Every year as the NFL Draft approaches, Dan Kadar of SB Nation reaches out to every SB Nation website leader and has us all participate in the annual SB Nation Writer’s Mock Draft. In the past this has been a two round endeavor, but the mothership decided to keep it to one round this year.
Each year the selections are random and crazy, which makes it more like the actual NFL Draft than most mock drafts you read on the internet. On top of that, fans of every website typically hate the selection made by their fearless leader.
When it came to pick No. 28, the Steelers had some options. Leighton Vander Esch was gone, and I reached out to the BTSC brain trust (Mike Frazer, Nick Martin and 58Steel) to get their thoughts on what to do with the pick.
Rashaan Evans, linebacker from Alabama, was still available, but this is when the debate of positional need vs. best player available got started. Derrius Guice, running back from LSU, was still on the board, and the need to address the future of the running back position was very tempting.
We all talked about what we thought about the options on the board, and trying to put ourselves in Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert’s shoes. Ultimately, the majority voted for best player available (58Steel thought Evans should have been the pick) and we decided to take Guice with the 28th pick in the draft.
Check out the write up, as well as the analysis from Kadar below:
28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
Jeff Hartman: While the fan base will rebuke the selection for being an offensive player, the Steelers are preparing for the future by picking Guice. This hard-nose running back gives the team some options regarding their struggles with All-Pro Le’Veon Bell. By selecting Guice the Steelers could potentially rescind the franchise tag, try and trade him if he signs his tender, or allow Guice to play sparingly his rookie season before taking over in 2019 when Bell will be let to test the free agent market. Some may wonder what to think about James Conner, a third-round selection in 2017, but he and Guice would be a punishing duo for opposing defenses as the Steelers attempt to get back to a ‘blunt force trauma’ style rushing attack in the very near future.
There were defensive options available here at No. 28, but the Steelers have never drafted by position or need, but based on the best player available. With that said, Guice is the best player still on the board, and the Steelers make a very important move for the future of their offense.
Kadar Analysis: Finally, at long last, a player in my top five remaining is gone. Obviously with that said, I like the value of Guice with the 28th pick in this mock draft. It’s been difficult to work Guice into the first round of mock drafts just because running back is deep at the top of the draft this year. With that said, though, Guice absolutely has first-round talent.
Moving on from Bell is a risk. But the running back position is so disposable that it often makes more sense to bring in a younger and cheaper player while the veteran fades. Bell is probably still going to be a good player, but if his career follows the trend of most running backs, he’s entering the downside.
What do you think of the pick? You can check out the page, and vote on the pick by clicking HERE. As always, your comments are more than welcome in the comment section below.