forty, to not being great in coverage, to being 23 years old (Steelers love to take younger players in round 1) but that doesn’t have the Steelers intending to turn away from him if he falls to No. 17. They see Jones as a top-10 talent in this draft and just flat out love his ability to get to the passer as he is so athletic as a pass rusher.
Another pass rusher the Steelers are very high on is LSU’s Barkevious Mingo but he will be long gone before No. 17. Florida State’s Bjoern Werner could become a pass rusher of interest at No. 17 but he doesn’t have that dynamic/special ability that Jones and Mingo have.
If Jones does indeed go a few spots before the Steelers pick like they are said to feel he might, the Steelers are not in position to trade up for him and not expected to consider the possibility. One feeling is Jones and Mingo being off the board opens the opportunity to trade down, something that would benefit the Steelers greatly.
Top positions of interest in the early rounds include both linebacker positions, safety, running back, and wide receiver/or pass catching tight end.
Trading down could help the Steelers address the bulk of those needs as the value of this draft is said to be in the second round.
Some sleeper trade down targets: The Steelers are said to hold Inside linebacker Arthur Brown, Kansas State, and running back Jonathan Franklin, UCLA, in very high regard at their particular positions but neither player is great value at No. 17, making them more suited for ideal trade candidates in the late first round/early second round territory
The Steelers are determined to add a running back in one of the top-3 rounds and there’s been some rumblings that Franklin is the top running back on their board.