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Hey Neal, I sensed some bitterness over McShay's mock draft in your write-up. Is he not allowed to change his mind? Just because he took Louis Nix in his first mock draft doesn't mean he has to keep him there.
My issue wasn't that he changed his mind (I didn't agree with his prediction the first time around, so actually I support the fact he changed his mind). My issue is that he brought Nix up as a possible trade-down target, but mentioned he didn't think that would happen because his tape in 2013 doesn't suggest he's worth the 15th pick.
Assuming McShay reviewed Nix's tape before making him his prediction at 15 in February, why did it change? He gave no explanation, instead, choosing to gloss over his last pick at that spot because he suddenly wasn't good enough at that spot.
He could simply have not brought Nix up at all in the Steelers write-up – which was probably the better way to go – but the fact he brought him up as a trade-down target, then saying his 2013 tape doesn’t suggest he’s worth the 15th pick without acknowledging he had him at 15 a month ago is poor form.
Again, this is not a critique of either pick, he has justifiable reasoning behind predicting the Steelers would take Nix in February, and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in March, with Nix now going at 30 to San Francisco.
Now…if we want to get into the specific issues, I don’t think Clinton-Dix will be their guy at 15, but what I like about what he wrote is admitting it’s a really tough call for Pittsburgh at that spot. My final prediction for the Steelers last year was Jarvis Jones, but that was the first time I saw him as their guy. I was/am very hot-and-cold on him. His lackluster rookie year wasn’t a surprise to me, but I think his best years are ahead of him. Before I had made him my predicted pick at 17, I had said I didn’t see it happening because the Steelers never took an outside linebacker in the first round.
Steelers Draft Prospect Breakdowns
Steelers Draft Prospects
The Steelers haven’t taken a player who likely projects as a free safety in the first round either. But one thing changed last year, and I can’t say another wouldn't change now.
I did a breakdown of Calvin Pryor this week, and I’m digging into HHCD now. If Pryor, HHCD and Darqueze Dennard were on the board at 15, I think the Steelers would take Dennard – oddly, a position they haven’t invested a first round pick in since Chad Scott in 1997.
While no one will confuse them for Thomas and Chancellor, the Steelers signed Will Allen and gave an extension to Troy Polamalu the other day. They drafted Shamarko Thomas last year, who will compete with Allen for the free safety spot (whatever the "free" safety is in that defense). While I think it would be wise to invest in another safety either in this draft or in free agency, I’m not sold on any safety available in this draft as the 15th pick.