After selecting defensive end Cameron Heyward in the first round of the 2011 NFL draft, the Steelers went on to fill their two biggest needs on Day 2.
With the 31st pick in the second round—63rd overall—the Steelers selected the big Florida offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert.
I love this pick because Gilbert can play pretty much anywhere on the offensive line, and will immediately compete for the Steelers starting right guard spot.
The Steelers could also elect to let Gilbert sit and develop for a season, and then maybe take over for Flozell Adams at right tackle next year. Honestly, I think the Steelers plan to have Gilbert start out at guard and right tackle, and then move him to left tackle for Max Starks in a few years. Do not forget that Max Starks himself started out at right tackle before moving to left tackle when the Steelers did not bring back Marvel Smith.
No matter where they decide to play Marcus Gilbert, the Steelers' offensive line just got a whole lot better for the future.
With their pick in the third round—95th overall—the Steelers got a steal, in my opinion, in Texas cornerback Curtis Brown.
Most, including me, thought that Brown would go somewhere in the early second round. However, the Steelers must have been thrilled to see him there late in the third round.
Although I am mourning the loss of Ras-I Dowling to the New England Patriots, I, again, love this pick by the Steelers.
No one knows what is going to happen with Ike Taylor due to the labor situation, and I hope Ike comes back; however, the Steelers needed to upgrade the secondary regardless.
Curtis Brown may be undersized for what the Steelers usually like in a corner, but he has great cover skills and will bring rare, good hands to the team’s secondary. Depending on what actually happens with Ike Taylor, Brown will be competing for either the starting or third corner spot. Either way, I think the Steelers will choose to go the route they usually go and have Brown contribute mainly on special teams his rookie year.
On Day 3, the Steelers will look to find more late-round gems and more depth for each position on the team.
The Steelers are having a great draft so far in my opinion, and I give them a solid A for Round 1 through Round 3.