Before the NFL Scouting Combine, producing NFL Mock Drafts resembles throwing darts. You have some targets, and you basically just pick which one you think is best. However, after the Combine, when teams spend a lot of time interviewing prospects, you get a feel for who NFL franchises are talking with, and positions they are looking to fill.
This doesn't make mock drafts any more reliable, they are still just a stab in the dark, but there is a little more theory behind the selections than just a random selection. So, when ESPN's Todd McShay released his 3.0 Mock Draft, most fans' were curious to see who he had slotted for their team in the first round, well except the New England Patriots who don't have a first round pick.
For the Pittsburgh Steelers, McShay sees the team taking a cornerback in the first round, and one which they sat down and interviewed during the Combine. None other than Clemson CB Mackensie Alexander.
See what McShay had to say about the selection:
25. Pittsburgh Steelers
Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson
Tight end is a need, and we have a first-round grade on Hunter Henry, but you have to think the Steelers are going to spend this pick on a defender. Quick-twitched, instinctive and capable versus the run, Alexander is a really good all-around player. But he finished college with zero interceptions and lacks ideal length; he measured 5-foot-10 with arms less than 31½ inches at the combine. Houston CB William Jackson III, who had an impressive combine workout and has really underrated tape, is another possibility here.
The fact McShay brings up Williams Jackson III is interesting, as his combine workout certainly helped his case to be a legitimate first round draft pick; however, he doesn't have the pedigree of Alexander coming out of one of the best NCAA programs in the country in Clemson.
If the Steelers want to go big on a cornerback, drafting one of these two players could be their answer, but the hope is whichever player the Steelers taking with the 25th overall pick is someone who can step on the field and play a significant role on the team, like Bud Dupree in 2015.