The Pittsburgh Steelers draft needs are no secret. They need defense, and a lot of it. After their pre-draft visits were heavily influenced by the defensive side of the ball, there is no mistaking where the team is headed in the first two rounds of the draft.
With that said, ESPN experts Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr. recently released their two-round rotational mock draft where each expert picks after the next. See what the ground rules were for their selection process:
For this one, it's not about whom we project -- it's about which player we would take at each slot.
Thing is, because we have to alternate picks, we won't always get the player who seems like the best fit for each slot, because that player could be taken with an earlier pick. The ground rules are simple: alternate picks; no trades; no deals that say "I won't take Player X if you don't take Player Y." It's just "This is whom I'd take" at every slot on the board for three full rounds.
Got it? Here are the picks:
The Steelers possess the 25th and 58th overall draft picks in Rounds 1 and 2. Kiper makes the team's first round pick, while McShay is the expert selecting their second round prospect. See who they have slotted for the black and gold in 2016.
25. Pittsburgh Steelers
Mel Kiper's pick: Vonn Bell, S, Ohio State
I'm going to follow a reach by McShay at No. 24 with a clear need fit and a solid value with Bell in this spot. Big reminder: Bell could also play cornerback. If it's help in the secondary, it's good for the Steelers.
58. Pittsburgh Steelers
Todd McShay's pick: Austin Johnson, DT, Penn State
Total value pick here. The No. 33 overall player on my board, Johnson has enough quickness to disrupt plays in the backfield. Adds good depth to the Steelers' D-line.
Although highly doubtful, if the 2016 NFL Draft broke down the way these two experts predict, fans wouldn't have much to complain about -- at least from a positional standpoint. However, many fans would be wondering when the cornerback would be selected, as well as plenty griping about Bell's lack of physicality at the safety position, something the Steelers require from their safeties.
With team needs like Safety, Cornerback and Defensive Line atop the list, there is a chance the Steelers don't take a cornerback in the first two rounds, depending on which prospects are still available when they pick both at the 25th and 58th position in the process. Nonetheless, taking a safety and defensive lineman certainly wouldn't hurt the team moving into a 'championship-or-bust' 2016 season in the Steel City.