The Pittsburgh Steelers need to add talent on the defensive side of the football, and this is no secret. While national NFL Draft analysts have the Steelers taking quarterbacks and tight ends with their top pick, leave it to a member of the Pittsburgh media to set the record straight.
Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette just released his second 7-round Steelers mock draft, and while he, like everyone else who does mock drafts, is merely speculating, his speculations come from an inside look into the Pittsburgh Steelers organization and locker room.
Somewhere Todd McShay or Mel Kiper Jr. have never been.
Fittipaldo goes into tremendous detail on every draft pick he suggests, but out of respect I will allow you to check his site for those details. Check out his full mock draft HERE. What I did is take each pick, as well as who he was also considering with that particular pick, and list it below.
After reading over the Steelers’ overall selections, let us know what you think about the mock draft in the comment section below. Do you like their approach? What about the positions taken in each round? Does it jive with your own personal Big Board? And of course, what do you think about the actual prospects selected?
Now onto the mock draft...
1. ILB Leighton Vander Esch of Boise State
The nightmare scenario for the Steelers is the top four inside linebackers being selected before they draft at No. 28. Roquan Smith of Georgia and Tremaine Edmunds of Virginia Tech will be long gone, but Vander Esch and Rashaan Evans are players who might be available. Evans was the pick on mock 1.0, but if he’s taken by another linebacker-needy team before the Steelers pick, they’ll have to move on to the next prospect. They’ll then have to hope Vander Esch slides to them.
Also considered: S Ronnie Harrison of Alabama
2. S Jessie Bates of Wake Forest
Also considered: CB Donte Jackson of LSU
3. RB Akrum Wadley of Iowa
Also considered: WR Anthony Miller of Memphis
4. No pick
5a. (via San Francisco) — TE Troy Fumagalli of Wisconsin
Also considered: TE Tyler Conklin of Central Michigan
5b. — LB Shaquem Griffin of Central Florida
Also considered: S Troy Apke of Penn State
6. No Pick
7a. (via New York Giants) WR Quadree Henderson of Pitt
Also considered: WR Justin Watson of Penn
7b. DL Matt Dickerson of UCLA
Also considered: DL Lowell Lotuleilei of Utah