Round One, Pick 18: I've previously thought about a few players here. Sean Weatherspoonwas my first choice. His positional flexibility (OLB or ILB) is a major plus, but with Foote coming home, it seems like more of a long shot. I've wanted Dan Williams, but with the need for a NT being so high, he may not be on the board come 18th overall. Mike Iupati, the guard that most fans want, is still unrealistic to me. Kraig Urbick's name keeps coming up whenever I think about Iupati, because, quite honestly, I think he's got the inside track on this position, despite a poor showing last year in training camp. Taylor Maysis another guy who we might have taken a look at. Oh, but he can't cover. Yeah right, look at Ryan Clark and tell me Mays isn't just a bigger, faster version of Ryan. Remember that Tomlin went to the Superbowl with a safety that "couldn't cover" and only hit hard, named John Lynch. More recently I find myself leaning towards Kyle Wilson, but can't help but think that our choices at corner last year might lead us elsewhere this early this year. Earl Thomasis also in the mix, but do we take safety depth in the first round after resigning one starter and adding depth already. Depending on how the first round goes, any of these guys are good choices. Much like the Steelers front office does almost every year, I'm going to let the first round come to me. No surefire number one target, but more of a short list of guys I'd love to see in black and gold. My list, in order of importance and plausibility would go D. Williams, K. Wilson, S. Weatherpoon, M. Iupati, E. Thomas, T. Mays. Whichever one is left when I pick is my choice. Yup, kind of a cop-out, but oh well.
Alright, I'll admit it, I've never really done a mock draft, and to be honest, I'm not always a fan of mocks at all. Of course, there are many great mocks around, both here and over at Mocking the Draft, which is another SBN site I just found and love. But last night, I got an overwhelming feeling to do one, so, this is my ideal Steelers draft, as I see it, right now. I have guys I'd like to take in certain spots, but depending on how everything goes, I have back up plans in place, because you just never know. I tried to stay true to what it is I thought the Steelers do come draft time. Pick for tomorrow, always keeping a keen eye for today.
Round Two, Pick 52: Tyson Alualu- DE- California- Tyson is the type of player that the Steelers covet. Great work ethic, tough, strong , non stop motor, and is a good guy from all accounts. Our scouts mentioned him at the Senior Bowl, and I liked everything I saw from the combine and from the tape I've seen of him. This will continue the youthmovement along the defensive line, paired with Ziggy, and spelled by Sonny, we may have the rotation of young linemen we will need in the near future. Other players I have thought about here include Chris Cook (Depends on first round pick and number of corners taken to this point), Joe McKnight (A better compliment to Mendenhallthan most other options, but may be gone by now), and Jeff Owens (Undersized for the nose, too short for end, but his strength and leverage are great, maybe a project nose tackle).
Round Three, Pick 82: Chris Cook- CB- Virginia- This was a tough one. I thought about Cook for the second round, as I've seen him mocked that high, but with the crop of true corners coming out, I think most teams looking for one will have gotten theirs by now. Cook was a safety in college, but shows the ability to be a corner, and also provides some flexibility as he also has played safety. He has the size and agility, but his speed in coverage is in question. He could eventually step up and be the next corner in our progression to youth at that position. Other players I thought of here include Kam Chancellor (Maybe too early for Kam, but he would provide good depth), Vlad Ducasse (OT or OG, big bruiser of a linemen) and Brandon Spikes (He'd be really hard to pass up if still available here, he's got buck backer written all over him and would provide a good compliment to Timmons for the future).
Round Four, Pick 113: Myron Rolle- S- Oxford University by way of Florida State- The hype machine got going pretty early on Myron, as his unique situation allowed for many to single him out in the crowd. Myron never showed incredible skill in college, though he wasn't a scrub either (Get it, scrub. He wants to be a surgeon?) A year away from football raises red flags, having aspirations away from the game raises more, he won't go much earlier than the fourth in my opinion. This is where I'd also take Sam Young (Right tackle only, but solid player none the less, he could prove to be a Colon Blow), Jimmy Graham (TE project, Arians, come out and play), or Toby Gerhart (Steelers type back).
Round Five, Pick 152: Ed Wang- OT- Va Tech- Ed played tackle in college, and tight end before that. His athleticism and strength could provide a little depth to our line, as I believe he can play guard as well in the NFL. (I wouldn't be surprised to see a few more quality linemen available here, as last year's big time guard prospects fell this far too, there may be a better value lineman available, but who I don't know.)
Round Five, Pick 164 (Compensatory): LaGarrette Blount- HB- Oregon- Power back that the Steelers have interviewed, so there is some interest. Maturity issues have plagued Blount for some time, and his work ethic has been questioned. This is a pick the Steelers have to feel very safe making, if they make it at all. I've seen him interviewed recently, and if my questions were answered as honestly as he seemed to answer the reporters, I would take him. (This would also be a good spot to go defensive again, possibly a corner or safety, depending on who's left.)
Round Five, Pick 166 (Compensatory): Jarrett Brown- QB- West Virginia- Jarrett only started one season at WVU, but his skills are impressive. Strong arm and good mobility, but he will need some work. I saw him play first hand two seasons ago, when he filled in for an injured Pat White against Syracuse, and he was impressive. Batch is close to gone, Dixon's contract is close to up. We may need a guy like Brown. Worst case scenario, we can stash him on the practice squad for a while.
Round Six, Pick 189: Brody Eldridge- TE- Oklahoma-Brody is a terrificblocker, who spent time at guard and center. He is limited in his receiving ability, but as a blocker and maybe long snapper, he is well worth the pick.
Round Seven, Pick 226: Freddie Barnes- WR- Bowling Green- Easily the most productive WR in college football, he is being knocked for not being speedy and not being overly athletic. Sounds similar to another WRwe currently have on our roster. Perhaps a year on the practice squad, and a year of working with a very smiley pass catcher, and we may have something special.
Round Seven, Pick 242 (Compensatory): Jason Worilds- DE- Va Tech- Jason has never played OLB, but he will be in the NFL. His lack of playing time will cost him come draft day, but his abilities as a player could come in very handy, should we need an additional pass rusher. (He could easily be gone by now, but let's face it, this late in the process any pick is a long shot, so I kind of went with a guy I'd like to see as a fan of both teams, Hokies and Steelers.)
Alright, like I said, this is all new territory for me, so please, be kind. Let me know where you think I'm off, where I have players rated too high, and where I have players rated too low. Would this be a draft that you'd like to see?