SB Nation has up its latest mock draft, updated to the most recent draft order. This version of it, self-admitted as being really early in the process (but falling short of pointing out how several players have said they aren't leaving college), introduces a few new names to the common lay-drafter.
One many know already, though, is the guy they have tabbed for the Steelers with the 12th overall pick - Minnesota defensive lineman Ra'Shede Hageman.
The Steelers defense has gotten thin fast. Brett Keisel and Ziggy Hood are both pending free agents, and Hood hasn't been all that good. Ra'shede Hageman could rise into the top 10 by the time May rolls around. He's a disruptive interior defensive lineman who could fit in nicely at end in a 3-4 scheme.
Not entirely sure how the speed of decline is being measured here, depth on the defensive line has been a problem for two years now. What's clear, though, is the ceiling of Hageman is higher than nearly any other player in the draft. He's a very tantalizing prospect, considering Steelers defensive line coach John Mitchell is one of the best position coaches in the league. He's made prospects with far less natural talent into outstanding players, and Hageman has the kind of explosion and versatility that could serve the Steelers well in both their base and sub packages.
The main issue with him throughout his career at Minnesota (where he was initially recruited as a tight end) has been motivation. He doesn't have any significant character concerns, but his effort can be questioned here and there.
But that only speaks to how good of a player he is; Hageman is a first-round prospect despite these alleged red flags.
This pick is made with UCLA outside linebacker Anthony Barr on the board, which would be an interesting scenario, should the Steelers find themselves in that spot.
A few other picks of note:
Check out all of BTSC's draft coverage in our 2014 NFL Draft hub page.
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