There is always a massive amount of anticipation leading up to the NFL Draft, and this year is no different. Although the Pittsburgh Steelers rarely draft in the top half of the of the selection process, it doesn’t stop fans from being beyond excited to see who might be added to their favorite team.
At this point in the NFL calendar, fans can merely speculate as they watch NFL prospects play in All-Star games, attend the NFL Scouting Combine and eventually meet with teams leading up to the draft.
Fans also look to analysts and experts for some type of guidance in regards to who they believe might be wearing a black and gold jersey in 2017. Two of those analysts who are the most talked about, and relied upon, would be ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay. Both release their own mock drafts frequently, and Kiper just added his latest first round projections earlier this week.
See who he has tabbed to go to the Steelers at pick No. 30 in the first round:
30. Pittsburgh Steelers, 11-5
Haason Reddick, OLB, Temple
Sure, Bud DuPree started to show some things last season, but if not for James Harrison dominating Father Time, where is the consistent pass rush? The bottom line is, the Steelers need more help, and Reddick can come in and give them some reps in that role. He had 21.5 tackles for loss last season, and the traits match the production. Get to know this name.
Kiper’s mock draft isn’t the first time Reddick has been predicted to go to the Steelers in the first round. Most aren’t sure what to think of Reddick, as he has a rather small sample size from his time at Temple, but his Senior season drew rave reviews from everyone around the country.
It also caused current Steelers ILB Tyler Matakevich to give a heaping load of praise regarding his former teammate during this past season as Reddick continued to show just how he has progressed as an all-around player in his time in college.
If Reddick does slip to No. 30, and that could be a big ‘if’ depending on how he tests leading up to the draft, he could be the perfect addition to the Steelers offsense. Reddick is athletic enough to rush the passer, but also cover in space. The trio of Reddick, although likely a part-time rookie, Bud Dupree and Ryan Shazier would be the perfect equation for the Steelers as they continue to work primarily in defensive sub packages.
Kiper likes Reddick to the Steelers, but a lot can change between now and the draft. Nonetheless, there is no ignoring just how bad Pittsburgh needs a pass rusher heading into 2017.