Shazier’s spinal injury will keep him off the field
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The Steelers’ playoff loss to Jacksonville laid bare some pretty clear needs at linebacker and in the secondary. Consequently, most mock drafts — including our Ray Fittipaldo’s — have consistently projected that the team will target those position groups at the top of the draft this April.
Pro Football Focus has a different idea. The scouting website’s Steve Palazzolo is now predicting that the Steelers will select Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen with the 28th pick in the first round.
Allen is still a project at this point in his development Ben Roethlisberger Jersey, but a worthwhile one for the Steelers as they maximize the tail end of Ben Roethlisberger‘s career. Allen has a cannon for an arm and great size and athleticism, though he must improve his accuracy and touch in the short game as well as his decision making that had him ranked 28th in the draft class at avoiding turnover worthy plays. Even with his accuracy issues, Allen has potential as a volatile, downfield thrower, and sitting on the bench for a year or two could be the key to unlocking his ceiling.
In a world where Ryan Shazier is still part of the Steelers’ plans for 2018, this would be an interesting option for them. Yes https://www.steelerspitzone.com/marcus-tucker-jersey-c-12.html, choosing a player who might not see the field for a least a couple of years is risky considering the linebacker corps would be thin even if Shazier was healthy. But Allen may be an impact player for years or decades to come at the most important position on the field.
The selection would also be worth mulling if Le’Veon Bell was already inked to a long term contract. He and fellow star Antonio Brown, who got his big extension last year https://www.steelerspitzone.com/eli-rogers-jersey-c-13.html, would have the potential to keep the Steelers’ championship window open well beyond Roethlisberger’s expiration date. But they’d need someone to deliver them the ball. Why not Allen after an apprenticeship under the current QB?
The Steelers don’t have either luxury, though. Shazier’s spinal injury will keep him off the field for at least one season https://www.steelerspitzone.com/demarcus-ayers-jersey-c-11.html, and Bell could be gone in 2019 if the team follows through with using its franchise tag on him this year. For that reason, it’s hard to see the front office taking on a project rather than a guy who can follow T.J. Watt and JuJu Smith Schuster in making an immediate impact.
Still, it’s an intriguing proposition to consider.