As always, this mock is dedicated to you the viewers and my old username, Fear94.
I decided to change things up with this second edition of Fear the Mock Friday. In this edition I decided to change things up when it came to the first round. In this scenario, by the time the Steelers are on the clock, no offensive weapon on their board has a first round grade.
There was a heavy run on WRs, RBs, TEs and Edge defenders. One position though got overlooked, a position quite deep and the Steelers end up selecting one of the best at their position.
1st Round: Sidney Jones IV, CB, Washington
You can’t discount anything, not even a top 5 CB falling this far. I’m a massive fan of Sidney Jones and what he brings to the table in terms of his skill set. For as skinny as he looks, he packs a punch in run support, not just showing that willing mentality but a physical one.
His coverage skills are exceptional which stems a lot from his fluidity in his hips and feet. What I believe makes him unique though is his tremendous ability to find the football. Whether he’s in zone trying to bait the QB into a bad throw or getting his head around in man coverage, Jones ball skills are exceptional. A lot of his great plays happen because of his lightning ability to click and close in a hurry.
So why does he fall so far in this mock? Three reasons, one, offensive positions had a run in the middle to latter part of the first round. Two, Jones is among the skinniest cornerbacks and teams could be turned off by that. Three, the cornerback depth causes teams to wait for a cornerback later in the draft.
If the Steelers got Sidney Jones in the first round, I’d be absolutely astonished and happy. The key is if he falls, does he get past the Packers? That’s the big question but if he did, I have no doubt who the best player available left would be, Sidney Jones.
2nd Round: Tyus Bowser, EDGE, Houston
I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up being a huge riser after the combine. He’s a perfect fit for a 3-4 defense with his ability to smoothly drop into coverage. What I like about him in coverage is that he gets a proper amount of depth in his drop a lot of the time. Houston utilized his coverage skills probably more than they had him rush the QB (assumption/exaggeration). Houston at points would have him on the outside, lined up on a WR in space.
Of course that’s only one part of his skill set. Bowser is absolutely explosive off the line, he’s a quick twitched athlete who can play in space, he can bend and flatten the edge to get to the QB, has long arms and a chiseled frame that will get him classified as a Greek God.
He’s still a bit raw when it comes to pass rushing but if you have the trust in your coaches to be able to unlock his potential and have veterans who can help him along the way, he’s going to be very high on your board. Bowser has so much potential and it’s scary to think what he’ll be like if he unlocks it.
He’s an absolute perfect fit for Keith Butler’s defense and fits the athletic mold that the Steelers look for. Expect to hear his name be associated with the Steelers over the coming months.
3rd Round: Marlon Mack, RB, USF
I told you I was changing it up this time. Marlon Mack is one of my favorite sleepers at the running back position in this draft. Mack has a combination of blistering speed, cutting ability, vision and power that makes him a very tempting choice right here. Mack also does not have a ton of tread on his tires, which makes him very appealing at this point.
Yes, Le’Veon Bell is the best RB in the league. I get this, I understand. I also understand that running backs don’t last forever and injuries happen. Williams is a FA and while he will most likely be brought back, the Steelers would be wise to take at least one RB in this class. This is a common case of “You never know what you have, until it’s gone, so be prepared.”
4th Round: Lorenzo Jerome, Safety, Saint Francis
Mike Mitchell is getting older and in a deep safety class, the Steelers would be wise to add a young talent behind him. Jerome is a nice talent and he absolutely killed all star weekend with his ability to find the ball.
Jerome is an FCS standout that got invited to the NFLPA bowl where he dominated with 2 INTs. Then he got called up to the Senior Bowl and had another 2 INTs, along with a forced fumble. I don’t care where you come from, that is impressive and it without a doubt caught coaches eyes.
He’s not the most athletic safety but he’s a great center fielder type due to his range. He could make a living off playing single high in cover 3 or cover 1 looks.
5th Round: Adam Shaheen, TE, Ashland
Get at least one tight end in this draft and why not it be the division II record holder for catches by a tight end. Adam Shaheen is relatively unknown but don’t let that discourage you about this selection.
He actually got an invite the NFL combine apparently.
If Shaheen does well at the Combine, I think he'll be in the 4th-5th round mix. He is a legit NFL prospect. https://t.co/5Y9WCkyq7x— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) February 3, 2017
Talk about a Cinderella story. Shaheen was an all-conference pick in basketball and football in Galena, Ohio, and signed with Division II Pittsburgh-Johnstown to play hoops (5.5 pts, 3.1 reb per game in 2013-2014). He then transferred to Ashland to play football, which turned out to be the right move. Shaheen caught two passes for 85 yards as the team's No. 3 tight end in 2014. He then took over the starting job the next year, catching 70 passes (for 803 yards and 10 TDs), a Division II record for tight ends. The two-time AFCA All-American and first-team All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference pick had another great year in 2016, setting a school record with 16 touchdowns among his 57 receptions for 867 yards.
If you aren’t familiar with Shaheen, here’s a highlight video to get you started. While highlight videos aren’t the best way to scout a player (duh), it’s a good place to get acquainted with an unknown prospect, especially with very little available game film.
6th Round: Chad Williams, WR, Grambling State
I had no clue who this guy was and I kept asking myself the same question during the Senior Bowl practices, “Who the heck is Chad Williams?” The guy kept making spectacular catches and I was really interested in him.
I watched one game out of him and he has a really good ability to pluck the ball out of the air in contested situations. It piqued my interest and I think this would be a really good pick at this point in the draft. Would be very good competition in camp and may be turn heads.
7th Round: Roman Buchanan, Safety/$LB, South Alabama
Yeah, this is what happens when you don’t want to mock a QB in the 7th round but you want to find a fairly appealing/interesting prospect. So just who is Roman Buchanan? Apparently he’s cousins with Deshea Townsend and he played the safety the year prior.
This year he moved to middle linebacker and he’s really shown to be a versatile player. I don’t know how he moves because there isn’t too much available game film on him but I felt intrigued by what I did see. He’s more of a potential/developmental guy but I thought he was pretty fast on tape, particularly his closing speed and tackled well.
Buchanan if anything might be either a Deone Bucannon type of player, he could also have a future as a full time LB like Thomas Davis or maybe safety. Either way, he’s someone you need to be acquainted with. This highlight video is a good place to start.
Discussion time! Did I make you tear your hair out with this mock? Let me know in the comments section.