The mock draft season is in full swing as experts across the NFL landscape keep pumping out their weekly, sometimes daily, mock drafts predicting what will happen in the upcoming 2016 NFL Draft. For ESPN's NFL Draft expert Todd McShay, he just released his second mock draft of the offseason.
McShay's 2.0 draft is far different from his first attempt, mainly with the NFL Draft order officially set, and teams starting to narrow their focus with All-Star games like the East vs. West and Senior Bowl games completed. Nontheless, McShay, like many experts, has been singing a similar tune for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round with the 25th pick of the draft.
Yes, he too sees the team not only selecting a cornerback, but none other than Ohio State's Eli Apple. See what McShay had to say about the selection:
25. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-6)
Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State Buckeyes
With good length (6-foot-1, 200 pounds) and top-end speed, Apple showed he could turn and run with Notre Dame speedster Will Fuller during the Fiesta Bowl. He's also a strong tackler and run supporter, which are qualities the Steelers value highly in their defensive backs.
The nice aspect of McShay's mock drafts, compared to others, is he doesn't just say, "The Steelers need secondary help." That is kind of a no-brainer considering the team finished 30th in the NFL in pass defense in 2015. Throw in the fact three of their top four cornerbacks are becoming free agents this offseason, and yeah, the team needs secondary help.
McShay notes Apple's play against Notre Dame's Will Fuller in the Fiesta Bowl victory, and his willingness to tackle ball carriers as strengths -- something the Steelers like to have in their cornerbacks.
However, regardless of what any expert suggests, the Steelers have shown time and time again they aren't crazy about drafting a cornerback in the first round of the draft. Some chalk it up to the Best Player Available (BPA) philosophy, while others speak of the need for a pass rush to mask a mediocre secondary. Whatever the case may be, don't be frustrated if fans are a bit skeptical of their favorite organization addressing a glaring weakness in the first round of the draft.
Only time will tell, but a lot of people sure do like Apple wearing black and gold in 2016.