It's another Monday, which means it is time for another Mock Draft Monday here at BTSC. Our friends at WalterFootball.com have been providing us with quality mock drafts this entire offseason, and although they have been predicting the Pittsburgh Steelers to select a cornerback with the No. 22 overall pick in the upcoming 2015 NFL Draft in recent weeks, they changed their tune this week.
This week's mock draft has the Steelers selecting OLB/DE Eli Harold from the University of Virginia in the first round of the draft. Harold is a versatile player who could fit a 4-3 scheme with his hand in the dirt, and could also rush standing up in a 3-4 scheme, like the Steelers deploy.
See what Charlie Campbell of WalterFootball.com had to say about the Steelers' selection:
Pittsburgh needs to improve its pass rush. Who knows if Jarvis Jones will pan out for the Steelers, while Jason Worilds retired rather than explore free agency. James Harrison can't play forever, while this draft has more second-day depth at corner than edge rusher. In the past, Kevin Colbertt and Mike Tomlin have had the tendency to draft cornerbacks on Day 2.
Harold was very impressive in 2014. He totaled 54 tackles with 14.5 tackles for a loss, seven sacks, a forced fumble, one interception and two passes batted. The junior had strong showings against UCLA, Louisville, North Carolina and Miami.
Harold (6-3, 247) made a big impact as an edge rusher for Virginia in 2013. The first-year starter totaled 8.5 sacks with 15 tackles for a loss, 51 tackles, two forced fumbles and a pass broken up. His season was highlighted by a three-sack game against rival Virginia Tech. Harold is a fast and athletic edge rusher, but probably will have to move to 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL unless he can add a significant amount of weight.
The Steelers could use a player like Harold with speed and versatility to be able to rush the quarterback from a variety of angles. At 6-feet 3-inches and 247 pounds, Harold has plenty of speed running the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds with a three-cone drill time of 7.07 seconds. It would be another selection of athleticism and would benefit the sub packages the Steelers' defense has been employing the past few seasons with more frequency.
Harold would be able to help the Steelers in obvious passing downs, in a backup capacity and could also be a benefit for the team on special teams. Adding a player like Harold to an outside linebacker corps which consists of 37-year-old James Harrison, Jarvis Jones, Arthur Moats and the unknown factors of Howard Jones and Shawn Lemon would only help bolster the team's depth at the position.