It\’s time to start looking at the positions that the Pittsburgh Steelers will look to draft in April. I like to start with a very broad scope, so if certain players surge leading up to the draft, I\’m prepared. It is also a good idea to get a feel for a player before the combine, so you can tell if players are rated high just based on one weekend of workouts. Outside linebacker is an integral position for the Steelers and regardless of the status of James Harrison, there is a good chance that one will be targeted early in the draft. LaMarr Woodley has been inconsistent and Jason Worilds has only begun to show what he can do so depth is direly necessary.
Below is a list of the top players who should figure as a possibility to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme like the Steelers\’. This list includes profile information like school, class, height and weight. It also includes 3 different ways that I\’ve ranked the players. I will get more into these rankings in a bit, but it is useful to establish a baseline. This will help us understand who should be available when, which is the hardest battle a mock drafter faces. The first category ranks the player\’s skill level out of 100. The second gives a general idea what round the player should be drafted in, while the last category guesses the draft position more precisely.
|Bjoern Werner||Florida State||Jr||6\’4||256||92||early 1||6|
|Jarvis Jones||Georgia||rJr||6\’2||242||92||mid 1||6|
|Barkevious Mingo||LSU||rJr||6\’4||240||94||mid 1||9|
|Dion Jordan||Oregon||rSr||6\’6||243||91||late 1||19|
|Damontre Moore||Texas A&M||Jr||6\’4||250||93||early 1||25|
|Alex Okafor||Texas||Sr||6\’5||261||82||late 1||35|
|Ezekiel Ansah||Brigham Young||Sr||6\’5||274||91||mid 1||55|
|Jamie Collins||Sou Miss||Sr||6\’3||245||66||3||82|
|Brandon Jenkins||Florida State||Sr||6\’3||260||80||3||85|
|Cornellius Carradine||Florida State||Sr||6\’4||265||85||late 2||95|
The next chart contains the information that I gathered to create the 3 rankings above. The NFL.com and ESPN.com sites were used to establish the player ranking attribute. The WalterFootball and NFLDraftScout sites were referenced for the approximate draft round. Finally, the CBS.com and DraftTek sites were used to approximate the exact pick where the player should be drafted. Also included in the chart below are 4 sets of positional rankings to consider.
|Player||NFL.com||ESPN||CBS||DraftTek||Walterfootball||NFL Draft Scout|
|*||Score||Score||Pos Rk||Ovr Rk||Pos Rk||Ovr Rk||Pos Rk||Ovr Rk||Pos Rk||Ovr Rk|
|Bjoern Werner||90.9||94||1||2||3||9||2||top 10||1||1st|
|Jarvis Jones||88.8||95||1*||8||1||3||4||top 20||1*||1st|
|Barkevious Mingo||92.8||95||3||9||2||8||5||top 20||3||1st|
|Damontre Moore||89.2||96||2||4||7||45||1||top 10||1||1st|
|Ezekiel Ansah||89.3||92||4||16||12||94||3||top 20||4||1st|
*Rank for outside linebacker position (rather than defensive end)
With all of the information out there, at least a baseline is established for future conversation. I will try to break down this data before the combine, but if not, please give me an idea of who you like at OLB by commenting below. Please try to keep the discussion about the OLB position only for this post and I will continue thru the positions ASAP. Also, if you have any other sites that you think have thorough and insightful draft information, please post them below.