Random Mocks...
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Author:  Steelafan77 [ Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:31 am ]
Post subject:  Random Mocks...

Round 1, 28th Overall: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama

Obviously the Steelers hope Ryan Shazier can make a full recovery and return to the football field. But the team shouldn’t expect anything at this point. Whether Shazier’s playing career is over or not, the Steelers need to address the inside linebacker spot. While I don’t expect Rashaan Evans to last this long on draft night, if he does the Steelers should run to the podium and announce the pick themselves. Evans ability to blitz combined with his desire to create contact remind some of C.J. Mosley. For a Steelers defense that loves to blitz their linebackers, Evans is an ideal fit.

Round 2, 60th Overall: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

Now before all of Twitter screams at me on how stupid this pick is, let me remind everyone that we have seen crazy things happen on draft night. Personally, I think Lamar Jackson is a top 40 pick at quarterback and should go in the first round on draft night. However, in this mock draft he falls to the bottom of the second round. While Ben Roethlisberger wants to play at least three more years, he only has two more years on his current contract and will turn 36 in a few weeks. On top of his age, Roethlisberger played in every game this season for only the fifth time in his 14 year career; his injury history can’t be ignored. Jackson would give the Steelers their heir apparent at quarterback while having at least two years to develop before having to start.

Round 3, 92nd Overall: DeShon Elliott, SAF, Texas

Despite the recent report by ESPN’s Field Yates that the Steelers have created a little over $13 million in cap by reworking a couple of players deals, they are now expected to have just $7.6 million dollars in cap space. However, if they release J.J. Wilcox they can save an additional $3.2 million. With Mike Mitchell turning 31 in June and entering the last year of his deal, the Steelers could release him and save another $5 million. As a junior at Texas, DeShone Elliot broke out and finished tied for fourth in the country with six interceptions, thanks to his strong mix of range, instincts, and ball skills. Elliott could be a cheap replacement for Mitchell either this year or next.

Round 5, 150th Overall (from 49ers): Quenton Meeks, CB, Stanford

The cornerback play for the Steelers was good to start out the 2017 season. However, as the season went on, the cornerback play dipped dramatically. Joe Haden missed time with an injury while Artie Burns had his ups and down. While Haden did play well for the team last season, he has a long history of injuries and the team can save $10 million against the cap by releasing him with a post-June first designation. Starting nickel back Williams Gay is in the last year of his deal and is 33 years old. Adding some youth and size to the cornerback group would be a good idea, and former Stanford CB Quenton Meeks is a great option to do just that.

Round 5, 167th Overall: Ian Thomas, TE, Indiana

Ever since Health Miller retired, the Steelers haven’t had a difference maker at tight end. While the combination Jesse James and Vance McDonald is nice, James is in the last year of his rookie deal and the Steelers can save $4.3 million against the cap by releasing McDonald. I would be shocked to see McDonald back with the Steelers next season at that $4.3 million dollar price. Ian Thomas is more of a wide receiver playing in a tight ends body, but he would bring a new wrinkle to the Steelers high-powered offense.

Round 7, 220th Overall (from Giants): Jake Wieneke, WR, South Dakota State

The Steelers are arguably the best team in the league at drafting and developing wide receivers. Antonio Brown was drafted in the sixth round, Martavis Bryant in the fourth and Eli Rodgers was an undrafted free agent. However, only Brown and Smith-Schuster are currently under contract for the 2019 season. Jake Wieneke is a little-known prospect but can offer the Steelers something they lack at wide receiver; size. Bryant is the only Steelers receiver taller than 6’1” while Wieneke measured in at the East-West Shrine game at 6’4”. When you get down to this portion of the draft, you just have to find players who do whatever it takes to win.

Round 7, 246th Overall: Nyheim Hines, RB, N.C. State

Just because it is the seventh round it doesn’t mean you can sleep on these guys. Nyheim Hines is an extremely quick and shifty running back who can also be used as a slot receiver and has experience returning kicks. Hines is a dangerous open field play maker who will give the Steelers an excellent chess piece weapon on offense, who can also help a special teams unit that ranked 29th in the league on average yards per kick return. ... ock-draft/

Author:  Steelafan77 [ Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Random Mocks...

1-Rashaan Evans | LB | Alabama
If the Steelers are going to draft a linebacker to sub in for Ryan Shazier they need to do it early. The Steelers could be banking on Alabama’s Rashaan Evans falling to No. 28 because other than Roquan Smith there isn’t another inside linebacker in this class that would be plug and play like Evans.

2-Marcus Allen | S | Penn State
Some mock drafts have the Steelers taking Penn State safety Marcus Allen in the first round. While that pick wouldn’t be a bad one if he slid to the second round he would be a huge bargain. He’s a ballhawk and exceptional tackler who would look great in the secondary next to Sean Davis.

3-Uchenna Nwosu | LB | USC
Even though the Steelers have devoted significant resources into the outside linebacker position, they aren’t done. The Steelers took the pass-rushing responsibilities off of the outside backers last season in part because of their struggles. If they could get a player like USC’s Uchenna Nwosu he could give them a guy that can line up and rush the passer.

5-Tim Settle | DT | Virginia Tech
If Virginia Tech defensive tackle Tim Settle lasts until the fifth round the Steelers need to sprint to the podium. His measurables might push him down but make no mistake he’s a massive man who can anchor the middle as well as rush the passer.

5-Brandon Facyson | CB | Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech’s Brandon Facyson looks the part of a starting boundary cornerback. He has a long, lean frame with long arms. He also has the makings of some solid coverage skills. He reminds a lot of Brian Allen, who the Steelers took late in the 2017 NFL draft. Another project player but well worth a chance this late.

6-John Kelly | RB | Tennessee
Even if the Steelers bring Le’Veon Bell back, there is still a need for another running back. Guys like Stevan Ridley and Fitzgerald Toussaint are ok but neither inspire confidence. Even James Conner who is recovering from knee surgery might not be able to carry the load. But Tennessee’s John Kelly has the potential to be a special player in the league with his physical running style.

7-Marcus Baugh | TE | Ohio State
Yes, it is a Steelers draft so somewhere late in the picks they have to draft a tight end. Ohio State tight end Marcus Baugh has some interesting physical gifts but he will struggle to make the final roster. ... ock-draft/

Author:  jebrick [ Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Random Mocks...

I would hate to get a QB in this draft but getting Jackson in rd 2 would be doable. Unfortunately, after Jackson, the rest of the draft is crap.

Author:  Ice [ Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Random Mocks...

I think I'd be a lot happier with Elliot in the 3rd than I would be with Allen in the second. Jackson might be an interesting situational piece as a "slash" player, but that's a bit of a luxury pick with the needs on defense. I'd be really pleased with a pass rusher at that 2nd rounder, Elliot in the 3rd.

Author:  Steelafan77 [ Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Random Mocks...

In the first one Wieneke and Hines I like. I just don't know that they'll fall to those rounds. No on Jackson. Second one was a lot better to me.

Author:  Scunge [ Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Random Mocks...

I get so tired of sites that say hey the Steelers need a safety, and look here is a kid from Penn State, and then mock us taking Marcus Allen. It is lazy, it is stupid.

I want no part of Allen by the way, to me he is DND.
He might be lucky to crack 4.65 in the 40, he also has no ballskills, no hands, 1 career INT in 52 career games??? Was that a typo? Was that supposed to be 11 INTs in 52 games? No, I just checked only one career interception.

This guy is strictly an in the box safety, an old school SS who will be beaten like a drum in coverage. He would have had a fine career playing in the late 80s but it is 2018.

Author:  Ice [ Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Random Mocks...

I have to agree with you and B2B on Allen, Scunge. I watch a lot of Big Ten football during the regular season, and Allen never really stood out to me. Went back and rewatched a little bit, and I still don't see anything special that would be an upgrade over what we already have on the roster.

Author:  jebrick [ Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Random Mocks...

For safety, I hope they target Jessie Bates from Wake Forest. Very good ball skills. Weakness is tackling.

Author:  Charles Demarr [ Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Random Mocks...

I like Watts and Edmunds.

Author:  Steelafan77 [ Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Random Mocks...

The Steelers figure to make upgrading at linebacker a top priority this offseason and one player who continues to shoot up draft boards is South Carolina State standout Darius Leonard.

Leonard is a long, rangy linebacker who turned a lot of heads with his performance at the Senior Bowl in Mobile. In his final season at South Carolina State, Leonard registered 114 tackles and 8.5 sacks en route to MEAC Defensive Player of the Year honors. At 6-foot-2, 229 pounds, Leonard doesn’t have great size but he more than makes up with it with his outstanding speed and athletic ability.

Despite playing at a small school, Leonard has plenty of experience playing against top-level FBS competition, as some of his best games during his Bulldogs career came against teams like UCF and Clemson. Leonard seems like just the type of player who could explode onto the national radar with an impressive performance at the Combine and his athletic profile bodes well for a selection at this range in the first round. If Leonard isn’t the selection, expect the Steelers to take a long look at UTSA’s Marcus Davenport if he’s still on the board.

It helps that the Steelers may also be familiar with the Bulldogs star after taking former teammate Javon Hargrave with the team’s third-round pick in the 2016 Draft. After getting great production out of 2017 top pick T.J. Watt on the edge, the addition of Darius Leonard inside would go a long way towards replacing the athleticism in the linebacking corps that is now lacking with the absence of Ryan Shazier.

The Steelers continue with the defensive trend in round two with one of the most athletic edge prospects in the class, Miami’s Chad Thomas.

Thomas (6-foot-5, 277 pounds) registered 11+ sacks in each of his final two seasons with the Hurricanes and figures to hear his name called on Day 2 of the draft. He is able to use his outstanding length (34-inch arm length) and is one of the most fluid athletes for the position in this class.

There are still some raw elements to Thomas’ game but with the recent hire of Alabama defensive line coach Karl Dunbar to the same position with Pittsburgh, there are plenty of reasons to believe that Thomas’ potential can be unlocked once he reaches the NFL level. A potential combination of T.J. Watt and Thomas on the edge seems awfully enticing proposition for defensive coordinator Keith Butler and a Steelers defense who finished first in the NFL in sacks in 2017.

Perhaps even more interesting than Thomas’ talents on the field are his musical talents off the field. If all goes well for Thomas and the Steelers, we could eventually see a 21st century version of the “Super Bowl Shuffle.”

Safety Mike Mitchell could wind up as a cap casualty this offseason and if that happens, expect Pittsburgh to look for an upgrade at safety within the first three rounds.

West Virginia standout Kyzir White (brother of former Bears’ first-round pick Kevin White) is an extremely athletic safety with great size for the position. White excels at playing downhill and loves to punish ball carriers in the middle of the field, especially when playing in the box. In addition to his play on the field, White is also a leader in the locker room, serving as the Mountaineers’ team captain during his senior season.

White probably isn’t as athletically gifted from a numbers standpoint as his brother Kevin and doesn’t have the range as a center fielder that you may desire in a free safety. Because he’s such a big hitter, he can also tend to get sloppy in his tackling technique and fail to wrap up, but his size and lower leg drive tend to make up for that in most situations.

Even if the Steelers decide to keep Mitchell for 2018, both he and backup safety JJ Wilcox will be unrestricted free agents after next season. The team will count on the continued development of Sean Davis in his third season and adding a player like Kyzir White in the third round will undoubtedly give them one of the best young safety tandems in the NFL.

The long-term future of Ben Roethlisberger will be discussed quite a bit over the next several months and all of that discussion will have an impact on whether or not they select a quarterback in 2018. Even if Big Ben sees a contract extension, Landry Jones will be an unrestricted free agent following next season, so it stands to reason that the Steelers could look for a late-round developmental quarterback.

After taking over for former first-rounder Paxton Lynch, Memphis’ Riley Ferguson (6-foot-2, 196 pounds) established himself as one of the best quarterbacks in the American Athletic Conference. With fellow draft prospect Anthony Miller serving as his top target, Ferguson passed for 70 total touchdowns and just 19 interceptions over the past two seasons as the Tigers’ starting quarterback.

Ferguson’s durability due to a lanky build may be a concern and his disappointing weigh-in at the Shrine Game (he was listed at 6-foot-4, 210 pounds) certainly didn’t do him any favors. He’s got enough arm strength but has an extremely long release that will have to be corrected for him to have a chance at a future starting gig in the NFL.

He’s going to be a project but with Big Ben and Landry Jones in place for the time being, the Steelers can afford to take a flyer on a prospect like Ferguson in the hopes he turns into a late-round gem.

You can never have enough cornerback depth and I would expect Pittsburgh to explore the possibility of adding a corner late in this draft if the opportunity presents itself.

Wallace weighs in at just 176 pounds but possesses outstanding length with 33 3/8-inch arms. He turned himself into a valuable member of a loaded Crimson Tide secondary, logging three interceptions in 2017, including one that went for a pick-six against Ole Miss.

The aforementioned hire of Karl Dunbar gives the Steelers a nice intel pipeline into the Alabama profile and could pounce on the opportunity to draft a player from the Tide defense at some point during this draft.

The Steelers have scouted big wide receivers fairly aggressive during this draft cycle and with Martvais Bryant scheduled to hit free agency after next season, it’s highly likely that they use another pick on the position in the later rounds.

Georgia’s Javon Wims (6-foot-4, 215 pounds) has excellent size for the position and does a great job at leaping and high-pointing the football. He racked up 720 yards and seven touchdowns this season for the Bulldogs and should be an interesting name to watch at the Combine, where I expect him to post some impressive numbers, particularly in the vertical jump. ... -rounds/4/

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