The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Lawrence Timmons, outside linebacker out of Florida State, with the 15th pick.
What the Experts Say:
- Rick Gosselin’s Final Ranking: 15th overall
- Mel Kiper Final Ranking: 15th overall
- Scout.com Final Ranking: 29th Overall
Player Evaluation: Standing out in his first year as a defensive starter, Timmons offers outstanding size, speed and potential. Would have been an early draft pick if he returned to college for another season, yet will be a future starter once he fully develops his football skills.
STRENGTHS: Aggressiveness, Athleticism, Change of Direction
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Discipline, Instincts
Biography: Moved into the starting unit last season and burst on the scene with career-best tackling numbers of 79/18/5. Played behind former first-round pick Ernie Sims the previous season, also seeing extensive time on special teams.
Pos: Athletic defender who forces the action anywhere on the field. Easily defeats blocks, is fast to the sidelines and cuts off the corners. Quickly changes direction, displays skill in pursuit and rarely is off his feet. Explosive up the field in run defense and is effective on the blitz. Easily runs downfield with tight ends in coverage. Aggressively puts his shoulders into ball carriers to make the tackle.
Neg: Not efficient, and takes improper angles to the action. Hesitant and does not display top instincts.
Joey Porter’s reign over Pittsburgh ended during the offseason and there is no heir apparent on the roster, so the Steelers are desperate need of getting an edge rusher that can make an immediate impact. Timmons should be just the man for the job since he has the burst to turn the corner, athletic ability to develop an arsenal of pass rushes and the closing speed to quickly get to the quarterback. He won’t make as much of an impact dropping into coverage and defending the run but he should hold his own when asked to drop into coverage and he should chase plenty of backs down from behind. And if indeed the Steelers transition to a 4-3 defense at some point, Timmons is versatile enough to move to weak-side linebacker.
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