This is a risky pick.
Curtis Brown was a special teams star as a rookie, but his contributions on defense were virtually nonexistent. That should change this year.
I think that he will put up a serious fight to be the nickelback and he could push Cortez Allen down the depth chart if he shows up well in camp and the preseason.
Brown has big-play potential—something the Steelers sorely lack in their cornerbacks.
Ike Taylor is great at defending receivers. Keenan Lewis has some big-play potential that we’ve already discussed and could be a solid starter.
Brown is the guy who has the most potential for splash plays. If he can show that, keeping him off the field won’t be an option.
I’m not predicting Brown as a Pro Bowl corner or starter, but I think he’ll make the leap from defensive afterthought to valuable cog in Dick LeBeau’s system. He can do that as a nickel, especially in a conference with so many great quarterbacks and receivers.