Another Mock Draft having the Pittsburgh Steelers slated to draft a defensive back in the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft, but on the day when prized veteran free agent Eric Weddle chose the Baltimore Ravens over the Steelers, it makes sense this mock draft has Pittsburgh going with a safety with the 25th overall draft pick.
According to Dan Kadar's latest mock draft on SB Nation, he has the Steelers targeting Vonn Bell from Ohio State University as the team's top draft pick. See his reasoning behind the selection:
25. Pittsburgh Steelers: Vonn Bell, S, Ohio State
If the top corners and defensive linemen are all gone, the Steelers could turn to the draft's best pure safety in Bell. Mike Mitchell is an average player and the re-signing of Robert Golden doesn't offer much excitement. Bell is proven as a coverage safety and got better every year at Ohio State in run support.
It is refreshing to see a writer realistically look at the Steelers' current defensive back depth chart and realize with William Gay, Ross Cockrell and Senquez Golson all under contract for the 2016 season, their need for a shut down corner isn't as great as the need for a safety who could play from Day 1 on.
The next question is whether Bell is that player, or if he is a project. Either way you see it, whether a cornerback or safety, the Steelers need a player who can contribute in 2016. The project-type players are something the Steelers can ill afford to have with their first round selection. The production doesn't have to be a Pro Bowl level, but something which would mirror Bud Dupree's production in 2015 would certainly help the Steelers defense make significant strides next season.