PFF draft board: Pittsburgh Steelers

Analyst Bobby Slowik takes a pick-by-pick look at the 2016 draft prospects that best fit the Steelers' needs.

| 6 months ago
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

PFF draft board: Pittsburgh Steelers

PFF is putting together team-specific draft boards for all 32 teams using our draft rankings and evaluation of how each player fits in specific schemes.

Included are three ideal targets for each team with their first-, second-, and third-round picks, along with a team-specific draft board [scroll down to bottom of article] that includes every player in PFF’s draft rankings.

Here is the entry for the Pittsburgh Steelers: 

Round 1 (25th overall)

Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia

The defensive backfield is an area that can use some playmakers in Pittsburgh. Pairing the best safety in the draft with a defensive scheme that thrives with a dynamic playmaker at the position is a perfect marriage. Joseph was the second-highest-graded safety in the four weeks he played in 2015 before getting injured.

Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama

Ragland projects to play ILB for most NFL teams, but his pass-rushing ability puts him in play here for the Steelers. He had the fourth-highest-overall LB grade in 2015, and is one of the few players that was also successful rushing against offensive tackles. Lawrence Timmons is coming off his worst year in the NFL, so adding an heir apparent, along with much needed pass-rush ability, could help create versatility for the Steelers.

Shilique Calhoun, OLB, Michigan St

The Steelers like to load up on one of the most impactful positions on their defense yearly. Calhoun adds a serious rush threat from the edge to a defense that has relied on the ageless James Harrison to create edge pressure. Calhoun was only behind Joey Bosa in FBS pass-rush grade last season.

Round 2 (58th overall)

Joshua Garnett, G, Stanford

DeCastro and Foster have been good players at guard for Pittsburgh. That said, getting a very good run-blocking guard at this point in the draft and allowing him to develop as a pass-protector may be too appetizing for the Steelers to pass up. Garnett’s worst game of the year came understandably against Oregon, and some time to develop can only help him.

Kalan Reed, CB, Southern Mississippi

Reed was only targeted 89 times this past year, yet he totaled four interceptions and 14 passes defensed. That type of playmaker is exactly what the Steelers need on the outside. Reed can make a difference in the “trap” schemes Keith Butler likes utilizing while still locking down a man in third-down situations.

Kevin Byard, S, Middle Tennessee State

Another safety for the Steelers brings a positive to a different part of the game. Byard excels at deep coverage and is probably the best at it in this draft class. The mix of two- and three-deep zones that Pittsburgh employs would enable Kevin to do what he does best with the ninth-best coverage grade last year.

Round 3 (89th overall)

Shon Coleman, OT, Auburn

Coleman fits the Steelers’ run game, simple as that. He can line up down blocks and is patient at the second level. Although he had a pass-blocking efficiency of 97.4 last year, he will need to develop better protection technique. He is raw as a traditional protector due to college scheme limitations, and the Steelers will have to feel comfortable in dealing with the transition to an NFL system.

Dean Lowry, DE, Northwestern

Lowry is one of the more interesting prospects at this point in the draft. As a four/five-technique for the Steelers aligning over the offensive tackle, he can be a very solid run-defender. Lowry lacks a diverse rush skill-set, but is very athletic and can spend time developing that area while still being a valuable addition on first and second downs.

Tavon Young, CB, Temple

Young lacks the size generally looked at as ideal in the NFL, but his ability to bump into the slot against three-WR sets is overlooked in the draft. He has the athleticism and ability to play a variety of coverages inside while also being a solid run-defender, only missing seven tackles in the last two years. Tavon could use some time to develop sounder footwork, but the transition inside will help.

PlayerPositionSchoolPFF Draft BoardPittsburgh Steelers Draft Board
Joey BosaEDGEOhio State11
Jalen RamseyCBFlorida State32
DeForest BucknerDIOregon23
Jared GoffQBCal44
Laremy TunsilOTOle Miss55
Myles JackLBUCLA66
Jack ConklinOTMichigan State137
Sheldon RankinsDILouisville88
Corey ColemanWRBaylor99
Josh DoctsonWRTCU1010
William Jackson IIICBHouston1511
Ezekiel ElliottRBOhio State712
Leonard FloydEDGEGeorgia1913
Chris JonesDIMississippi State1214
Shaq LawsonEDGEClemson1115
Cody WhitehairGKansas State1716
Shilique CalhounEDGEMichigan State2917
Carson WentzQBNorth Dakota State1418
Karl JosephSWest Virginia3019
Jarran ReedDIAlabama2020
Sterling ShepardWROklahoma2321
Vernon HargreavesCBFlorida1822
Noah SpenceEDGEEastern Kentucky3623
Jaylon SmithLBNotre Dame2524
Hunter HenryTEArkansas3325
Reggie RaglandLBAlabama2626
Vernon ButlerDILouisiana Tech3227
Leonte CarrooWRRutgers3528
Taylor DeckerOTOhio State5229
Andrew BillingsDIBaylor2230
Ronnie StanleyOTNotre Dame1631
Rashard HigginsWRColorado State4032
Michael Thomas (OSU)WROhio State2433
A'Shawn RobinsonDIAlabama4134
Kalan ReedCBSouthern Miss5435
Kyler FackrellEDGEUtah State6536
Laquon TreadwellWROle Miss2837
Joshua GarnettGStanford5038
Bronson KaufusiEDGEBYU6639
Will FullerWRNotre Dame6040
Jeremy CashSDuke5341
Michael Thomas (SM)WRSouthern Miss3842
Kamalei CorreaEDGEBoise State7843
Ryan KellyCAlabama4244
Adolphus WashingtonDIOhio State4344
Paxton LynchQBMemphis5546
Scooby Wright IIILBArizona7147
Jerell AdamsTESouth Carolina5948
Jonathan BullardDIFlorida2749
Nick VanHooseCBNorthwestern8850
Kevin DoddEDGEClemson7051
De'Vante HarrisCBTexas A&M6952
Cre'Von LeBlancCBFlorida Atlantic9352
Jason SpriggsOTIndiana4654
Hassan RidgewayDITexas5755
Kenny ClarkDIUCLA5855
Sheldon DayDINotre Dame3457
Connor CookQBMichigan State7558
Cyrus JonesCBAlabama7758
Joe ThuneyOTNC State5160
Christian WestermanGArizona State8561
Keyarris GarrettWRTulsa6462
Daniel BravermanWRWestern Michigan6262
Paul PerkinsRBUCLA4964
Austin JohnsonDIPenn State3965
Xavien HowardCBBaylor8065
Dean LowryDINorthwestern9767
Malcolm MitchellWRGeorgia6767
Mackenzie AlexanderCBClemson2169
Nick KwiatkowskiLBWest Virginia7670
Shon ColemanOTAuburn9171
Nick MartinCNotre Dame4572
Steven DanielsLBBoston College10172
Tavon YoungCBTemple11574
Su'a CravensLBUSC4875
Kevin PetersonCBOklahoma State9475
Tyler BoydWRPittsburgh8275
Spencer DrangoGBaylor10778
Joe SchobertEDGEWisconsin7479
Emmanuel OgbahEDGEOklahoma State3780
Kenneth DixonRBLouisiana Tech4781
Darian ThompsonSBoise State8382
Pharoh CooperWRSouth Carolina9683
Devin LucienWRArizona State9283
Braxton MillerWROhio State9883
Isaac SeumaloGOregon State6386
Le'Raven ClarkOTTexas Tech11987
Vonn BellSOhio State9088
Jordan HowardRBIndiana5689
Matt SkuraCDuke12890
Willie HenryDIMichigan9990
Sebastian TretolaGArkansas12690
Thomas DuarteTEUCLA8993
Javon HargraveDISouth Carolina State7994
Austin HooperTEStanford12594
Darius LathamDIIndiana8496
Joshua PerryLBOhio State8696
Joe DahlOTWashington State11298
Germain IfediOTTexas A&M18299
Carl NassibEDGEPenn State6899
Brandon DoughtyQBWestern Kentucky109101
Kevin ByardSMiddle Tennessee State73102
Alex CollinsRBArkansas87103
Aaron BurbridgeWRMichigan State138104
Jake McGeeTEFlorida123105
Maliek CollinsDINebraska61106
Anthony ZettelDIPenn State114106
Jordan PaytonWRUCLA118108
Darron LeeLBOhio State81109
Ronald BlairEDGEAppalachian State102110
Eli AppleCBOhio State31111
David MorganTEUTSA153111
Austin BlytheCIowa203113
Nelson SpruceWRColorado145113
Will AnthonyEDGENavy132115
Kentrell BrothersLBMissouri108116
Darrell GreeneGSan Diego State157117
Devon CajusteTEStanford174117
Robert NkemdicheDIOle Miss44119
Matt IoannidisDITemple124119
Tajae SharpeWRUmass180121
Jakeem GrantWRTexas Tech173121
Demarcus AyersWRHouston150123
Kyle MurphyOTStanford72124
Jordan JenkinsEDGEGeorgia127125
Cardale JonesQBOhio State222126
Henry Krieger-CobleTEIowa230126
Cody KesslerQBUSC106126
Yannick NgakoueEDGEMaryland134129
Landon TurnerGNorth Carolina133130
Will RedmondCBMississippi State116131
Terrell ChestnutCBWest Virginia129132
Will ParksSArizona100133
Dadi Lhomme NicholasEDGEVirginia Tech161133
Aaron WallaceEDGEUCLA166133
Devontae BookerRBUtah103136
C.J. ProsiseRBNotre Dame105136
Brandon AllenQBArkansas104138
Nila KasitatiGOklahoma152139
Kendall FullerCBVirginia Tech139140
Alex McCalisterEDGEFlorida169141
Matt JohnsonQBBowling Green110142
Vernon Adams, JRQBOregon111142
Jayron KearseSClemson120144
Joe HaegOTNorth Dakota State117144
Jihad WardDIIllinois159146
Tyler GrayLBBoise State160146
D.J. ReaderDIClemson162146
Terrell LathanDITCU167146
Demarcus RobinsonWRFlorida140150
Tyrone HolmesEDGEMontana130151
Derrick HenryRBAlabama95152
Brandon ShellOTSouth Carolina191153
Bryson AlbrightEDGEMiami (OH)195153
Travis FeeneyEDGEWashington196153
Nile Lawrence-StampleDIFlorida State148156
Kyle RoseDIWest Virginia168156
Sterling BaileyDIGeorgia170156
Delvon SimmonsDIUSC175156
Brennan ScarlettDIStanford178156
Charles TapperEDGEOklahoma136161
Jack AllenCMichigan State122162
Byron MarshallWROregon121162
Daniel LascoRBCal141164
Keanu NealSFlorida176165
Trevone BoykinQBTCU142166
Jatavis BrownLBAkron131167
D.J. PettwayEDGEAlabama211168
Jacoby BrissettQBNC State151169
Kevin HoganQBStanford143169
Jeff DriskelQBLouisiana Tech149169
Eric MurrayCBMinnesota154169
Miles KillebrewSSouther Utah187173
Justin SimmonsSBoston College163174
Eric StrikerEDGEOklahoma165174
D.J. WhiteCBGeorgia Tech155176
Quniton JeffersonDIMaryland210177
Ian SeauEDGENevada219178
Matt JudonEDGEGrand Valley State220178
Kenyan DrakeRBAlabama135180
Jonathan WilliamsRBArkansas137180
Praise Martin-OguikeEDGETemple208182
Max TuerkCUSC113183
KeiVarae RussellCBNotre Dame171184
Corey TindalCBMarshall172184
Graham GlasgowGMichigan158186
Ryker MathewsGBYU164186
Alex LewisOTNebraska183188
Adam GotsisDIGeorgia Tech177189
Kolby ListenbeeWRTCU181189
Mike RoseEDGENC State223191
Victor OchiEDGEStony Brook244191
Cory LittletonEDGEWashington246191
Clayton FejedelemSIllinois201194
Tanner McEvoySWisconsin206194
Curt MaggittEDGETennessee207194
Cody CoreWROle Miss184197
Kenny LawlerWRCal193197
Joey HuntCTCU189197
Rees OdhiamboGBoise State190197
Jhurell PressleyRBNew Mexico179201
Donte DeayonCBBoise State199202
B.J. GoodsonLBClemson146203
Boston StiversonGKansas State237203
Jarell BroxtonGBaylor238203
Vadal AlexanderGLSU243203
DeAndre WashingtonRBTexas Tech194207
Tyler ErvinRBSan Jose State197207
Cory JohnsonDIKentucky156209
Blake MartinezLBStanford198210
Ted KarrasGIllinois213210
Connor McGovernGMissouri202210
Teddy RubenWRTroy212210
T.J. GreenSClemson217214
Dak PrescottQBMississippi State221215
Eddie YarbroughEDGEWyoming192216
Tyler RobertsLBTroy215217
Jenson StoshakWRFlorida Atlantic214217
Jordan WilliamsWRBall State218217
D.J. FosterWRArizona State216217
Caleb AzubikeEDGEVanderbilt209221
John TheusOTGeorgia231222
Jerald HawkinsOTLSU232222
Mike HiltonSOle Miss233222
Justin MurrayOTCincinnati249222
Jimmy BeanEDGEOklahoma State248222
Tyler MatakevichLBTemple185227
Trevon ColeyDIFlorida Atlantic186227
Perez FordLBNorthern Illinois188227
Nick ArbuckleQBGeorgia State242230
Prince Charles IworahCBWestern Kentucky225230
Jalen MillsCBLSU247230
Connor WujciakDIBoston College204233
Nick VigilLBUtah State205233
Roger LewisWRBowling Green224235
Jesse ChapmanCAppalachian State241235
Jake BrendelCUCLA245235
Vincent ValentineDINebraska234235
Martavius FosterDIColorado State240235
Deion JonesLBLSU250235
Mitch MathewsWRBYU226235
Charone PeakeWRClemson229235
Chris MooreWRCincinnati236235
Trevor DavisWRCal239235
Alex EricksonWRWisconsin227235
Artie BurnsCBMiami144246
Taveze CalhounCBMississippi State147246
Josh FergusonRBIllinois235248
Wendell SmallwoodRBWest Virginia228248
Rashard RobinsonCBLSU200250
  • PittsburghSports

    Dean Lowry as a 3rd rd pick, with those t-rex arms?

  • Asmitty56

    I doubt they’d be in play for an ILB unless it was a special kind of play maker, or a nice cover LB to be a TE buster. Unless Ragland can be a full time OLB, I would think they’d be perfectly content to role with Vince Williams in the future or maybe even move Jones to play Buck. I’d also hope to see defensive linemen to be a top priority.

  • James Rogers

    I doubt that any WRs are as high on their board as they are on PFF’s Steeler’s board.

  • Harvester of Sorrow

    wow these guys are idiots. sadly people take the serious