The last time the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted a defensive back in the first round was 2003. That choice was future Hall of Famer Troy Polamalu. That’s the good news. The bad news is, he’s closer to retirement than the All-Pro, former Defensive Player of the Year he’s been throughout his career.
Pittsburgh currently holds the 22nd pick and it’s time for general manager Kevin Colbert, head coach Mike Tomlin and newly promoted defensive coordinator Keith Butler to upgrade the secondary.
Polamalu and fellow veteran defensive back Ike Taylor are hanging on by the gray hairs in their beards. It is time to select their replacements while they can still tutor them on how to be a Steeler.
The Steelers had the 6th ranked defense in the NFL in 2014 against the pass, but they gave up a NFL second worse fifteen pass plays over 40 yards and a 14th league worse fifty pass plays over 20 yards.
The thirty passing touchdowns given up was tied for 4th worst in the NFL. The Black and Gold were also 6th worse in total passing yards 4,049 and gave up a 5th worse 98.3 rating to opposing quarterbacks. The numbers don’t lie, it’s time to invest in some defensive backs.
If you go to NFL.com and look at the mock drafts from their four draft analysts, they are split as to what the Steelers should do. Daniel Jeremiah and Charles Davis have Pittsburgh going defensive back with Jeremaih suggesting P.J. Williams from Florida State and Davis suggesting Kevin Johnson from Wake Forest. The other two analysts, Lance Zierlein and Bucky Brooks suggest Pittsburgh should select outside linebacker Vic Beasley from Clemson and defensive tackle Malcolm Brown from Texas respectively.
In recent drafts the Steelers have looked to fortify their front seven hoping to get pressure on the elite passers in this league. That’s all well and good, but if the back-end of the defense is below average, it won’t matter if the front seven is the best in the league, as the stats show, they’ll still get torched.
Steeler Nation is hoping the Pittsburgh brass will make the correct selection to avoid that from continuing to be a weakness. They’ll have several options as their are several talented defensive backs in this 2015 Class. Good thing too, because they should be looking to add another with their second round pick as well.