2013 Steelers Mock Draft Version 5.0 – Final Edition

The 2013 NFL draft will get underway in New York City Thursday evening, so it is now time for my final Pittsburgh Steelers mock draft of the year.

Mock drafts are never satisfying to me as the odds of getting all of the picks correct really doesn\’t exist. The process, however, is satisfying, as I get a chance to watch a lot of tape and read a ton of material on several of the draft hopeful players.

You will notice at the bottom of every selection there are nine additional players listed that I considered in each and every round. In round six, however, I duplicated the nine as both picks existed in the same round. In total, I should have 71 players listed that I considered for this mock draft. My ultimate goal is to have all of the Steelers draft picks come out of that group of 71 players.

I tried to be as thorough with my explanation with each and every selection, and where applicable, explained my reasoning for the selection as far as positions go.

You will notice that I have been a lone wolf when it comes to taking a guard in the first round, but my reasoning is detailed. I am clearly well aware things could go a different direction if neither are on the board. I would not be surprised if the Steelers traded down in round one and it would not hurt my feelings one bit if they did as this draft is loaded with mid-round talent and the Steelers have more than there share of needs. In fact, I am praying that happens.

If you are going to comment below, please make sure you read the entire piece first. Also, if you oppose a selection, please explain why. Any comments that I deem to be non constructive or merely trolling will be deleted. Go play on one of the other sites that puts up with that nonsense.

If you missed my previous four mock drafts, you can read them at the links below.

I hope you have enjoyed the mocks and the discussion this offseason and I invite you to list your final mock in the comments.

2013 Steelers Mock Draft Version 1.0 – Post Senior Bowl
2013 Steelers Mock Draft Version 2.0 – Post NFL Combine
2013 Steelers Mock Draft Version 3.0 – Post Pro Days
2013 Steelers Mock Draft Version 4.0 – Post Pre Draft Visits

Round 1 – G Jonathan Cooper – North Carolina

Measurables: Height 6021…Weight 311…5.07 in the 40-yard dash…1.77 10-yard dash…2.91 20-yard dash…4.84 20-yard shuttle…7.78 three-cone drill…27-inch vertical jump…9’0” broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 35 times…33-inch arm length…10 ¼-inch hands…78 3/8-inch wingspan.

Where is the interior depth on the Steelers offensive line? In addition to that, the contract that they gave Ramon Foster earlier in the offseason was not earth shattering one bit. If you think that he can run the counter pike and the trap to the right, you must have missed a lot of games over the years. I don\’t hate Foster as I believe he has been the Steelers most consistent lineman the last two seasons, but he just doesn\’t fit what I believe the Steelers want to accomplish long-term in the running game. I do think that he serves a purpose as a solid swing guard and emergency right tackle.

So you want to sign back Doug Legursky, a guy who can only play center? Remember, after Willie Colon went down last year, center Maurkice Pouncey was forced to play left guard instead of Legursky. John Malecki? No, I don\’t think he is the answer either. Kelvin Beachum? He\’s a jack of all trades and a master of none of them.

As far as Cooper being the pick, I am betting that the 30 year trend of two guards not being selected in the first 16 picks stays in tact. I will state, however, if ever was there a year that the trend could be broken, this would be the year due to the lack of blue-chip prospects in the first round. I like Chance Warmack, who is a beast of a man at left guard, as well, but Cooper can play all three interior line positions and is much better on the move. Cooper can play at a heavier weight, and should he wind up being the pick, I suspect he will be asked to do just that.

My selection of Cooper, who I have broken down extensively over the last few months, is not about need, however, as much as it is him possibly being the best player available on the board when the Steelers pick rolls around. Many think that hate outside linebacker Jarvis Jones. I don\’t hate his college production as much as I hate the medical risk and lack of upside that he has at 23 years of age. His play against the run and inability to take on blockers consistently against the better running teams also scares me. I, unlike others, do not think that the Steelers have completely given up on Jason Worilds. Should he excel in his first year as a starter, it is hard to imagine that the Steelers would let him walk off via free agency. Should Worilds become a three starter, that would mean Jones sits on the sideline for at least two or three years the way Worilds did.

Safety Kenny Vaccaro? I considered him here as well, but this draft is deep enough at the safety position that I believe there is a good enough reason to wait until later in the draft to select one. Should Vaccaro wind up being the pick, it would be only the second time in the history of the Steelers that a true safety has been selected in the first round.

The ideal situation for the Steelers, in my opinion, would be to trade down a few spots in the first round to draft a wide receiver, but being as I refuse to predict trades, I will stay with what the current picks on the board.

Nine other players considered here in order: G Chance Warmack, OLB Jarvis Jones, SS Kenny Vaccaro, CB Xavier Rhodes, WR Tavon Austin, CB Dee Milliner, TE Tyler Eifert, RB Eddie Lacy, WR Cordarrelle Patterson

Round 2 – WR Robert Woods – USC

Measurables: Height 6003…Weight 190…4.43 in the 40-yard dash…1.52 10-yard dash…2.56 20-yard dash…4.23 20-yard shuttle…11.33 60-yard shuttle…7.08 three-cone drill…32-inch vertical jump…9’8” broad jump… Bench pressed 225 pounds 17 times…32 5/8-inch arm length…9 1/8-inch hands…76 ¼-inch wingspan.

When you look at the list of wide receivers, and you look at the teams that draft before the Steelers at the end of round one and the beginning of round two, you can\’t help but think that one or two of the top five or six receivers will fall to Steelers in the second round. I originally had DeAndre Hopkins penciled in for this spot, but I really get the feeling that he will be off the board to the St. Louis Rams or the Houston Texans. Justin Hunter is another kid that I do not believe will drop due to his size, speed and production minus the drops.

Being as four of the top six wide receivers will likely be off the board by the time that the Steelers pick in round two, I have Woods next in line. He is an incredible route runner that is not afraid to go across the middle to make the tough catch. He catches the ball away from his body most of the time and adequate after the catch. He is a more than willing stalk blocker in addition to everything else.

While not known as deep play-maker, Woods can get over the top occasional. He will struggle getting off of the line against press coverage, but I have seen this wart on all of the top receivers. Another flaw that Woods has is his body distribution at the top of his routes and the indicators that he displays. These, however, can be coached out of him. I like the way that he comes back to ball and the way that he makes use of his double moves.

Woods is a tough kid that will attempt to play through injuries and although not known for being great at it, Woods has experience returning punts.

Should the Steelers not come out of the first two rounds with a wide receiver, I could see them waiting until later in the draft unless Stedman Bailey, another receiver I really like, is available in the third round.

Nine other players considered here in order:  WR DeAndre Hopkins, WR Justin Hunter, ILB Arthur Brown, WR Keenan Allen, OLB Jamie Collins, SS Jonathan Cyprien, ILB Kevin Minter, OLB Damontre Moore, WR Terrance Williams

Provided by Sports-Reference.com/CFB: View Original Table
Generated 4/24/2013.

Round 3 – RB Johnathan Franklin – UCLA

Measurables: Height 5100…Weight 201…4.40 in the 40-yard dash…1.53 10-yard dash…2.55 20-yard dash…4.16 20-yard shuttle…11.23 60-yard shuttle…6.79 three-cone drill…35-inch vertical jump…9’10” broad jump… Bench pressed 225 pounds 17 times…29 1/4-inch arm length…9 ½-inch hands…71 7/8-inch wingspan.

All offseason, Colbert has let us know how disappointed that he is in the Steelers running back situation, that now only consist of Jonathan Dwyer, Isaac Redman and Baron Batch. Heading into the draft, the Steelers have only brought in a handful of free agent running backs for a visits, just in case they don\’t come away from the draft with running back that they like.

As far as we know right now, the only running backs that have been brought in for pre draft visits thus far have been Lacy, Franklin and Christine Michael, although they also reportedly worked out Le\’Veon Bell privately.

While he has been slowly climbing up the draft boards, Franklin, in my opinion, is a third round running back due to the fact that he is not projected to be a guy that can carry the ball 25 times a game. I should note that I have seen him in some mock drafts as high as the first round and all over in rounds two and three. Many see him as a complimentary back, but in the right system, I do believe he that he can deliver as many as 20 touches a game either on the ground or through the air.

Franklin does his best running out in space and has a nice blend of short area quickness and quick cuts. He is patient back that reads his blocks well and just adequate enough to run between the tackles when his number is called. He is not lightening fast, but instead very slippery.

Despite his less than ideal size, Franklin has shown to be a capable pass protector and contributor on special teams. If the Steelers plan on using more zone blocking in 2013, Franklin could become a back capable of pressing the edge and delivering explosive running plays. He is not an old school smash mouth back, but I do not believe that the Steelers intend on using him as one.

Could the Steelers select him in round two just the same? I am not willing to rule that out as possibility, but I have a third round grade on him as previously stated.

Nine other players considered here in order: SS Phillip Thomas, RB Le\’Veon Bell, RB Christine Michael, G Brian Winters, OLB Corey Lemonier, WR Stedman Bailey, SS J.J. Wilcox, OLB Sio Moore, ILB Khaseem Greene

Provided by Sports-Reference.com/CFB: View Original Table
Generated 4/24/2013.

Round 4 – OLB John Simon – Ohio State

Measurables: Height 6014…Weight 256…4.76 in the 40-yard dash…1.70 10-yard dash…2.79 20-yard dash…4.56 20-yard shuttle…7.43 three-cone drill…32-inch vertical jump…9’3” broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 34 times…32 ¾-inch arm length…9 3/8-inch hands…78 ¾-inch wingspan.

The Steelers are needing an outside linebacker to develop just case the aforementioned Worilds winds up either not living up to his potential, or is allowed to leave via free agency.

Plain and simple, Simon is football player and below is what I wrote about him previously.

Simon doesn\’t have the classic build of a Steelers 3-4 outside linebacker, but he certainly has the production of one. His production as a defensive end at Ohio State was quite impressive, and it included 45 career tackles for losses and 20.5 sacks with 16 of them coming in the last two seasons. Simon has perhaps the best motor of any player in this draft, and his leadership qualities are off the chart.

While he is considered a workout warrior, he will more than likely have to drop about 10 pounds at the NFL level, which should help him become a bit more flexible. He has quick feet for a player of his size and is above average at setting and holding the edge against the run. His bend around the edge will need some improvement, and he will need to develop more counter moves, but he should be able to push the pocket consistently as an outside linebacker. While he will never be one that will be expected to follow a tight end across the field, his few drops into the flat seemed to be precise. He mostly played defensive end, so there will be an expected transition period to standing up as an outside linebacker. While he is not the quickest off the snap, he is measured, and has good read vision. Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau has a soft heart for Ohio State players and was present for his pro day in March. In addition to that, the Steelers liked him enough to bring in him for a pre draft visit.

When looking at his stats, keep in mind that Simon played all over the place while at Ohio State. His move to the LEO position was a good one, and with the proper coaching, I think that this natural born leader has the ability to become a solid 3-4 outside linebacker. He gives 100 percent on every play and I would hate to have to play against him. If the Steelers don\’t draft Simon, somebody else will and I will not be surprised to see him in the league eight years from now.

Nine other players considered here in order: SS T.J. McDonald, WR Ryan Swope, SS Shamarko Thomas, RB Mike Gillislee, RB Marcus Lattimore, RB Joseph Randle, DE Lavar Edwards, QB Tyler Bray, WR Kenny Stills

TacklesDef IntFumbles
Provided by Sports-Reference.com/CFB: View Original Table
Generated 4/24/2013.

Round 5 – SS Shawn Williams – Georgia

Measurables: Height 5117…Weight 213…4.42 in the 40-yard dash…1.54 10-yard dash…2.50 20-yard dash…4.25 20-yard shuttle…11.23 60-yard shuttle…7.01 three-cone drill…36-inch vertical jump…10’0” broad jump… Bench pressed 225 pounds 25 times…30-inch arm length…8 ¼-inch hands…73 7/8-inch wingspan.

Should the Steelers not draft a safety in the first two rounds, I feel like they will probably wait until to the back end of the draft to do so. Assuming they view Robert Golden as their future free safety, they will need a strong safety type to groom to take over eventually for Troy Polamalu.

In my opinion, Williams is a very underrated safety and below is what I previously wrote about him.

Williams has been overshadowed by Jones, Alec Ogletree and Bacarri Rambo on defense while at Georgia, but he is a very underrated strong safety prospect that has played against elite competition in the SEC. He has a linebacker mentality and was even forced to play some linebacker while at Georgia due to injuries.

Williams is very physical in the box and a solid tackler that plays downhill against the run. He timed faster than most thought he would at the combine, but when you watch his tape you will see that he does cover quite a bit of ground. He understands angles, route progressions and back half responsibilities as well as any strong safety prospect in this draft, in my opinion.

Williams\’ play has been compared to Bernard Pollard only he is not a head case. He is regarded as a team leader with strong character and his experience on special teams will guarantee that he dresses every Sunday in the NFL until he is ready to start.

Nine other players considered here in order: SS Duke Williams, CB B.W. Webb, WR Tavarres King, WR Josh Boyce, DE Malliciah Goodman, CB Tharold Simon, RB Kenjon Barner, ILB Vince Williams, QB Zac Dysert

TacklesDef IntFumbles
Provided by Sports-Reference.com/CFB: View Original Table
Generated 4/24/2013.

Round 6 – DE Joe Kruger – Utah

Measurables: Height 6062…Weight 269…4.81 in the 40-yard dash…1.66 10-yard dash…2.66 20-yard dash…4.46 20-yard shuttle…7.17 three-cone drill…34-inch vertical jump…9’9” broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 24 times…34 3/8-inch arm length…10-inch hands…NA wingspan.

It is so hard to judge how long Kruger will remain on the board. He could go as early as the fourth or as late as the seventh. I will take my chances that he will be there for the Steelers in the sixth. If they took him higher, it wouldn\’t hurt my feelings as I really do think that he could become a solid 3-4 defensive end. Below is what I wrote about him previously.

Younger brother of Paul Kruger and has the perfect size and skill-set to become a starting 5 technique defensive end in a 3-4. Kruger needs to be broken down and built back up again as his technique needs a lot of work. He plays too light as he needs to fill out a little more and get stronger so that he can hold his ground and occupy more than one blocker when asked. He should be able to carry 15 more pounds with ease.

Kruger is not the most nimble guy, but neither were Aaron Smith and Brett Keisel. He will need to learn to be more effective at reading plays and get himself in passing lanes so that he can get those long arms in the vision of the quarterback in order to knock down some passes. Is he J.J. Watt? No, but he could turn into a seven year starter in the NFL.

The 3-4 defensive end class is thin this year and Colbert pointed that out in his pre draft press conference. The Steelers need depth behind their starters and I do not believe that Al Woods is the long-term solution. Should they not take a defensive end in this draft, they will have to load up on a few undrafted free agents in hopes of finding one that can stick.

Nine other players considered here in order: SS Rontez Miles, TE Zach Sudfeld, RB Michael Ford, WR Aaron Mellette, TE Michael Williams, G Josh Kline, DE Devin Taylor, WR Denard Robinson, OLB Ty Powell

TacklesDef IntFumbles
Provided by Sports-Reference.com/CFB: View Original Table
Generated 4/24/2013.

Round 6 (COMP) – CB Will Davis – Utah State

Measurables: Height 5113…Weight 182…4.43 in the 40-yard dash…1.50 10-yard dash…2.51 20-yard dash…4.02 20-yard shuttle…6.52 three-cone drill…35 ½-inch vertical jump…10’7” broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 16 times…31 ¼-inch arm length…8 ¾-inch hands…74-inch wingspan.

Davis might just have the size and build to remain outside as boundary cornerback. He is a better than average tackler, a must trait for any Steelers cornerback, and possesses a nice change of direction and great leaping ability. He is not a very physical guy, but has shown the ability to be a ball hawk.

In the little bit of tape that I have watched of him, Davis seems to be very athletic, but raw. Although he has played press before, he is not overly great at it. His closing speed would make his transition to playing more zone an easy one and he is fairly good at protecting the chains when playing off.

Davis has, however, given up a few big plays and gets caught biting on double moves and peeking into the backfield. He is also known to be a grabber when beaten cleanly.

Steelers defensive backs coach Carnell Lake likes these kind of cornerbacks that are raw and not full of bad habits. If there was such a thing as a poor man\’s Cortez Allen, Davis would likely be it. The Steelers brought Davis in for a pre draft visit and appear to be serious about drafting a cornerback at some point.

While I have him in the sixth round, it would not be surprising to see him go a round earlier.

Nine other players considered here in order: SS Rontez Miles, TE Zach Sudfeld, RB Michael Ford, WR Aaron Mellette, TE Michael Williams, G Josh Kline, DE Devin Taylor, WR Denard Robinson, OLB Ty Powell

TacklesDef IntFumbles
Provided by Sports-Reference.com/CFB: View Original Table
Generated 4/24/2013.

Round 7  – ILB Michael Mauti – Penn State

Measurables: Height 6017…Weight 243…Bench pressed 225 pounds 28 times…32 ½-inch arm length…10 ½-inch hands

I have already written quite a bit about Mauti in the past. If you have followed along with my mock drafts over the course of the offseason, you know that I am really rooting for this kid to overcome yet another serious knee injury.

In the Steelers 3-4, Mauti projects to be a BUCK inside linebacker that will need to show that he can execute while not being covered up all of the time. He is average at taking on blockers, but always seems to be around the football. He drops well and makes up for some of his weaknesses by reading and diagnosing quickly. He is a much better zone defender than man.

Obviously, Mauti has durability issues thanks to all of the knee injuries, but he is working like mad man to be ready come training camp time. He is a leader and looks and plays like a Steelers linebacker should.

Nine other players considered here in order: OLB Jayson DiManche, G Nik Embernate, SS Jonathan Meeks, QB Ryan Griffin, ILB Marvin Burdette, DE David Bass, CB Travis Howard, SS P.J. Smith, FS Daimion Stafford

TacklesDef IntFumbles
Provided by Sports-Reference.com/CFB: View Original Table
Generated 4/24/2013.

  • Guest

    i would be way too happy if the draft went like this. Cooper, Woods and Franklin could all contribute year 1, which the Steelers could really use. Rest of the draft then helps with defensive depth issues (although I doubt Steelers wait til the 4th to address defense). I do not like considering a WR round 1, Woods is perfect in the 2nd. Also would be stoked with Mauti in the 7th.

    I would like to see a Denard Robinson selection in the 6th w/ one of their 2 picks. Just a good flex player who could be the 4th RB/6th WR type on the roster, kinda replacing Rainey. The offense could use some flash down the road.

    But overall, this would be a near-perfect draft in my eyes.

  • Kevin Gobleck

    Damn. i think this is one of the best scenarios we could end up with. although i would be fine with taking S. Bailey in the second.

  • I like your picks. How accurate were you with past drafts?

  • Pretty work Dave. You definitely saved the best mock for your last one. I have been getting beat down for demanding Cooper in the first. The best part of your latest Mock is that you addressed 3 immediate contributors for 2013 in the first half of the Draft for the Offense. Nice Job.

  • reg38

    Glad you included Marvin Burdette as a possibility in round 7. I have heard the Steelers have real interest in him in the later rounds of the draft. A little undersized but tough as nails.

    Like the guard choice in round 1. I think Warmack is the guy that will slide to 17, not Cooper.

  • zbluez1

    So let it be written, so let it be done !!!!!! I believe your predictions (guesses) are as good as anyones elses, better most probably. I have no issues with your picks or reasoning, however, based upon what I have seen as far as player assessments, projections, etc….No one seems to agree this year on just about everyone or anyone, so it should make for a bizarre draft to say the least because EVERY team, not just the Steelers are going to choose who they “think” is the best player available in a talent pool that is inconsistent in its evaluations. I believe every team will make picks this year that someone else will say “W.T.H. were they thinking?” and pass on a player that people will say “they should’ve taken that guy” and the Steelers won’t be any different. Let the weirdness begin ……. “They took who ????…with that pick ????? “

  • Kevin Gobleck

    Here is my mock draft, some what similar
    Dee Milliner CB Alabama
    -I just have a gut feeling that he’ll
    be there for us when we go to pick at 17, and his talent is too good to pass up
    at this stage
    Stedman Bailey WR WVU
    -Sure handed, great route running and
    can get yards after the catch.
    Jonathan Franklin RB UCLA
    -We have been looking hard at him he is
    a shifty back with good vision.
    John Simon OLB Ohio St.
    -Quality pass rusher and has great
    Brian Winters G Kent St.
    -Versatile O Lineman and is one of the
    better blockers in the draft
    6. Paul Kruger DE Utah
    -I think he grab the next B. Keisel in
    this pick

    Michael Mauti LB Penn St.
    -I think without injuries he is the
    best ILB in the draft and has the best character in this class.
    Rontez Miles S California (Pa.)
    -A kid born and raised in the burgh
    gets to continue his career here.

  • I am of the belief that if you can get an immediate starter in round 1, that is consistent with the BPA/need philosophy. It would not be a reach or overdraft at all. Cooper is that immediate starter. But all it takes is for a couple teams to make unconventional or unexpected picks, and everyone’s mock is out the window, just like the NCAA bracket, a couple of upsets and all the ‘perts look like fools.

  • SteelersDepot

    For those of you getting worked up about the contract they gave Foster as to being the reason why a guard shouldn’t be selected, Foster counts just $240K more against the cap in 2013 then he did in 2012, Had DeCastro not been injured, Foster would have been a backup last year.

    In addition, Foster, if need be, could be released next offseason with only a $900K dead charge, although I don’t see that happening.

  • Jason Brant

    Stephen Hawking could run behind a line that had Cooper, Pouncey, and DeCastro.

  • RW

    I don’t know whether to thumbs up this or thumbs down this. Point made, though.

  • I could live with your draft no doubt. I think they have Tyler Eifert as one of those special 6 players Colbert talked about. I think Eifert takes Heath’s place until he gets back and then Haley will be creative to get both guys in the game plan. I have the Steelers trading back to 23 with Minnesota for the 23rd pick and a 3rd rounder. So my draft is as follows.
    Rd. 1 TE Tyler Eifert
    Rd. 2 Hoping for WR Justin Hunter but I think we pick from in this order Hunter/Hopkins/Allen and Woods. One of the available WR.
    Rd 3 from Min S Jonathan Cyprien
    Rd 3 RB Johnathan Franklin
    Rd 4 OLB John Simon
    Rd 5 C Brian Schwenke
    Rd 6 DE Joe Kreger
    Rd 6 CB Will Davis
    Rd 7 ILB Michael Mauti

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Dave. Even though I would pick different players, I cannot dispute that your draft presents solid value with prospects of very high character. (Not sure if you did that consciously or not?)

    Hypothetically speaking, if we did draft Cooper. What is our game plan at OG? Start Cooper and keep Foster as a back up? Or cut him next year?

  • RW

    Nice job, Dave. Clearly you’ve been doing a bunch of research. As you mentioned, trading back in round 1 and grabbing an extra pick would be best case scenario, IMO. Outside of a trade, though, there are very few “elite” prospects that I think the Steelers will take a chance on, and I have to think Cooper is (realistically) the number one guy on their short list, as the first four picks will all be so-called elite players.

    The only player I really don’t like is Simon. I’d prefer to take Ty Powell, who you have listed, in the later rounds. My favorite OLB in this draft outside of the first round prospects, though, is Brandon Jenkins, although Powell would be on my short list. I like Franklin as the pick at RB, but why no love for Andre Ellington? Given his patience and vision, he seems like a natural fit for our new ZBS.

    LOVE the Woods pick. I sincerely hope he falls to us. I know this is crazy to say, but I’m going to say it anyway – he reminds me a lot of Jerry Rice.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    I would take Cooper in the first if he fell but he didn’t in my Mock

    1 – Ogletree

    2 – Moore

    3 – Goodwin

    4 – Lattimore

    5 – M Ford

  • JohnnyV1

    Agree on trading back and getting an extra couple of picks. I really like your first three picks! Not sure it will happen, but really like the picks.

  • Jonathon Bert Schade

    I like it except for Franklin and Mauti. I’d rather have the next best WR in 3a and a third down back in place of the oft injured Mauti.

  • Amuzon12

    Jason, LMAO! I almost snarfed the beer I’m drinking here at Buffalo Wild Wings! Enjoyed the article and the comments. Thanks Dave B.! Stoked for tomorrows draft!

  • Addison

    I hope that happens, but who do you have in mind the vikings would want to trade up for or why at all trade up?

  • steeltown

    Nice mock, I like the Woods, Franklin, Simon and Williams picks hell even the Will Davis pick is solid.
    I’m just not overly happy taking another OL in the 1st Rd, but there really might be limited TOP prospects available AND the trade back might not be as sexy or lucrative as they would like, being that so many Teams may be thinking the same thing.. Cooper might be BPA

    Well done

  • RMSteeler

    Very nice work. A LOT of work and thought went into this best looking Mock Draft that I’ve seen posted. A lot of them are garbage. If it worked out at 100% as you listed I would be very happy. I agree that Simon as OLB needs to drop weight and BE able to take on that crossing TE. They have to do it these days. Lack of speed can be countered by unmeasurables, like anticipation, a great work ethic and a film freak. I hope Simon can do that. That being said, I think I’d rather see WR Swope or S Shamarko Thomas taken in the 4th and take Simon if he drops to 5 or QB Zach Dysert in the 5th. I’d also take OLB Jayson DeManche in the 7th and take my chances on UDFA for ILB Mauti on speed dial. If Slash/Denard Robinson is available at rounds 6-7, it wouldn’t hurt my feelings. If a trade back takes place, you have some great add on picks listed at each round. Here’s to drafting hard hitters, hard workers, natural leaders, and flexible bodies. That would be excellent!

  • steeltown

    Eifert has recently jumped up draft boards, once a late 1st Rd pick, he might now be gone by #17

  • steeltown

    Like mentioned before, Foster is atleast a solid swing OG and backup RT

  • HarryBackside

    Now that’s a good looking mock draft

  • steeltown

    I like Shamarko Thomas, alot

  • I think Minnesota would target WR Austin, Cordarrelle Patterson or either Guard Warmack or Cooper

  • Stedman Bailey could live with that. I think we need to draft a MLB some where maybe Vince Williams instead of Mauti

  • HarryBackside

    And there is squat for depth on the OL.

  • Dan

    Although I’m high on Eifert at the moment in the first, I’ll certainly be happy with Cooper. We’d at least have the best interior O-line then.

    For the second round, I’m starting to like Hopkins over Woods. I try to avoid getting too excited about stuff I see on ESPN’s marketing tool “Sports Science” but goodness Hopkins looks to have great hands. If it wasn’t that there are multiple good 2nd-round receivers I’d even say he’d be worth moving up a tad to get. Although Dameshek picked Hunter in the first, I think that is a reach. He seems too Limas Sweed-y.

  • very true

  • Addison

    Thanks for the in sight

  • Nolrog

    They are not going to draft Cooper in the first round. Accept that fact.

  • SteelersDepot

    Brilliant analysis

  • Nolrog

    It’s not horrible, but it badly mis-uses the first round pick. The skill positions suck, we lost one of our top WRs, our top RB and our top TE will likley miss most of the season, we have an OLB that’s unproven at best, and one that didn’t play great last year and has been dogged by speculation that he doesn’t work hard. Our two safeties are about 32 years old, one of our corners is about 32, and the top 2S back ups left for other teams, and we lost one of our starting Corners, and we’re picking a guard in the first. It’s not going to happen.

  • steeltown

    I also really like Cyprein, but he too has jumped up draft boards

  • Nolrog

    Stephen Hawking can run behind the existing line. We need OL depth now, not starters.

  • steeltown

    The more I think about it, the more I think Cooper an Eifert will be gone by the time we’re on the clock… I think its between Jarvis Jones or Vaccaro… just a hunch…. maybe Xavier Rhodes, but they never draft CB in the 1st Rd

    Here’s to hoping for a trade back

  • I can totally dig that Draft, I have a few differing picks but all in all pretty close….I love the pick of Cooper in RD1 but fear that Dallas will jump Pittsburgh for him which I hope would result in Pit trading back with SF for Vaccaro and taking RB Eddie Lacy in RD1 while gaining more picks.

    Since you already have the Cooper Mock, I’ll go with the Trade down with SF version.

    RD1 TRADED to SF
    RD1 (SF) RB Eddie Lacy
    RD2 WR DeAndre Hopkins
    RD2 (SF) OG Brian Winters or Barrett Jones
    RD3 NT Brandon Williams
    RD4 ILB Kevin Riddick or Nico Johnson
    RD5 SS Shawn Williams
    RD6 OLB Brandon Jenkins (Injured – FSU)
    RD6 (Comp) FS Robert Lester
    RD7 K Caleb Sturgis

    And to whoever it was that said you don’t think they’ll ever go Offense with the first three picks, remember that all they’re looking for on Defense is depth. They have future starters at every position except Safety. OLB has Worilds and Carter in training for three years now. McClendon and others at NT, and Allen/Brown at CB. Its the offensive side of the ball that has not replaced OG Colon, RB Mendenhall or WR Wallace….or found OL depth yet for a group that has stayed injured since the SB loss to GB.

  • Nolrog

    I’m not worked up about Foster. I’m worked up about 5 high picks on the OL. You can’t live that way in the NFL. You can and should get good quality later in the draft. Those contracts will come up soon, and we’ll be in the exact same place we were a few years ago, as 2 or 3 of them leave because we can’t have that much money tied up on the line.

  • RyanW

    I still don’t want or see them drafting a guard in the first round but I like the rest of the picks

  • David Edward

    Great work Dave, the most important thing is that you give sound football analysis with everything you do. Now onto my feedback…
    *I’m right with you on you first three picks Cooper, Woods, and Franklin. That would be a great day 1 and 2 from the O side of the ball. I think it’s likely none of them will be there at those spots…but worth mocking because you never know.
    *I can see them starting day 3 with Simon if he’s there. I think they’ll end up grabbing a S sooner than 5th but Williams would be good value if he’s still around. I know you love Kruger so I hope you’re not too disappointed when they don’t draft him, but Davis seems a good bet in the 6th. Instead of Kruger, I think they’ll draft Vince Williams in 6th…which means no Mauti in 7th.
    *All and all though, I’d be happy with your draft because it means they would be getting good value in the rounds these guys were taken.

  • SteelSpine

    I know exactly which players the Steelers are going to pick in this entire draft. But I’m gonna wait til after the draft to tell ya. 🙂 That’s because I don’t want competitor teams to know, that would give competitor teams an advantage i.e. they could leapfrog us to take who Steelers intend to pick.
    Thank you in advance for your understanding.

  • Nolrog

    IMO, they should be drafting a OL somewhere in the draft every year. For depth and to replace aging guys. Once in a while, they should go with a high draft pick, but too many in the recent drafts, which should make for an excellent line, but will be a cap problem.

  • Nolrog

    Thanks, I try. I went into a litlte more detail later on why I don’t think it will be Cooper (or more generally, why it’s a mistake to spen another #1 on the line right now.)

  • Nolrog

    Lattimore is intrueiging (however the hell you spell that damn word.) Supposed to have major talent, but still suffering from that knee injury. He might have to miss the entire season, but can hopefully come back in 2014. If he’s around in the 4th, 5th round, I’d take a flier on him (but not higher.)

  • Nolrog

    Dave, I echo what you said on twitter. Thank God the draft is almost here.

  • Nolrog

    That’s interesting, and good for us, but I don’t see San Fran having interest in trading up. I think they would be more interested in trading into next year instead.

  • Chris Ranieri

    Love the Shawn Williams pick! I’d love to see it.

  • Carlos Emmons

    Yes Dave we get that Foster is cheap. Isn’t cheap labor for solid production a great thing though? Why do you want to spend more on this position, citing Foster as disposable because he’s cheap? Isn’t it incredible that in our Salary Cap strapped situation we’ve found a solid starter for a very cheap contract?

    I agree that Cooper would be good value there and appreciate you acknowledging it’s not a “need” pick, but we’re going to ignore all of our other needs to spend a FIFTH round 1 or round 2 pick on the Oline??

    You cite deficiencies in Foster’s ability to pull. Didn’t we just spend the 24th overall pick on Decastro because he is exceptionally athletic and projects as a top-tier pulling guard?

    I appreciate the imperfections in making a mock draft but
    this is a 17th overall projection I just cannot understand. With all that
    was lost this offseason I considered the retention of Foster’s very dependable services for such a cheap price to be a miracle. Not looking at other areas to address here is

  • mokhkw

    I won’t comment on the players taken or the positions filled/ignored as it’s such a crap-shoot this year.

    But I do think that your picks won’t be on the board when the Steelers have their selection.

    Cooper will be off the board by 17.

    There will be a run on WR & QB early in the 2nd round & I expect Woods, Hopkins, Hunter, Allen etc. to all be long gone by the time it’s our pick at 48.

    J.Franklin will be off the board after the 2nd Round, no chance for us to get him in the 3rd which would be a complete bargain.

    I think that Simon & Williams are taken too late as well, most boards have them going in the 3rd Round.

  • David Edward

    Ok here’s my mock. After a lot of speculation, I came to the conclusion that the first round pick will come from the group of players (of first round caliber) that Tomlin and Colbert went to their pro day. Then, I mocked the first 16 picks and surprised myself by my selection…
    1. OLB Barkevious Mingo – I actually think someone will make Jarvis Jones dream true and pick him too early (Jets or Saints) and some teams will see Mingo as too much of a project. Steelers will take their time with him and use him as a situational rusher early while developing him into 34OLB.
    2. RB Franklin – Dave had the right guy but Steelers will jump on him after a run on RB starts in late first early second.
    3. S Shamarko Thomas – he’s the best fit to replace Troy since they eye Golden as Clarks replacement. They can’t wait on him to be there in 4th.
    4. WR King – he’s a bit of a Sanders clone and will replace him in 14.
    5. QB Dysert – I really don’t think they need to take a QB but I think they will on day three if Dysert, Bray, or Jones is around
    6a. CB W. Davis – not crazy about him but fits as late round CB who visited. They do this often
    6b. ILB V. Williams – again a guy who visited an has potential down the road. Could form FSU ILB tandem with Timmons in a couple of years
    7. G Embernate – they really only have 6-7 viable OL right now and need to sign a vet OT and draft depth at G. He visited and this seems logical.

  • dgh57

    All those positions you list are needs I agree with but they can be addressed in rds.2-7 and I think they will be! Will a guard be drafted #1? That depends on whether Cooper or Warmack are still on the board at 17! If not they’ll move on to the next area of need. Also there are plenty of choices in the TE, WR, RB, and S positions(I’ll take the top 3 players at all those areas of need) I think all those areas will be addressed.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Nice draft Dave. I think you pretty much nailed it!

  • Jefferson_St_Joe

    I like your draft and I think if Cooper is there, he very well could be the pick. My only quibble is the with your assessment of the OLB situation. My feeling is they will take 1 in the first 3 rounds. I actually think that Worilds and Woodley are playing for 1 spot on the 2014 roster and they will bring in high pick to replace the other,

  • Michael Mazanowski

    HarryBackside! Yes indeed!!

  • Michael Mazanowski

    Shark Thomas. . .enter jaws theme song!

  • JC

    I’d be content with this draft. I’m a big Shawn Williams and Jon Simon fan. I think they’re tough, hard nosed young leaders that we need. They’d also be a bargain in 4th and 5th rounds.

  • Great job Dave! I couldn’t have done it better. But I’ll try…
    R1, Eifert -(only because I am sure Cooper well be gone.) Or Rhodes
    R2, Allen or Arthur Brown/John Bostic
    R3, LeVeon Bell or Jamie Collins
    R4, John Simon
    R5, Shawn Williams
    R6, Dysert
    R6, Marquadt T
    R7, Graham

  • dgh57

    You haven’t been getting a beat down about Cooper from me, ha, ha!! I’ll take Warmack as a consolation prize should Cooper be off the boards!

  • Maurice_hill_district

    Good stuff. I really like Mingo, I think it will be worth teaching him but i dont see any way he’ll be available. Those pass rush tools of his I saw in plenty of video of him, are always wanted by teams every year. Teams keep gambling on them, sorry he’ll be gone. So many needs we have in first round, cant please every fan. The rest appear reasonable picks.

  • Maurice_hill_district

    Same hunches here. Ditto trading back, i just hope what we get offered isnt just a 4th rounder.

  • dgh57

    Exactly, and that’s why they draft Cooper or Warmack if still available at 17. They then solve their starter at LG and their backup with one pick because their backup will already be on the roster! Witch frees up a later pick for something else besides depth on the o-line!

  • dgh57

    How will we be ignoring all our other needs if we draft a guard in the 1st rd.? Last I looked we had 8 picks in this draft! Plenty of prospects to choose from in the WR, TE, RB and S positions, and I would take the top 3 of the prospects in any of those positions! I expect we could address everyone of them.

  • Please please make this happen. I love the picks you made in every round. The only thing that might make it better for me would be Eifert instead of Cooper in Rd 1

  • David Edward

    I think he could be gone too but someone will fall, just a matter of who it is

  • Henry

    I’d have a real hard time passing on Justin Hunter in the 2nd. Or Arthur brown for that matter.

  • Henry

    No Eddie Lacy in the first rd. He’ll never have an o line create such huge lanes for him to run through again like they did at Alabubba.

  • David Edward

    Neither will be there @ 48 anyway

  • James

    I agree with your final statement in your number 1 pick – we have to be looking to trade down. In my mock Cooper, Warmack, Jones & Vaccaro are all off the board by 17. Leaving my BPA as Lotulelei. Eifert and Rhodes are also on the board but if I was in the war room i’d be desperately searching for a trade.

  • mokhkw

    For the record –

    Round 1 X. Rhodes DB ( Cowboys trade up to get ahead of Saints to draft Vacarro, Saints select J.Jones. Cooper & Warmack are both gone)

    Round 2 J.Williams NT (Early run of WRs, RBs and QBs in the 2nd allows us to select the next Steelers NT)

    Round 3 J.Simon DE/OLB ( very tempted to take WR Da’Rick Rodgers here… )

    Round 4 TJ McDonald FS (he’ll be much better not playing a tampa-2)

    Round 5 N Johnson ILB ( Foote’s replacement)

    Round 6 C Gragg TE & D Robinson WR ( both projects with a ton of upside, Gragg used to play WR and Robinson QB. Both could end up at WR.

    Round 7 K Davis RB ( a year on the PS to hopefully get healthy and stronger, if he does then we’ve got a potential star)

    Post Draft Steelers Free Agency:

    Bradshaw(RB) Breaston (WR) Caldwell(C-OG) Starks (OT)

    Final Thoughts : The Steelers are a team always built around their Defense & this year the talent on D is better than the Offense. Next year looks better for Offense Skill position players so the Steelers will fill some spots with vets for 1 or 2 seasons & draft Offense next season.

  • mokhkw

    2005 Steelers SuperBowl OL:

    Smith(2nd) Faneca(1st) Hartings(1st-FA) Simmons(1st) Starks(3rd)

    Potential Steelers 2013 OL:

    Gilbert(2nd) Cooper/Warmack(1st) Pouncey(1st) DeCastro(1st) Adams(2nd)

    Only difference would be that they’ve spent a 2nd on a RT instead of a 3rd.

  • James

    I doubt St. Louis passes on Vaccaro

  • SteelSpine

    Agreed; even following BAA there’s more than 1 way to fill needs.

    Btw with the draft finally here in middle of l-o-n-g offseason, at-last now actual news happens instead of having to debate which offseason trainer the deep snapper should use, or acquaintances of Wallace saying Wallace will arrive to camp any day now. Ahhh finally the one big news event of offseason (the draft) is finally here! Everyone relish debating draft results for the next week.

  • Ha! Thanks dgh57, me too!

  • steeltown

    If they’re still there, Cooper or Warmack will be BPA by the time the Steelers make a selection, but to be honest I think the 30yr trend ends today. I think both are gone by #17, I think both are that good. I see 5 OLinemen selected in the top 15 (Joeckel, Fisher, Johnson, Cooper and Warmack)

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    Competitors wouldn’t care and… no even the steelers doesn’t know who they are going to eat. The draft isn’t automatic and steelers have a good idea about who the want in later rounds but they don’t even have a clue about 1st round, it might go into our direction and it just might go way opposite.

    I see people like you too many times, every year and it gets old.

  • steeltown


  • steeltown

    Foster is more than capable of starting at LG or RT for that matter.. he has shown that and has been the most consistent OL player we’ve had the last couple yrs, the OL breakdowns support that… I was just saying he ‘atleast’ can swing both OG spots and backup Adams/Gilbert

  • kev4heels

    absolute dream draft.
    i’m not a big simon fan but everything else is spot on.

  • steeltown

    Eifert will be gone too, he’s jumped up draft boards over the last week. If St. Louis takes Vaccaro then IMO It will most likely be Jarvis Jones and Xavier Rhodes left on the board.. or a trade down

  • With all first and second round picks on the line they ought to open those holes. But I do agree on Lacy. If he’s there with the second rounder maybe but at this point I like Bell better.

  • JC

    This is my mock prediction assuming the Steelers aren’t involved in any trades.

    Round 1 – TE T. Eiffert – Notre Dame
    Round 2 – WR D. Hopkins – Clemson
    Round 3 – ILB J. Bostic – Florida
    Round 4 – SS S. Thomas – Syracuse
    Round 5 – DE/OLB M. Goodman – Clemson
    Round 6 – RB K. Davis – Arkansas
    Round 6 – CB D. McCray – App State (compensatory)
    Round 7 – OL J. Kline – Kent State

  • James

    The only team I realistically see taking Eifert above us is the Jets, but they have many needs so who knows what direction they are going with their picks. In my mock I also had the Saints taking Jones (They had him in for a pre-draft visit)
    These are just my opinions, could go completely different tonight.

    Its probably going to depend on if a qb goes in the top 16 or if the needy teams trade up into the end of the 1st for 1 whether anybody slides to us or not.

  • JC

    Dave, I agree with your comments about Jonathan Cooper and he may be the safiest pick for us if available. I’m not sure if Cooper is a better guard prospect than Decastro was last year or if he’s simply reeping the benefits of a weak draft class in round 1.

  • If they couldn’t secure the trade I wouldn’t be upset if they grabbed Lotulelei if Eifert is gone to. Star can play all positions along DL

  • JC

    You’re better off investing your money on the offensive line and defense.

  • JC

    I’m more concerned about the left tackle position than I am LG. I think Adams and Gilbert can be very good RTs, but at this point I’m not sold that either can be a franchise LT.

  • steeltown

    Agreed. Anything could happen To me it really comes down to Cleveland, Buffalo and the two JETS picks.. those three Teams can really shake up the 1st Rd

  • Carlos Emmons

    If you can’t understand the difference between the likely impact of the 17th overall pick vs. a 7th round pick I don’t know what to tell you. My entire post was about the 17th pick specifically (or the ability to trade it away for other picks). Can’t you see the abuse of resources on the offensive line to invest a 17th overall pick on a guard? That was the point of my post. Thanks for your concern but I don’t have any deficiencies in understanding the opportunities we have in the remainder of the draft.

  • LouPGH

    1st (#17): Jarvis Jones
    OLB (Georgia)

    Like the Georgia product, I believe he could wind up with the Steelers, should he fall that far. Todd McShay has mocked Jones to the Steelers multiple times now, and many others have followed suit, but he could still very well be off the board
    by #17. Although there are all sorts of questions regarding spinal stenosis, his size, and his speed, at the end of the day the guy just got it done in the best conference in college football, leading the nation in sacks and forced fumbles last year. For me this pick has nothing to do with Jason Worilds; it is about getting the best player available.

    I wish the Steelers could get their hands on Chance Warmack, G (Alabama) or Jonathan Cooper, G (North Carolina). Dave at Steelers Depot is playing the odds either or both of these guys will be there at #17. Seeing as David DeCastro
    fell last year and there is thirty years of history to suggest one of them will, I would normally take that bet. The problem is, every time I try to mock the first seventeen picks, Warmack and Cooper never fall to #17. With the resigning of Foster and what I am hearing about Beachum moving inside, I am less concerned with the Guard position than Dave, but given our injury history along the offensive line, I understand the concern about depth.

    Tyler Eifert, TE (Notre Dame) is another obvious consideration, and one that I like. Although Eifert had been considered a bit of a reach at #17, an argument can be made that he is actually a safer pick than Jones, and he has been moving up in many mock drafts. One the one hand, Eifert would give the Steelers an heir apparent to Heath Miller, some depth until Heath can return, and a very dynamic duo of TEs once Heath returns. On the other hand, the Steelers now have Heath, David Johnson, Matt Spaeth, and David Paulson on the roster, which leads me to believe they may not be interested in Eifert.

    2nd (#48): Giovanni Bernard
    RB (North Carolina)

    Bernard grades out at or near the top of this class of RBs and would add the dynamism the Steelers ground game has sorely lacked for nearly two seasons now. There is some depth at RB in the middle rounds and a lack of elite talent. Coupled with an overall devaluing of the position, I think the Steelers can steal Bernard at #48.

    Arthur Brown, ILB (Kansas State) would be a great pickup at #48, in case Sean Spence cannot comeback from his knee injury. Alternatively, Kevin Minter, ILB
    (Louisiana State) would provide value as well.

    This assumes DeAndre Hopkins, WR (Clemson) is long gone by #48.

    Larry Warford, G (Kentucky), if available, is a possibility assuming the Steelers miss out on Cooper and Warmack in the 1st Round. After Warford there seems to be a drop off in G talent, so he could be gone by the middle of the 2nd Round.

    3rd (#79): Shamarko Thomas
    SS (Syracuse)

    To quote from Thomas’ CBS draft profile, he is a “[h]ighly aggressive defender who uses his natural leverage advantage to slip through cracks in blocking fronts and prove a nuisance around the line of scrimmage. [He] plays the game with
    reckless abandon and loves to throw his body around on the field, seeking big
    hits against the ballcarrier.” Remind you of anyone? In addition, Thomas has
    dealt with personal tragedy and continued to excel, which counts for a lot in
    my book.

    The Steelers could also look to Phillip Thomas, SS (Fresno State) or D.J. Swearinger, SS (South Carolina), if available. Swearinger goes in the 2nd Round of most mocks I have seen, so I will assume he is gone here. I would prefer a hard hitter like Swearinger, Shamarko Thomas, SS (Syracuse), or Shawn Williams, SS (Georgia), but Thomas is a ball hawk, which is something the Steelers could certainly use in the secondary.

    While I like Thomas in the 3rd Round, at 5’9”, he lacks ideal size and has a history of concussions. He is projected to go anywhere from the late 2nd Round through the 4th Round, but with so many quality safeties, I may be overreaching. Enter Shawn Williams, SS (Georgia). Williams is a guy I would be happy to get in the 4th Round at #115. There are so many great prospects at FS and SS in this class, the Steelers have got to come away with at least one heir to Polamalu and Clark.

  • Ahmad

    Steelers trade down with the Rams for an extra 3rd and 4th round pick.

    1. TE Tyler Eifert

    2. S Jonathan Cyprien

    3. WR Ryan Swope

    3. WR Quinton Patton

    4. OLB Chase Simon

    4. NT Kwame Geathers

    5. RB Kenjon Barner

    6. DE Joe Kruger

    6. ILB Michael Muati

    7. Who cares at this point?

  • Maurice_hill_district

    Right you are. We saw what surprise fell to 24 last year, so u know bcause of sleepers drafted above us that will make either of the guys we need be there at 17, probably even 2 of them.

  • LouPGH

    According to Adam Schecter via Twitter, SF is very interested in trading into the top 15.

  • One of the problems the Steelers had last year was in the first half of a lot of games we could not move the football, one reason Antonio Brown was injured. Not having Brown allowed teams to put up eight man fronts which contributed to the lack of a running game. We are going into the season, with Miller coming back from an ACL, Brown, Sanders, Coutchrey, Burress as our primary receivers. If we can’t pass, we won’t run, which means6-10. I think we should trade up in the first round and get Tavon Austin. It would be much nicer having Austin as the number three receiver and he will probably move to number one next year. Two positions need immediate upgrades, WR and TE or the future is bleak, oh and third round Draft a QB

  • dgh57

    Yes, I agree we win regardless if we draft Cooper/Warmack because at least the LG position will be filled though not as much if we had Cooper/Warmack. I like Foster and glad we resigned him!

  • dgh57

    To me you were making it sound like we would be in dire straits if a o-lineman was drafted #1!! If Adams/Gilbert/Foster were all guaranteed to get a second contract with this team I would agree with you on NOT drafting a o-lineman! I don’t see Gilbert and/or Adams and maybe not even Foster getting a 2nd contract because he may be only fill in until someone better comes along! I cringed when Adams was drafted after already taking DeCastro in rd. 1. I thought it was a reach and should of never happened! I just want the run game fixed it stunk last year!!

    But don’t worry both guards will be gone by pick 17.

  • GoSteelerz

    Me too… And Rontez Miles!!! I think if we somehow got both of them, that would set us up very nicely for the years to come…