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October 19 2017, 11:44 | Irvin Gilbert
Conner set an Atlantic Coast Conference record by scoring 56 touchdowns during his abbreviated career at Pitt, including 16 last season during his emotional comeback from the stunning cancer diagnosis on Thanksgiving in 2015 that threatened to end his career before it really began.
The Pittsburgh Steelers 2017 NFL Draft is in and we now get to see how each one will impact the team.
Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst - who previously coached at Pitt - reached out to the Steelers and asked them to gauge Watt's potential as an early entrant in the draft.
Sutton is the first Tennessee defensive back to be selected in the NFL Draft since 2010 when the Kansas City Chiefs picked Eric Berry with the fifth overall selection.
The Pittsburgh Steelers selected the Wisconsin linebacker with the 30th overall pick of the draft on Thursday.
Watt earned first-team All-American honors by ESPN.com and Sports Illustrated, with second-team All-American selections by the Associated Press, CBS Sports, and Fox Sports. Watt is not massive; he measured 6'4, 252 pounds with 21 bench reps at the National Football League combine.
PITTSBURGH-James Conner is staying in the Steel City. This is a player that a lot of experts had pegged as a flawless fit for the Steelers.
At the edge-rusher position, the Pitts need to prep for the consequent departures of linebackers James Harrison and Arthur Moats.
The Steelers waited to address their biggest need, the secondary, until the third round when selecting Cameron Sutton from Tennessee. "Smith-Schuster gives Ben Roethlisberger 6'2" target alongside Antonio Brown, immediately challenging Martavis Bryant, Sammie Coates, Eli Rogers, and Cobi Hamilton for touches.
The Steelers have a few other outside linebackers who are interesting but flawed. Seventh rounder Keion Adams doesn't make the team in this scenario because when seventh rounders contribute, you've drafted better than okay. The former "Volt" has great instincts and only fell so far down the draft because of previous injuries.
Sutton is the second defensive player in three picks by the Steelers.
James Connor is a hometown pick and a smart one as well. Conner, who has an incredible story after overcoming Hodgkin's lymphoma, offers a complement to Bell with his downhill running style. Anyone with that kind of fight and willpower will be an asset for any team. Markus Wheaton spent most of 2016 hurt then left for Chicago in free agency. Allen converted from wide receiver in 2014 and only started for one season at cornerback at Utah. That's why Tennessee's Joshua Dobbs, in the fourth round, was a ideal pick. They didn't make a befuddling trade up to draft a quarterback like the Chicago Bears. J.J. added, "He has such good instincts, such a good nose for the ball - he's a natural playmaker".