Florida’s Haden, Idaho’s Mike Iupati at the top of Steelers draft board
With the NFL draft just 18 days away, the Pittsburgh Steelers draft board is all but set.
According to multiple team sources, the Steelers top two targets are Florida cornerback Joe Haden, Idaho offensive guard Mike Iupati, with Florida center Maurkice Pouncey and Texas cornerback/safety Earl Thomas as their plan B.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is believed to be very high on Iupati.
According to one source, the Steelers value Haden and Iupati so highly that the team will explore several options at moving up to land Haden or Iupati and could have two trade partners who are looking to move down.
The buzz around the league is that the Jacksonville Jaguars who own the No. 10 pick are expected to shop their No. 10 pick come draft day and the Seattle Seahawks who select at No. 14, are already looking to move a few spots down in the first round to accumulate more picks in the 2nd or third round.
A league source tells me Iupati could go as high as No. 9 to the Buffalo Bills (depending on if they acquire a quarterback) but the general consensus is that Iupati will go anywhere from 9-15.
Meanwhile, Joe Haden’s stock is dropping but not to the point where he’ll be available at No. 18.
There are strong indications that both players will be the Steelers top two priorities in any attempt to move up. Moving up to the No. 10 spot may be deemed too high by the Steelers which could put the Seattle Seahawks in play at No. 14, if either player is still on the board.
Meanwhile, interest in Texas cornerback/safety Earl Thomas is believed to be picking up. Steelers GM Kevin Colbert met with Thomas prior to his pro-day in Texas.
However, it is believed Thomas is not as high on the Steelers draft board as Iupati and Haden are.
If Haden or Iupati are not viable options, one option that will be seriously considered is moving down, according to a source.
The Steelers have a strong interest in Florida center Maurkice Pouncey and could move down to land Pouncey in the 20’s. The Green Bay Packers (23rd) and Dallas Cowboys (27th) are looking to move up.