You’re probably thinking “Wow, skipping Friday again?” Well, I unfortunately did not have the creative juices when it came to making a mock, and I did not want to put out a mock with absolutely nothing creative of the sort. I also was quite saddened to hear that the man, the myth, the legend, Lawrence Timmons signed with the Dolphins.
He’s always been my favorite player because he was never really sexy. He just showed up, did his job and played 9 straight seasons with the Steelers. It was almost 10 years ago that he got drafted and his likely replacement looks like it could be Vince Williams, who’s been waiting for his time, while working his butt off.
As much as I know people will want to see them draft an ILB high, even if they do, Vince is going to get the first crack at replacing Timmons, and he deserves it. I know this may sound like blind arrogance, but, you know what, his locker sits between both Harrison and Antonio Brown, you think he hasn’t been working his butt off enough for the Steelers to trust him?
Anyway, enough endorsing, onto the mock.
1st round: TJ Watt, EDGE, Wisconsin
The Steelers have shown interest in JJ’s younger brother, who definitely showed at the combine that athleticism runs in the family. TJ, for only having played the position for one full season, has much better technique and hand usage than guys who have played the position for at least 3 years.
When watching him, it is really easy to notice that he has really heavy hands, can play with power, has shown good pass rush techniques like his snatch move, shows the requisite amount of bend to threaten the edge, can drop into coverage and has a relentless motor. Some, like myself, were not expecting that kind of performance at the combine and a lot of that had to do with the fact Wisconsin had him make more tackle reads than ball or cadence reads.
@themicknartin Plays like this are sacks. Watt has good enough bend to threaten the edge but it's not his signature. pic.twitter.com/vjNovqR48i— The Mick Nartin™ (@themicknartin) February 18, 2017
If anything, this is the perfect fit because we know he has an absolutely amazing work ethic and has the traits you look for in a 3-4 OLB, to not only start out the gate, but not be a liability in coverage. TJ Watt would look absolutely fantastic in Steelers uniform.
2nd round: Marcus Williams, S, Utah
Lost in the hype that Obi Melifonwu generated, was the safety from Utah, Marcus Williams, who really had a fantastic day. The Steelers have already met with the Utah Safety, which is showing me that Safety could be an underrated priority in this draft.
While this may seem early to draft Mitchell’s eventual heir, this safety class is absolutely stacked and Williams might be the most underrated one in the class. I was a little skeptical about his speed at first when I watched him but after seeing him play single high and showing off some great range, I’m starting to really like the idea of taking him.
Steelers met with Safety Marcus Williams. #Steelers pic.twitter.com/vACmUMdDcm— Blitzburgh (@Steel_Curtain4) March 5, 2017
I want to keep all options open and Williams seems like a guy the Steelers could covet, especially if they want to move around Sean Davis instead of keeping him on the back end. Maybe some more 3 safety sets as well, could be interesting.
3rd round: Gerald Everett, TE, South Alabama
The Steelers have shown interest in a lot of move TEs and Everett was one of them. No doubt this has to do with the alarming concussion history of Ladarius Green. The Steelers have Jesse James who is solid and is a decent TE but isn’t going to stretch the seam very often.
Enter Gerald Everett, who resembles more of a WR than a TE but guys like Jordan Reed have proven that this type of receiver can be very valuable in not only the redzone, but sending up the seam and how you’ll have to get a very athletic guy to account for him. Everett for having small hands, shows an impressive set of hands and can box out defenders easily in the red zone.
This type of player may not seem like a need, but it’s a valuable asset to have on offense and in a TE group such as this, you better draft a TE, no matter how comfortable you may feel about your depth.
3rd round compensatory: Cameron Sutton, CB, Tennessee
The Steelers showed interest in a CB similar to this a few years ago from Temple and while Sutton is not as fast, his fluidity and short area quickness are extremely ideal for the position and not to mention the slot.
The Steelers, while they are a zone coverage team, want to add more scheme versatile CBs that can play both man and zone. They don’t want the scheme fit to dictate the play call, they want the personnel to be able to run that type of defense.
Sutton is the type of CB that is going to get overlooked by bigger more athletic guys, which is why I expect him to fall right to this spot and it would not surprise me if he outplayed the guys drafted ahead of him.
4th round: Samaje Perine, RB, Oklahoma
Call it a gut feeling, but I have sense that the Steelers secretly really like Perine. He’s a downhill type runner who really can wear down a defense. Bell is an unbelivable talent but with DeAngelo possibly not coming back and this being a deep RB class, a guy like Perine could help take a load off him.
The Steelers need a backup RB and having a guy like Perine could be very similar to what Blount was supposed to bring in 2014.
5th round: Shaquill Griffin, CB, UCF
What a combine performance this guy had. The Steelers showed some interest in him and in a deep CB class like this, it may be possible to get him the 5th round, due to what seemed to be quite an unpolished CB on film.
I got to dig into his tape a bit and his fluidity is evident on tape but he gives up an inside release far too often. He needs to use that sideline more to his advantage. He seemed to fall for double moves quite a bit too and he showed hesitation.
You can’t teach the type of athleticism he has and he could develop into a good CB with time. This isn’t the type of pick I’d make but this one wouldn’t surprise me. especially knowing the Steelers history of 5th round picks.
6th round: Dane Evans, QB, Tulsa
Just because this is a Steelers oriented mock doesn’t mean I can’t put my own spin on it in the later rounds. Now you may be saying to yourself “Who the heck is this guy and why should I even care?” Well perhaps you might be interested in this.
Beating the fastest mph throw in NFL combine history by 2 MPH at @APEC817 Light work by QB @daneevans9 @leighsteinberg @chriscabott pic.twitter.com/QwiS8stbQH— Bobby Stroupe (@bobbystroupe) March 1, 2017
Do I have your attention now? Okay so anyway, I learned about him after hearing about his pro day, where he apparently completed 55 of 58 passes in 20 MPH winds. From what I’ve read, most are concerned about his lack of stature, as he’s only about 6 feet and change.
If you know me, you know I don’t care about height in the slightest as long as you have the traits to play the game and he showed me quite a bit of potential on film. I spent some time watching his OSU game where he was throwing in absolutely horrid conditions and against Houston, where he showed the ability to make tight windowed throws and lead his team down the field at the end of the game.
He’s a really strong armed QB who showed the ability to make throws from multiple platforms and go through his progressions. He’ll definitely be in need of some developing but with him sitting behind a QB like Ben, he’d not only have time but a great teacher.
Make sure to check him out yourself by watching his Senior year highlight tape to get started.
7th round: Heath Wilson, EDGE, Pitt State
I’ve been waiting for weeks to find an opportunity to introduce people to this guy and since he was really the first super under the radar prospect I watched, I felt it to be a duty to finally mock him to the Steelers.
I believed I watched his highlight tape about 2 months ago on Hudl. I stumbled upon his name when I was looking at Derek Rivers twitter page, accidentally clicked on his name and saw pass rushing guru Chuck Smith followed him on twitter. I saw his highlight tape was his pinned tweet, checked him out and knew instantly that this guy, from what I saw, was super polished with his hands.
His stats won’t blow you away if you look him up but stats don’t always tell the full story when it comes to college prospects. I can’t find any games of Pitt State on youtube but his highlight tape to me showed a guy that could be Rob Ninkovich in the league. I know it’s only highlights but small school prospects highlight tapes, don’t always show this much polish. He’s not super athletic, but he possess great hands and a great work ethic.
Definitely watch his highlight tape, I highly recommend it.
Feel free to critique, praise or discuss this mock in the comments section. Remember, discussion helps me look for what I could do the next time!