By Jeremy Hritz
The 2013 NFL Draft is finally here, and so is my final mock draft. This is the fourth iteration of my mock draft, and I still have the Steelers making a trade with their first round pick, this time with Atlanta. In my previous mock, as many of you pointed out, I severely undervalued the 17th overall pick in the trade I forecasted with Buffalo; however, this mock, I have the Steelers acquiring the appropriate value in trading the 17th pick to Atlanta for their 30th pick in the first round, their second round pick, and their fifth round pick. Again, the Steelers can improve their roster more by acquiring more picks, and by trading down, they can do just that. If Jarvis Jones is snagged by New Orleans and neither Chance Warmack or Jonathan Cooper are not available at # 17, then it is a strong possibility they will trade down or out.
Since several of the players in my final mock draft are carryovers from my first three versions, the commentary that I provide is minimal to avoid redundancy. Only those players new to my mock receive analysis.
With that said, enjoy the draft, and go Steelers!
1. Pick # 30 from Atlanta: Justin Hunter, WR – Tennessee, 6’4, 196 – 4.36 forty yard dash
A carryover. Steelers need a tall receiver to complement Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders. Enter Hunter.
2. Pick # 48: Le’Veon Bell, RB – Michigan State, 6’2, 230 – 4.56 forty yard dash
A carryover. A beast of a back that can excel in the zone running scheme. Steelers need and get a feature runner here.
2. Pick # 60 from Atlanta: Phillip Thomas, S – Fresno State, 6’1, 208 – 4.57 forty yard dash
A carryover. A turnover machine at Fresno State, and the Steelers need play makers on defense.
3. Pick # 79: Corey Lemonier, OLB – Auburn , 6’4, 255 – 4.56 forty yard dash
A carryover. The Steelers need depth at outside linebacker, and they are not known for taking them early. Lemonier’s motor and physical style of play could pay dividends down the road.
4. Pick # 115: A.J. Klein, ILB – Iowa State, 6’1, 250 – 4.66 forty yard dash
A new addition to my mock draft. The Steelers are definitely thin at inside linebacker, and they are in need of help. Klein recorded four interception returns for touchdowns during his career, and he has a sneaky athleticism to go along with his production. He has excellent instincts and is a sound tackler who served Iowa State as a captain for two years. Is not considered the most physical linebacker, but his reliability, production, and leadership will be attractive to the Steelers.
5. Pick # 150: Denard Robinson, Athlete – Michigan, 5-11, 199 – 4.34 forty yard dash
A carryover. Will provide some versatility on the offense and potential explosiveness on special teams at the returner positions. A risk, but potential high reward.
5. Pick # 163 from Atlanta: Nick Kasa, TE – Colorado, 6’6, 269 – 4.71 forty yard dash
A carryover. A big target with big play capability that will benefit from learning from Heath Miller. A sleeper pick.
6. Pick # 186: Jordan Mills, T – Louisiana Tech, 6’5, 315 – 5.30 forty yard dash
Mills is another new addition to my mock, as the Steelers need to add some depth at the tackle position, and that is what they will do with Mills. He is projected to be a right tackle. Can handle power rushers, but struggles with speed off of the edge. Will be a project.
6. Pick # 206: Jeff Baca, G – UCLA, 6’4, 302 – 4.98 forty yard dash
A carryover. Limited athletically, but plays with a high motor and is committed to his craft. Will need time to develop. Provides for depth.
7. Pick # 223: Terry Hawthorne, CB – Illinois, 6’0, 195 – 4.31 forty yard dash
A carryover. Has nice size and speed, but is a project. And if he is available at pick # 223, he is exactly the kind of player the Steelers would be looking for.