With the 173rd pick in the NFL draft the Pittsburgh Steelers select…
…Brian Allen, cornerback, University of Utah.
With Pittsburgh selecting back-to-back offensive picks, taking James Conner and then Joshua Dobbs, it was time for them to turn their focus back to defense and in particular their secondary. The Steelers achieved this with the selection of Brian Allen who comes out of Utah with 62 career tackles and five interceptions. The Steelers have now added two corners to their defensive backfield in this draft with the addition of Cam Sutton on Friday night and now Allen.
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Although Allen was only a one-year starter at Utah, he does provide interesting attributes that you don’t normally find in corners that are picked in the fifth round. He possesses both great height, measuring in at 6-feet 4-inches tall, and length, with his arms measuring in at 34 inches. Allen also has above average ball skills for a corner, especially at this point in the draft. Before playing the final 32 games of his career with Utah at corner, he originally started as a wide receiver through his sophomore season. Allen was able to turn 12 starts last year into four inceptions, which shows his ability to make plays on the ball, a skill in which the Steelers value in their corners.
One thing to keep in mind with selections on day three of the draft, is that with the exciting measurables and projections come the reasons why that player has slide this far into the draft. Allen will need further refinement in his technique, playing press coverage and tackling, as these were areas of weakness coming out of Utah. It is not uncommon for former wide receivers making the switch to corner to struggle in these areas, but Allen will need time to develop and likely will not be a part of nickel or dime packages during his rookie year. Fortunately the Steelers will most likely look to provide Allen with this time by either starting him with assignments on special teams or learning on the practice squad through 2017.
Continue to keep hitting that refresh button this afternoon as the Steelers are due up again in both the sixth and seventh rounds of the draft and the Steelers’ cover32 team will continue to have further coverage for you.