If this mock ends up not pleasing you all (which is likely) then I apologize, but when you stay up all night and then you remember “Oh that’s right, I need to make sure I get my weekly mock out.” sometimes things get messy.
Without further delay, let’s get this show on the road.
1st round: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
Just note, if a top rated WR that was projected to go in the top 15 ended up falling in the draft all the way to the 30th pick, you better not question the selection. Corey Davis is one of the more polished WRs prospects I can recall coming out of college and the small school label on him does not concern me at all considering he absolutely dominated his competition.
Davis possess strong hands and great leaping ability to high point the ball, allowing him to make tough catches and come down with jump balls. His route running is very polished, crisp, sharp and he combines it with a quick release off the line to get off press coverage. He’s very physical and rarely if ever, will you see him get out physicaled by other defensive backs.
IF Corey Davis somehow fell all the way to the 30th pick, it would not surprise me in the slightest if he was the highest rated player on the Steelers board. With the depth at EDGE and CB in this class, the Steelers in my opinion can get away with taking the best available player in the 1st round, while still being able to address their needs.
Other players I considered: Derek Barnett and Gareon Conley.
2nd round: Jourdan Lewis, CB, Michigan
Lewis is one of my absolute favorites at the CB position in this class. His mixture of length, physicality (in both run support and in coverage), athleticism and technique reminds me greatly of Giants CB Janoris Jenkins.
Jourdan Lewis is a very scheme versatile CB. He can play in both man coverage and zone, while playing either off, on or press. Lewis has played in both the slot and outside, often shadowing team’s best receivers, which shows just how much his team trusted him and the ability Lewis has.
Lewis has a knack for getting his head around and making a play on the ball. Even when he doesn’t get his head around, he does a great job of reading the receiver and making a play at the catch point (this is where his physicality comes in hand), often causing incompletions.
Lewis is a very good player that would be able to help this team in more ways than one. He was too hard to pass up on at this juncture.
Other players I considered: Cameron Sutton, Jordan Leggett and Dawuane Smoot
3rd round: Jojo Mathis, EDGE, Washington
I know I have been hyping Jojo Mathis quite a bit and yes, he does have a 1st round grade as of right now on my board. The problem is that there’s so much that goes against him from a projected round perspective that will cause him to “fall” in the draft.
That is why he was chosen here because I view it as a realistic landing spot for him. This could change if he had a combine performance for the ages but as of now his stock should have him be considered a 3rd round pick.
I don’t have much to add about him as a player. You all know my thoughts on him by now and if not, go read my scouting report on him (if the GIFs somehow load for you).
Other players I considered: None
4th round: Samaje Perine, RB, Oklahoma
Samaje Perine is a really good RB in this class. He combines quick feet, great balance and power with his downhill running style. Perine has shown himself to be able handle a huge workload. He’d be an interesting change of pace from Le’Veon Bell and his patient running style.
Perine isn’t the fastest RB I’ve seen in this class but being a good running back is more than just having straight line speed. Guys like Lacy or Bettis weren’t exactly the fastest running backs but they had quick feet, great balance and unbelievable power that allowed them to be successful NFL RBs.
Perine might not be here in the actual draft and a good combine could raise his stock, but for now, he’s a solid pick at this part of the draft.
Other players I considered: James Conner, Elijah Lee and Jerod Evans
5th round: Johnathan “Rudy” Ford, S/CB, Auburn
This is a criminally underrated player that is going really far under the radar. I’ve watched a good amount of film on him and while he isn’t a punishing tackler, he’s solid, can play in the nickel as a slot CB and has played single high with success.
Ford is a fluid player and he’s a really good athlete. He originally was recruited to play RB at Auburn but ended up playing defensive back and he never moved back. He’s Auburn’s unsung hero that I believe could be a Micah Hyde type player in the league.
He isn’t a sexy name but he’s going to play in this league at a high level for a while.
Other players I considered: Tanner Vallejo and Josh Dobbs
6th round: George Kittle, TE, Iowa
I like Kittle and I’ve said it before. He’s the type of guy who’s going to knock David Johnson right off the roster and give a real special teams contribution out the gate. He’s the kind of player who will push his position group to perform better than what they have.
George Kittle is one of the best blocking TEs in this entire class and he would provide a nice push for the Steelers running game when he’s in the game.
Other players I considered: None
7th round: Philip Nelson, QB, ECU
He’s one of the more intriguing QB prospects in this class. His off field incident that almost led to him going to prison is going to be a heavy topic of discussion with him. That said, after the NFLPA bowl, coach Mike Martz heaved nothing but praise on him saying that he has no doubt he’ll start in the NFL.
Quite heavy praise indeed and while it may have raised my eyebrow, I came across some highlights of his days from Minnesota and I noticed that he threw with great anticipation/timing, eye manipulation, great touch and a quick delivery. I also have dug into some of his ECU tape and some of it is great, some of it raised questions.
I’d definitely check it out for yourselves and let you guys form your own opinion. His stats don’t say much about him but there’s more to scouting a prospect than the boxscore.
So, not bad for a sleep deprived writer, right? If you are disgusted with this mock, voice your opinion in the comments below. DISCUSSION IS ENCOURAGED! I’ll do my best to answer whatever questions you have but I may not be awake very long after 3 PM.