The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the NFL’s elite franchises, and are used to picking at the bottom of the first round. 2016 is no exception, as Pittsburgh will have the 25th overall pick in tonight’s draft. Even with the late pick, the Steelers have consistently taken solid talent in past years, both early as well as in the later rounds.
The Steelers, at least lately, are best known for going with defense early. They’ve taken linebackers in the first round each of the last three drafts, and it’s paid dividends. The Steelers were third in the NFL in sacks last year, trailing only the Patriots and Broncos with 48.
In the later rounds, the Steelers have had great success at the skill positions. Le’Veon Bell was a second round pick, and the Steelers entire receiving core was taken in the third round or later. Antonio Brown was a sixth round pick in 2010, the same year they drafted Emmanuel Sanders in the third.
If the Steelers have any true needs, it’s in the secondary. That’s why they’re projected to take Ohio State corner Eli Apple with the 25th pick. Apple came under some fire in draft interviews when a scout leaked that Apple didn’t know how to cook, but that was quickly rebuked when it was revealed that Apple’s father is a five-star chef. Unfortunately for the Steelers, the Giants grabbed Apple with the tenth overall pick.
The Pick: Artie Burns, DB, Miami
Steelers First-Round Pick History
2015: Bud Dupree, OLB, Kentucky
2014: Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State
2013: Jarvis Jones, LB, Georgia
2012: David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
2011: Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State