Round 1, Pick #24-
So this off-season I put in a lot of time watching prospects, creating mock drafts and it has been fun. On April 26th I will find out just how wrong I actually am but before that this is my Final Mock draft. I am going to try and channel the spirit of Kevin Colbert and company and produce a mock draft I hope could mirror the Steelers draft come Draft day. As always I will name the prospects, give a quick analysis of the pick and my justification.
Nick Perry, OLB/DE University of Southern California-
Nick Perry is one of the pass rushing prospects that truly has that burst. He has a very good first step at 6'3" 271lbs. Perry uses his long 33" arms very well and can set the edge and hold his base well. Against some of the nations best OT he had 9.5 sacks. Unlike Courtney Upshaw Perry can play fast at 271lbs. He sees the game very well and is instinctive. In the couple of plays where he did play in a two point stance he played very well. However Perry is stiff in the ankles and struggles dropping his pads and turning the corner at that 45 degree angle from the turf. However when he decides to use his rip move he does this fairly well. Perry has good strength and can bull rush well. When Perry turns it on he is very good.
The Steelers lost James Harrison for multiple games last year and LaMarr Woodley tried to step up. Then they lost Woodley to his hamstring and the Steelers never really recovered. Unlike Worilds, Perry can hold up against the run and can rush the passer. Learning from the best I think Perry could get some playing time spelling Harrison and start after his first year. This would be a typical Steelers pick. Perry has the arm length they covet in their OLBs but he would need to give his 100% every play seems to only give like 90% every play. After watching a lot on Nick Perry I see a lot of similarities in his game to Aldon Smith.
Round 3, Pick #66- ( Trade Minnesota #66 and #98 for Steelers #56 and the opportunity to grab Mohamed Sanu after taking a CB Janoris Jenkins in the 2nd)
Brandon Brooks OG Miami Ohio-
The 6'5 246lbs Brooks is a mauler who move like a man lighter than he is. His 33" arms and 10" hands allow him to control his opposition. He benched 225lbs 36 times and is a great drive blocker. He does need to work on playing lower and keeping his feet moving but he has the size and power the Steelers scheme looks for. He fits that dancing bear moniker that a couple teams like such as the Chargers, Cardinals and Steelers.
The Steelers have never traded out of the first round but they have traded out of the second. Confident that they can get Brooks in the top of the third the Steeler make the trade.The Steelers worked out Brandon Brooks at his Pro Day. They were represented at each of his two Pro Days and brought him in as a pre draft visit. I think the Steelers really like this guy as do I and he can be a very good player in their system.
Round 3, Pick #86-
Ladarius Green, TE LaLayfette-
The 6'6" 238lbs Green is a monstrous receiving prospect. He has great physical size to go with his very long 34 1/2" arms and 10 1/8" hands. Add that to his 35" vertical jump and theoretically Green can grab a football 11ft in the air. Green is fast as well clocking a 4.47s forty yard dash and 1.62s 10 yard split. Though his route running raw Green is a big receiving threat. He is a better blocker than many give him credit for but make no mistake he is a receiving TE.
The Steelers have shown their hand that TE is a need for them. Saunders I don't think is the answer and has a four game suspension, Miller has one year left on his contract and may not be re-signed because of other important pieces in the offense, Pope is not the answer receiving wise trust me. The Steelers brought in 4 TEs for Pre Draft visits, sign Will Johnson, Leonard Pope and David Johnson. All of these to point that the Steelers are looking for that big receiving threat to complement our shorter receivers.
Round 4 Pick # 98-
Josh Chapman, NT Alabama-
Chapman fall just out of the third round because of his injury. However in the fourth the Steelers can't pass up a player who could be a solid anchor on their 3-4 front for years to come. They were hesitant to take Chapman because of his injury but he should be healthy and able to participate by the middle of the preseason and can immediately come in and play on run games. He is a smart instinctive player who was a bit over shadowed by the talent around him. However the Crimson Tide has produced some very good NT in the last few year Chapman can be one of them.
Round 4, Pick #119-
Trenton Robinson, FS Michigan State-
Robinson is just under 5'10" 197lbs he ran a 4.45 40 yard dash had a 35" vertical jump and moved well. At Michigan State he was a physical safety who also showed the ability to center field the ball. Apparently Tomlin and Colbert were salivating over Robinson who is physical enough to play SS and athletic enough to play FS.
Round 5, Pick #159-
B.J. Coleman, QB University of Tennessee Chattanooga-
B.J. Coleman impressed with his ability to lead at the East-West Shrine Game. He is 6'3" 232lbs and has a big arm. He will need to work on his accuracy but the Steelers grab him in hopes to teach him and get an eventual backup that can play if and when Roethlisberger gets injured.
Round 6, Pick # 193-
Keith Tandy, CB West Virginia-
The 5'10" 202lbs Tandy is a very physical and smart player. A former QB in high school he sees the field with both eyes. He has good short area quickness and is not afraid to separate a receiver from the ball. While Tandy doesn't have the ideal long speed his recognition and quickness translate to the slot corner in a zone scheme. Coincidentally the Steelers play a zone scheme and lost a slot corner in William Gay. Havin gon their roster currently only one CB who has the ability to play the slot (excluding Ike)the Steelers get Tandy. He fit a couple of things the Steelers like in their slot corners, he sees the field and isn't afraid to tackle or lay a hit. Tandy add versatility to play FS if needed.
Round 7, Pick # 231-
Carson Wiggs, K Purdue-
I have already banged the drum on K Greg Zuerlein but the Rams, Vikings, Browns and Bengals all have shown major interest in him, so Wiggs will be this pick. Wiggs Career long is 59 yards. Career from 50+ yards he is 6-13 which isn't bad when you consider Suisham career from 50+ is 4-11. Wiggs was 16-23 from 40-49 yards out that is just under 70%. Wiggs still needs some work on his accuracy but he has a monster leg and will be an upgrade over Suisham.
Round 7, Pick # 240-
Levy Adcock, OT Oklahoma State-
Adcock is a big OT prospect 6'6" 320lbs. He can bend at his knees and moves fluidly. Doesn't have quick feet and struggles to block in space. He is raw but physically intriguing.
Round 7, Pick #246-
Keshawn Martin, WR Michigan State-
Keshawn Martin is a 5'11" 188lbs receiver he has an explosive element to his game and a shiftiness. Is a developmental player who will need to improve his route running but has the skills to contribute on special team if needed.
Round 7, Pick #248-
Jerrell Harris, OLB/ILB Alabama-
Harris was the OLB opposite Upshaw last year but in years past he played ILB as well. At 6'2" 232lbs he is a smart prospected with good short area quickness. He can contribute on special teams immediately and is smart enough to learn the ILB in the futurean be a backup.
There you have it my last mock draft of this 2012 off-season. The first thing you are going to ask id "Why no Hightower?" I have a few reason for this. The first is that I don't believe Hightower is an every down LB in the pass happy NFL. He has looked stiff and poor in his lateral movement. The second comes from combined stories that Kevin Colbert said Stevenson Sylvester will compete for the buck and reports that Sylvester is in the best shape of his life. He dropped 15lbs and is suppose to be faster. Add that to extra film study and the fact that this is his first full off-season I think Sly will make a huge jump he should have made last off season if not for the lock out. The last reason is superstition. It kind of scares me that almost all of Steeler Nation thinks Hightower will be the pick. When that happens it usually means the Steelers are going to get someone else in my mind.
The second question you might be thinking "Why didn't you draft a running back at all?" Well I think most players on the team that are going into their third year are going to make a huge jump that they should have made last year. Dywer is included to in this. Add that to the fact he will finally come in shape to camp as he is working out with Ike Taylor's trainer Tom Shaw, a noted speed coach and keep Ike in great shape.
Go ahead and hate away. I can take it...