Earlier this week the reports came out from Pauline that the Steelers had narrowed their round 1 list to three players:
RB Najee Harris
C Landon Dickerson
OT Teven Jenkins
I talked about on Wednesday how I'd be pleased with any of the three selections in next week's first round with Dickerson being the least in my mind simply because of history of injury, but nonetheless I think he'd be a good pick to start to rebuild the offensive line.
Now, it's coming out that the Steelers are heavily after Najee Harris with the 24th overall pick. And yep, it's already started the shit storm debate on Twitter of drafting O-line in round 1 vs. a RB like Harris. There's simply two trains of thought with this one:
1. Draft Harris like it's being reported they'd like to with the first round pick then spend three out of your next four picks on best offensive lineman available.
2. Draft a Dickerson or Jenkins with the first round pick on Thursday then spend Friday and Saturday continuing to rebuild the offensive line with depth while taking a guy like Chubba Hubbard or Javonte Williams in the second or third.
Either way they're going to (hopefully) be drafting a good amount of lineman to restart upfront. I tend to land on the side of where the Steelers are reportedly heading in drafting Harris with their first pick.
Here's how I see it - Harris is a dynamic, offense-changing, three-down back that could come in right away and be the best back the Steelers have had since Le'Veon Bell's prime and departure. The falloff, to me, from a guy like Harris to a guy like Hubbard is too much. If the Steelers draft a guy like Hubbard then it feels like they're just getting a James Conner all over again. A solid player, but not dynamic enough to be a real difference maker.
And it's already so annoying because all the draft pundits are getting their RTs with comments like this on Twitter:
Ohhhh yeah dude? Forgot about the part where the Steelers have three picks in the top 87 and the offensive line group is pretty damn deep in this draft. They could spend their next two picks on guys like Liam Eichenberg from Notre Dame and the DIII wonder from Wisconsin Whitewater Quinn Meinerz just to name a couple. Also, remember last year? Kevin Dotson was taken in the 4th round and was graded as the best run blocking lineman in last year's draft.
So, spare me the "IF THE STEELERS DRAFT A RB IN ROUND 1 THEIR LINE IS SCREWED AND THE SEASON IS A WASTE" talk.
Look, I've said time and time again I'd be perfectly OK and happy with the Steelers taking a cornerstone offensive lineman with the 24th pick next Thursday. That'd be great. But if it plays out like the reports are saying and they take Harris with 24, it's not all doom and gloom. There's still going to be opportunity to replenish upfront with their picks on Friday and Saturday.
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