I'd like to thank Blitz for giving me this opportunity to post this as a "story"; it's an honor, it truly is. I know some people have posted their own mocks, and I apologize for being repetitive but I've been working on this for the last three days.
Ok so believe it or not the draft is just under two months away, and I've already given this topic much thought (surprise, surprise). As a result of my draft craze, which began as early as in September, Blitz has decided to allow me to participate in the holy task of posting a Steelers mock draft, so here goes.
Selection: Alex Mack, C, University of California
Since September I've sung the praises of Alex Mack, (pictured above) a center from the University of California.
Why I like Mack for this pick: I know picking a Center in the first round is practically unheard of, but at the 32nd overall pick, not many of the top linemen will be left, and Alex Mack is more than deserving of that high a pick. What will hopefully secure this is the fact that he didn't participate at the combine due to injury. Mack is the type of guy we could build an offensive line around. He's a phenomenal competitor with outstanding leadership qualities. Mack is built for the center position, and has outstanding run blocking abilities as well as a knack for clearing out defenders at the second level. He does need to be more consistent in pass protection, but he doesn't have major holes in that part of his game. I think that if added, he would have to battle out a solid veteran in Justin Hartwig, but once he does Mack would add a dynamic ability to both our run offense and passing game.
Video/Audio of Alex Mack:
Alternate Selection: Duke Robinson, OL, Oklahoma
Selection: Patrick Chung, S, University of Oregon
Why I like Chung for this pick: Patrick Chung the safety out of Oregon, was recently brought to my attention by BTSC user paulamalu, and ever since I actually have been really impressed by what I have seen.
Let's face it, as solid as Ryan Clark has been, he isn't getting any younger. In addtion to that, his contract is soon going to expire (2009 I believe-please correct me if I'm wrong) and I don't know what kind of money he'll be asking for. So, instead of dreaming of a Taylor Mays-Troy Polamalu secondary, I think Patrick Chung will supply a much more realistic option for a lower risk than Mays.
What really stands out to me with Chung is his ability to play safety the Steeler way, in other words physical, smashmouth, knock-your-head-off style. In his career Chung wrapped up the ball carrier 370 times. No that's a real number, you're not dreaming. In addition to his skill at playing run support, Chung also has a more than solid ability of playing the pass coverage as well. His only disadvantages are that he can be beat deep occasionally and that he can be a little too physical and draw interference penalties. Bottom line on this kid is that he'll be 22 come football season, he's a more than effective blitzer/run support defensive back, and plays, tight, physical coverage. Did I mention he's also a returner? Regardless of where he ends up, Chung has a bright future ahead of him, that's why I'd love to see him in black and gold come April.
Video/Audio of Patrick Chung:
- Highlight Compilation
- Here's a pick 6
- A punt return for a TD
- A sack
- A HUGE sack
Alternate Selection: Herman Johnson, OG, LSU
Selection: Xavier Fulton, OT, Illinois
Why I like Fulton for this pick: Believe it or not, Xavier Fulton, a guy that I inadvertently left out from my Potential Pittsburgh Steelers Offensive Line Prospects list, has probably seen his stock rise during the pre-Draft activities. was more of a stand-out athletically in the combine than Lydon Murtha. Fulton placed in the top performers in 5 of the workouts he took place in. Despite his athletic ability, Fulton has a big frame, standing at 6'4'' 302 pounds, with room to put on the lbs. Fulton possesses an above average ability to protect the passer, and use his athletic ability to make it into the second level. What sets Fulton back is the fact that he played defensive lineman for the first year of his collegiate career, so he is still developing as an offensive lineman. The best word to summarize him would be "raw" (www.nfl.com), as he is still learning to be more consistent with technique rather than just athletic ability.
Video/Audio of Xavier Fulton:
Highlights vs. Western Michigan this year.
Alternate Pick: Lydon Murtha, OT, Nebraska
ROUND 3 COMPENSATORY PICK
Selection: Mike Thomas, WR, University of Arizona
Why I like Thomas for this pick: The other day, I stated that Arizona WR, Mike Thomas was a major sleeper in this year's draft.At the Combine, Thomas blew away scouts with some ridiculous numbers. He jumped 40" in the vertical, ran a 4.40 in the 40 yard dash, and finished as a top performer in the broad jump, and 3 cone drill. Again, the combine isn't everything (just ask Tom Brady) but sure as hell counts for something.
With the departure of Nate Washington, the Steelers will be down to just 4 WR's and will miss Washington's speed. The solution, or replacement could very well be Thomas. Now I know there are some people reading this who'd prefer to pick up a veteran like Marvin Harrison or Laveranues Coles, but the simple fact is that those guys are just too old, and too expensive. It's not like Thomas would be in the the top 3 receievers depth chart wise, more of a 4th or 5th receiver role would fit his abilities. Despite his speed and vertical, Thomas possesses other skills that receivers must have in order to be successful. Hands, route running, versatility, are all part of his resume. But with every prospect there is a downside. Thomas is small-5'8" 195 lbs, and needs to be more consistent when attempting to grab the jump ball and watching the ball into his hands. Ultimately though, he could end up fitting that deep threat that the Steelers will want to bring back with the departure of Washington.
Video/Audio of Mike Thomas
Bad Quality Footage, Good Return
Audio on Feelings about the upcoming 2008 Season
Alternate Pick: Brian Robiskie, WR, Ohio State
Selection: Scott McKillop, ILB, PItt.
Why I like McKillop for this pick: Well well well, another native kid, another solid linebacker. McKillop is a guy who flashes real solid talent for playing the linebacker position. In two years starting at Pittsburgh, he wracked up 288 tackles, 7 sacks, 3 Int's, and one defensive touchdown. In addition to his ability to wrap up the ball carrier, McKillop has the natural instincts of always knowing where the ball carrier is going to be and how to make the play on him. A two time All-Big East Linebacker, and the 2008 Big East DPOY, McKillop has proven time and again what a consistent player he is. In addition to the accolades, McKillop turned in a great combine, placing in the top performers in 5 categories. His only downsides are that he isn't the fastest guy around and he needs to play more physically on defense.
Though I'm not expecting to be the next James Farrior, he has similar qualities that the Steelers like to see in a linebacker. Even if he doesn't live up to the hype of his college career, he makes for a solid backup, and a possible special teams, contributor.
Video/Audio of Scott McKillop
Only thing I could find beside a crappy promo-Interview
Alternate Pick: Louis Vasquez, G, Texas Tech.
Selection: Terrance Taylor, NT, University of Michigan
Why I like Terrance Taylor for this pick: Terrance Taylor is one of those guys you thought last year was gonna be a big day 1 pick in 2009. Wow did things change. Despite his drop off as a senior, Taylor is definitely worth looking at in the 5th round. At the end of 2009, we'll have a wave of unrestricted free agents that have been impact makers; Casey Hampton is included in this group. Now I'm not gonna say that Taylor is the next Big Snack, despite Taylor's need for a bra. No, I'm saving that for Terrence Cody, the enormous NT out of Bama, who will most likely be a first rounder in the 2010 draft. But getting back to Taylor, he is one of those guys that either will be or won't be, there's no in between. At 6' even, and 306 pounds, Taylor is built well for our 3-4 system, and has a lot of positives that make him an attractive prospect. He has a knack for disrupting the line and stuffing insides runs, and can occasionally make a big play in pursuit. He can also put some pressure on a QB when getting off the snap well enough. He has leadership qualities. However, poor conditioning and inconsistencies have been Taylor's major shortcomings which has led to his major drop in stock. Still, if Taylor can right the ship, he has the potential to be a talented 3-4 defensive tackle.
Video/Audio of Terrance Taylor:
Alternate Pick: Bruce Johnson, CB, Miami
Selection: Graham Harrell, QB, Texas Tech
Why I like Harrell for this pick: Someone, please explain to me why a guy who threw for 134 career touchdowns, and over 15,000 yards is projected for the 6th round? Someone please explain this to me. Though I find it hard to believe he'll fall to our pick in the 6th round (am I reading the wrong source?), I think that if he's there the Steelers will take him, due to an increasing need for depth at QB. With Charlie Batch and Byron Leftwich most likely on the way out the door, and the current QB FA market pretty void, the Steelers will need to add someone at QB. If Harrell is there why the hell not? The guy has a solid arm, good decision-making, ability to make a play on the run,
On the other hand, Harrell's accuracy can be problematic, along with a inconsistent arm strength. Played in a spread offense. I could easily see Harrell going in the 4th or 5th round, but if in fact he does drop this far, I'd definitely take a shot at him.
Video/Audio of Graham Harrell
Alternate Pick: Best Offensive/Defensive Lineman available.
ROUND 7a -via Sean Mahan Trade
Selection: Jorvorskie Lane, is a FB from Texas A&M that I mentioned in a Big Back post not too long ago.
Why I like Lane for this pick: Despite Carey Davis' off the field contributions, his on the field contributions are lacking. This could be due to the Bruce Arians offensive scheme, or that the coaching staff doesn't have enough faith in Davis. In any case, adding depth with a 7th round pick can never hurt, and with Jorvorskie Lane, it's a benefit. In 4 years with the Aggies, Lane rushed for over 2,000 yards, and scored 49 rushing touchdowns. Impressive numbers to say the least, especially for a fullback. Think of him as our LeRon McClain. At 6' even, 285 pounds Lane packs a lot of punch. Despite being a good runner, and a sometimes devastating blocker, Lane flashes a lot of inconsistencies especially in the blocking area of his play. It may be a good idea to convert him to a RB, or at least utilize him in that way for most scenarios.
Video/Audio of Javorskie Lane
Alternate Pick: Best DB available.
ROUND 7b - Final Pick Of Draft
Selection: Patrick Turner, WR, USC
Why I like Turner for this pick: A big 6'5" 220 lbs, receiver, Pat Turner is a guy who can get vertical and make athletic catches. I think he could possibly give Dallas Baker a run for his money on the final roster. Turner had a very productive season this year at USC, with 49 catches, 741 yards and 10 touchdowns. Aside that, that's been about it for his career stat wise. His major flaws consist of lack of straight line speed and explosiveness, and the lack of using his size to his advantage. If he can correct his inconsistencies, he may become a surprise player in the NFL. If not he'll be a practice sqaud guy. Final analysis is that he's worth a look.
Video/Audio of Patrick Turner
So that's it for now. When pro days are done, I'll update this. Again, I'd like to thank Blitz for allowing me to post this as a story, and the BTSC users for their feedback.