Categorized | 2014 Draft, Article

Steelers Post Week One Free Agency Group Draft Excerise – Give Me Five For Round One


Now that the Pittsburgh Steelers have nearly a full week of free agency underneath their belt, it has helped shape up the draft picture a little bit based on the players they’ve signed and others they have, and will have, visited with by the end of this week. Based on the comings and goings, now is a perfect time for a little group draft exercise.

In the comments below, I want you to list five players that you believe have the best chance at being the Steelers first overall selection based on what you have observed over the course of the last week. Try your best to keep any bias out of your selections and let’s see what the group currently has as a consensus.

Also, rank those five players from likeliest to least likeliest.

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • Matt Smith

    Most Likely: Evans, Dennard, Gilbert, Mosley, Benjamin

    Least Likely: Manziel, Bortles, Bridgewater, Hyde, Watkins

  • steeltown

    If no trade back…
    1.Gilbert
    2.Dennard
    3.Evans
    4.Ebron
    5.Mosley/Tuitt

  • Austin Jackson

    1.) Justin Gilbert, CB Ok State
    2.) CJ Mosley, LB, Alabama
    3.) Kony Ealy, 5tech DE, Missouri
    4.) Stephan Tuitt, 5 tech DE, Notre Dame
    5.) Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State.

  • Hannon44

    Evans, Dennard, Gilbert, Ebron, Mosley

  • srdan

    In this order:
    Evans
    Gilbert
    Dannard
    Barr
    Nix

    But I would order them differently for my favorite:
    Evans
    Dannard
    Gilbert
    Barr
    Nixed off my list

  • StrengthOfVictory

    Mike Evans, Justin Gilbert, Eric Ebron, Darqueze Dennard, C.J. Mosley

  • Joseph Boyd

    1) Evans
    2) Gilbert
    TRADE BACK
    3) Mosely
    4) Dennard
    5) Fuller

  • harding36

    Gilbert, Dennard, Lee, Mosley, Hageman

  • dkoy85

    1.Evans
    2. Gilbert
    3.Dennard
    4. Ebron
    5. Mosley

    Not sure if I would have had Ebron in the top 5 had they not been interested in Finley. IMO the interest in Finley shows they feel TE is more of a need than most feel.

  • Derick L Young

    1. Evans
    2. Dennard
    3. Gilbert
    4. Mosley
    5. Lee

  • 20Stoney

    I’ll just second this instead of rewritting the same thing.

  • The Fighting Ingies

    1.Dennard – seems most likely since next 3 probably gone
    2.Evans
    3.Gilbert
    4.Barr
    5.Ebron – Only if all 4 above are gone

  • srdan

    Wow, I think this is the first year we have had almost a unanimous #1.

  • Derick L Young

    Who is interested in Finley?

  • Steelers58

    Nix, Gilbert, dennard, mosler

  • Deesh138

    1. Evans
    2. Shazier
    3. Ebron
    4. Mosley
    5. Gilbert

  • Steelers58

    Oops. Mosley and evans

  • Derick L Young

    do fans REALLY want a 5 tech DE picked @ 1.15… really?

  • Eric MacLaurin

    Lewan
    Dennard
    Gilbert
    Ebron
    Evans

    Not exactly a best chance list but I think this would be their list based on likely available and knowing 2 or 3 of these guys will be gone.

  • Tyler Cargo

    1. Darqueze Dennard, MSU- I think that this is the most likely pick. I believe that Gilbert will be off the board due to his size, speed, and flexibility. I think Dennard is actually a better fit based on his tackling ability and physical nature anyhow.

    2. C.J. Mosley Alabama- Mosley will most likely be there when we choose. I have my doubts about his fit into our system. Lawrence Timmons is not yet dropping off, and Mosley would best fit in his spot. However, it would not hurt to have him as an extra athlete on the field in passing situations (covering TE/RB’s). Should be a difference maker and for that reason I could see the Steelers taking him.

    3. Mike Evans, TA&M- I don’t think that he’s going to be available, but if he is, I think this is a no-brainer. I had my doubts about taking a WR early in the draft a couple of months ago due to the depth at the position in this draft, but I think his talent and size combination is simply too much to pass up on. Having Evans and A. Brown going forward would shore up the WR position for years to come, with Wheaton as the slot guy going forward.

    4. Justin Gilbert, OkSt- Better measurables than Dennard, but I don’t personally have a very good feeling about him and I think he will go ahead of the 15 pick anyway. I think he has the ability to become a lock-down corner, but he also shies away from contact and I don’t like that fit in our tackle-the-catch defense. If he is there, though, I could see the upside playing into his selection.

    5. Eric Ebron, UNC- His talent could be too much to pass up on if the previous four are off the board (unlikely). His size and speed are excellent to go along with his huge frame, and I think that he could pair up perfectly with Miller for the next couple of years before taking over as the TE1. I do think, though, that the Steelers are relatively content with Miller and Spaeth at this point. I’d be fascinated to see how Ebron would be used by Haley, however.

    Thoughts?

  • StrengthOfVictory

    We do not need an OT in the first. Wasted pick, if you ask me. The rest looks good.

  • Derick L Young

    If Lewan fell, it is tempting.

  • dkoy85

    Sorry, when I said “they” I thought it implied the Steelers. *sarcasm*

  • Austin Jackson

    If Evans, Mosley, the 3 top OT, Ebron and Gilbert are gone… I’d say yes, that would leave a talent rich pool of 5Tech DE.

  • StrengthOfVictory

    Your five are mine also, but slightly reordered.

    I can’t see the Steelers passing on Evans if he’s there, but I’m beginning to wonder if we should hope he’ll be gone. Only because the WR class is deep, but the CB class isn’t. If the choice is taken out of the Steelers’ hands, a CB pick first might be best, followed by the best WR we can get in the second. Hmm. I keep thinking and rethinking it.

  • steeltown

    I agree for the most part

  • http://youtube.com/BawssGames Kyle M. Daniels

    Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, Darqueze Dennard, Justin Gilbert, CJ Mosely

  • Derick L Young

    I like it Tyler. I would change up Evans at the top and then the list is solid.

  • Austin Jackson

    Mosley is a natural pass rusher, with fluid pass coverage skills, and a rock solid tackler. He’s Farrior, but faster.

  • Bill Sechrengost

    It seems like most people have the same picks. I agree with most of them. Mine would be:
    Justin Gilbert
    Dennard
    Mike Evans
    Marquis Lee
    Taylor Lewan

  • Austin Jackson

    Mostly likely first, right?

  • Eric MacLaurin

    Getting and affording an elite LT is tough and while I agree we don’t need one in the first it would be a dramatic upgrade to the line.

    I would hate to see the 15th pick used on a need instead of best player if there is a big gap.

  • Derick L Young

    the WR class is deep and so is the CB class. Only a few CB’s really separate themselves from the rest. I think Dennard/Moncrief sounds better than Evans/Purifoy or something like that.

  • Jason White

    No particular order

    Eric Ebron
    Mike Evans
    Justin Gilbert
    Darqueze Dennard
    CJ Mosley

  • harding36

    We have one DE on the roster now who has actual NFL experience at the position. So, yeah, I think some fans would consider an end.

  • Derick L Young

    but at 1.15? you don’t even project that…

  • StrengthOfVictory

    I’d sooner have a Jordan Matthews than a Moncrief, but your point is taken. This is what I was talking about. I’d love to have Evans, but is it worth it at the expense of an underperforming secondary? Hmm.

  • Derick L Young

    A DE at some point most definitely but, not at pick 15 in the 1st. What player would you draft there who would play the 5tech DE in this defense?

  • T R

    Gilbert, Dennard, Evans, Benjamin or Ebron.

  • StrengthOfVictory

    If Watkins falls to the Steelers, I will get a sex change. :)

  • Cousneddie

    1- Dennard
    2- Gilbert
    3- Mosley
    4- Evans
    5- Ebron

  • Derick L Young

    I think that ship has sailed.

  • Austin Jackson

    I projected talent first, then need. Notice that the people I listed as gone are my 1 and 2, then there are 2 5tech.

  • Derick L Young

    I agree, tough decision. Almost hope Lions take Evans to make it easier.

  • Jon Crissinger

    In order of likeliness:

    1. Dennard
    2. Evans
    3. Gilbert
    4. Lewan
    5. Ebron

  • Derick L Young

    you are brave

  • Derick L Young

    they call that reaching for need. u sure you are not a raiders fan?

  • Tyler Cargo

    I just don’t see him as a “thumper” type of backer, personally. His skill set is still impressive. I don’t see him as a compliment to Timmons’ style of play, but more of a similar skill set. When I think thumper, I think Borland/Wisconsin, and that’s a pick I would love in R2.

  • Addison

    1.Dennard
    2. Mosley
    3. Evan
    4. Mack- I would sprint to the podium
    5. Ebron

    Compensation prize: Stephen Tuiit, Shazier, Barr.

  • Chris Ranieri

    hahahahahahhahahahahahaha this just killed me

  • StrengthOfVictory

    Mack is an interesting “What if he fell?” prospect. Stranger things have happened, even if I don’t consider it likely.

  • harding36

    I think a trade down for Hageman or Tuitt is certainly possible. I wouldn’t take either at 1.15.

  • Brian Tollini

    Gilbert, Dennard, Evans, Mosley, Ebron

  • dkoy85

    Well yeah, but you’re missing my point. Ship sailed or not they had interest in Finley, a mostly pass catching TE which is what Ebron is. So Ebron made it into my top 5 because of that. Do you understand? Orrrrrrr not?

  • Chris Ranieri

    Make that three. Very hopeful that JG or DD will be there for us at 1.15. I might possibly flip Ebron and Evans, but that’s just me.

  • Derick L Young

    ok that is what I was wondering

  • Derick L Young

    yeah I can definitely see how you have Ebron on there. I don’t mind that at all.

  • harding36

    Hopefully, we just sign Carrington.

  • dkoy85

    Word.

  • Addison

    Me neither, but if he did don’t even worry about Worilds contract. This guys is the real deal. Small school or not. Hopefully other teams will dwell on that.

  • pat

    I think with lions getting Golden Tate we have a better chance of Evans falling

  • grw1960

    Barr
    Evens
    Dennard
    Gilbert
    Fuller

  • taztroy43

    1. Evans 2. Dennard 3. Gilbert 4. Lewman 5. Nix

    just missed cut… ebron, mosley, lee, shazier, tuitt,

  • Kenneth Wilt

    I don’t know if I can answer the question correctly, but I think I can identify where our weaknesses are still.

    QB…none
    RB…we need depth. I like the idea of Starks, and I would bring back Stevens-Howling, but I expect that to be AFTER Woodley’s money is available.
    TE….need 3rd string developmental type or UFA yet
    WR….Need a vet and a rookie
    Oline….have depth needs still, but could draft someone like Matthews if he would fall to us. Most others I think we would ignore.

    DE….Need 1 starter potentially, but at worst depth. Need one UFA or Draft pick.
    NT….If McLendon moves to DE to start, Thomas potentially needs a backup if Fangupo isn’t the answer there.
    OLB…we have ZERO depth here
    ILB…Again….we need depth
    CB….Need 2 guys here.
    S…I am pretty happy with.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    Edited above with Whimper signing.

  • gevins

    1.Evans
    2.Gilbert
    3.Dennard
    4.Mosley
    5.Ebron

  • Jollyrob68

    Gilbert,Dennard,,HaHa Clinton-Dix,Ebron, Evans not likely to be there
    Trade back for Fuller,Benjamin,Tuitt,Mosley

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Gilbert, Mosley, Barr, Benjamin, Ebron

  • ilamarca

    Gilbert
    Evans
    Dennard
    Ebron
    Mosley

  • Steelers12328882

    WR Mike Evans
    CB Justin Gilbert
    OT Taylor Lewan
    TE Eric Ebron
    OLB Anthony Barr

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I tend to agree with you on the TE. I think it would be great to get a guy of his talent level but it seems to be more of a luxury. We do need a TE but other needs are pressing. If all of the other potential guys are gone then go for it.

  • James Kling

    I think the FA signings have taken Ha Ha and Pryor off our R1 boards, if not Nix. Clearly the FO is interested in Gilbert and Lewan, given the attention those two recently received. I don’t know what the Carrington, Finley, Moore, or Starks visits tell us, except that we need depth there. Seems like there’s not any overt interest in Evans. DE is a concern, but who do they rate worth it at 1.15?
    I think their board, based on likely 1.1-1.14 picks and a few possible slides, would looks something like:
    1. Lewan
    2. Gilbert
    3. Ebron
    4. Mosley
    5. Dennard

  • MJD

    Nix, Lewan, Mosley, Evans, Trade

  • Doug Sawyer

    trade back for Benjamin if Gilbert is not there…that way we get an xtra 3rd

  • cp72

    1. Evans
    2. Dennard
    3. Gilbert
    4. Benjamin
    5. Lewan
    .

  • William Weaver

    Gilbert
    Evans
    Denard
    Lewan
    Nix

    Best player on the board might out way positional need is why I have Lewan in my list.

  • Jason

    75 comments in under 2 hrs. Man, mention draft and people go crazy! Gilbert,Evans,Dennard,Mosely,Tuitt(trade back)

  • hchristi15

    1. Gilbert
    2. Lewan
    3. Evans
    4. Dennard
    5. Ebron

  • Doug Sawyer

    now that Evans has picked his idiotic agents…no way in hell the Steelers are going to draft him…he has problems written all over him with that move…Gilbert is the only player worth taking that high…and he won’t be there…we can trade down get
    Benjamin and an xtra 3rd pick…
    Benjamin rd. one
    Joyner rd.two
    a CB and NT/OLB with our two 3rds

    that will give Pittsburgh 2 CB’s in the top 3 picks a top WR and either a NT or OLB
    a smart way to build better top tier talent rather than reach for one player

  • Rob

    Evans, Dennard, Gilbert, Ebron, and Barr… If they are gone cooks

  • Doug Sawyer

    Storm Johnson would be a fantastic pick up in the 5th or 6th round

  • chris ward

    1. Mike Evans
    2. Darqueze Dennard
    3. C.J.Mosley
    4. Justin Gilbert
    5. Marqise Lee

  • cp72

    Who is his agent?

  • moderatelysane

    Great exercise, Dave,
    1. Gilbert
    2. Dennard
    3. Evans
    4. Mosley
    5. Barr
    5b. Lewan (if Lewan drops to 15, he might well be the BPA)

  • mlc43

    1. Dennard
    2. Evans
    3. Gilbert
    4. Nix
    5. Mosley

    I think Dennard and Evans are more likely to be there than Gilbert which is why I listed them first.

  • cp72

    Wow I like prop bets but dude that’s big time.

  • Doug Sawyer

    if that signing is indeed true…no way… if he even considered it…it shows the guys head is not in the right place

  • StrengthOfVictory

    Now you know just how unlikely I think it is. Like 0.25% chance of it happening.

  • Melly

    I agree w/ steeltown, stoney, and chris that they are the top 5 choices where they stand at 15. The ONLY diff could be a DE seeing as we only have 1 starter!!!

  • Mark from VA

    Most Likely: Gilbert, Evans, Dennard, Mosley, Donald

  • tony2true

    No trade back:
    1. Mike Evans
    2 Justin Gilbert
    3. Darqueze Dennard
    4..Eric Ebron
    5. Taylor Lewan

    Trade back:
    1. Marqise Lee
    2. Kelvin Benjamin
    3. Odell Beckham Jr
    4. Kyle Fuller
    5. Louis Nix

    Trade up:
    1. Sammy Watkins

  • Axe Skot

    I am in the same boat, but a new thought occurred to me that makes me lean towards Evans in the first and corner in the second. I think corner is a bigger need, but could any of these first round corners shut down Evans? AB, Evans, Wheaton, Heath…you can’t cover all of these guys. I don’t know…

  • Callentown

    I don’t believe Gilbert or Evans will be there at 15, so:
    Dennard
    Mosley
    Ebron
    TRADE BACK FOR:
    Ford
    Shazier
    Fuller

  • RW

    Evans, Gilbert, Dennard, Hageman, Benjamin

  • StrengthOfVictory

    True, but we’re Steeler fans. If we take Evans, and he doesn’t get rookie of the year, we’ll say we should have drafted CB in the first. If we get Gilbert, and he allows one TD from Greene, we’ll say he’s a bust.

  • Shon Fullmer

    My Preferences, Availability

    1. Dennard, Probably Available.
    2. Gilbert, Likely Gone
    3. Evans, Likely Gone
    4. Ebron, Probably Available
    5. Mosley, Probably Available
    Also like Lewan and Barr if available, otherwise trade back and take Fuller or Benjamin.

  • David OBIE!

    Gilbert will be gone by the 10 pick
    Mike Evans (there is a 50% that he will be there at #15
    (if so take him – if not trade down at least 6 places. this should give us
    1( #1) 1 (#2) + 2 (#3) + 2( #4) + 2 (#5) + 1( #6 ) + 2 (#7)

    These four will still be available when we pick
    #1 Kyle Fuller(CB),C.J. Mosley(ILB), Kelvin Benjamin(WR) , Jason Verrett (CB)

    #2 all these will be available in the second round
    Jordon Mathews (WR),Allen Robinson(WR), Davante Adams (WR)
    Troy Niklas(TE), Shane Skov ((ILB), Chris Borland (ILB)

  • JohnB

    Dennard, Mosley, Evans, Gilbert, and I can dream with Watkins or Mack

  • unfurious

    Point taken but I wouldn’t put my junk on the line for that. :)

  • unfurious

    Mack, Barr, Lewan, Gilbert, Ebron, All of these guys have value to trump need at 15 and COULD fall.

  • http://thereactionblog.com Michael Stickings

    From most to least likely, my top 5: Dennard, Mosley, Ebron, Evans, Gilbert.

    I do think Gilbert might be gone, though, and given the question marks we have at WR I’d have to put Lee in the mix. Although maybe that’s because the other Dave has influenced me too much.

    And I think I’d be happy with any of them.

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    I agree with steeltown’s top 5 selected, with one exception – I think it is more likely that we get Dennard rather than Gilbert. However, I don’t think we will (nor should) trade back.

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    1.Gilbert 2.Dennard 3. Ebron 4.mosely 5.Evans

  • Bartholomew Wimer

    1 Evans
    2 Gilbert … if they’re not available

    TRADE BACK with Cleveland to 26, pick up an early 3RD and 4TH for DL/LB help. Then take, in order who is available at 26

    3 Fuller
    4 Benjamin
    5 Mosley

    There are a lot of holes to fill. They can’t afford to reach in the 1st round.

  • falconsaftey43

    Let me preface by saying Evans and Gilbert would be my first 2 choices, but I think they are definitely gone by our pick.
    Dennard
    Ebron
    Lee
    Mosley/Shazier pick your fav.
    Nix

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    I believe the first 10 players chosen will be (in no particular order):

    Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel, Sammy Watkins,
    Greg Robinson, Jake Matthews, Jadeveon Clowney, Khalil Mack,
    Justin Gilbert, Mike Evans.

    I believe the next 5 players chosen will be (in no particular order):

    Taylor Lewan, Anthony Barr, Eric Ebron, Darqueze Dennard, Aaron Donald

    You have to do this exercise first in order to determine who will be AVAILABLE for the Steelers to draft. Because the question is to rank them in the order of most LIKELY. If they’re already chosen they’re not likely.

    Most likely:

    1) Darqueze Dennard – Quality #2 CB to start along side Cortez.

    2) Eric Ebron – A flex WR/TE. Fills two needs at once. Plus red zone TDs.

    3) Taylor Lewan – Upgrade over Beachum. Too much talent to pass up.

    4) Anthony Barr – Do not assume Worilds signs long term. We need OLB.

    (Aaron Donald is the next best player but not a great fit for our scheme. So I believe the next best available player for the Steelers is…)

    5) Marquise Lee – If he could’ve entered the draft last year he’s a top 10 pick. ACL’s often take over 1 year to regain FULL PRE-INJURY FORM. (Example: Heath Miller.)

    + I spoke with Lee in person at the Athletes First Agency in Irvine right before the combine and he said his knee is just now feeling back to normal. People will be surprised to see how much quicker he is this coming year as compared to last year.

  • dave

    The thing about trading down – I’d be for it if Evans, Gilbert, and Dennard are gone, but…you have to look at it from both team’s perspective…who is on the board at 15 that is enticing enough for someone to move up for, that we wouldn’t want ourselves?

  • blackandgoldBullion

    You better hope he doesn’t blow out his knee at his weekend Pickup basketball game.

  • Brian Miller

    1. Evans
    2. Gilbert
    3. Dennard
    4. Mosely
    5. Shazier

    I just don’t think they will take another WR that high unless it is Evans, and I don’t think they will skip Defense to take a TE even if it is Ebron.

  • pittsburghjoe

    Evans, Gilbert, Dennard, Nix, Fuller (trade back)

  • Brian Miller

    I also think a lot of this depends on how they feel about Spence and Williams…if they have a lot of doubts, I think you could easily move Mosely up to the top of the list.

  • LucasY59

    yep, it’s not worth drafting a WR just to have them leave for more $, the Steelers have done that too many times already.

  • LucasY59

    NT…Thomas needs to potentially be a backup, so if they move McLendon to DE its because they picked Nix

  • StrengthOfVictory

    Most likely bait for a trade? A QB. Or perhaps a top safety.

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