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Pittsburgh Steelers: NFL Draft recap

The Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t take many risks with their picks in the 2017 NFL Draft.

The Steelers did what they always do: take a linebacker with the first pick, focus primarily on their defense and sprinkle some offensive weapons someone among the rounds.

With their first pick, which was No. 30 overall in the first round, the Steelers selected T.J. Watt, a linebacker from the University of Wisconsin.

Yes, the last name should ring a bell. T.J. is the brother of Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt.

Watt recorded 70 combined tackles, 11.5 sacks and one interception in 22 games at Wisconsin. He also recorded two forced fumbles as well.

At the NFL Combine, Watt ran a 4.69 40-yard dash time.

In the second round, with the No. 62 overall pick, the Steelers selected JuJu Smith-Schuster from the University of Southern California.

The wide receiver caught 213 passes for 3,092 yards, while totaling 25 touchdowns. He also appeared on special teams, recording 185 yards on 16 kickoffs.

Also in the second day of the NFL Draft, the Steelers selected cornerback Cameron Sutton from the University of Tennessee with the No. 94 overall pick. However, more poignant was the Steelers No. 104 overall pick selection. The Steelers picked James Conner, the University of Pittsburgh running back.

At Pitt, Connor appeared in 39 games. He was forced to miss some time due to a cancer diagnosis. However, Conner fought back, and finished his college career with 3,733 rushing yards and 56 total touchdowns. 52 of those touchdowns came on the ground.

In the third day, the Steelers selected Joshua Dobbs, a quarterback from the University of Tennessee. Also being selected were Brian Allen, a defensive back from University of Utah, Colin Holba, a long snapper from the University of Louisville, and Keion Adams, a linebacker from Western Michigan.

Other players to sign a free agent/future deal were Nelson Adams (Mississippi State), Ethan Cooper (Indiana University of Pennsylvania), Francis Kallon (Georgia Tech), Keith Kelsey (Louisville), Scott Orndoff (University of Pittsburgh), Terrish Webb (University of Pittsburgh), Rushel Shell (West Virginia University), Christian Brown (West Virginia University) and Nick Schuessler (Clemson).

 

Photo of T.J. Watt courtesy of Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire.

Follow @RachaelMcKriger on Twitter for all Steelers coverage.

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Rachael McKriger
Sports Journalist

Rachael McKriger writes for RSEN Report (Lead Editor), Pittsburgh Sports Castle (Content Editor), Mon Goals and W2M Network, in addition to being a sports stringer/reporter for the Mon Valley Independent newspaper.

A senior of California Univ. of Pennsylvania, you can follow her on Twitter, @RachaelMcKriger, where you can find all of her articles. Search “McKriger Photography” on Facebook, to see her photos.


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