Sunday, not Friday. This may not annoy you, the readers, as much as it bugs me that I’ve been failing to reach my own set deadline. I don’t like to make excuses about it either.
Anyway, this draft is either going to upset a lot of you in the 1st round, or you may absolutely love it. Again, I’m not aiming to please everybody, the goal remains the same. By the way, I’m probably not planning on mocking Obi Melifonwu to the Steelers at all because the chances of that happening are zero because Safeties that big and athletic are way too sought out by teams.
Without further ado, let’s get to the mock.
1st round: Derek Rivers, EDGE, Youngstown State
The Steelers have met with the stellar, small school edge defender at every single draft event and that definitely assures the interest. Why so much though? Remember, the Steelers never normally draft any prospect from a smaller school that high in the draft in the Kevin Colbert era.
Perhaps the reason they have met with him so much is to really confirm whether or not he would indeed be worth picking in the 1st round. This is my personal opinion but I firmly believe Derek Rivers is a 1st round prospect and the fact the Steelers could get him is just due to the small school stigma on Rivers.
I said the same thing about Javon Hargrave and getting him in the 3rd round was an absolute steal. Defensive tackle though is not as much of a sought out position as an edge defender. Teams know how important it is to not only have great pass rushers on the edge, but have them be able to stop the run.
I’ve seen people talk about how Rivers doesn’t dominate snap per snap and they point to how Hargrave did and I just don’t really like this argument. I went back and watched Khalil Mack who was drafted in the top 5 and even he did not dominate every team on a snap per snap basis. Mack dominated Ohio State yes I know but I hear very little about how Rivers played well against West Virginia or dominated practices and played extremely well at the Senior Bowl.
I am in no way saying Derek Rivers is Khalil Mack but when you watch how polished Rivers is, how athletic he is and read up about his top notch character, along with work ethic, how can you tell me that he is not a 1st round prospect? I value athleticism in an edge defender, along with the ability to bend and Rivers checks both boxes. He’s got a high upside and a high floor, what more do you want?
2nd round: Chris Godwin, WR, Penn State
Remember, these mocks are meant to address just about every scenario possible and while WR may not seem likely, Godwin fits the mold the Steelers look for in WRs. He’s big, he’s fast, makes the tough catches and he’s not a finished product.
The Steelers have shown plenty of interest in Godwin, as Todd Haley was at the Penn State pro day according to Tony Pauline and he plans on visiting their facility according to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. The Steelers could just be doing their due diligence by inviting him to their facility but there could be genuine interest in drafting a WR.
I don’t remember exactly who I keep seeing it from but I know on the Pittsburgh Post Gazette I have seen some of their writers talk about why they wouldn’t be surprised if the Steelers take a WR high in this upcoming draft (I’d link it if I remember exactly where I saw it).
Godwin fits the mold and if the Steelers really are looking to draft a WR, don’t be surprised if they picked Godwin.
3rd round: Howard Wilson, CB, Houston
I’m really hoping the Steelers meet with this guy eventually because I really think he would fit perfectly with their defense. Wilson is about 6’’1, 184 LBs and has about 31 1⁄2 inch arms. If anyone remembers Kevin Johnson from Wake Forrest in the 2015 draft, Wilson, in my honest opinion, is a better version of him.
Wilson tackles the catch extremely well and also gets his nose dirty in run support. Wilson really breaks well on the ball and he shows that “my ball” mentality, never giving up on the play until the ball hits the ground. Wilson is an extremely fluid mover and has great short area quickness to be to stick with shiftier receivers.
He’s a very scheme versatile CB who’s played in all types of coverages and I really believe he could have been a first round pick in next year’s class. Instead now he’s apart of this super deep CB class and some lucky team is going to get him on the 2nd day.
3rd round compensatory: Alex Anzalone, ILB, Florida
I remember watching Jarad Davis a few months back and I just kept noticing his teammate with the blond, flowing hair making play after play. Anzalone is an absolutely outstanding athlete who can not only cover but come up in run support and hit you straight in the mouth.
He really showed up in practice at the Senior Bowl and in the game a lot. Unfortunately, his injury history might be the most glaring thing on his resume. The guy rarely played and always seemed to have some sort of injury whether it was a shoulder, or a broken arm this year.
Still, this kind of upside and ability is worthy taking a chance on at the latter part of the 3rd round. If he was able to stay healthy, there’s a great chance he could end up being the best off ball linebacker in this class. He has that type of talent and instincts.
4th round: Rudy Ford, S/CB, Auburn
The Steelers have already met with the former Auburn Tiger and I’ve been a huge advocate of him for a while. I remember watching him give TE Jordan Leggett so much trouble in the opening game vs Clemson. I’m a firm believer he might be the most overlooked player in this class and the fact he ran a low 4.4 or 4.3 at his pro day and people are still not talking about him is not surprising to me.
Ford is versatile and at least to me on tape, he looked to be a fluid mover that could play a variety of roles. He showed the ability to play on the back end, play in the slot and matchup on big TEs. He’s not exactly a tall but he’s really built for his size.
I would really like the Steelers to draft him if they choose to wait on a safety in this class.
5th round: George Kittle, TE, Iowa
The Steelers have already met with him (mistake on my part, I misread something and that is innexcuable, apologizes for the false information) and while he did absolutely obliterate the combine, this such a deep TE group and the fact he wasn’t used much as receiver and isn’t the tallest guy could cause him to go on the 3rd day. Kittle is my favorite blocker in this class because he can absolutely destroy defenders.
Kittle is really fast and has some upside as a receiving TE with his incredible athletic ability and while he wasn’t used much in that role at Iowa, if he could develop that area of his game, nobody is ever going to want to mess with George Kittle.
6th round: Keion Adams, EDGE, Western Michigan
This is another one of my sleepers along the edge and while he isn’t the biggest guy, he showed the ability to set the edge against the run vs Wisconsin. Don’t get me wrong, he had some plays where he got washed down but I also saw plays where he really disrupted the whole run play.
That said, the reason I really like Keion Adams as a sleeper is his ability to really dip, bend and really corner the edge with great effectiveness. He seems to show developing counter moves and really has a nice tight spin move where he sells speed outside.
I mean this is a decent spin move. pic.twitter.com/2KCu53MFQe— The Mick Nartin™ (@themicknartin) March 2, 2017
He seemed to have a very up and down pro day.
Keion Adams— mike london (@mikelondonpost3) March 16, 2017
4.37s short shuttle , 7.36s in the 3 cone. 27 reps on the bench, 36 inches in the vertical jump and 10-4 in the broad.
Some of those numbers really surprised me in both bad and good ways. I didn’t expect him to do so poorly in the 3 cone which makes me want to go back to check his film but other than that, he had a solid day.
7th round: Kyle Sloter, QB, Northern Colorado
Another QB sleeper and he really is a huge sleeper. This is a guy who didn’t even start till this season due to an injury to the starting QB and he led Northern Colorado to great heights, along with breaking some records along the way. Sloter is actually how you would picture the prototypical QB and he has plenty of arm as well.
Scout at Colorado Pro Day Mar. 8 recorded Northern Colorado QB @KyleSloter throwing velocity at 58 mph.— Miles Garrett (@MilesMGarrett) March 13, 2017
Watson: 49 mph
Trubinsky: 55 mph
I’ve had the luxury of actually seeing not only his highlights but along with some of his game film as well. From what I have seen, Sloter has phenomenal athletic ability, arm talent, ball placement, along with timing and anticipation. Those last two traits surprised me a lot when I heard he had only played for 1 year.
Northern Colorado runs a spread scheme but they had him do plenty of pro style things like make pre snap reads, identify blitzes and make audibles. A lot of this really surprised me and it has led me to wonder if my eyes are deceiving me. A lot of his tape is absolutely outstanding and while you’re going to have a tough time finding it, you can see a lot of what he does well in this highlight video below.
So what did you think? Are you disappointed in my mock, or are you quite satisfied with it. Let me know in the comments below.