Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Pittsburgh Steelers [Print without images]

Tuesday, April 22, 2014
WRs dominate Mel Kiper Jr.'s top 100

By Scott Brown

PITTSBURGH -- This draft is loaded with wide receivers and Mel Kiper Jr.'s ranking of the top 100 players Insider in it is the latest affirmation of how deep and talented the position is this year.

Almost one-fifth of the players on Kiper's list are wide receivers as there are 19 of them. To put that into perspective, consider that there are 19 quarterbacks and running backs combined among Kiper's top 100 players, a list that was released on Tuesday.

There is high-end talent, as well as depth at wide receiver, as Kiper ranks eight wide receivers among his top 32 players and four of them in his top 13.

Clemson's Sammy Watkins is Kiper's highest-rated wide receiver (No. 2 overall) followed by Texas A&M's Mike Evans (No. 6), Oregon State's Brandin Cooks (No. 12) and LSU's Odell Beckham Jr. (No. 13).

The depth at wide receiver gives the Steelers flexibility if they want to address cornerback with their first-round pick.

That may be the Steelers' most glaring need and this may finally be the year that they take a cornerback with their first-round pick for the first time since 1997.

There are 11 cornerbacks among Kiper's top 100 players, though the position does not have nearly the high-end talent as some other positions, according to his rankings, including wide receiver and offensive tackle.

Kiper has only Oklahoma State's Justin Gilbert (No. 14) and Michigan State's Darqueze Dennard (No. 15) among his top 32 players. Kiper's next highest-rated cornerback is TCU's Jason Verrett at No. 37.

Based on Kiper's top 100 players, it would make a lot of sense for the Steelers to take one of the top cornerbacks with the 15th overall pick -- assuming Gilbert and/or Dennard is still available -- and wait until the second or even third round to pick a wide receiver.

The Steelers' draft board, of course, may look a lot different than Kiper's.

But it should also reflect the quality and quantity at wide receiver, a position the Steelers have had success addressing later in drafts.