Pittsburgh Steelers Draft Watch: North Carolina WR Ryan Switzer

Let’s highlight a Steelers Draft target who could provide Antonio Brown some much needed help: North Carolina’s Ryan Switzer.

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Following the Steeler’s abysmal offensive performance against the Ravens, it is clear Pittsburgh needs some additional offense firepower. Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell cannot be tasked with carrying the whole offense every week.

The Ravens did an excellent job of containing Pittsburgh’s two main playmakers. Other than a healthy helping of garbage time catches, both Brown and Bell were confined for the entire game.

The next question is who is gonna step up and make contributions aside from Brown and Bell, with extra coverage and loaded boxes eliminating their production.

The Steelers have several intriguing options currently on their roster. Rogers has looked solid at moments, but inconsistent in others. Sammie Coates appeared to be slowly developing into one of the NFL’s best deep threats, but lately has struggled to comfortably reel in passes. Maybe even the return of Ladarius Green could somehow spark this offense?

Nevertheless, the Steelers would be wise to continue to add talent at the offensive skill positions. Notably, finding a viable slot option in the 2017 draft class should be one of their top priorities. A legitimate threat over the middle of the field would force defenses to dedicate less coverage to AB on the outside.

One possible Steelers Draft target who could help open up the Steelers offense is North Carolina WR Ryan Switzer.

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WR Ryan Switzer, North Carolina

Strengths

Many scouts may try to diminish Switzer’s abilities because he lacks prototypical size and his build doesn’t scream “NFL Athlete.” However, I can guarantee you that this guy is gonna make it at the next level. Switzer plays the game with the passion and fierceness that would make any coach proud.

Most importantly, Switzer is one of the most effective route runners in this upcoming class. Switzer has the ability to sharply explode and create separation at the stem of his routes. He uses his excellent quickness and change of direction abilities to constantly find open spots on the field.

Additionally, Switzer flashes several tricks to constantly keep defenders off balance. He displays the ability to use subtle head fakes to send defenders running into the opposite direction of his route. Also, he excellently manipulates his speed throughout his route to create separation.

Another vital component of Switzer’s game is his toughness. Despite being a smaller target, Switzer thrives over the middle. He has shown the ability to reel in contested grabs with defenders draped over him. Switzer also doesn’t shy away from contact, as he rarely runs out of bounds and he always fights for extra yardage.

Switzer also appears to have a clutch factor to his game. When scouting his tape vs. Pittsburgh, Switzer made several impressive grabs on 4th down to extend the game. He showcased the necessary concentration and body control to come down with several clutch grabs in big moments.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Weaknesses

While I noted in the previous slide that Switzer’s size shouldn’t deter his NFL dreams, it will surely limit his potential. His size limitations will surely restrict his role to the slot, where he can thrive with his quickness.

Switzer also will never be the most physically imposing player on the field. He will not clock the fastest 40-time. He will not shine in the weight room. And he surely won’t strike fear in opposing players during pre game warm ups.

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However, Switzer knows how to get open and make big plays in the open field. The Steelers should definitely consider looking at Switzer for these reasons.

Fit

Switzer’s NFL fit may be restricted to teams in need of a slot WR. Luckily, the Steelers are in need of a target to play inside and compliment their outside threats. Switzer could possibly be their man in the later rounds, as he is likely a Day 3 target.

Todd Haley would have yet another chess piece to move around with Switzer, who would perfectly compliment Antonio Brown, Sammie Coates, and hopefully Martavis Bryant on the outside.

I’d definitely recommend all Steeler fans to give Switzer a watch before the end of the College Football season. His electric playmaking abilities are a sight to watch, and he is surely a player I’d love to see in the black and gold.

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