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2011 NFL Draft 2011, Second And Third Rounds: Look For Steelers To Pick A Cornerback On Day 2

With the (brilliant) selection of Cameron Heyward, the Steelers addressed a huge need at defensive end, but there is still much work to do. The Steelers still have needs at cornerback and tackle, and conventional wisdom says the Steelers will have both of those bases covered by the end of the day tomorrow.

There is certainly some merit to conventional wisdom, as round one came and went with tons of talent still on the board at both of Pittsburgh's primary needs.

There are still some top talents at cornerback, in particular. Once touted as near-surefire first round picks (and mentioned in near constant connection with the Steelers), Miami's Brandon Harris and Texas' Aaron Williams remain on the board. It seems pretty unlikely that either of those two will be realistic options for the Steelers unless they plan on a very unlikely blockbuster trade to the top of the second. Nevertheless, there is at least some chance that Williams in particular could slip all the way to the Steelers' next pick.

Another long shot could be Virginia's Ras-I Dowling, the mega-talented corner who has seen his value slip because of a rash of injuries. Again, this does not seem like a solid bet for the Steelers without a substantial trade up. There are simply too many teams, such as the Detroit Lions, that would be all too eager to snap Dowling up early in the second. What seems more likely is that another less-heralded corner, such as Texas' Curtis Brown, Utah State's Curtis Marsh, Louisville's Johnny Patrick, or Utah's Brandon Burton could still be an option for the Black & Gold at No. 63. The Steelers seemed to have anticipated this, as they scheduled pre-draft visits with a number of mid-round corner prospects, such as Dowling, Williams, Patrick, Brown, and Marsh. The fact that so many possibilities exist for the Steelers at this point is a very, very good thing.

The Steelers are in a similarly comfortable position when it comes to filling their other glaring need, offensive tackle. While the selection of Benjamin Ijalana would be absolutely glorious, that's unlikely. Ijalana is slated to be off the board by the middle of the second round at the latest, and it would require some serious luck to put on a Steelers helmet next year. The Steelers brass might more realistically target prospects like Marcus Gilbert or Orlando Franklin.

The problem with all this conventional wisdom, of course, is that the Steelers often ignore it. Don't be surprised at all if you see a wideout like Edmond Gates or an interior lineman like Jason Pinkston come off of the board when it is the Steelers' turn at the podium.

No matter what happens, the Steelers are in a prime position to take valuable players at positions of need.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.