With the season all but over for the Steelers, Here is my first Steelers Mock Draft. Hope you enjoy.
CB Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State
With our Secondary once again an issue for the Steelers this season, much like it was back in 2007, CB could become a serious issue in the near future. Ike Taylor is going to be 34 and he will carry a $11 Million+ cap hit next season. Cortez Allen meanwhile has still not broken out like people thought he would. William Gay is a good Nickle CB, but he shouldn't be counted on to start.
Dennard is a classic cover CB who is at his best re-routing WRs at the LOS. That could help out our Defense in a big way. Ike is a CB who is good at hanging with a WR, but usually has to play off of a WR now that his best days are behind him. Cortez Allen is more of a NB than a true #1 CB as well. Dennard could bring in a new era of coverage scheme for the Steelers that could not only protect against big plays, but cause more turnovers in the secondary, which fits in with today's NFL.
Spartan Highlights - Darqueze Dennard (2010-2012) (via Pietrang5)
Alternate Picks: WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M, DE Stephon Tuitt, Notre Dame, DT Ra'Shede Hageman, Minnesota, ILB C.J. Mosely, Alabama, OT Cameron Erving, Florida State
FS Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State
Once again, the Steelers are going secondary here. Our biggest issue this season was giving up big plays in the secondary. Ryan Clark has always been a safety-net for Troy's reckless style of play, but he has never been confused with a ball-hawk. He was a head-hunter. Simple as that. He is also a free agent and is likely not going to be brought back. Some may say bringing in a 2nd Round Pick to start immediately is irresponsible, but I am not prepared to have Will Allen or Robert Golden as our starter.
Joyner is a bit on the smallish side at 5'8" 190 lbs, but he is a natural ball hawk with excellent instincts and diagnosis skills. He also has been said to have an excellent work ethic and is a great guy to have in the locker room. He has an aggressive style of play and a chip on his shoulder reminiscent of Bob Sanders.
Lamarcus Joyner Highlghts- Hit 'em (via Renard Cheren)
Alternate Picks: TE Austin Sefarian-Jenkins, Washington, WR Kelvin Benjamin, Florida State, DT Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh, OT La'El Collins, LSU, ILB Shane Skov, Stanford
WR L'Damian Washington, Missouri
In 2014, our only WRs under contract are Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton, and Derek Moye. Jerricho Cotchery could be brought back on the veteran minimum, but Emmanuel Sanders is likely going to leave for Free Agency unless he is willing to take less than the market value in order to stay. WR is one of our biggest needs this offseason.
Washington has an intriguing combination of a height of 6'4" to go along with sub-4.4 speed. He has an incredible amount of potential as a big-play outside Receiver, but he is really raw as a route runner and catches the ball with his body too much. Essentially, he is a taller Mike Wallace. His skill set limits him as a one-trick pony, but that trick is better than a lot of players in College Football.
L'Damian Washington (via Mizzou Football)
Alternate Picks: QB Tahj Boyd, Clemson, OT Seantrell Henderson, Miami(FL), OLB Prince Shembo, Notre Dame, DE Ed Stinson, Alabama, ILB A.J. Johnson, Tennessee
RB James White, Wisconsin
I like Bell as our workhorse RB and he is capable of playing all 3 downs, but he could really use a compliment that can churn out big yardage plays. The fact remains that the Steelers have one of the worst rushing Offenses in the NFL. Bell can keep Defenses honest, but he isn't a big threat to take it to the house.
James White is a smaller back at 5'10" 195, but he makes a habit of squeezing through holes that he shouldn't be able to and has the ability to outrun defenders and will show surprising power for his size. He also shows the vision and patience to play in a Zone block system. He could be a good fit with the bruising Bell.
James White Highlights (via Jonathon Zenk)
Alternate Picks: DE Ben Gardner, Stanford, OT Charles Leno, Boise State, ILB Max Bullough, Michigan State, QB Aaron Murray, Georgia, OT Austin Wentworth, Fresno State
P Kirby Van Der Kamp, Iowa State
The only thing I know about Van Der Kamp is that he is CBSSports' highest rated Punter and that his name is completely awesome. Imagine it on the back of a Steeler jersey XD.
Kirby Vanderkamp (via Gary Niederhauser)
Alternate Picks: CB Carrington Byndom, Texas, OT Michael Schofield, Michigan, WR Kevin Norwood, Alabama, C Corey Linsley, Ohio State, TE Jacob Pederson, Wisconsin
C Jonotthan Harrison, Florida
With both Pouncey and Valesco getting hurt this season, the depth of our OL has been tested once again. Cody Wallace has shown he is not suited to be called upon to start and Kelvin Beachum can no longer be counted upon to be the versatile backup as he has played himself into the starting LT spot.
Harrison would be purely depth at this point. I don't expect much from him, or anyone drafted this late.