The time has finally come. No more waiting. No more speculating...well, at least a little more speculation on behalf of the writers here at BTSC.
I decided to get my staff to give me their predictions for the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft, and who they think the Steelers will be taking at pick No. 28. To say there was some disagreement is an understatement. However, I feel this is a perfect visual of the actual draft itself. No one really knows who will be there, and what direction the team will be headed.
With that said, below are our staff picks. Check them out, and feel free to let us know what you think in the comment section below!
Pick: Rashaan Evans
Analysis: Everyone is on the Guice train, an it is picking up steam, but I don’t think he is the top pick for the black-and-gold. While I wouldn’t be shocked to see a trade by the Steelers, I think Evans is their man. His versatility to play both inside and outside is a ridiculously awesome tool for what the Steelers want to do within their unique sub packages deployed by Keith Butler. Evans may not be the Day 1 contributor fans want, but he will be able to contribute during his rookie season — and I like the pick a lot.
Pick: Justin Reid, Safety, Stanford
Analysis: Although I’ve heard speculation on BTSC threads that it’s “unlikely 4 LB’s would be off the board before the Steelers select,” that’s exactly what I feel will happen.Justin Reid fits the Steelers athlletic profile. He is position versatile. He is intelligent (won numerous Academic All-PAC honors). Reid will provide the Steelers flexibility in the secondary from day 1, as well as being the long term answer at the safety position.
Pick: Rashaan Evans, ILB, Alabama
Analysis: If I could have my choice of any players in round one, I’d go with Roquan Smith or Tremaine Edmunds. Sadly, neither of them will be on the board past the 10th pick, barring some strange alignment of the stars. I’m not even certain Alabama linebacker Rashaan Evans will be there at 28 but, if he is, the Steelers will be running to the podium to select him. Ryan Shazier is such an enormous part of this defensive scheme, and his lost was huge last December. Evans gives the Steelers a strong, versatile defender to plug in right away and, if Shazier ever makes it back to the field, he’s someone who could ultimately be an upgrade to Vince Williams. They certainly need more athleticism at the position for 2018, and Evans is definitely that guy who can play inside in the team’s 3-4 base and even rush from the edge in sub-packages.
Pick: Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
Analysis: The Steelers have seldom subscribed to the tandem running back approach--and that’s especially been the case in the Le’Veon Bell era. Therefore, this choice can only mean one thing: 2019 is No. 26’s last in Pittsburgh.
Pick: Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
Analysis: While finding an inside linebacker here is still paramount, I don’t think the chips are going to fall that way. The Steelers are fed up with the verbal shenanigans of Le’Veon Bell and selecting the Louisiana State University RB Is essentially slamming the lid on the feud. Finding a guy that seems to have the ability to produce in a star-studded lineup will force Bell to have to sign his tender and open up the trade market to teams willing to meet his demands.
Pick: Derrius Guice, RB LSU
Analysis: Ugh. I made the mistake of writing this exhaustive—and admittedly irreverent—mock draft in which I predicted that, because the consensus top four inside linebacker prospects had already found homes elsewhere, the Steelers would use the no. 28 selection to draft Guice. Needless to say, I’m kinda locked into my prediction.
I don’t wanna transform this blurb into a full-blown column, but I’d like to briefly mention that a prediction isn’t necessarily an endorsement. I am an avowed Le’Veon Bell supporter, and I think he deserves whatever he asks for. However, I am also a realist, and I understand that there is a zero percent chance that Pittsburgh will fork over the requisite capital to meet Bell’s contact stipulations. Ergo, running back is my prediction. (With that said *puts on general manager costume* I believe that it would behoove the Steelers to either a) trade up for an inside linebacker or b) draft Lamar Jackson.)