The 2015 NFL Draft is hours away, and all NFL Draft experts are getting their final mock drafts for Round 1 together. ESPN's expert Mel Kiper Jr. recently released his final mock draft before the craziness of Round 1 starts tonight. Kiper has the Steelers taking a player not many had slated in the first round, and also not slated to go to Pittsburgh with their first overall pick. Nonetheless, Kiper has the Steelers taking Damarious Randall, a safety, from Arizona State.
See what Kiper has to say about the selection:
22. Damarious Randall - Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5)
COLLEGE: Arizona State HT: 5-10 WT: 196 POS: S
Why they take him: They need a safety who can cover, and Randall has moved up on a lot of boards. With Kevin Johnson not available, Randall becomes the secondary addition they need.
Why they pass: Maybe Ray is worth the gamble here, and maybe Collins is still around.
Personally I see this selection as a stretch at best. Sure, the Steelers two safeties on the depth chart are run and hit safeties who might have weaknesses in the coverage game, but Mike Mitchell and Shamarko Thomas will surely be the starting two safeties to start the season barring injury. The selection of Randall in the first round doesn't add up when there will be plenty of capable defensive backs remaining in the 2nd and 3rd rounds.
Either way you look at it, Kiper sees the team's need to address their porous secondary as the primary aspect of their offesason, and it would be hard to argue against that with the 27th ranked pass defense in the NFL in 2014. As you can't argue against going secondary in round one, you certainly could argue against taking Randall in the first round.