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Vote in the early BTSC Mock Draft - Round 2

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The BTSC Front Office chose a Corner in Round 1. Who will be the choice in Round 2?

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

he votes are in and the result is clear. In a veritable landslide the BTSC Front Office consensus has used the Steelers 1st round pick to select...

Marcus Peters, Cornerback, from the University of Washington.

[Insert cheers and sound of backslaps]. The victory - and the margin of victory - shows two things very clearly: (a) the information we've obtained through the pre-draft process has softened the early fears about Peters' behavioral issues, and (b) the BTSC Front Office values good tape more than athletic potential.

The overall results show a strong pattern too. The three Corners won a clean sweep of the votes, with Kevin Johnson edging out Jalen Collins in a squeaker to claim second place. Landon Collins, the other secondary player, was close behind in the #4 spot. Then came a noticeable gap before the edge rushers (recall that the top 5 rushers were assumed to be gone), followed by the arguably-more-talented players at positions of lesser need. A cynic might conclude our voters went for positional need over quality of player, though it must be said that every one of the candidates has enough going for him to be "worthy" of the pick at 1:22 if taken in the abstract. Maybe it's more accurate to say that if La'el Collins and Arik Armstead really are "better" prospects, it's only by a little bit that isn't enough to outweigh the likelihood that a Corner would be able to contribute more and sooner.

Here are the raw results:


1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

6th

7th

8th

Responses

CB Marcus Peters

157

65

46

35

17

21

22

32

395

CB Kevin Johnson

46

83

65

62

51

45

28

15

395

CB Jalen Collins

50

74

66

58

58

32

39

18

395

S Landon Collins

57

70

58

49

45

49

30

37

395

OLB Owamagbe Odighizuwa

24

33

68

64

65

59

49

33

395

OLB Eli Harold

14

37

32

66

81

82

45

38

395

G/T La'el Collins

27

13

36

35

49

50

89

96

395

DL Arik Armstead

20

20

24

26

29

57

93

126

395

And here are the results as tallied by points:


10

8

6

5

4

3

2

1

TOTAL

CB Marcus Peters

1570

520

276

175

68

63

44

32

2748

CB Kevin Johnson

460

664

390

310

204

135

56

15

2234

CB Jalen Collins

500

592

396

290

232

96

78

18

2202

S Landon Collins

570

560

348

245

180

147

60

37

2147

OLB Owamagbe Odighizuwa

240

264

408

320

268

177

98

33

1808

OLB Eli Harold

140

296

192

330

324

246

90

38

1656

G/T La'el Collins

270

104

216

175

196

150

178

96

1385

DL Arik Armstead

200

160

144

130

116

171

186

126

1233

Now it's time for Round Two! I have assumed that voters will be most interested in potential edge rushers and have therefore devoted half the poll to that position alone. To those who thought it would be easy, my apologies. Dan Hunter, Eli Harold, and Double-O are all assumed to be off the Board.

The other five prospects ought to be enough to make your choice even harder. As before, you must vote for every player - including the ones you don't like. In exchange I'm giving your favorite candidates extra weight. A first place vote will earn 12 points; second place votes are worth 10 points; and from there it will go down from 8 points for third place votes on down to 1 for last.

Here are the descriptions as drawn from the BTSC Big Board (organized by position with the edge rushers at the end). PLEASE NOTE: these descriptions contain many new links that have not been in the published BTSC Big Boards:

Eric Rowe, CB/S, Utah (Interviewed) - 6'0-3/4", 205 lbs. with 31-1/2" arms. Eric Rowe is a true Corner who has the height, length, speed (4.45 at the Combine), experience, and attitude to play equally well at Safety. You'd be hard pressed to design a player with better assets for countering the modern day's goliath Receivers and pass-catching Tight Ends. To see this in action watch the film of his game against Michigan WR Devin Funchess, who Rowe pretty much dominated him all day. The only thing keeping him out of the 1st is the fact that he only recently transitioned from Safety to Corner and still needs to do a lot of work on his coverage skills. That development will control his ability to break into the starting lineup, but he's probably ready to go as-is when it comes to special teams and particular sub packages.

Here is an upbeat scouting profile from our sister site for the Jets. This article from Football Insiders, which is paired with a brief video interview, is even more positive, emphasizing that Rowe is a solid corner but brings extra value to the table with his ability to double as a cover-capable Safety.

CB/S

Byron Jones, CB/S, Connecticut - 6'1", 199 lbs. with 32" arms. Like Eric Rowe, Byron Jones is a safety who converted to cornerback in 2014. His year was cut short by a shoulder problem, but he nevertheless performed well enough to make Daniel Jeremiah's top-50 list. And that was before he blew up the Combine with world-record setting numbers that would make Roger Rabbit blush. Just look at this! And listen to this. There is no one in the draft at any position who has greater athletic gifts than Byron Jones. The question is whether those gifts will translate into the NFL. Connecticut is not exactly a football powerhouse, so it's hard to say for sure how he would have performed against the higher-end talent faced by other candidates for the Steelers secondary.

Jones' performance at the Combine has led to a number of scouting reports that confirm his qualities as a football player as well as a freakish athlete. This scouting report from a Cowboys blogger is typically thorough and useful (good analyst, bad taste in teams). This Broncos-oriented profile makes a good point by reminding us that Byron Jones was tentatively pegged as a mid-2nd pick by many people until the shoulder injury ended his season and caused a slide. If there's a scouting report I can particularly recommend it's this one, written by a man who spent decades as a scout for various NFL teams and retired as the Chicago Bears' Director of College Recruiting. The article compares and contrasts Byron Jones and Quinten Rollins, and led to this reply article that tried to do the same thing but reached different conclusions. NOTE: all of these are new links that have not been in the published BTSC Big Boards.

CB/S

Carl Davis, NT/DE, Iowa - 6'4-1/2", 320 lbs. with really long, 34-5/8" arms and ridiculous 11" hands. Carl Davis is probably the single prospect who is least likely to be available at 2:24 because he seems to fit at almost any position across the defensive line. At one point this led some folks to point out that "versatility" and "lack of fit" are two sides of the same coin (probably the same ones coming down on Shaq Thompson), but that noise stopped for Carl Davis when he emerged as a dominant star at the Senior Bowl. This article/scouting report was the result of that performance and is where you should start your in-depth research. From the Steelers point of view Davis would be an ideal swing player with the potential to be very good at every position across the defensive line, and maybe even especially good in some of the sub-packages. The drawback is that he would have a hard time being more than a rotational player because the Pittsburgh line is already staffed with quality starters.

Here is a scouting report from our sister site for the Giants. This Bleacher Report article is closer to a fan rave than a neutral scouting report, but contains some good points along with the over-the-top man crush stuff. This article from the Packers' official team site is light on analysis but very clear on the point that Carl Davis can play any position on a 3-4 front, and do it at a high level. Finally, while it pained me to include this scouting report from a Cowboys blogger, I had to admit the author seems to be a pretty good analyst despite his awful taste in football teams. It's worth a read as well. This double scouting profile on Carl Davis and Malcom Brown comes from a Bears-oriented site. NOTE: all of these are new links that have not been in the published BTSC Big Boards.

DL

Cedric Ogbuehi ("Ah-BOO-hee"), OT/G, Texas A&M - 6'5", 306 lbs. with arms like a gibbon (35-7/8"). Texas A&M has been a factory for Offensive Tackles, with Luke Joeckel going at #2 overall in 2013 and Jake Matthews at #6 overall in 2014. Ogbuehi, who has clear 1st Round talent and experience at both Guard and Tackle, went into the 2015 season with the expectation of being the next in that cycle. His stock fell through the year, however, because he showed the same problem that has plagued Joeckel's career; a lack of functional strength that prevents him from getting the best out of all the rest of his assets. He'd have probably been a 1st round lock nevertheless but for a torn ACL suffered during his final Bowl game. Talk about bad luck! I genuinely sympathize, but his loss might be the Steelers gain. There's little chance he could have broken into the Steelers lineup as a rookie under the best of circumstances, and this way he can spend that unavoidable redshirt safely tucked away on Injured Reserve, where he can build his core strength and absorb his lessons at the same time he rehabs the knee.

As you can see from the NFL.com scouting report, Ogbuehi has the sort of quick feet, athleticism, size and length to become a true franchise Left Tackle in the league and a perfect fit for the kind of system that Mike Munchak has preferred over the years. Strength is an issue, but that can be trained, right? This scouting report gushes a bit, but gives a fair description of his genuinely massive upside. Here is a brief scouting profile from our sister site for the Giants. This is a more thorough and analytical scouting report from Dave-Te Thomas of Scout.com. This is a fun article pairing the Steelers to injured prospects such as IEO or Cedric Ogbuehi. This Sports Illustrated article digs into the drama of his injury a bit more, but also has some useful "but for" material.

OL

Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota (Interviewed) - 6'3-7/8", 249 lbs. with 33-1/2" arms. His defender-leaping touchdown run in the Citrus Bowl might have made you think otherwise, but the fact is that Williams has seen more time as a blocker than a receiver. Which is a good thing in most ways, since the comments you see tend to emphasize his natural athleticism and talents for the receiving part of the job: reliable hands, decent speed, good route running, etc. The comparison you hear most often is, "a poor man's Jason Witten." I will only add that you need to remember Williams is very young (barely 20) and he still looks like he's half a boy. He has a good bit of growing to do before finding his grown-man strength, and thus has a lot of room to improve even as a pure athlete.

Neal Coolong's BTSC scouting report is, of course, the place to start your research. This solid if Seahawks-oriented scouting report should help as well, as will the NFL.com scouting report. For a less rosy outlook see this profile from our sister site for the Bills. This is a video "prospect primer" from the Packers' official site. This scouting report covers familiar ground and then agrees with the familiar consensus that Williams deserves a very-late-1st to early-2nd Round grade. This link goes to a compare-and-contrast scouting report for Maxx Williams and Clive Walford, all from a Broncos' perspective.

TE

Markus Golden, OLB, Missouri - 6'2-3/8", 260 lbs. with short 31-1/8" arms that will only give the measurements-geeks more ammunition. Playing across from Shane Ray could (should) get you overshadowed, but Golden was too good for that to happen. You still have to wonder, though: would Golden's relatively modest numbers be even that good with a normal human as a rushing partner? Or was it Ray who benefited from teams being force to guard the other side? Golden's assets include a very good bull rush, a solid first step, excellent size, nice hands, a good football IQ, and a top notch motor. His downsides are a much more limited amount of athleticism than you'd normally like to see in a Day 2 pick.

The first place to look for more information is in the quoted material buried in this article. Markus Golden is one of those guys whose play creates a "whole" far, far better than the sum of his measurable parts, and those quotes do a good job of explaining it. If you want a mere summary, suffice it to say the football-related intangibles are off the charts, including the part where he makes everyone around him better. The questions, as neatly summarized in the nfl.com scouting report, boil down to whether he has the pure, measurable athleticism to hold up his own end of the bargain in the pros. This newspaper article is good for a bit of background, while these scouting notes from the Citrus Bowl (from a Seahawks site) are helpful from a purely football point of view.

OLB

Hauoli Kikaha, OLB, Washington (Interviewed) - 6'2", 253 lbs. with 32-1/2" arms. Kikaha's name was tied to the Steelers in a lot of early speculation and it's easy to see why. The descriptions always seem to use words like "tenacious," "hard-working," "fiery," "high motor" and the like, which are traits that Pittsburgh really values. The questions go to Kikaha's level of native athletic talent, size, and a potentially serious medical flag dating back to two ACL tears on the same knee in 2011. Neal Coolong's BTSC scouting report makes special note of both Kikaha's background as a judo and wrestling champion, and his highly advanced skill set compared to other pass rushers. In any given year you can usually list the number of college players with a pro-ready skill set on one hand with fingers to spare. Kikaha is one of the only ones I can think of who might make that list in this year's class. If his athletic potential matched that skillset he'd be the top defensive player at any position. Unfortunately it does not, which is why he may be available in Round 2 and requires some projection about how he will handle the more skilled and talented players he'll face in the NFL.

Here is a good scouting report from Football Insiders, another good scouting report from a Cowboys blogger, and an excellent article/scouting profile from Bleacher Report. This is a profile from our sister site for the Eagles, and Kikaha's NFL.com scouting profile is also pretty good. This well-written and entertaining Sports Illustrated article on Kikaha along with the other top Washington defensive players extols Kikaha's locker room virtues as well. Kikaha's stock also fell a bit during the Senior Bowl week (and in the game) because he had real trouble playing in open space and seemed to lose something on his pass rush from the standing position. NOTE: Yes, there are continuing rumors that Kikaha's knee issues have caused some teams to write him off. Any genuine problem would drop him from consideration for the Steelers too. For purposes of this mock you should assume you're Kevin Colbert and that your doctors have told you his knees are 100% okay.

OLB

Nate Orchard, OLB, Utah - 6'3", 250 lbs. 33-3/4" arms. Orchard had a breakout 2014 in which he was one of the most dominant and dangerous pass rushers in the nation. Then he went to the Senior Bowl where he dominated the practices enough to make numerous observers comment on his ability to convert speed into power, excellent hand fighting technique, and ability to dip around the corner. He didn't run particularly well at the Combine, but looked adequate in the LB drills (a question mark since he played Defensive End in college), and once again earned praise for his "exceptionally heavy and powerful hands" at the end of some exceptionally long and useful arms. In sum, Nate Orchard offers about as good a compromise between on-film accomplishment and athletic potential as any player in the draft who could be available at this point.

Orchard's sack numbers created a stir at the end of the year and provided a number of sources you can turn to for further research. As always, it's best to start with this BTSC scouting report by Neal Coolong. Next, I suggest you check out this excellent and well-balanced scouting report Bucky Brooks of the NFL Network. This scouting report boasts some gifs in support of its more critical conclusion that Orchard shouldn't be picked until Day 3. This equally thorough scouting report from a reliable seahawks site also comes with a mid-round grade, albeit one based on that team's strong preference for particular athletic traits. This quality scouting report from a Cowboys blogger gives a fairly thorough and upbeat view of the young Mr. Orchard, including some nice tidbits in support of his character on and off the field. Ths briefer scouting report is less useful for analysis, but makes the point that Orchard has been capable of taking over games on his own; while this brief and admiring scouting report from our sister site for the Giants compares Orchard to Justin Houston; and this more thorough scouting report from Walter Football chooses Connor Barwin as the comp.  This article provides good background going back to High School, as does this pre-season 2014 scouting report and interview from CBS. For another, more sobering viewpoint see this scouting report which ends with a Day 3 grade based on ‘one year wonder' concerns and a bad habit of taking a break when running plays go in the opposite direction.

OLB

Trey Flowers, OLB/DE, Arkansas (Interviewed) - 6'2-1/8", 266 lbs. with immense 34-1/4" arms. Trey Flowers is a player who will grow on you, especially if you favor the idea of a Size XL OLB who can dominate in the run game. He's an easy 2nd-round pick as a 4-3 DE, but for Pittsburgh it will all come down to whether a guy that big can expand his role to include all the things expected of an OLB. Flowers flashed some genuine pass rushing ability at the Senior Bowl with what Mayock and his peers called a "smooth inside swim move," as well as extremely solid ability at stopping the run. He didn't look natural at the Combine linebacker drills but neither did he look hopeless, and his display at his pro day was already showing improvement (in addition to a much-improved 4.83 time in the dash). Trey Flowers' film shows some genuine athleticism and a good motor, though the explosion isn't as obvious as you'd expect for a man who can do a 55" box jump (!).

This scouting report summarizes what I believe to be the most common view: at this point Flowers looks most like a 4-3 Defensive End with A-1 power, a bull-rush to match, and top-notch skills at stuffing the run, but is also plagued by a non-explosive get-off and merely adequate ability to change direction or play in space. It identifies Lamarr Woodley as the comparable player, which I think is fair if - but only if - you assume that the Woodley who played for the Steelers represents Flowers' highest potential. Interestingly, the nfl.com scouting report projects him as more of a 5-technique than an OLB, a conclusion echoed by this scouting report as well. The main issues that both articles point to had to do with a lack of explosiveness and fluidity, however, and Flowers answered some of those questions at the Combine and pro day.

OLB/DE

Preston Smith, OLB/DE, Mississippi State - 6'4-7/8", 271 lbs. with 34" arms. An excellent 4-3 DE prospect who had a great week at the Senior Bowl. For the Steelers he'd be a classic "elephant" OLB prospect - a guaranteed success at run stuffing who might be limited to that role, or might grow into the next Lamarr Woodley. He looked pretty mobile at the Combine, which is what brought him into consideration as a potential OLB. During the Senior Bowl telecast Mike Mayock referred to him as "a working man, not flashy, who'd make a solid 2nd-Round pick."

Here is a nice little scouting report for more detail, and a comparable profile from a Patriots site. This double scouting profile is quite brief but covers both Henry Anderson and Preston Smith. This scouting profile from a Browns site sees Smith as a very promising prospect, but only as a hand-in-the-ground player. This Bleacher Report scouting profile, which seems to be pretty solid if oriented from a Falcons perspective, also views Preston Smith as a run-stuffing power rusher who may need to play with his hand on the ground. This Redskins-oriented scouting report is much the same: a fine prospect, but not a bendy one and thus best suited as a hand-down lineman.

OLB/DE