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Insider Only NFL: Three “surprise names” to watch for Steelers who could fall out of top-15

The usual suspects linked to the Steelers at No. 17 include OLB Jarvis Jones, Safety Kenny Vaccaro, WR Cordarrelle Patterson, all positions of need, but here are three highly rated prospects some around the league feel could fall out of the top-15 and are top talent players the Steelers would be tempted to nab despite the positions not being as big of a need as other positions:

1. Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama – There’s been a ton of chatter in the past 72 hours of Milliner slipping on draft boards and won’t go as high as some pundits think where many feel he’s slotted to go to Detroit or Cleveland at No. 5 or No. 6. Cornerback is far down the line of immediate needs but the Steelers love top talent and Milliner is one of the best prospects in the draft. – Chances of being available at No. 17: 10%
2. Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina: Predicting where guards go is impossible. Cooper is a pro-bowl talent and one of those few players in this years draft that the Steelers are said to regard as a special talent. Cooper and Alabama’s Chance Warmack are regarded by scouts as better prospects than David DeCastro who was the first guard taken in the 2012 NFL draft. The Steelers are said to like Cooper better than Warmack but will also be tempted if Warmack were to slide to No. 17. – Chances of being available at No. 17:  25%
3. *Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame: When you ask evaluators of a surprise name for the Steelers at No. 17, Notre Dame’s Tyler Eifert’s seems to be the hot name. While GM Kevin Colbert tries to downplay the need for a high pick to be on a tight end, Eifert would add a new element to the Steelers offense and give the potential for an excellent 1-2 combo at tight end in Eifert and Heath Miller for the next three to four years. – Chances of being Available at No. 17 – 45%

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William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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