Steelers 2012 Mock Draft Version 1.0 – Christopher DiMarino

By Christopher DiMarino

Completing this mock draft was a large undertaking for a guy like me. Whereas I’m normally very direct and concise, I have tried to cater a lot of the articles I write towards both sides of the story. Sure I like Coby Fleener, but I also want to look into the negative aspects of him as a prospect in an effort to remain neutral as well as alter to my opinion of that player by gaining more information. That being said, I will list a few options at each of picks (at least the earlier rounds) that I’m considering. If Kevin Colbert busted into my apartment and asked me to give him an emergency mock draft at this point in time, this is what I would give him. Please go gentle on my later round selections. I’m just starting to look at some of these guys, and my opinion on them may seem a little wishy-washy. (All players in italics have either had pre-draft visits or are planned to).

Round 1 – Pick 24 (24th overall) – Coby Fleener (TE, Stanford)

Analysis: Even with the signing of Leonard Pope (a temporary solution), I still believe that unless a value drops to 24, they will take an impact player. Mark Barron would be great, but I’m beginning to doubt he’ll be available (Cowboys). With so much depth at OG and NT throughout the draft and only question marks available at OT, the only real options here are Fleener and Hightower.

Other contenders

OL: Kevin Zeitler (OG, Wisconsin), Mike Adams (OT, Ohio State), Cordy Glenn (OT, Georgia)

DE: Fletcher Cox (Mississippi State)

NT: Dontari Poe (Memphis)

LB/DE: Dont’A Hightower (ILB, Alabama), Nick Perry (DE, Southern California)

S: Mark Barron (SS, Alabama)

Round 2 – Pick 24 – 56th overall – Mychal Kendricks (ILB, California)

Analysis: Skipping on Hightower in the first round will be quickly forgotten as they grab Kendricks in the 2nd. He has a lot of the physical attributes of Hightower, but with a smaller (240vs265lbs) and faster 4.47vs4.68s) frame. This is a risky pick with so many options at OG. Harrison Smith is another good option here.

Other contenders

OL: Kelechi Osemele (OG, Iowa State), Zebrie Sanders (OT, Florida State), Amini Silatolu (OG, Midwestern State), Bobby Massie (OT, Mississippi)

DT: Alameda Ta’amu (NT, Washington)

S: Harrison Smith (SS, Notre Dame)

Other: Lamar Miller (RB, Miami(FL))

Round 3 – Pick 23 – 86th overall – Brandon Brooks (OG, Miami Ohio)

Analysis: A pick out of pure necessity. If Ta’amu drops to the 3rd, it becomes a hard sell not to take him, but shunning the O line throughout the first 3 rounds is a recipe for disaster. If a guard is grabbed in the 2nd round, there are options at safety here. And even if Ta’amu is gone, Mike Martin is intriguing.

Other contenders

OL: Brandon Washington (OG, Miami(FL)), Brandon Mosley (OT, Auburn), James Brown (OG, Troy)

DT: Mike Martin (NT, Michigan),

LB/DE: Jake Bequette (DE, Arkansas),

S: George Iloka (FS, Boise State), Markelle Martin (FS, Oklahoma State)

Round 4 – Pick 24 – 119th overall – Josh Chapman (NT, Alabama)

Analysis: As with OG in the 3rd, the Steelers need a NT. Even though Chapman won’t have an immediate impact, he has too much value here to ignore. There are also options at safety and JMJ is a good looking late round linebacker as well.

Other contenders

OL: Senio Kelemente (OG, Washington), Brandon Mosley (OT, Aubrun),

LB/DE: James-Michael Johnson (ILB, Nevada), Cam Johnson (DE, Virginia)

S: Trenton Robinson (FS, Michigan), Antonio Allen (SS, South Carolina), Brandon Taylor (SS, LSU)

Other: Isaiah Pead (RB, Cincinnati), Michael Egnew (TE, Missouri)

Round 5 – Pick 24 – 159th overall – Marvin McNutt (WR, Iowa)

Analysis: McNutt may not drop to here, but if he does he’s a Steeler. Even with the Mike Wallace question marks, the Steelers need a bigger receiver and McNutt would fit well. With Hilton’s visit, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him, but he’s small and the Steelers need size at WR.

Other contenders: Hebron Fangupo (NT, BYU), Audi Cole (ILB, NC State), T.Y. Hilton (WR, Florida Int), DeQuan Menzie (CB, Alabama), Kyle Wilber (ILB, Wake Forest)

Round 6 – Pick 23 – 193rd overall – Nate Potter (OT, Boise State)

Analysis: Grabbing some depth at OT in the 6th doesn’t seem like it matters but Potter is a good looking prospect. If Hanna is still available and Fleener isn’t on the roster, go with him.

Other contenders: Jeff Fuller (WR, Texas A&M), Olivier Vernon (OLB, Miami (Fl)), Matt Reynolds (OT, BYU), Ryan Miller (OG, Colorado), James Hanna (TE, Oklahoma)

Round 7 – Pick 24 – 231st overall – Drake Dunsmore (TE, Northwestern)

Round 7 – Pick 33 – 240th overall – Keith Tandy (CB, West Virginia)

Round 7 – Pick 39 – 246th overall – Toney Clemons (WR, Colorado)

Round 7 – Pick 41 – 248th overall – Aikeem Hicks (DE,DT Regina)

Analysis: Mainly camp bodies and guys to push for a practice squad spot. Dunsmore looks like a possible replacement for David Johnson. Depth at CB and WR are needed and the Steelers do have luck finding gold in late rounds. Hicks is a guy who can provide a call up body should they draft Chapman and an injury occur before he or Hampton are back.

Other contenders: Nicolas Jean-Baptiste (NT, Baylor), Frank Alexander (DE, Oklahoma), Marcel Jones (OT, Nebraska), Justin Anderson (OT, Georgia), Andrew Datko (OT, Florida State), Coty Sensebaugh (CB, Clemson), Terrence Frederick (CB, Texas A&M), Josh Chichester (TE, Louisville), Jerrell Harris (OLB, Alabama)

I tried to put a little emphasis on players that have visited the Steelers, but I will have to look into them further. This draft has a big Tic Tac Toe effect based on the position chosen in the first round. Below I quickly tossed some alternatives together based on the varying choices. I think the Steelers will choose a safety, inside linebacker, guard and nose tackle in the first 4 rounds unless a best player available is intriguing.










































***Note: To avoid certain people’s head’s exploding, replace Zeitler with Cordy Glenn if it helps.***

  • This would be a fantastic real-life draft.


    And the PK would be………?

  • I mostly like it, though I am not sure Chapman will be available when we pick in 4, nor Hicks in the 7th (I think Chapman goes earlier in 4 and Hicks MAY go in the 6th). Overall, if it went down this way, I’d be thrilled, though I too would prefer Barron over Fleener.

  • RealSteel

    Where can I sign-up for us to have this draft!! Nicely done. The only thing that I would say is that I think they will draft a RB somewhere this year.

  • Robhenderson

    Very nice mock. Im uneasy waiting until the 3rd for a guard. I like Fleener but would love Barron or Hightower.

  • TrueSteelerForLife

    Personally, I am coming around to Hightower in the first, then Trade the second rounder and try to get Silatolu and Brooks and Chapman in the third. That might be a stretch too, but I can make it work on Madden.

  • Tanner

    I think we need to go CB in the first (try to get Dre) G in the second and third (Osemele and Brooks) then get Chapman in the 4th and a WR,K,FS in the later rounds

  • Jprankster2005

    I like everything about that……. Especially rounds 1-4 but hope Ta amu falls to us in 3rd….. Fleener def. should go number 1 and don’t know if Kendricks will still be there in 2nd round…. And I see that u have no safety and 2 WR’s I think we need to get a safety even if it’s a 7th rounder…….. Like everything mostly though good job……

  • DFresh

    Dream draft even though I’m not sure how I feel about Fleener. Unfortunately…

    1) Kendricks is not making it to 56. I’ve seen him as high as the Ravens at 29
    2) Brooks has less of a chance of being there at 86 then Kendrick does at 56. Mid to late 2nd rounder, 3rd or 4th best guard in the draft depending on who you believe.
    3) Chapman could possibly fall to the end of the 4th. But I wouldn’t be suprised if some teams have him as their #1 NT and he goes much earlier.
    4) McNutt is being projected as early third, end of the 5th would be an absolute steal.
    5) Potter will not make it to the end of the 6th.

    I would absolutely love if the draft unfolded like this. However, I don’t think it’s going to happen.

  • LOC

    I would be shocked if any of 2-5 are there when we pick

  • Harold

    I appreciate the thought and effort you put in here but i think a true mock draft needs to be more realistic, meaning select players who “should” actually be there. Nobody knows yet who “will” actually be there but saying Kendricks – Brooks – Chapman “should” be available in those spots is similar to saying DeCastro “should” be available at 1.24. Very unlikely.

  • CW

    Personally I’d rather the Steelers look at trading out of the first round with one of the two or three teams that will want to pick the 4th best quarterback before the Browns do at the start of the second round. The truth is Michael Egnew might be a real late round steal for the Steelers at TE since his numbers dropped significantly without Blaine Gabbert under center.

    Let’s see how Wesley Saunders develops this offseason and look at Jake Stoneburner early next year and the very raw, but athletically gifted D.C. Jefferson later in next year’s draft if Egnew doesn’t drop to us later in the draft.

  • Broderick Wallace

    Props for doing good research, but you have the Steelers reaching in the 1st and too many players falling to Steelers, rounds 2-5. Why waste a first round pick on a tight end who can’t block. Fleener does not have a 1st round grade and the lack of talent in TE class this year has exaggerated his worth.

  • SteelersDepot

    I would suggest reading elsewhere then. We are probably not good enough for you.

  • SteelersDepot

    I would probably stop reading then until after the draft if I were you. Maybe longer.

  • Propain

    The Steelers will NOT take a CB with their 1st pick in the draft, guaranteed.
    I am hopeful that we either get Poe in the 1st or Chapman in the 3rd.

  • Jprankster2005

    Fleener can be a game changer and open up other players and make the offense alot better…… If they don’t grab him up they will grab Engew……

  • Jprankster2005

    I know it’s just people’s opinions……. people take stuff so seriously…… We don’t know who they will take…… And at this point I’m sure they don’t know who will be where when they pick…… I’m sure they will do fine in the draft…. Alot of negative people and negative comments……. We all want the same thing and that’s good players that will fill our needs and do a great job in Black and Gold…….

  • Jprankster2005

    Your way off…… OL is real deep in the draft and they will draft a CB but not til late rounds there going to go ILB and NT and OL 1-4 and then focus on CB and Safety… But Dre ain’t going to be there at 24…….

  • Bert

    If Barron is there at 24 he should be a Steeler. I’d rather see them trade down than take Fleener, but maybe somebody will slip through like Gilmore, DeCastro, Glenn or Cox. Kendricks, Brooks, Chapman, Dunsmore and Hicks all seem like solid picks to me, but I don’t like the McNutt selection. Sure, he’s big but there are other big guys who have more speed than him. Like RealSteel, I think an insurance RB is needed at some point.

  • Ressler Craig

    I tell you what if the draft would turn out that way it would be awesome!! But I’ll also tell you another thing, most of the guys you have going particular rounds seem to be a round to late. Or likely to be taken earlier in that round. For this reason, I really don’t think this mock is overly realistic. Btw, Steelersdepot is the primary site beating the drum for Fleener (at least it seems). I personally don’t see it. Probably explains why you had guys getting drafted too late that are likely not going to be on boad. Drafting Fleener in the first FORCES one to insert guys in the following rounds that are not going to be there, so one can somehow address the glaring needs Steelers have at other positions. Listen, if Fleener is drafted first then one of the positions OL, LB or NT will be filled in this years draft with a less than ideal draft prospect. The reason being is because at best, one of those positions will be addressed in the 4th round. I am not even certain Chapman will last until the Steelers 4th round pick.

  • TO

    Colbert will reach for Brooks in the second if they don’t pick OL in Round 1. Book it.

  • Jr

    this is a dream mock draft.. dont see this happening… i realld dont see any of the 2-5 picks being there. i think your a round late.

  • SteelersDepot

    Complaint line starts at the rear.

  • MDL123161

    I like the picks except for # 1. I do not see a tight end in the mix, much less round 1. I bet on Glenn or Hightower.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Would like to see a RB and QB somewhere in there…I like turbin as a RB out of Utah St and BJ Coleman a QB from Chattanooga or Davis a QB from S. Miss

  • LouPGH

    When I posted on the Pope thing the other day, I had no idea Fleener was such a divisive subject!

    Despite my earlier concerns on the topic, this would be a pretty epic draft. While I wouldn’t mind seeing another O-lineman a little earlier, we only get so many picks, you know? And this would be crazy value at so many positions of need.

    Also, I like that you added the “Other contenders” to each pick. Thanks for doing this!

  • Fred

    Fletcher Cox isnt a nose tackle

  • Maverickchef311

    Why do you usually tell posters who don’t agree with your writers to not post/read your website?

  • SteelersDepot

    Yes, it is a solid suggestion that they should not read what they do not like. Trying to save them time as it is precious.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    He is a tremendous athlete that I believe will be able to play any position on the DL

  • PoKey21

    Dont like Fleener. I would rather them make a trade (Forward or Backward) before it comes to drafting him. If we move back we can snag Tam’mu and Kendricks. Then get Brooks and one of the FS in the 3rd. However I really like Mike Martin in the 3rd too. They could go Osemele and Lamar in the second then Martin and Brooks in the 3rd. Either or that assuming they get a 2nd and 3rd for their 1st. I think both options are better then Fleener. if we move up and get Decastro in the 1st we could get Martin in the 3rd still. same thing if we move up and get Poe we could still get Brooks in the 3rd. Thats assuming we only give up out 1st and 2nd to move up. Again i think all the options i presented are better then Fleener.

  • PoKey21

    1- Donta Hightower (Hoping he is there still)
    2- Kelechi Osemele (Have to get a Guard, I think its the biggest need)
    3- Mike Martin (3 biggest needs addressed in the first 3 rounds)
    4- Trent Robinson (Also like Flemming, a CB out of Oklahoma)
    5- Brandon Mosley (OT out of Auburn, Raw Talent)
    6- Chris Rainey (RB out of Florida, KR and PR too. Need to keep the WRs healthy)
    7- Kellen Moore or Dan Persa (Need a smart backup QB)
    7- Randy Bullock (Best Kicker in the Draft, needed competition for Suisham)
    7- Deveir Posey (From OSU would have went earlier last year if he left, came back and had to sit out all but 3 games his Senior year, could be a steal)

    There so many possibilities. I am taking my chances with this I like Cordy Glenn in the first too. But if that happens the draft would be completely different. I am sticking with this one. We will see in a week.

  • Menace_501

    Just curious. Why does noone pick second still?

  • Derick

    Fletcher Cox a NT? I thought he was a 5 tech 34 DE at the next level?

  • H.I.

    I’m with most here, Rds 2-5 picks will not be there. Maybe one or two of them, but definitely not all four of them. Cox isn’t a NT, BTW. He’s a prototypical 5-Tech. He might play there in a pinch, but he would not be drafted as Hampton’s replacement. Fleener would be a horrible pick and would force their hand to make reaches in Rds 2, 3 and 4 to address their needs. Egnew would be a better prospect later in the draft who would be just as valuable and nearly as athletic and could be had Rd 4 or 5. Get the needs early, then TE, WR, RB, etc., later. I like the prospects you have chosen, but would make some minor alterations. Love Kendricks. Hopefully he is there at 56 if Hightower isn’t the pick in the 1st.

  • Maverickchef311

    Fair enough, but I enjoy reading other fans opinions vs. the writers. It makes the “comments” section sometimes a better read than the original article. Keeps opinionated Steeler’s fans coming back to your site.

    Since most of the articles are just writer’s stated opinions (with a bit more research), I would think you would want all types of readers on your site.

    If all the readers were just patting the writers on the back all the time, it would not spark many debates…….

  • Broderick Wallace

    How would anyone be able to make an assessment of your mock draft without reading it?

    You published this mock draft with the intent for others’ to read it and provide feedback, should they choose to do so.

  • Santorelli

    I don’t understand why you would put down a reader that took time out of their day to read and post a comment on your work since “time is so precious.” You should be embracing the readers’ feedback. I find that your actions towards your dedicated readers’ highly unprofessional.

  • Jr

    Prove me wrong then. Stop reflecting comments as negative ones towards your work and prove me wrong.

  • SteelersDepot

    You people fail to catch my VERY off color sarcasm. sigh!

  • SteelersDepot

    How can either prove each other wrong without the draft taking place. Are you 12? Just because YOU really think a round grade value is off? I suppose next you will point me to Mel Kiper grades. SMH