Adam Crowley

Adam Crowley

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Predicting when the Steelers draft picks will play

I think the Steelers had a fabulous draft. They got a playmaker at their biggest position of need. They got a corner with outstanding upside who doesn't have to play right away. Here's how I think each player will contribute this year and beyond:

1.)Devin Bush: Will earn some first team snaps in OTA’s and MiniCamp. Will win the starting job officially in training camp.

2.)Diontae Johnson: Juju didn’t start making a big impact until just before the bye week two years ago. Martavis Bryant didn’t play until after week 6 in 2014. I would imagine that Johnson will have some time to work into the thing. May even not get a helmet until a quarter of the way through the season. Here’s betting he makes some plays in the second half of the year. It is possible that he makes an impact before then if he can separate himself as a return man.

3.)Justin Layne: The Steelers are set at corner. Steven Nelson took the ball away 4 times last year for the Chiefs. The Steelers desperately need turnovers. Both he and Joe Haden will start on the outside. Justin Layne isn’t a slot guy, plus the Steelers have a few options there in Cam Sutton and Mike Hilton. If Justin Layne can make himself useful on special teams, he can get a helmet in week 1 against the Patriots. If he’s playing defensive snaps this year, it’s probably bad news.

4.)Benny Snell: Will fight with Jaylen Samuels as the backup for James Conner. If track record is any indication then Snell will have to fill in for an injured Conner at some point this season. I think that he will overtake Samuels as the primary #2 running back.

5.)Zach Gentry: This isn’t the dude who banged Arya Stark in Game of Thrones. Side note: Gendry may want to be careful there. I think he is a lock to make this roster given how thin the Steelers are at tight end. Pittsburgh loves to use two-TE sets. I think we could see a good deal of him.

6.)Sutton Smith: He had 29 sacks in the last two years, and 1,000 (exaggeration) tackles for loss. He is suited to play OLB in the Steelers scheme and could potentially be a big-time special teams player. I bet he makes the roster at a position where Pittsburgh doesn’t have a lot of depth.

7.)Isaiah Buggs: The Steelers have had Daniel McCullers on scholarship for far too long. Maybe Buggs can push him off the roster. I wouldn’t count on it.

The other two have less of a chance to make the club, in my opinion.

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