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2018 NFL Mock Draft: Mike Mayock has Steelers going in a very different direction

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Mike Mayock’s one, and only, mock draft has the Pittsburgh Steelers going in a very different direction on Day 1.

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The 2018 NFL Draft is just hours away, and the speculation and anticipation is reaching a fever pitch. NFL Draft analysts and experts are all putting out their final predictions for the upcoming selection process.

Who will be drafted higher than expected? Who will drop? What trades will be made?

No one knows the answer to these questions, but many are putting their own spin on what is about to go down in Dallas Texas this weekend.

For NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock, he isn’t big on mock drafts. In fact, he only does one a year. For those waiting with bated breath, the time has come for Mayock to unleash the mock draft.

The big names go early, as expected, but one huge surprise comes with the Pittsburgh Steelers’ pick, at No. 28, in the first round. With Boise State inside linebacker Leighton Vander Esch still on the board, the Steelers select Sony Michel with their first round draft pick.

28. Pittsburgh Steelers – Sony Michel, RB (Georgia)

The one caveat to the Mayock mock draft is he never explains his predictions. Mayock has been vocal about his buying into the ‘Leighton Vander Esch is injured’ theory, and this could possibly explain him having the Steelers pass on the athletic linebacker, but this is the first person who has Michel slotted to the team in the first round.

This isn’t to suggest the Steelers don’t need running back help — they do. But the team also could find some talent at the position in the mid-to-late rounds of the draft. What might be the most interesting aspect of Pittsburgh potentially taking a running back in the first round would be the ramifications of the decision on Le’Veon Bell. Bell hasn’t signed his franchise tender, yet, and the team can rescind the franchise tag at any time. Doing so would make Bell a free agent. While unlikely, an early round running back is a clear sign the team is preparing for life without Bell. Whether it is this year, or next year.

Mayock might be on to something, or he might be off his rocker. Either way, the speculation ends tonight when the NFL Draft officially kicks off at 8pm ET.