Pittsburgh Steelers defensive pick – Andrew Booth Jr., CB (Clemson)
Remember in 2019 when the Steelers leapfrogged the Bengals to select Devin Bush with the 10th overall pick? Well, it wouldn’t bear to think about if they beat Cincinnati to one of the top corners in this year’s draft.
Injuries have curtailed Andrew Booth’s draft preparations, and therefore he could be well within the range of the Steelers’ pick at 20th overall. Pittsburgh has lost several cornerbacks over the last couple of seasons. Mike Hilton became a Bengal, Steven Nelson departed for Philly, and this offseason saw them release veteran Joe Haden. That makes cornerback a genuine need.
The selection could also trigger a run on the position ahead of the Bengals. Kaiir Elam would likely become the next best available, and the Bengals would be biting their nails to see if he lasted until pick 31. It would be a classic case of strengthening your team while weakening the opposition.
Pittsburgh Steelers offensive pick – Malik Willis, QB (Liberty)
The AFC North is packed with talent at the quarterback position. Joe Burrow, Deshaun Watson, and Lamar Jackson are three of the brightest talents at the position. For the Steelers, there remain question marks. Mitch Trubisky is the supposed starter, but don’t think that will take QB off the Steelers’ shopping list for one second.
Liberty’s Malik Willis has arguably the highest ceiling of all the quarterbacks in this draft class. He has the impressive arm talent and the athleticism to cause defenses problems with his legs. That dual-threat ability is something the Bengals are acutely aware of, considering they have to gameplan for Jackson in Baltimore twice a year.
Willis would likely benefit from a year as a backup, considering the jump from Group of 5 college football to the pros. However, he would likely cause the most worry in Bengals’ circles of all the quarterbacks available should he be the long-term successor to Big Ben.