The 2015 NFL Draft is a few short weeks away, and experts are attempting to narrow their focus on where athletes will go in terms of first round selections. In this edition of Mock Draft Monday, WalterFootball.com's Charlie Campbell has the Pittsburgh Steelers going cornerback for the second week in a row.
Last week's Mock Draft had Pittsburgh selecting LSU's CB Jalen Collins, but this week has the team going with Wake Forest's Kevin Johnson with the No. 22 overall pick. Johnson looks to certainly be available in the back end of the first round, but some wonder if taking Johnson in the first round might be a stretch.
Take a look what Campbell has to say about the pick:
The Steelers could miss out on the top edge rushers, so instead could target their next biggest need: pass coverage. Clearly, Pittsburgh needs to improve its cornerbacks. Collins fits with other corners the Steelers have drafted under Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin.
Johnson collected 43 tackles with six passes broken up and one interception in 2014. While those numbers aren't huge, teams avoided the senior and threw elsewhere. Johnson was very reliable over the past three years. He totaled 58 tackles with three interceptions and 12 passes broken up in 2013. Johnson had almost identical numbers as a sophomore except for three more passes broken up.
In speaking with sources, Johnson is grading out as a possible late first-round or second-round pick. Some teams have him in Round 2 just because of concerns about his size. The 6-foot, 188-pounder is a good cover corner who needs to add weight for the NFL. He has the length and athleticism to cover big receivers along the sideline. If Johnson can add weight in the lead up to the 2015 NFL Draft, that could help him to be a Thursday night pick.
Johnson could certainly upgrade the Steelers' secondary which ranked 27th in the NFL in 2014, but Johnson is a player who needs time to develop and likely won't contribute much as a rookie barring an injury to a more seasoned player on the roster. Johnson has a tremendous amount of potential, but whether the team decides to take Johnson with the No. 22 pick or wait and see where the chips fall in the later rounds with other defensive backs have yet to be seen.
As the Draft approaches, Steelers fans continue the debate of whether the team should turn to the secondary, or the pass rush with the first overall draft pick. In this mock, it is the secondary which gets the team's primary pick in the draft.