As we get closer to the NFL draft, the field of potential candidates for the Steelers to take in the first round has narrowed.  At this point we have a pretty good idea this team will be taking a quarterback.  Having said that, if quarterback somehow doesn’t work out there are other positions of need.  With all that in mind, here is our attempt to guess the Steelers first round pick in five tries:

5.  Kyle Hamilton S, Notre Dame:

Kyle Hamilton lasting until pick 20 isn’t as crazy as you think.  Derwin James lasted until pick 17 to the Chargers, and he actually killed it at the combine.  Hamilton’s slow 40 time at the combine, and even slower showing at his Pro-Day may have him sliding down draft boards.  Kevin Colbert did attend the Notre Dame Pro-Day, and the team had Hamilton in for a visit.  If this player falls to 20, the Pittsburgh Steelers will have quite a decision on their hands if they truly are determined to take a quarterback.

4.  Daxton Hill S, Michigan:

To call Daxton Hill just a safety does not do him justice.  He is a Swiss Army knife type of player in the secondary.  He can play either safety spot, slot corner, and some believe he can even be a very good outside corner.  Both Tomlin and Colbert were at the Michigan Pro-Day making Hill a very viable candidate.

3.  Matt Corral QB, Mississippi:

We have now entered the quarterback portion of this post.  It is overwhelmingly obvious that the Pittsburgh Steelers intend on taking quarterback in the first round.  Matt Corral is a very interesting prospect at this position.  He has a lightning quick release, above average arm strength, and the mobility that this team now looks for at the position.  As with all the big five quarterbacks, Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin were at Corral’s Pro-Day.

2. Desmond Ridder QB, Cincinnati:

Desmond Ridder is quickly becoming our 1A choice for the Steelers first round pick.  He is the tallest of all the top five quarterbacks, and by far the most successful in terms of wins.  Then there’s’ the link we uncovered between Jordan Palmer clients and the Steelers which you can read about here: The Jordan Palmer/Steelers connection one to watch heading into the draft

If the Steelers decide to stand pat at 20, Desmond Ridder could very well be the choice.  He is a solid, if not spectacular prospect who’s best comp might be Marcus Mariota.  Ridder is far less fragile than Mariota making him a better prospect.  He may actually be a very good fit in Matt Canada’s offense.

1.  Malik Willis QB, Liberty:

We have maintained throughout the process that Malik Willis would be a strong candidate to be the Steelers first round pick.  Should the Steelers draft Malik Willis to be their next quarterback?   The only thing preventing this from happening is Willis being taken before Pittsburgh is able to select.  This brings up the interesting topic on whether or not Kevin Colbert would be willing to trade up far enough to get the Liberty quarterback.  The safest spot would be to trade up to five, and get ahead of the quarterback needy Carolina Panthers.  That would require a hefty haul including next year’s number one pick.  This team has traded up for safeties and linebackers in the past drafts so there is precedent.  We predict a big move from this team on draft night to secure Malik Willis as the future Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback.