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Behind the Steel Curtain: The Mock Season

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Behind the Steel Curtain is brimming with mock drafts right now, and I’ve decided to grade some of them.

NCAA Football: Tennessee at Texas A&M Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Baseball season just started, college basketball season just ended, and the NHL’s postseason will be “kicking off” soon, but here at BTSC, there is no question what season we are in the middle of: Mock Season.

Are you itching for the start of the 2017 NFL Draft and in need of a mock to tide you over? Look no further, because BTSC has been all mocks, all the time since about January 23.

If the mock was the f word, Behind the Steel Curtain would fall somewhere between The Wolf of Wall Street and The Departed (“Costello is a protected mockin informant.”).

If mocks were stink bugs, BTSC would be cleaning them out of its washing machine until August.

If the mock was a wrestler from the ‘80’s, I’d be feeling the power of Mockamania, brother! WHATCHA GONNA DO WHEN THE STEELERS TOP FIVE VALUE VS. NEED DRAFT OPTIONS AT NO. 30 RUN WILD ON YOU!!!!!!!!

With that in mind, I’d like to examine the many mock drafts that have been covered and produced by BTSC—and this is just in the last few days or so (I don’t have enough time to go back to January, when I still thought Myles Garrett was one of the original cast members of Saturday Night Live).

Thanks to Jeff Hartman, I see that ESPN draft gurus Mel Kiper and Todd McShay just released their latest mock drafts, which cover the Steelers first two picks.

In the first round, Kiper has the Steelers taking Derek Barnett, outside linebacker, Tennessee.

Barnett played defensive end in college, but at just 259 pounds, he would obviously have to switch to outside linebacker in the pros (at least in the Steelers 3-4 defensive scheme).

Pittsburgh needs a young pass rusher to come in and produce at right outside linebacker when (okay, if) James Harrison retires. Therefore, I give Kiper one I’d be totally okay with this for his selection.

As for McShay, he has Pittsburgh going with John Ross, receiver, Washington, in Round 1.

Considering the Steelers needs on the defensive side—specifically, at cornerback and outside linebacker--I was going to give McShay four What were you smoking when you made this pick?s. But given the uncertainty of Martavis Bryant, who has yet to be reinstated after missing all of 2016 due to a drug suspension, I decided that Ross wouldn’t be a bad addition in Round 1.

With that in mind, I’m officially giving McShay two I’d be totally okay with thiss for the selection of Ross.

In the second round, Kiper has Pittsburgh taking Chris Wormley, defensive tackle, Michigan.

Hello, Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt and Javon Hargrave, anyone?

I give Kiper three Smash my keyboards for this selection.

McShay predicts the Steelers will select Derek Rivers, defensive end/outside linebacker, Youngstown State, in the second round. Rivers dominated in college (38 sacks), and his measurables are quite good (35 inch vertical; 30 times on the bench press; and a 4.61 in the 40-yard dash), so this would be a great value pick at 62.

Therefore, I give McShay three Jump for joys for the selection of Rivers in the second round, along with one Great Value, plus a bonus My guy all along.

Now it’s time to head over to the backbone of the BTSC Mock Season: the fanposts section.

Here’s a mock released by JoeMainMan on April 6, only it’s not necessarily a mock. It’s more of a hypothetical “Who would you pick if these guys were available at 30?” kind of deal, and it comes complete with a poll.

Because Patrick Mahomes, quarterback, Texas Tech, is included as one of the players available, I give this mock six Smash my keyboards. And since Mahomes is running neck-and-neck with Wisconsin outside linebacker T.J. Watt for the most desired option, I will also add three Worst. Pick. Ever.s

Thankfully, Watt is currently ahead in this poll, which leads me to include three Giddy as a schoolgirls.

Next up is a mock by legendary BTSC poster TansofSteel, published on April 4.

This is a defensive-heavy mock and includes Jordan Willis, defensive end, Kansas State, in round one; Raewkon McMillan, inside linebacker, Ohio State, in round three; and Cam Sutton, cornerback, Tennessee, as the compensatory third round pick.

The Steelers need help on the defensive side, so all three of these selections make sense.

Unfortunately, Tan has the Steelers selecting Bucky Hodges, tight end, Virginia Tech, in the second. What, no David Njoku, tight end, Miami, or Evan Engram, tight end, Ole Miss? This seems like a bit of a reach in the second round. So, in addition to one Smash my Keyboard, I will have to issue Tan three Reach! Reach! Reach!s for this selection.

Overall, however, it’s a solid draft. Grade: three I’d be totally okay with thiss, plus a bonus My favorite mock so far!.

Here’s a post published by Ericsarmy released on April 2 that examines the 2018 quarterback draft class.

This isn’t a mock, but it is really informative and suggests the 2018 class won’t be as strong as the 2017 group.

Since Eric seems to be leaning towards the Steelers drafting a quarterback high this year, and since I’m dead-set against it, I have to issue this article four No! No! No! No!s and two Smash my keyboards.

Next up, we have a mock released by JoeBuckYourself724 on April 5.

It has the Steelers taking Marlon Humphrey, cornerback, Alabama, in round one; Derek Rivers, edge/outside linebacker, Youngstown State, in round two; and Pat Elflein, center, Ohio State, in round three.

I’m on board with the first two picks, so I will issue Joe three Like a kid on Christmas mornings.

And after doing some research on Elflein, I have learned that he’s the top-ranked center on most boards, which leads me to issue Joe a bonus Great value, along with three Jump for joys.

Grade: Three I’d be totally okay with thiss.

Up next is a mock published by Ike Evans on Thursday that uses a fanspeak’s simulator to sort through Pittsburgh’s seven round selections.

Rd. 1: Obi Melifonwu, safety, UConn: Rd. 2: Jared Davis, linebacker, Florida; Rd. 3: Jake Butt, tight end, Michigan; Rd. 3: Trey Hendrickson, EDGE, Florida Atlantic; Rd. 4: Ethan Pocic, center, LSU; Rd. 5: Mack Holins, wide receiver, North Carolina; Rd. 6: Aaron Jones, running back, UTEP; Rd. 7: Josh Topou, defensive lineman, Colorado.

This mock gives the Steelers more talent in the secondary, at the linebacker spot and along the defensive line. It also includes three skill position players on offense as well as some depth at center.

Grade: Four Feeling really good about thiss.

A quick look at a few more mocks:

Here’s a mock by CRSDR released on April 4 that has the Steelers taking Watt in the the first round.

Initial reaction: five Jumping for joys, plus a bonus Giddy as a schoolgirl.

Next up is a mock published by Shamarknado on April 3 that has the Steelers selecting Charles Harris, EDGE, Missouri, at 30.

Initial reaction: two Not opposed to thiss for the selection of a pass rusher in round one, but I also have to add two Bull**t!s for the drafting of Brad Kaaya, quarterback, Miami, with the compensatory pick in round three.

Here is a mock released by Justin84 on April 1, in-which he has Pittsburgh taking O.J. Howard, tight end, Alabama, at 30.

Initial reaction: Howard is basically a top-10 talent, so I have to issue six Bulls**t!s, along with two What were you smoking when you made this pick?s. Having said that, this would be a dream selection, so Justin84 gets three bonus Giddy as a schoolgirls.

As you can see, the opinions of people on BTSC regarding who the Steelers will select are varied, as are the grades.

But we have a long way to go before the draft, and the Mock Season is just heating up.

Stay tuned for more mocks and more reactions.