The majority of the major pro days are now in the books and the compensatory picks have been handed out as well. With that behind us it is time for my 2012 Pittsburgh Steelers mock draft version 3.0. I will likely have at least 2 more mock drafts before my final one and if you have been following along through mock draft versions 1.0 and 2.0, you will see that I make slight changes as I work towards my final mock. I do not predict trades and do not even attempt to. I mock by the draft positions that are currently on the board. As more of the 2012 pre draft visitors are announced, it certainly will change a few things going forward. Disagree with the selections in the comments below, but give good reason as to why. Don\’t just say that guy will not fall to that round or that player sucks. Use this post for constructive use. Please go elsewhere if you want to be a jackass. I love film study and am never opposed to going back and watching more on a certain player. With all of that disclaimer stuff out of the way, here is version 3.0. Have at it.
|Jonathan Martin||6051||312||34||9 7/8||5.33||20||30||8\’8″||4.76|
|Brandon Brooks||6050||346||32 5/8||9 5/8||4.99||36||32||8\’9″||4.53|
|Josh Chapman||6005||319||32||11 1/8||N/A||29||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|James-Michael Johnson||6001||241||32 7/8||9 3/8||4.65||23||37||10\’4″||4.38|
|Derek Wolfe||6051||295||33 1/4||10 3/4||4.95||33||33 1/2||9\’0″||4.49|
|Trenton Robinson||5096||195||31 1/2||9 3/4||4.48||15||35||10\’5″||4.16|
|Devon Wylie||5092||187||30 1/4||9 1/2||4.39||17||39||10\’3″||N/A|
|George Bryan||6050||258||32||9 3/4||5.05||13||33||9\’2″||4.57|
|Micah Pellerin||6003||194||31 3/4||9 5/8||4.56||14||33||9\’8″||4.29|
|Randy Bullock||5092||205||29 1/4||8 3/8||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
Round 1 – Jonathan Martin – T – Stanford – I have reshuffled my rankings after the pro days and the first thing people will ask is why I did not keep Dont\’a Hightower here. I am not totally divorced from him, but for this mock I attacked it much more from the best player available standpoint and assume that Martin will be on the board still. I have Martin ranked higher than Hightower plain and simple and tackles hold more value in my eyes than inside linebackers do, especially if they can play left tackle. Now the big question is whether or not Martin is the 3rd, 4th or 5th rated tackle in the draft to other teams. I believe he is the 4th right now and can see the slim possibility of him still being on the board after the first 23 picks are made. When you look at the Steelers current tackle situation you see Marcus Gilbert and Willie Colon. That\’s it. None of you will sell me on Jonathan Scott and the return of Max Starks is just not likely to happen before the season starts. When you factor in that Colon has not been healthy the last two seasons and the very remote possibility that he could be kicked inside to guard in 2013, you see that it can\’t hurt to take a tackle here. I am not sold on Cordy Glenn, but maybe the Steelers are. I acknowledge that even though I do not see him as anything more than a right tackle with a second round grade, that perhaps the Steelers might see it different, as could other teams. Martin is a first round talent who plays with a good base. He has good timing with his punch and keeps his knees bent well with a low set in pass protection. He has adequate technique and maintains good balance. He extends his arms well and can properly re-direct. Martin can likely help right away at right tackle in case of injury, and after a year, move to the left side if Gilbert needs to move back over to the right side. The Steelers like their first round picks to contribute in their first year if possible and this also gives Martin an edge over Hightower, because of injury concerns to the offensive line and lack of depth. There are still minor concerns with Hightower as it relates to him being a three down backer as well. For now I am going with Martin here and am not ruling out Hightower as the pick in future mocks.
Round 2 – Brandon Brooks – G – Miami Ohio – I am moving Brooks up a round from my last mock. The Steelers need help inside and I really have been on high on Brooks. He can play either guard position or even right tackle in case of emergency. He moves well for a guy his size and that includes agility. When he latches on to his defender, he stays locked on and uses his legs well to drive his man off of the line. He handles spin moves well and stays mirrored to his man. The real question most have about him is the level of competition that he faced in college. In my opinion he has the best explosion of any interior prospect not named David DeCastro. The Steelers have interest in him and he should be there in the second round. He could play left or right guard for the next 6-10 years if he stays healthy.
Round 3 – Josh Chapman – NT – Alabama – Without a doubt Chapman would have been a first or second round pick if not for his knee injury. He is a traditional 3-4 nose that can handle two gap responsibilities as well as double teams when he keeps his shoulders square. He keeps a good base and maintains solid leverage. He has minor technique issues with his hands, but that should be easily corrected as he tends to use them way too high at first contact. He is quick off of the snap, but needs to work on his recognition. He presents match up problems inside when not double teamed and can even split those when asked to go straight up the field. He played in the 3-4 at Alabama, so he should have a solid grasp of the core basics. He is by no means a chase guy, but does give the effort from behind. He would be a steal late in the 3rd round.
Round 4 – James-Michael Johnson – ILB – Nevada – Johnson was in my first mock and is back now in the third being as I do not have the Steelers drafting Hightower in this one. He thumps at the point of attack against the competition he faced and uses his arms well, but needs to do a better job at keeping his feet. He will need to work on shedding his man better if playing the BUCK role, but is not afraid to run at any contact. He will get lazy at times late in games and run around blocks, but that can be fixed at the next level. Looks good dropping in zone coverage and can run with backs and tight ends in man coverage. He shows good awareness of play diagnosis and can time his blitzes well to get through trash. The inside linebacker class is not deep this year once you get past Luke Kuechly and Hightower, but he has the smarts and the tools to get better at his craft. He would not contribute initially on defense, but certainly could be an instant special teams star. I think he will last until late in the fourth and he has more upside than most think.
Round 5 – Derek Wolfe – DE – Cincinnati – The Steelers really seem interested in Wolfe. A defensive tackle at Cincinnati who projects as a 5 technique defensive end at the next level. Does well one on one but struggles holding his ground against double teams. Can play some 2 gap and played up and down the line as well. Right defensive end might be his best side, but watched him make plays on left just as well. He has a strong motor and good awareness at finding the ball quickly. He has a good burst in pass rush, but does not have a full arsenal of moves outside of a strong club. He would have to adjust to life in a 3-4 where holding the point of attack is very important. He really has a strong upside and could very well go in the 4th round. For now I think he slides to the 5th.
Round 6 – Trenton Robinson – FS – Michigan State - The free safety class is not great once again, but the Steelers seem to have some real interest in Robinson. He is not the best tackler, but is not afraid to come up and offer support against the run. He has good play recognition and locates the ball quickly while in the air, but doesn\’t play angles well just yet. He can drive quickly to underneath routes, but does not play centerfield well. He is a very raw, but well built safety. He shows basic technique pluses such as sitting down in his stance well, but needs help in several other areas. He is average in both man and zone coverage. He would have to earn his stripes on special teams with hopes that he could progress into a NFL free safety.
Round 7a – Devon Wylie – WR – Fresno State - Wylie is not the ideal size wide receiver, but he has great hands and is best used in the slot. He often gets compared to Wes Welker, but he has durability concerns that has dropped his stock. He is a raw route runner, but gets open in the middle of the field and is elusive after the catch. He has good speed and is agile. He can contribute on special teams.
Round 7b – George Bryan – TE – North Carolina State – Project tight end that can both block and catch. Will never be a number one, but could develop into a reliable number two once his blocking is refined. Better than average hands and solid body control. He can get off the line good and into his routes with ease. Nothing but upside.
Round 7c – Micah Pellerin – CB – Hampton – Very raw small school corner. Has good size, but not great speed. Is considered an outside corner and has played some safety. Could do worse for a project compensatory pick.
Round 7d – Randy Bullock – K – Texas A&M – Never hurts to have a second kicker in camp to push Shaun Suisham. Why not use one of three compensatory picks on why?