I know what you are thinking.
"Are you serious? A 2017 mock draft?! The 2016 NFL Draft JUST HAPPENED!"
Believe it or not, I agree with you when it comes to this sentiment, but there is a lot to take from mock drafts other than the prospect who is projected to go to your favorite NFL team.
Every year ESPN NFL Draft expert Todd McShay refuses to grade draft classes -- and rightfully so -- and in the place of grades, ESPN forces him to produce the next year's first mock draft. Projecting a draft class when they have yet to play their next season as well has having no idea about potential injuries is near impossible, but here we are.
Raekwon McMillan, ILB, Ohio State*
Part of a loaded Buckeyes linebacker corps that featured 2016 draftees Darron Lee and Joshua Perry, McMillan led Ohio State in solo tackles with 57 last season. McMillan (6-2, 240) flies to the ball and drops the hammer when he gets there.
The pick is worthy of discussion, with a grain of salt, but where the Steelers are selecting is certainly something to discuss. McShay has the Steelers picking 31st in the 2017 NFL Draft, which means one thing. He thinks the Steelers will be a part of Super Bowl 51, but will lose. Which team will end their bid at their 7th Super Bowl championship? None other than "Pittsburgh West". Yes, the Arizona Cardinals.
Many projected this to be the case in Super Bowl 50, and there can be an argument made these two teams could have been right in the mix if it hadn't been to a few key injuries on both teams. Nonetheless, could a re-match of Super Bowl 43 take place next season? And if so, will the ending be different than the heart-wrenching defeat which still has Cardinals fans plenty salty about the memory of James Harrison, Ben Roethlisberger and Santonio Holmes cementing the Steelers into NFL lore with their record 6th Super Bowl victory?
See? Mock drafts can provide more information than just on the surface.
For those wondering how McShay sees the AFC North shaking out, he has the Cleveland Browns with the top pick in the 2017 NFL Draft -- again -- the Baltimore Ravens selecting 24th and the Cincinnati Bengals picking 26th.
Obviously, this is a picture painted by one man, but the possibility of the Steelers making the Super Bowl, and the AFC North being extremely competitive, are not nearly out of the realm of possibility next season.