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Old 02-17-2014, 02:21 PM   #18
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Default Re: Steelers Sunday / The secondary: A long, hard fall

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Steelers land a 'Steelers cornerback' with Darqueze Dennard at 15

By Neal Coolong on Feb 17 2014

SB Nation's Matthew Fairburn provides his final pre-Combine mock draft, and sends a familiar name at a position of need to Pittsburgh.

It's only the last pre-Combine mock draft from our brethren at SB Nation. It only leaves us excited for the 12 pre-draft mocks in front of us.

Fairburn likes Dennard's game.

Dennard just looks like a classic Steelers cornerback. He's physical at the line of scrimmage, can quickly break on the ball and is a sound tackler. By drafting a cornerback like Dennard in the first round, the Steelers could move Ike Taylor to safety, boosting two positions with one move.

Not quite sure how the selection of a rookie inspires the change of position of a player who's turning 34 years old and has never played safety at any level of the sport, but hey, it fills up space with something interesting.

What Dennard's selection would do, in reality, is begin to bolster depleted depth within the secondary. Assuming Ike Taylor is kept for the 2014 season (not a guarantee, but a good possibility), the Steelers will trot out Taylor, Cortez Allen and William Gay at their three corner positions - Gay would move inside in nickel packages, a role in which he succeeded at a high level last season. There's perilously thin depth behind them.

Whether it's Dennard or someone else, odds should be considered strong the Steelers will invest picks (plural) at the cornerback position in this draft. It may also be wise to draft another hybrid safety/slot coverage defensive back as well.
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