After waiting after free agency and the first month of the pro days, I've settled in on a revision of my Mock Draft. I've read around and got various ideas about what the Steelers should do. This is what I've come up with.`
This will be the final mock before the draft. As you will see there are major adjustments in the players but the idea save for the first round is still the same. Let me know what you think!
1. Jordan Willis DE Kansas State
Previous Pick : Takk Mickinsly OLB UCLA
Reason for Change : Need Pash Rusher who isn't injured
The team needs another edge rusher, there is no way around that. Jordan Willis is in the second tier of pass rushers in this group but he stood out at the combine by basically showing he has all the physical abilities as our own Bud Dupree. They both are 6'4, Willis is a 14 lbs lighter at 255lbs, both run a 4.5s 40 yard dash, Willis has an elite 10 yard split at 1.54s and longer arms. The criticism I have heard is that he doesn't bend well and can get pushed up the arc on the pass rush. But Willis is, like Dupree, an athletic marvel and it would be nice to have a bookend outside linebackers that can get to the QB at blinding speed. His three cone time shows that he has the athleticism to bend but needs to learn technique. He'll need to learn some pass rush moves but he has promise to be a Bud Dupree 2.0. I've waffled about taking him in round one but from what I gather we won't be able to get the same quality player in round 2. I know people will freak out about this being a round 2 value but at 1.30 there aren't many surfire round 1 prospects. Why not take a chance on a round 2 guy that has the potential to be a round 1 value.
Alternatives : I think there are only a few players that I'd pass on Willis for, OJ Howard if every GM ahead of us is drunk and tripping on Acid and decides to let the best tight end fall, Rueben Foster if people get scared away by his combine incident and devalue ILB, and Carl Lawson if the medicals pass.
2. Bucky Hodges TE Virginia Tech
Previous Pick : Adam Shaheen TE Ashland
Reason for Change : Bucky combine showing hints that he could be a force in the Pros with an Elite QB
Here is where we give Ben a new weapon to play with. Hodges will ultimately be the Ladarius Green replacement plan. Hodges being younger, just as athletic, and just as fast, gives the Steelers the weapon they were hoping to get when they sign the damaged goods that is Ladarius Green. Green just has way too many concussions to depend on going forward. Drafting Hodges gives us a chance to go forward without having to worry about our tight end going out for half the season on any given hit. I believe that Hodges can be just as good as OJ Howard. Hodges hasn't been as good as a blocker as Howard but that is something I believe we are willing to work with. Here in the second round is good value for Hodges as I believe the combine has increased his value. Plus I already has his nickname picked out - 'Winter Soldier'.
3. Raekwon McMillan ILB OSU
Previous Pick : Anthony Walker ILB Washington
Reason for Change : I feel that McMillan is just a better player than Walker and can be had here in the third
Remember this number, 10 yard split 1.55. Why is that number important? Because Jabrill Peppers who ran a 4.4 ran a 1.53 split. Raekwon is plenty fast enough in 10 yards which is all you really want from a line backer. His 40 time isn't too shabby either at 4.65. There are questions about his coverage ability but we don't need him to be the star, we just need him to be a solid starter that isn't terrible in the passing game. McMillan would be a good pick up here in the third where we add a future starter.
3. Cam Sutton CB Tennesee
Previous Pick : Marlon Mack RB
Reason for Change : With Mack's 40 time not being the elite speed that I expected, I move to grab a more important need at corner
Cam Sutton is going to be a solid corner in the NFL. Nothing spectacular but very solid. I believe he can shine in the slot but I'm not sure if he can handle outside duties. The Steelers need to find an answer in the slot with Senquez Golson always and hurt and William Gay aging fast the steelers need to find a solution for slot corner in order to compete with the Patriots. Heck we may need two slot corners but with the signing of Sensabaugh we may have him and Gay battle for one slot position with Golson and Sutton battling for the dime corner responsibility. There isn't anything that wows you about Cam Sutton, he just goes out there and battles. Which is why he'll be here in the bottom of the third.
4. Samaje Perine RB Oklahoma
Previous Pick : Damonte Kazee CB San Diego State
Reason for Change : Basically switching the running back and the corner needs. Dropping Karlos Williams means that we have to come away with a running back in the draft.
So we drop Karlos Williams and add Kniles Davis. So the speed back position has been taken while the power bowl position is available. Inserts Perine who runs like a bowling ball of fury down the field. The biggest question is will he last to the 4th round and I think he does and I think we pick him up and he'll battle for the 3rd back on the team. There is a lot to like about Samale, like his tenaciousness with the ball. He holds on to the ball well and is a solid pass blocker. He wasn't thrown at too much but when he was he showed decent enough hands. Hopefully Perine will give the Steelers a stable of backs to trust giving Bell a breather every once in a while.
5. Josh Malone WR Tennesse
Previous Pick : Jarod Evans QB Virginia Tech
Reason for Change : Malone's 40 time with his size will likely make sure he doesn't last til the sixth round and I feel Evans would last to the sixth.
Steelers usually draft a receiver every draft. So why not pick up Malone here, they've been looking for back up plans for Martavis Bryant. Sammy Coates did ok at the role at first but after his fingers got jacked up he faded. They picked up Justin Hunter who is in the same mold. Why not add to the camp battle with another 6'4 WR who can run a 4.4s 40. May the best reciever win right? As many weapons as we can give ben the better. Josh is a real sleeper pick because his QB left a lot to be desired in the college.
6. Jarod Evans QB Virginia Tech
Previous Pick : Josh Malone WR Tennesse
Reason for Change : Because I felt like it
Jarod Evans is an interesting project. He has a cannon arm and could show potential. Who said we can't draft a QB? Also Landry Jones needs some competition in camp, he shouldn't just be handed the back up role, he hasn't earned that at all. Give Evans a shot and see what he can do if he shows promise maybe we can save some money and cut Landry loose. Jarod has only started a year which means he has a lot of potential but his issues are the usual.
7. Jay Guillermo, G/C, Clemson
Previous Pick : Damarius Travis S Minnesota
Reason for Change : Better value at Guard here
Jay Gulliermo was part of a line that provide good protection for Watson. Usually guys struggle in the passing game moreso than the running game but I don't think Jay will have a problem. Could be a sneaky good backup behind foster after learning under Mike Munchak.