ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. has the Pittsburgh Steelers taking LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. with their first pick in next month’s NFL draft.
But Kiper believes Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard is the best fit for the Steelers at No. 15 overall.
“I think the ideal pick if you’re the Steelers is Darqueze Dennard,” Kiper said during a conference call on Wednesday, via ESPN.com. “He’s a Steeler. Rough, tough, aggressive football player, plays with a chip on his shoulder, very good in coverage, plays faster than he timed. Just a whale of a football player.”
Kiper doesn’t have the Steelers taking Dennard in his latest mock draft because he believes the St. Louis Rams will select the winner of the Jim Thorpe Award in 2013, two picks ahead of Pittsburgh.
Kiper believes the 5-foot-11, 199-pound Dennard would be physical enough to provide solid run support as well as taking down opposing receivers.
“You look at that Steelers mentality, a Steelers kind of player, and I think it would be Darqueze Dennard from Michigan State,” Kiper said. “Pure football players [in the draft], he’d be on your top-10 list.”