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Steelers 7 round mock draft, Fear the Mock: Final Edition

All good things must come to an end, but we give it one last crack at it, this time, trying to accurately predict who the Steelers will most likely take.

SEC Championship - Missouri v Auburn Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Well, mock draft season has been fun guys, but it’s time to finally figure out who the Steelers will most likely take in the first round. Some of you will react differently, and I will try to persuade you one last time. This isn’t what I would do, this is how I think the draft is going to go for the Steelers.

Some players are going to be new in this mock, but that’s what happens when you overlook some guys they’ve been interested in.

Without further delay, lets get to it for one last time.

1st round: Carl Lawson, EDGE, Auburn

I know there are people in the comments section ready to grab pitch forks and torches for this pick, which I for the life of me can’t understand. I’m normally not a fan of pass rushers who can’t really bend the edge but Lawson is one of the great exceptions because he possesses just about every trait to counter this.

Lawson is the most technically refined pass rusher you’ll see come out in a draft class. What Joey Bosa was last year in refinement, Lawson is this year. Lawson is one of the few pass rushers I’ve seen be able to successfully execute the hump move on a consistent basis while rushing the passer. You can tell he’s practiced these moves constantly and knows when the offensive tackles weight has shifted to present the opportunity to use it.

He also doesn’t take false steps and can convert speed into power. Being able to convert speed to power is up there when it comes to the ability the bend, it’s not something you can really teach and is one of the reasons pass rushers like Joey Porter and Tamba Hali overcame their lack of hip flexion.

Unlike Hali however, Lawson has a great first step and shows explosion right as the ball is snapped. What also makes him different from Joey Porter is their body types, as Lawson is a much more built guy than Porter was. Those guys all have something in common too, they’re unbelievably proficient and technical with their hand usage.

Lawson has an extremely violent club move that has been a huge signature for a guy like Hali. What’s actually kind of ironic is that both guys have short arms by NFL standards, but both know when and how to use the one arm stab.

Something I don’t see get mentioned with Lawson is how good he is playing through the pads too. He’s able to use both push pull techniques, while also utilizing a snatch/sling move. Lawson keeps an offensive tackle guessing because he has such an arsenal of moves that the tackle can’t really focus on just one.

I’ve heard people in the comments section say he isn’t a good run defender and personally don’t really find that to be true. The problem with him as run defender (and as a pass rusher) is that he ducks his head at the point of contact which causes him to lose sight of the ball carrier.

This is by far the most maddening negative I’ve found with Lawson because this is where he could be making a stop against the run or getting a sack on the QB. The amount of times he should of have had a sack but didn’t see the QB because of his eye level is something I lost track of a long time ago.

I’ve seen people mention his motor and how he isn’t chasing down every single play. The problem is a lot of times teams are very rigid with gap assignment and often times they don’t like players leaving their gap.

This isn’t applied for every situation Lawson doesn’t chase down a play but it’s a big part in the run game. Personally don’t have a problem with it because I know this guy has an insane work ethic and I have no character questions about him. Plus if he goes to a team like the Steelers, he’s going to be asked to do that anyway.

Yes, I understand Lawson can’t bend the edge but everything I listed above is why he’s going to be able to overcome it. While he doesn’t have great hip flexion though, his ankle flexion really allows him to flatten inside to the QB (something Tim Williams doesn’t do).

Personally, I think Carl Lawson is such a perfect fit considering how close the Steelers are to the superbowl and the need for a pass rusher who can contribute out the gate. I wouldn’t be surprised if they picked Jabrill Peppers or another defensive back (if one fell) but I think Lawson is the guy they ultimately end up with in the end.

2nd round: Josh Jones, Safety, NC State

Mike Mitchell 2.0 and that’s exactly why I think this guy is on the Steelers radar. Just like Mitchell he’s a very aggressive tackler and can play both single high and in the box. The Steelers will add yet another interchangeable piece at safety with size and pure speed.

Jones is a very good tackler and while he can be a bit overzealous with his aggression, I’d rather have somebody at the safety position who isn’t passive. One of the cool things I noticed about Josh Jones on tape is that I’d see NC State almost put him at a LB spot in the middle and he seemed to sniff through trash very effectively. He’s was also utilized as a frequent blitzer and had success with it.

I like Josh Jones and wouldn’t be surprised if the Steelers end up picking him. Something about just screams Steeler based off what they seem to look for in a safety.

3rd round: Rasul Douglas, CB, West Virginia

The Steelers addition of Artie Burns and the interest in Rasul Douglas has me thinking the Steelers want big bodied CBs who have a nose for the ball on the outside. Makes a ton of sense and Douglas isn’t just big, he’s got great length and really uses it well while pressing WRs.

I couldn’t quite get a good idea if he was stiff hipped or not but I know just like Quincy Wilson, on tape I couldn’t tell the same with him. Wilson is definitely fluid but flips his hips high, I think from what I could tell that Douglas does the same and this gives off the illusion that he’s tight hipped but he actually isn’t.

Whatever the case may be, he impressed at senior bowl practices and in game. He’s got great film and has gone up against some really good receivers. While his speed isn’t the best, I don’t think it makes him a liability in coverage.

He fits their mold so if he’s there in round 3 and they haven’t taken a CB yet, I’d expect him to be their guy.

3rd round compensatory: Jerod Evans, QB, Virginia Tech

The Steelers have quietly been one of those teams under the radar that are interested in Jerod Evans. Evans is a strong armed QB who really throws a beautiful nine route and had shown accuracy over the middle and on short passes.

The Steelers could groom him to sit behind Ben and learn. Considering the system he came from at Virginia Tech, he’ll definitely benefit a lot from being mentored under Ben. Will the Steelers actually pick him is the question. All I know is that they’re going to pick a QB, and Evans is a guy that fits what they do.

4th round: Jourdan Lewis, CB, Michigan

To say this is a gamble is without question considering the unknowns when it comes to what could happen in regards to the domestic violence case. The Steelers really need somebody who can play in the slot because Golson has yet to show them he can stay healthy.

Jourdan Lewis if it weren’t for his off field issue that came at a very in opportune time would be a top 5 CB on my board. His ability to follow the best receivers on every side of the field is without question. He’s a very fluid mover and the best press CB from a technical perspective.

Lewis is a huge gamble here and there’s so many details we don't yet know. The only thing we know is the interest the Steelers have shown in him and how good his film is.

For whatever it’s worth, when it came to Jourdan Lewis in interviews I’ve seen and his relationship with Desmond King, I was honestly shocked when I heard about this incident. Again, don’t know how much it’s worth and I’m not someone who takes domestic violence lightly.

5th round: James Conner, RB, Pitt

A perfect marriage in a sense. The Cancer survivor, the bell cow running back for the Panthers becoming the backup to Le’Veon Bell. Both are accustomed with each other and are good friends.

James Conner was not 100% himself last season and considering where he was in 2014, it’s easy to see on film. Was actually watching “Hey Rookie welcome to the NFL” the other night and the person training him was talking about how Cancer treatment affects the body and when some of the effects start to die down (this is a huge paraphrase).

Whether he reverts back to his 2014 version is unknown but the considering his receiving ability and the type of teammate he’ll be, he’s perfect to be the backup to Bell.

6th round: Javancy Jones, LB, Jackson State

They're going to draft at least one small school linebacker, whether it be my man Samson Ebukam, Keion Adams (I like him too) or Javancy Jones. I personally think the Steelers are going to go with Jones because I think he shows more positional versatility than Adams and Ebukam I have a feeling will be long gone.

Jones has that absolutely relentless motor that shows up and you can’t help but notice his energy every single play (highlight film). He also showed unbelievable character by taking a leave of absence to take of his sick mother. He showed the willingness to play out of position too out the east west shrine game, as impressed as an off ball LB.

I personally don’t know what position he ends up playing, but if there’s any guy I’ve circled in as a Steelers day 3 pick, Mr. Jones is the one.

7th round: Kevin Snead, WR/CB/KR/ST, Carson Newman

The fastest man in college football not named John Ross. Kevin Snead actually tied his 40 yard dash record at the Tennessee pro day. He’s of course a track athlete and broke Carson Newman school records for the 100 and 200 meter dash.

He’s probably the most raw speed threat in this draft and he doesn’t really have a position either. The Steelers would love to have speedy gunner or return man like him and Mike Tomlin actually asked to him to catch punts and kicks at the pro day.

This is the kind of guy any team will take at the end of the draft, especially if they show position versatility and the ability to play special teams at a high level.

So that’s it. The last 7 round mock. If the draft went down like this how would you react? Let me know in the comments below.