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Steelers Draft Picks 2011: What the Curtis Brown Pick Means for the Steelers Secondary

The wait was long, but it was worth it. The Pittsburgh Steelers finally got a corner to insure against the possible departures of Ike Taylor and William Gay.

A late round run on cornerbacks amped up the pressure on the Steelers, who were widely expected to address the CB position within the first three rounds. The New Orleans Saints’ choice of Lousiville CB Johnny Patrick (88th overall) and the Philadelphia Eagles’ selection of Utah State CB Curtis Marsh (90th overall) were both tough to stomach, but by the time the Steelers took their turn, there were still a number of interesting corners available, including Texas CB Curtis Brown and Brandon Burton of Utah. The Steelers settled on Brown, which made this fan nearly throw his laptop on the ground in joy. Utter joy.

Brown is a lanky corner who can make big time plays for the Steelers on defense, an ability he showcased at the combine, where he made several amazing catches during drills. Brown has long arms which he uses effectively to break up lots of passes. The young corner is definitely a work in progress, but he has good speed and can be effective in both man and zone coverage.

Congratulations to the Steelers for being smart enough to take the best player available in Round 2 and wait on a 3rd round gem like Curtis Brown.

The Steelers’ need at CB was exposed last year by teams who like to spread the field like the New Orleans Saints, New England Patriots, and Green Bay Packers. When the opposition fields four or even five wide receivers, the Steelers struggled to stop them in 2010. Pittsburgh’s need at corner is so pronounced, in fact, that the Steelers may take another corner later in the draft. Watch out for sleepers like UTC CB Buster Skrine tomorrow.

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