The Steelers have the 15th pick in the draft and while I have my favorites, no one knows who the teams above us is going to choose with their picks. So I have decided to make a list of my top 15 picks and this way I know at least one of them is guaranteed to be available when Pittsburgh is on the clock. I have listed them in the order I would choose them since more than one will more than likely be available. As always I look forward to feed back.
1. OLB Khalil Mack, Buffalo---- This is by far my favorite player in the draft. His ability is great but his attitude is off the charts. I fell in love with him after seeing the Ohio State game and reading a story about it where his coach told him before the season even started that the OSU coaches had said he was just another guy and nothing special. Mack took this statement personally and tried to prove them wrong. This guy has a chip on his shoulder and if he would fall to 15 it would only grow bigger as he tried to prove 14 other teams wrong.
2. DE/OLB Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina---- A physical freak with a lot of upside to improve. It would be hard to pass on someone with the athletic abilities of this man. Would be an absolute miracle if he were to fall and I do not see any way that it will happen.
3. WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson---- The best well rounded receiver in the draft and will improve any offense from day one of training camp.
4. CB Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State---- Top Corner in the draft and definitely an area of need for the team.
5. OLB Anthony Barr, UCLA----- Another athletic freak with great upside, but will need time to develop into his full potential.
6. WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M---- The tall receiver that Big Ben has always asked for and would be able to help in red zone situations.
7. ILB Ryan Shazier, Ohio State---- Just think of a faster Lawrence Timmons and you will get an idea of what he could represent to the team. This is another long favorite of mine since I was able to see a lot of OSU games this year and he impressed me. The only downfall of him that I had was his size, but he addressed that adding 17 lbs. before the draft and then ran an overly, impressive 40 at his pro day (before these two things occurred I was originally projecting him as a potential 2nd rd pick for us but he won't be there now).
8. CB Darqueze Dennard, Michigan---- Don't be fooled by the so-called experts, this kid will be a good player and would fit into our system just fine with the help of our great coaching staff.
9. ILB C.J. Mosely, Alabama---- Great football instincts and could end up being one of the best, but he has been dropping on my wish list. There is an injury history and I think he projects better as a true Middle Linebacker in a 4-3.
10. DT Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh---- I know, I know, everyone is thinking he don't fit our system, but I don't care. He is a true football player and such a playmaker that no one is going to tell me that Coach LeBeau and Coach Mitchell wouldn't be able to find a use for him.
11. S Calvin Pryor, Louisville---- I believe he is the best safety in the draft, but the need for this position has dropped after the signing of S Mike Mitchell, but that don't mean we can't add depth.
12. S HaSean Clinton-Dix, Alabama---- Another playmaking safety that could add depth to the roster, but has dropped since free agency signings.
13. OT Greg Robinson, Auburn---- An athletic freak of an offensive lineman, but I just don't think we have the need at OL, but if other top prospects are gone he would be hard to bypass over.
14. TE Eric Ebron, North Carolina---- Would be a tall target for Big Ben and eventual successor to Heath Miller, but I personally prefer my TEs to be more well rounded and able to block along with catching the ball.
15. OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M---- The most game ready Tackle in the draft, but once again I don't see OL as a need, but if all other options are gone then I don't think we would let him slide any farther.
That is my list of the top 15 prospects, of course I left off all quarterbacks because I know that is one position we won't pick in the 1st round. I know there should be multiple choices available off this list when Pittsburgh picks and I would be extremely happy with any of the top 10. If the top 10 are all gone by the time the Steelers pick then I truly hope they work out a trade and gain more picks because there is a lot of talent available in the draft. If the top 3 QBs or the top 2-3 OTs are still available I do feel that the team will have an opportunity to field some trade offers. There is a lot of mid-round talent available that I think could improve the team and that is why I have a feeling that if the top couple of prospects on the Steelers board are gone they will consider a trade back.
Also I know there is a defensive lineman need for the Steelers, but I don't feel that the talent is there at fifteen. Hageman and Tuitt would both be possibilities in a trade back scenario, and there are others that would come into play later in the draft.