The NFL Draft is still a ways away, but with the season halfway through, mock drafts are starting to drop left and right. And most of them have the Steelers taking a cornerback. Joey Porter Jr. has played at a high level for the team, but they have not seen the production from the rest of the room. So, who do the pundits have tabbed for the Steelers in the latest projections?
Pro Football Focus’s Trevor Sikkema dropped his latest projections for who the team could land, and it’s with a familiar name if you are a fan of Big Ten football. Iowa’s Cooper DeJean is having a fantastic year with the Hawkeyes, and his stock continues to rise. Sikkema believes he will not even have to change the colors on his jersey.
“The Steelers have major needs in their secondary,” he wrote. “Some argue the bigger need is safety, while others would say cornerback. The best part about drafting DeJean is that he could be a starter at either. He is one of the more natural athletes in the class and has the size (6-foot-1 and 207 pounds), speed and overall coverage instincts to make an impact at both spots. He has an elite coverage grade, five interceptions and six forced incompletions over the past two years.”
Patrick Peterson has become somewhat of an odd fit with Porter playing so much press-man coverage. But even then, the group is not overly athletic relative to their peers in the league. Porter has that athleticism, while rookie Darius Rush gives the team a little injection of what could be the future of the group. However, DeJean is one of those players that scouts expect to pop in the testing metrics. That could be something the Steelers are drawn to, and the type of versatility that he brings to the table is attractive, too.