FanPost

Steelers Mock Draft 4.0 (4 Rounds)

Free Agency has really changed around the Draft hasn't it? Well that is to be expected. Earlier Mock Drafts are pretty much useless now since teams have addressed certain needs (and, in the case of the Steelers, created more). This is my 4th version of the Steelers' Mock Draft. It is only 4 Rounds because I am having a little bit of trouble finding analysis on players past that and I don't really want to half-ass the rest of it.

Round 1 - FS/SS Kenny Vaccaro, Texas

Realistically speaking, the Pittsburgh Steelers cannot count on talents like Star Lotulelei, Jarvis Jones, Ezekiel Ansah, or Lane Johnson to fall. This might not be the sexiest pick for Steeler Nation, but it makes the most sense realistically when you look at how the Steelers have operated in the past. Vaccaro isn't going to start right away with Ryan Clark and Troy Polamalu occupying both Safety positions, but he could fill either spot when one of them retires or gets cut first.

Strengths: Good size for the position at 6'0" 214 lbs; Strong hitter at the point of impact and will knock balls lose and breakup catches; Shows good fluidity when covering the slot; Good understanding of routes and Aggressive Run Stopper; Good acceleration and closing speed.

Weaknesses: Sometimes can be a little overaggressive and will over-pursue at times; Hasn't been known as a ball-hawk at Texas (only 5 INTs in 51 games); Will lower his head or shoulder too much and doesn't wrap up the ball-carrier as often as he should

Compares To: Roman Harper, New Orleans Saints

Round 2 - T/G Justin Pugh, Syracuse

With Willie Colon released, the Steelers need to find a starting LG. With their new Zone-Blocking system and the increased focus on the Run Offense, they cannot rely on the 6'6" 325 Ramon Foster to be an everyday starter given his deficiencies in Run Blocking. Kelvin Beachum is also not ready to be a starter at this point and would be better served to fill the role that Trai Essex did when he was here.

Strengths: Excellent movement; Very good athleticism and footwork for an Offensive Linemen; Good speed to get to the second level; Projects a very high ceiling in a Zone-Block system; Has versatility as he played Left Tackle in College, but also projects as a Guard in the NFL

Weaknesses: Suspect core strength; Doesn't have the arm length for what teams want in a Left Tackle; Small body size at 6'5" 290-300 lbs; Needs to put on muscle; Has a lingering shoulder injury from the 2012 season.

Compares To: T.J. Lang, Green Bay Packers

Round 3 - WR Ryan Swope, Texas A&M

The Steelers are thin at WR at the moment with Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders being the only ones with extended playing time recently. Also, Mike Wallace took his talents to South Beach, so we need to replace/replicate the kind of production he gave to our Offense.

Strengths: Blazing straight-end speed (ran a 4.34 at the Combine); Crafty when getting separation and exploiting matchups. Always secures the ball before looking upfield; Fearless over the middle and will sacrifice his body to make the tough catch; Good at tracking the ball over his shoulder

Weaknesses: Needs to be more physical; Doesn't use his frame to get separation; Isn't the kind of WR who you could could on to fight for jump balls. Doesn't rely on his speed like he could and is more quick and agile than fast.

Compares To: Harry Douglas, Atlanta Falcons

Round 4 - RB Christine Michael, Texas A&M

The Steelers need a RB. Mike Tomlin himself has said so. Whether or not they find one in the Draft or in Free Agency is still a mystery, but due to their shortage in Cap Space, they would be better served to find one in the Draft.

Strengths: Runs with a good pad level and is able to break a lot of tackles with strong stiff arm and spin moves; Good cutback vision and acceleration to the hole; enough lateral agility to elude defenders consistently

Weaknesses: Has a history with injuries (broken leg in 2010, torn ACL in 2011); suspect attitude has also been a high-profile issue with Michael (he over-slept at the Combine and missed interviews.

Compares To: DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys

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