Steelers

2011 Pittsburgh Steelers Draft Targets

By: Mike Vukovcan
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(Photo: AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

(Photo: AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

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Pittsburgh (KDKA)- As the 2011 NFL Draft approaches, we’re going to take a look at some players that Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert could be targeting.

This 1st round of this year’s NFL Draft will take place on Thursday, April 28th. To get you prepared for this big day, for the next 10 days, I’ll introduce you to a player that could be getting his name called by the Steelers.

Despite playing in the Super Bowl last year, the Steelers are a team with plenty of needs. In no particular order, they need help at offensive tackle, offensive guard, running back, defensive line, cornerback and safety.

Most experts have the Steelers selecting an offensive lineman or cornerback in the 1st round. Tomorrow, I’ll release the first of two mock draft’s that I’ll do prior to next Thursday’s draft.

Here’s the first profile in my Steelers 2011 Draft Targets:

Texas cornerback Aaron Williams:

Size: 5-11, 204 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.61
Arm Length: 31 1/2 inches
225-pound bench press reps: 18
Broad jump: 10-foot-7
Vertical jump: 37.5 inches
20-yard shuttle: 4.07
60-yard shuttle: 11.35

Bio On Williams:
Rated as the No. 30 overall prospect in the 2011 Draft by Scout Inc……Earned second-team All-Big 12 as a junior……Finished career at Texas with 106 tackles, 24 passes broken up, six forced fumbles, four interceptions and one fumble recovery, five blocked punts (considered excellent special teams player)…..

Scouting Report On Williams courtesy Scout.com:
Normally lines up as the left cornerback…..Is also able to line up in the slot as well…..Is a physical player at the point……..Is not afraid to mix it up with blockers….Did a solid job with his hands shedding blockers and gettingn in on the play……Very sold against the run…….Doesn’t have the quick feet of the other corners…According to Scouts Inc, the stange thing about Williams’ quickness is that if you look at his 20 shuttle times, it’s right there with the top corners. But he doesn’t play that quick…..Moves more like a safety…..Doesn’t have that extra gear when you see him turn and run…..Will labor to adjust and run……Have some questions about his recovery speed but no questions about his ability to be a physical player……After studying him, I wouldn’t be surprised if some teams have him on the board as a projected safety instead of a corner.

Here’s what some of NFL Draft experts think of Williams:

Mel Kiper Jr: “Williams is the classic young, talented risk-taker at the cornerback position. He has a lot of natural ability, likes to steal a look into the backfield and turn errant passes into six points going the other way. While some see him ultimately becoming a great cover safety, I’m not ready to push him off the edge. Dick LeBeau was a great cornerback, and would do well working with a talent like Williams.”

Rob Rang: The Steelers secondary let them down in the Super Bowl and their top cornerback — Ike Taylor — is scheduled for free agency. Whether he remains on the team or not, Pittsburgh will almost surely address their defensive backfield on draft day. Some teams believe Williams can remain at cornerback. Others see his best fit at free safety. Both are concerns for the Steelers, making Williams a logical candidate at this point.

Pat Kirwain: While the Steelers might consider offensive tackle Derek Sherrod here, they need a corner badly. Williams gives them a solid player. Don’t believe the idea that Pittsburgh avoids Texas players.

Final Thoughts:
Williams is a versatile talent who has a shot at having a long, productive career in the NFL. Williams is a guy that could step into the lineup within a year or two. One of his biggest strength’s is his ability to make tackles in the running game, doesn’t shy away from contact. Williams loves to blitz off the edge, which is something Steeler cornerbacks love to do.

Williams fits the mold of a Pittsburgh Steeler defensive player.

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