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Steelers select defensive back, defensive tackle in second and third rounds

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Sean Davis of Maryland and Javon Hargrave of South Carolina State are the team's latest draft picks

PITTSBURGH - It was no secret the Steelers needed to stock up on defensive backs this draft. In the first two rounds, they did just that. After picking cornerback Artie Burns in the first round on Thursday, the Steelers chose 6-1, 200 lb. safety Sean Davis from Maryland with the twenty-seventh pick in the second round, pick 58 overall.

Steeler defensive back coach Carnell Lake credited Davis with the ability to play safety or cornerback as one of his strengths. Davis also had 300 tackles in college, one of the highest tackle totals in the draft this year.

“[Davis] is everything you’re looking for. His measurables match up with anybody on the board and he has the physical tools to get it done,” Lake said. “He’s a very good athlete, fast, and was very productive. He’ll provide us with a lot of depth.”

Davis feels playing both cornerback and safety in college helped his game overall. He was forced into the transition to cornerback for two reasons: the defense switched from a 3-4 to a 4-3, and the team switched from the ACC to the Big Ten.

“I know the ins and outs of both positions after seeing the game from a whole different angle. It definitely helped my football IQ,” Davis said. “My skill set is very handy. I’m big for a safety, I’m as strong as a linebacker, and I’m as fast as a corner.”

Davis is also credited as being intelligent off the field. He studied Chinese for three years in high school and previously studied French.

“Chinese is a very hard language,” Davis said. “It’s one of the most-challenging things I’ve ever done in my life.”

Lake feels Davis’ strong academics can only help when preparing to play football. He expects Davis to grasp both the strong and free safety position, and maybe cornerback down the road to provide depth.

“[Davis] is very intelligent. He made the calls at the safety position at Maryland,” Lake said. “We’re not worried about him not grasping the playbook.”

The Steelers stayed on the defensive side of the ball and took defensive lineman Javon Hargrave in the third round with pick no. 89 overall. He is a 6-2, 295 lb. senior and will play nose tackle. He did not have the grades to qualify at a division one school out of college, so he chose to go to South Carolina State, the same school where former Steeler great Donnie Shell attended.

"Coming out of high school, I didn't qualify so I had to take a different route. South Carolina State was the [school] that was working with me," Hargrave said. "I never complained. I just took the route that was made for me. I'm blessed to be in this position."

Hargrave credited his time playing on the basketball team in high school as helping him with stamina and coordination. He had 210 tackles in college including 62 tackles for loss.

Defensive line coach John Mitchell feels Hargrave can help the team out of the gate because he is versatile enough to play all three downs.
 
"He plays hard every down. He's one of the few big men can who play on third down. He had 34 sacks, He was very productive. He'll give us a new dimension," Mitchell said. "He had a good combine. When I went to South Carolina State, they told me he was one of the best players to ever play there, and Donnie Shell played there."

The draft continues on Saturday with the remaining rounds.

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