I appreciate all of those of y'all who have submitted mocks in the fanposts section. All informative and entertaining as we count the final days down to the draft. For a few select folks who have been posting rigorously here about the draft for multiple years, their final mocks are deserving of a front page gander by all. Let's take a look at what BMF thinks during the final week of educated speculation. - Blitz-
I never got to finish my draft value charts because of a few changes around here (a new house and some travel for work), but here's my mock draft. I'm shooting for "optimistic, yet plausible", since that's how good drafts usually work - if you're not getting good values at your spot, you're not drafting right. Anyway, tell me what you think.
1. Vontae Davis CB, Illinois - I like Butler the most of all the late first round DB's, but him falling here might be a little too optimistic. Davis has some question marks, but he's a better athlete and has the speed to eventually take Ike Taylor's role. They brought him in instead of Butler, so they must not be too turned off by the attitude questions.
Also, this is a complete hunch, but I have a weird feeling that we could be targeting Evander Hood for a trade-up in the first. He's too much of a perfect fit as a Steelers DE for us NOT to have brought him in for a visit. I doubt it will actually happen, but I will be accepting pats on the back if it does.
Other possibilities: Hood, Butler, Britton, Wood
(Rounds 2-7 after the break)
2. Fili Moala DE/DT, USC - Of all the defensive linemen in the draft, I think Moala has the best chance to end up as a Steeler. Much like Aaron Smith, he's strong and hard working, and he has the athleticism to work his way down the line and make the tackle. We brought him in for a visit, and I could even see us packaging a 5th to make sure we get him in the second. He could step into the rotation right away and solidify the future of the line.
Other possibilities: Meredith, Mickens, Byrd
3. Antione Caldwell C, Alabama - Based on how I see this draft working out, we're most likely to take an OL in the third. Unless we trade our pick or someone falls a lot, there will probably be better values at other positions in the first and second. I really like Caldwell as a potentially dominant force in the middle - NFL Draft Scout likens him to Jeff Hartings for what that's worth. He doesn't fit in great with the zone blocking system, but neither do any of our current OL's or most of the prospects we brought in. I have no idea if they're going to keep using the "zone blocking with man blockers" system they have in place or if they'll finally admit we're only ever going to be a running team, but they sure haven't hinted that they're looking at pass blockers.
Other possibilities: Cadogan, Kropog, Levitre
4. Roy Miller DT, Texas - Despite playing for Texas, having good production and game tape, and putting up outstanding workout numbers, Roy Miller has been largely under the radar. I've seen projections with him in the 6th or 7th, but he won't actually last that long. He might even be worth a 3rd rounder. Maybe he needs to gain some excess weight and take plays off to get noticed. Anyway, he's a legitimate NT candidate with good upper and lower body strength, a squatty Hamptonesque frame that can anchor against the double team, and good initial quickness to win the leverage battle. If the draft played out as I'm suggesting, I'd be the most excited about this pick.
5a. Andrew Gardner OT, Georgia Tech - At some point, we need to draft an OT, so here we go. Gardner is a pretty good athlete who plays hard. I'm not sure he's enough of an athlete to be a long term solution at LT, but he could be decent on the right or as a backup. We could go with Lydon Myrtha, who is a great athlete with a long history of minor injuries, but I think we play it safer and get Gardner here.
5b. Mike Wallace WR, Mississippi - Now that Nate Washington has developed to the point where he could actually start somewhere, it's time to draft another unfinished track star who can frustrate us for a few years and leave once he gets good. This pick might be one of my more optimistic, and I wouldn't be shocked if he was selected in the 4th - even by us. He has those workout numbers that drive GM's bananas.
6. Dan Gronkowski TE, Maryland - Gronkowski is a good blocker and the Steelers could use a good blocking TE if they're going to keep running out of 2 TE sets. He also has decent athleticism and hands, so he could make us forget about the Matt Spaeth experiment if we drafted him. He reminds me a bit of Jerame Tuman.
7a. Zach Potter DE, Nebraska - He may not make it to our 7th rounders, but if he did, he'd finish the transformation of our DL. He looks like a Keisel-type who could really make his mark as a backup and special teamer. Hopefully he could help rid us of guys like Paxson and Roye.
7b. Andrew Hartline OT, Central Michigan - Hartline is a pretty good athlete who needs some work. He could hang onto the practice squad or even the inactive roster for a year while he gets bigger and hopefully contribute his sophmore season. We could use some more upside on our OL.