2014 Steelers Mock Draft Version 3.0 – Post Pro Days

With today being my birthday, I thought I would give all of you a gift.

Now that the 2014 Pro Days now pretty much behind us, it is now time for my third 2014 Pittsburgh Steelers mock draft, or as I like to call them, educated guesses to inspire good draft talk about players.

I usually do about fivemocks prior to the actual NFL draft taking place and you can find the links to all of those from last year in this final mock draft post from 2013. Here is my first mock after the 2014 Senior Bowl just in case you missed it and here is the one I did following the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine.

The Steelers have already had several pre draft visitors in and with free agency now pretty much over, we all should have a pretty good idea as to what the needs are and players the team has interest in. I try my best to keep my personal bias out of these mocks. Instead, I try to get inside the head of the Steelers brass and predict what I think they will do.

I’m not sure if I will have another mock draft before my final one. We shall see what happens over the course of the next few weeks. I normally like to do five, but four might be enough this year.

************** If you are going to comment in this post please add value to the discussion. The rounds here are not important and you are not helping the discussion exercise by saying “Player X” will not last that long or is being drafted too soon. Please add what you like and dislike about a certain player and feel free to add your own mock as well. Remember, the discussion should be centered around the players, not the rounds they are drafted. Mock drafts are never perfect, but the value of them is in the discussion about the players. If I feel you are not adding value with your comments I will simply delete them. Go elsewhere if you want to be a nuisance or a troll. **************

Round 1 (15th) – WR Odell Beckham Jr. – LSU


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Bio: http://www.lsusports.net/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=205087798

Surprised? If I were calling the shots for the Steelers, I would probably select Florida State wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, as I believe he will be a touchdown machine at the NFL level. As far as inside linebacker C.J. Mosley goes, I still like him as well, but it doesn’t appear as though the Steelers have taken much interest in him. In addition, inside linebacker appears to be more of a luxury pick early in the draft for the Steelers. When you consider Colbert’s track record, Beckham really fits what he looks for in a first-round player. For starters, he’s a mature underclassman and only 21 years-old. Second, he’s a high-character player with consistent college production. Beckham is versatile and can line up outside or in the slot. He’s a great route runner, has above average hands and is also willing to do the dirty work when it comes to blocking. Part of Beckham’s versatility that will help the Steelers during his rookie season is the fact that he can return punts and kickoffs and that would help lighten the load of fellow wide receiver Antonio Brown. The only real downside with Beckham is the fact that he didn’t produce touchdowns inside the red zone in college. Being as Kevin Colbert, Mike Tomlin and Todd Haley were all present for his Pro Day, and took him to dinner the night before, we know there’s some serious interest in Beckham. The only other direction I see the Steelers going in the first round would be cornerback, but I have a feeling the top two will be off the board by the time the 15th overall pick roles around.


Round 2 (46th) – OLB Scott Crichton – Oregon State


60272734.842431 1/209’00”4.297.19

Bio: http://www.osubeavers.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=30800&ATCLID=207912452

This pick can obviously go in several different directions depending on what happens in round one. For example, if a top-five cornerback is still on the board and one was not chosen in the first-round, I could see the Steelers going that direction. I’m betting against that happening, however, and being as this team lacks depth at the outside linebacker position, I can see Crichton being the pick. A productive three-year starter at defensive end in college, Crichton is a perfect tweener prospect to be converted to outside linebacker. His college tape and measurables remind you a lot of former Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley when he came out of college with the only difference being that Woodley dropped more in coverage. While some will argue that he can put on weight and become a 3-4 defensive end, I think he’s better suited to rush the passer instead of being forced to play the 3 and 5-technique. While his weight might be of some concern, Crichton still showed he can move at that size as evidenced by his 4.29 20-yard shuttle and 7.19 three-cone drill times. He could stand to lose 10 pounds, but it’s probably not that big of concern as long as he holds his current weight while increasing his strength at the NFL level. He uses his big hands well and gets off the ball quickly, but will have to get used to standing up as an outside linebacker. During his college career, Crichton recorded 165 tackles (100 solos) with 22.5 sacks for minus 130 yards and 51 stops for losses of 224 yards. He also recovered four fumbles and caused ten fumbles to go along with nine deflected nine passes. He is a high-character underclassman and only 22years-old. The Steelers have had him in for a pre draft visit, so there’s definitely interest in him.


Round 3 (97th) Compensatory – CB Jaylen Watkins – Florida


51141944.412231 1/209”10”4.57.13

Bio: http://www.gatorzone.com/football/bios.php?year=2012&player_id=246

If the Steelers fail to land a cornerback in the first two rounds, round three must be the round that they make that happen. While the pick in this round is late, I believe there’s a decent chance that Watkins will still be on the board. Watkins, the brother of Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins, was one of the few bright spots on the Florida defense last season. He is ultra-versatile as he played outside, inside and free safety during his college career. Initially, Watkins would likely best fit the Steelers as a nickel or dime defensive back, but eventually he might be able to be moved outside. His speed would allow him to stick with quick slot receivers and his size will allow him to also cover the bigger hybrid tight ends as well. He put up 225 pounds 22 times at the combine, so strength is not an issue. While he is not afraid of playing the run, his tackling does need to improve at the NFL level as often times he fails to bring his feet and wrap up properly. Watkins seems to be a solid character kid, a four-year college player and still only 21 years-old. He should fit in right away on special teams as a gunner. Steelers defensive backs coach Carnell Lake was present for his Pro Day. Will he last?

2010100853000 00.0-001 00.0-000
201113834268000 01.0-125 00.0-000
20121311392613003 01.0-018 00.0-000
2013129523121000 02.0-037 00.0-000
TOTAL48281338845003 04.0-1621 00.0-000

Round 4 (118th) – CB Ross Cockrell – Duke


60001914.561036 1/210’02”4.327.28

Bio: http://www.goduke.com/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=204766110&

Round four is the perfect chance for the Steelers to double-dip at the cornerback position and I believe Colbert really has eyes for Cockrell. He watched him at the East-West Shrine game and also made a point to take in his Pro Day as well. Cockrell is a prefect zone-coverage cornerback and while not a blazer, he does break on the football well. A defensive captain, Cockrell had 41 pass deflections during his career at Duke and that led the nation’s active players and set a school record. He also recorded 12 interceptions at Duke and 227 career tackles of which 148 were solos. In the bowl game last season against Texas A&M, Cockrell more than held his own against wide receiver Mike Evans. He reminds you of Cortez Allen and possesses a great football IQ. In my opinion, Cockrell would be a steal in the fourth round and might even be worth moving up for a couple of spots to get if it only cost a fifth-round selection to do so.


Round 5 (157th) – RB Devonta Freeman – Florida State


50822064.581631 1/209’10”4.267.11

Bio: http://www.seminoles.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/devonta_freeman_749521.html

In addition to having dinner with Benjamin prior to the Florida State Pro Day, the Steelers brass let Freeman tag along for a free meal as well. Why do I think there’s a decent chance this running back last until the fifth round? For starters, he is undersized and while productive in college, he only carried the football more than 19 times in game twice during his career. While he can catch the football out of the backfield, he only has 47 catches to his credit. When you look at how the draft has played out over the last few years at the running back position, you will see why I think Freeman might just last until round five. While he is a poor man’s Kevin Faulk, he’s not Giovani Bernard. In fact, he’s more Stepfan Taylor, but I do believe he can function as a change of pace and third down back at the NFL level. He’s not flashy, but he is consistent and I think Haley and Colbert really like him.




Round 5 (173rd) Compensatory – DE Taylor Hart – Oregon



Bio: http://www.goducks.com/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=204773861

The Steelers could use yet another young defensive end to develop and Hart best fits that profile. Hart has all of the measuables to play defensive end in the Steelers defense, but he lacks a strong base and needs a ton of work on his technique, as often times you will see him moved way too easily. If you look at Hart’s stance on tape, it will remind of the one used by Brett Keisel. However, Hart is nowhere close to being able to have his name mentioned in the same sentence as the bearded one. Hart hardly ever takes a play off and while not the most nimble player, he was asked to drop occasionally and he does move fine for a player with his size and build. Hart will never be Aaron Smith, but he could develop into a rotational player on the Steelers defensive line in a few years. He absolutely has to get stronger and must learn to keep his pad level down at the snap. He seems to have a good football IQ and is reportedly a very hard worker. He would be a tough player to cut.


Round Six (192nd) – OLB Shaquil Barrett – Colorado State



Bio: http://www.csurams.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/shaquil_barrett_756903.html

New defensive assistant and former Steelers linebacker Joey Porter knows all about Barrett being as he coached him in 2013 at Colorado State. Porter got a lot out of him as Barrett earned Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year and first-team All-Mountain West honors in 2013, and ranked No.5 in the nation (FBS) in tackles for loss with a Mountain West record 20.5 and No. 5 FBS in sacks with 12.0. Barrett finished his three-year career at Colorado State with 246 tackles (116 solo), including 18.0 sacks and 32.5 tackles for loss, to go with three interceptions, seven forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and six pass breakups.


Round Six (215th) Compensatory – NT Ryan Carrethers – Arkansas State



Bio: http://www.astateredwolves.com/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=3741055

If the Steelers are looking to add a a young nose tackle in the draft to challenge Hebron Fangupo or to develop on the practice squad, Carrethers could fit the bill in round six. He doesn’t move very well, but has the size to be a two-gap, two down plugger. His short arms, however, make it tough for him to disengage from blocks and despite him being stumpy, he still comes off of the ball way too high at times. Carrethers, in my opinion, has very limited upside, but might be worth a flyer. Consider him a project.


Round Seven (230th) – TE Rob Blanchflower – Massachusetts



Bio: http://www.umassathletics.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/rob_blanchflower_440404.html

If there is one tight end that offers upside that can be had late in the draft, Blanchflower is that player. The four-year player battled a bilateral sports hernia injury all of last season and still hasn’t been able to workout for scouts as a result. Blanchflower will be a day-three selection because of his injury history, but when he has played he has shown he can function as an inline blocker and a receiver. He’s a good hands-catching tight end that moves well out in space.


  • srdan

    I don’t understand the thought process on the first round receiver. We are deep at receiver, with a young core and one probowler. So to spend a first round pick on a receiver is a luxury unless it’s a redzone stud. You sort of allude to that anyway.

    I don’t have an issue with the rest of the draft. I know very little about the others.

    I commend you for last years draft, while you didn’t get any of hte players, you were pretty accurate with the positions that were addressed except guard.

  • zbluez1

    Between Dave T’s, and Dave B.’s, analysis. I would take this draft smile all the way to the bank, I would expect Beckham to be the only major contributor in terms of stats this year, but special teams and depth to be much better this year. may this one go from your post to the Steelers draft cards at the podium.

  • RW

    I really only like the Freeman pick. I wouldn’t be so happy about the others. Beckham is a Lance Moore clone and Chriton rarely dropped back in college. Plus, a slot WR and an OLB in the first two rounds? Those are luxury picks if I’ve ever seen them. The team should be focused squarely on a red zone producer, a CB and a DE. There are plenty of starter-capable players at each of those positions that will be available in the first two rounds.

  • ApexSteel

    We’re deep at potential not proven talent.

  • srdan

    You must be refering to Wheaton. Since the other guys were all starters in the NFL. But I trust our FO who made no attempt at bringing in a starting caliber receiver, which tells me that they trust that wheaton isthe starter. There were some cheap starter caliber receivers looking for one year deals that could have been had (britt or nicks).

  • Brian K

    I also was curious, Dave, if you have looked at and/or could give your input on Ricky Havili-Heimuli (close enough) NT from Hawaii I believe. Slotted for late rounds as Carrethers.

  • Brian K

    Tons of issues with those two.

  • steeltown

    Happy Birthday Bryan

  • steeltown

    I love the mid-late Rd selections, especially the Cockrell, Freeman, Barrett and Carrethers picks.. im not so fancy on the earlier selections but its hard to guess what we’ll do in the 1st and 2nd Rds

  • ApexSteel

    All starters? 4 of the top 6 recievers are completely unproven. We don’t know much about Wheaton except for what we saw in college. DHB had one good year and the rest have been awful. Derek Moye do next to nothing last year And Justin Brown didn’t even make the 53 man roster.

  • srdan

    Moore was a starter, so was DHB. AB is a probowler.

    Are you suggesting that a first round receiver is proven? I don’t get your argument.

  • Bill Sechrengost

    Dave, I do like some of your picks. I’m still not sold on Chrichton fitting into our system as OLB. He would have to drop some weight for that. I’m beginning to agree with you that Gilbert and Dennard are going to be gone for the Steelers. I think a lot depends on how many teams go after quarterbacks before the Steelers in the first round. I have tried to fill as many holes as I can with my mock draft:
    1 – Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech – He is the next best CB and is moving up the draft board.
    2 – Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt – I keep hearing people knocking him and he may not be available in the 2nd round, but he just produced in the tough SEC
    3C – Marcus Smith, OLB, Louisville – A tweener that had 14.5 sacks last year. He is now the number 5 OLB in Mike Mayock’s draft, so he may be gone by this pick
    4 – Josh Mauro, DL, Standford – A big, tough, DL, although I also like Dave’s pick of Taylor Hart. Either would be fine with me.
    5 – Andrew Jackson, ILB, Western Kentucky – Nice size and a tackling machine
    5C – Marion Grice, RB, Arizona State – he is recovering from an injury, but he is one of the best receiving running backs coming out in the draft this year
    6 – Ryan Carrethers, NT, Arkansas State – I agree with Dave on this one. He is a big, strong, run stuffer who is strong as a horse with a wrestling background
    6C – Shaquille Richardson, CB, Arizona – this would be the second CB taken. The Steelers have shown interest in him and he has nice size
    7 – Wesley Johnson, OL, Vanderbilt – The Steelers met with him at Vanderbilt’s pro day and he is very versatile, having played tackle, guard, and center, which the Steelers like

  • Justin Barlow

    This draft has all of my favorites…. except Benjamin…. I understand the logic behind the Beckham pick even though I don’t agree with it. My opinion is that if I had Alshon Jefferey on my team already, then Beckham is the ideal complement… but if I have Antonio Brown on my team already, then Benjamin is the ideal complement. Beckham/Brown/Wheaton is hell on wheels to stop between the 20s, but I don’t see how you get points in the red zone with that trio.

    I love Crichton, but if Stephon Tuitt is on the board in this spot, I think you gotta take him instead… unless Crich really is capable of playing DE… or at least kicking inside on the sub packages (more important I think given last year’s struggles with run D and interior pass rush in that package).

    I love Watkins and Cockrell – perfect duo for the two dogs one bone model of CB development….. I love snagging Barrett and Freeman… tow of my big favorites.

    This draft does everything except solve for who is the long term starter at DE opposite Heyward. We know its not Keisel, and we know it’s not Cam Thomas. If we are just bringing in low ceiling guys in this draft, then it must mean the FO thinks Nick Williams can develop into a starter. Otherwise I think Crichton could do just fine in the role.

  • ApexSteel

    My argument is that there are better options than the ones on our roster (Kelvin Benjamin/Mike Evans in the first). For some reason you believe that being a starter at some point means they’re a good player and I could give you countless examples on why that’s completely false. DHB was benched in favor of Da’Rick Rogers and Lavon Brazill last season and Lance Moore was placed behind Kenny Stills and Nick Toon. The only things they proved last year is that they can be 4th receivers.

  • srdan

    I thought you were saying “proven” not better.

    On KB and ME I would agree with you because they provide us a redzone threat. But to bring in another receiver with a similar skillset to what we already have, doesn’t make sense. How much better of a prospect is the LSU receiver over Wheaton?

  • ApexSteel

    I’m not saying I what Beckham, but drafting him would provide the team with a similar skill set to the young money crew. AB being AB obviously, Wheaton replacing Emmanuel Sanders, and Odell Beckham Jr trying to fill in Mike Wallace’s spot.

  • chris ward

    Like Odell Beckham in the first round, has the makings of a complete receiver and is a high character guy, think he would be a nice fit in Pittsburgh. Also, like Cockrell in the 4th round, really like watching Cockrell on film, and has nice attributes with being a defensive captain in college and is a smart kid. Think Cockrell would be a steal in the 4th round if the Steelers can get him.

  • I don’t think were deep at WR at all.. Wheaton hasn’t proven anything… DHB is terrible… Moore is ok. I just think were worse off at CB position. Ike is starting to fall off.. Allen hasn’t proven he’s a shutdown CB and gay is best at nickel/slot…. We need an impact CB badly

  • I don’t think beckham has that deep game ability.. If anything Wheaton is mike Wallace and beckham would be sanders….

  • Chad H

    I just don’t know about Beckham at 1.15. I like him and there is nothing about him that says don’t take him but at 1.15 I think it is a reach. Pass on Carrethers looks like a bust to me. Good spot for a RB but the pick I don’t know (not a bad pick) we will have to see who rises and who falls. I believe there will be at least 3 RBs to pick from in that round. If Shazier is there in rd 2 the Steelers will grab him.

  • Brian Tollini

    Happy Birthday Dave! I like the Freeman and Hart picks for sure. I think Freeman is a tad underrated and Hart just seems like Steeler.
    1. Darqueze Dennard-CB Michigan State
    2. Jordan Matthews-WR Vandy
    3. Troy Niklas-TE Notre Dame
    4. Taylor Hart-DE Oregon
    5. Devon Kinnard-OLB USC
    5a Ed Stinson-DE Alabama
    6. Carl Bradford-OLB Arizona State
    6a. LaDarius Perkins-RB Mississippi State
    7. Dex McDougle-CB Maryland

  • ApexSteel

    OBJ and Wallace had similar heights and weights and OBJ had 19.6 YPC. Wallace’s highest in college was 20.1 and Wheaton’s was 13.7.

  • PA2AK

    Good luck with this srdan….he’s all over the map with that ‘logic’

  • PA2AK

    i had the same feeling. the players are good and I like the positional mix there too.

  • We are not deep at WR, Moore is best suited as a #3 or #4, Bey may not even make the team.

  • Game_Time

    1st Kevin Benjamin WR
    2nd Stephon Tuitt DE
    3rd Jaylin Watkins CB (Comp – Mike Wallace)
    4th Demarcus Lawrence OLB
    5th Daniel McCullers DT
    5th Aaron Colvin CB ) (Comp – Keenan Lewis)
    6th Jerick McKinnon RB
    6th A.C. Leonard TE (Comp – Mendenhall / Mundy)
    7th Justin Britt LT

  • cp72

    I love this draft top to bottom. I’m warming up to Beckham, but I am still intrigued by a big bodied WR. Crichton reminds me of Mike Vrabel. They share similar traits. Those are the two corners I had in my mock draft. I think it’s a position that can be adequately addressed in rounds 3-5. Freeman in the 5th would be a homerun. He runs like a running back should.

  • cp72

    Like everything but Leonard. He’s got some baggage and I doubt they even have him on the draft board.

  • Anthony Hargraves

    I would take this draft in a heart beat! great job Dave…

  • cp72

    Beckham just feels like a Colbert pick. Holmes, Sanders, Brown, Wallace, and Wheaton. He’s that body type with speed.

    If we can get the running game going with Bell and Blount it would be nice to see a guy with Beckham’s speed in the play action game. He and AB could take the top off a defense.

  • Brian Tollini

    I liked Colvin a lot until he tore his ACL, worth keeping an eye on for sure.

  • Matt Manzo

    If Dave T said Crichton is the mix of Aaron Smith and Jared Allen, I’d like to see him stay on the line!
    I also wish OBJ had more production in college. If he had more thousand yard years I’d be more of a believer.
    I also heard Dave Ts tip on LB Blair in CINN. When he said, “if we’re pissed we passed on Burfict then we should get this guy, ” I want this guy!
    I’d like to see a MLB added instead of 2 OLBs.
    We’ve got Moats and Harrison is still an option.
    I don’t know a lot about Freeman, but I’m more intrigued by Archer, Seastrunk, and McKinnon.
    I do like the TE project! There seem to be a few injured players that can be had later, I hope we get some of em?

  • harding36

    Freeman and Hart in the 5th would be home runs. Love both of those picks. I also like doubling up on the CB’s. We really need to take a corner in the first three rounds, and two in the top five rounds, I believe. So, taking a corner at 3 and 4 makes perfect sense. Regarding Beckham, I agree that the Steelers interest in him seems real. That said, I’d be disappointed with that pick at 1.15, given my obsession with Kelvin Benjamin. Here’s my top 4 picks (don’t pretend to know enough to go 7 rounds):
    1: Kelvin Benjamin, WR, FSU
    2. Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB/ILB, Georgia Tech
    3. Rashad Reynolds, CB, Oregon State
    4. Anthony Johnson, DE, LSU

  • Matt Manzo

    I love RReynolds!!!!

  • First, Happy Birthday, Dave. Hope you have a fine day and a great year ahead.

    Second, as I’ve been saying, I think it’ll be Dennard in the first if he’s still there — but I just think he’ll be gone. But then what? It just seems like there’s a mass of prospects between, say, 12 and 35 who are, in terms of talent, more or less at the same the level. No one really stands out as the best of the second tier. (I’m happy to stand corrected.)

    Maybe I’m not giving Beckham his due, but it seems like a reach at 15 when there’s supposedly such depth at WR this year. Indeed, past Watkins and Evans, the only player who really stands out to me is Benjamin, which is why, like Dave, I’m hoping they take him.

    Here’s a question, though: Would the Steelers actually consider moving Benjamin to TE, as Dave T. suggested on the pocast? Because that really does seem like the best thing the Steelers could do given that we still hope our starting wideouts are Brown and Wheaton, with Moore (or, in future, someone like him) in the slot and DHB (or, in future, someone like him) as a sort of all-purpose backup.

  • On another note, I especially like Watkins and Cockrell. Assuming we don’t get Dennard, those would be two outstanding prospects to groom, and I think we’d all feel a lot better about our CB situation going forward.

  • Chad H

    I agree and I’m not against the pick. Just a little bit of a reach. If we are going to reach why not Tuitt or Fuller?

  • StarSpangledSteeler


    I like the combo of Watkins and Cockrell in the 3rd and 4th. And the Steelers front office has shown a precedent for that type of drafting.

    People need to prepare themselves for the possibility that the Dennard and Gilbert might both be gone at 1.15. What do you do then?

    Do you reach for Fuller at 1.15? Do you reach for SJB at 2.15? That is not smart drafting in my opinion. That is panicking for a “need”.

    I think the true VALUE at cornerback this year will be double dipping that whole tier of prospects available from the 3-5 rounds. Desir, Watkins, EJ Gaines, Aikens, Cockrell, Breeland, Reynolds, Richardson. These are all starting caliber talents.

    And that’s not even mentioning the possibility that one of the higher guys drops to our 3rd round comp pick. SJB, McGill, Phillip Gaines.

    If the Steelers truly stick to the “Best Player Available” philosophy, it probably won’t be a CB in rounds 1 or 2.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    As for the pick nobody is talking about… I like Crichton at 2.15 and here is why…

    Our defense lives and dies with our outside pass rush. Our outside pass rush lives and dies with our OLB’s. We cannot go into a season with only 2 OLB’s and hope they both stay healthy for every snap the entire year.

    Either Worilds or Jones is going to miss some time with injury. Who are we going to put in there as our primary back up? Carter? Moats?

    You can draft all the Dennards and Fullers and Gilberts you want, if you can’t get to the QB those guys are going to get torched.

    But the bigger deal is Worilds. Why do you think he’s not signed long term right now? Could it possibly be that he wants more money than the Steelers are willing to pay? And if he does well this year, will he likely want even more next year?

    At this point you cannot plan on Worilds being here long term IMO. You might hope for that. But you better have a legitimate prospect waiting in the wings.

  • RyanW

    No thanks. Really OLB in Round 2? Yeah no…. this draft is so deep at WR that unless Evans or Watkins land in our lap then take Dennard or Gilbert there. But an OLB in round 2 would be a wasted pick unless the front office has reason to believe Worilds cant be signed long term

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Happy Birthday, Dave!!!! I will have a beer for you. I have no time for my verbose take on the draft and my preferred scenario right now, but I thank you for all the great work. Have fun, man!

  • 804Stiller

    I like the back to back corners as the kid out of Duke does well against big receivers. Since we need to hit on at least one corner, I like taking two. Also, I like the philosophy of improving the pass rush. If we get back to rushing the passer consistently, it takes so much pressure off the secondary. I like adding NT that could develop. I wouldn’t be mad at all. I wasn’t a fan of getting a receiver early but I like Beckham’s return ability, hands and the talk about him potentially being a great blocker. Again, a more athletic Hines Ward type can do damage in the redzone just like a big receiver. Just in a different way like Hines and Cotchery did it. I wouldn’t be mad at this draft at all.

  • Polamalu430

    Happy Birthday D. Bryan and keep up the good work. I am ok with Beckham. I don’t see the explosion on film that everyone talks about, but he has good footwork, does a lot of little things right and seems like a faster Hines Ward. I would take a faster Hines Ward all day. I know people want Benjamin at that spot, but his bust potential seems pretty high. He reminds me of Eric Green but faster and a wideout. Green didn’t work hard and thus didn’t last long. Benjamin has that potential wash out quality about him as well. If Dennard was there, I would think about that, but he reminds me too much of Chad Scott. One wild card I would throw out for 1.15 is Shazier. I seriously think he could be the pick. It might seem like a luxury, but Colbert likes “special” players that high. I don’t know if he thinks Beckham is one. Shazier has elite speed and is a high character, hard working team captain type guy. He needs some more sand in his pants, but I wouldn’t be upset with him as the pick either.

    I am ok with your round 2 pick as well. They had him in for a visit and they liked him. Lamarr couldn’t drop in coverage either when he got there, but he sure could rush the passer. If they do pick Crichton 2nd, it could mean that they are not signing Wourilds to a long term deal. They would let Crichton redshirt and situational pass rush then take over next year. He could even swap sides and play JJ’s side because he could handle the bigger tackles better. Otherwise I would like Tuitt in round 2. Quick and big and could slide right in or compete with Nick Williams at end. If Williams stays healthy, I think he is going to surprise some people.

    I am not knowledgeable enough to comment on the rest of the picks, but I like the double dip at corner. We gotta do it and throw some bodies at it before the wheels fall off.

  • RW

    The problem is in your answer. Right now Colbert has two of those guys currently on the team. If he’s gonna go receiver, get a big body. Make a defense have to think about how to cover multiple types of players.

  • Brian K

    Wow! I like it. Although I had a feeling you would take a lot of Dave Te’s suggestions I like where you ultimately went.

    It also makes me proud being a young rookie tape watcher I picked about all of these players in my own mock. Especially being as I’ve liked Freeman and Blanchflower since before they were brought up. Thanks to draftbreakdown.

    I was surprised that you have Crichton moving to OLB after hearing Dave T. talk about him being the “baby” of Jared Allen and Aaron Smith. (I believe I got the father’s he named right, lol)

  • srdan

    Actually if I could reword wht I said I probably woudln’t say we are deep. I do stand by my statement that we do have a good young core at that position. THerefore a first round addition is a luxury. We have other cores at positions that are in their thirties, like the one you point out.

    However, I do want a tall redzone threat in teh first two rounds. The first round is ok. And it doesn’t have to be a WR.

    My reasoning is that a first round receiver should be a complete player and a franchise receiver. We already have that. What he lacks is a redzone capability. So why draft another short receiver if he doesnt’ possess a steve smith skillset?

  • dkoy85

    It’s Wallaces speed that will separate him from Beckham in terms of deep threat at the next level.

  • Donny Simmons

    Dave- Great mock, I like Beckham in the 1st if Evans,Dennard & Gilbert are gone. The only change I would make is Justin Britt (OT) Missouri in the 7th. He is a quick kid with long arms and good feet. He has been nicked up and needs to get stronger so he should be there.

  • StrengthOfVictory

    Dave: While I understand the merits and assets of Beckham (and how he fits the mold of a Steelers receiver), is there reason to believe he has surpassed KB on the Steelers’ draft board? Are we merely to consider him (Beckham) one of a few strong possibilities at 15, or rather the (current) reigning choice of WR in the first (assuming a player like Evans doesn’t fall)?

  • Donny Simmons

    My worry with Benjamin moving to TE is his age (24) and his work ethic has come into question lately. Rather have Dontae Moncrief in the 3rd, Tuitt in the 2nd & Dennard,Fuller or Gilbert in the 1st.

  • David OBIE!

    I want a corner in the first round ;Dennard or Fuller over Gilbert.
    both seem to be Steelers type of players.
    Here is my draft keeping in mind where i think these athletes will be in the draft when we pick and who the Steelers have had in to visit
    1.Kyle Fuller ( better all around corner than Gilbert)
    2. Allen Robinson

  • SteelersDepot

    yeah, I don’t see him as a 3-4 DE. I love Dave-Te, but don’t buy everything he sells.

  • Matt Manzo

    Good one! Zumwalts climbing into my drafts as well, though I wish he was better pass coverage. Smallwoods another big guy who can run! The Florida St kid too, Jones?

  • Matt Manzo

    Sounds like he sells a lot, too!

  • Matt Manzo

    Good points!

  • cp72

    Oh I 110 percent agree. Just saying Beckham seems to be in the sweet spot of what we look for in a receiver.

    I think Beckham has a lesser chance of bust potential because of his special teams prowess. Even if he’s not a star at WR he has a chance to be a star in the return game. That’s something a bigger receiver can’t offer.

  • Matt Manzo

    After putting some serious thought into it, the only thing that would piss me off about the OBJ pick is if Benjamin went to the Ravens after!!!

  • Dennis Nevinsky

    I like your draft but I believe that Dennard will be available in the 1st round due to lack of top end speed for a CB. This is how I see that draft falling.

    1. Pittsburgh Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan St.

    2. Pittsburgh Donte Moncrief, WR, Mississippi

    3. Pittsburgh Jackson Jeffcoat, LB, Texas

    4. Pittsburgh Brent Urban, DT, Virginia

    5. Pittsburgh Lach Seastrunk, RB, Baylor

    5. Pittsburgh Walt Aikens, DC, Liberty

    6. Pittsburgh Brock Vereen, SS, Minnesota

    6. Pittsburgh Lorenzo Taliaferro, RB, Coastal Carolina

    7. Pittsburgh Cornelius Lucas, OT, Kansas State

  • Toddy Bravo

    I like your mock better.

  • Bill Sechrengost

    I like Christian Jones a lot too, very versatile and athletic.

  • Toddy Bravo

    I’d be fine with most of those picks. If I have any criticism, it’s that Beckham is clearly a reach at #15 (even though I do like his game) and; I haven’t seen Freeman slipping into the 5th round anywhere. I think he’s more of a late 3rd to mid 4th prospect.

  • Very reasonable points. The age is a concern, but that report of him skipping a workout may have been overblown. And the fact is, he has the potential to be truly dominant.

    But Dennard, Tuitt, and Moncrief would be pretty great if it broke that way.

  • Donny Simmons

    Like this a lot only change Taliaferro to

    Raijun Neal, RB, Tennessee

    Height: 5-11. Weight: 212.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Interesting mock Dave…I will give you my reason why we do not take a WR in the 1st. 1. because of how deep this draft is we can find a very good WR even in the 3rd round. 2. I believe the way we have been looking at the WR with our pre-draft work outs proves that by trying to check out a lot of guys and hoping 1 of those guys will fall to us in the 2nd or 3rd round.

  • Donny Simmons

    Sounded like you were stunned more than once on the podcast. Happy B-day, hope your wife gets your cake!

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Made this mock up a few days ago and I see we have a few familiar faces. I have us taking Barrett earlier because I believe he is better then what is projected by some sites.

    1. Mosley ILB Alabama: Best of breed and i believe will be there when we pick
    2. Moncrief WR Mississippi: I believe a WR will be picked here but it could be 5 different guys. I like Moncriefs size and speed.
    3. Clarke DE WVU: Need early in the draft
    4. Seastrunk HB Baylor: Steelers have shown interest in him
    4. Barrett OLB Colorado: Porter has a repoire with him already
    5. Richardson CB Arizona: came in for a visit. normally has meaning

    6. Vereen S Minnesota: Steelers are in need of keeping up in this position
    6. Carrethers NT Arkansas St: Be nice depth for us at the position
    7. Blanchflower TE Massachusetts: good blocking TE and he has natural hands

  • srdan

    Good points.

    I read up on him, and like his potential.

    What I don’t agree with you on is that “our defense lives and dies with our outside pass rush”…well I agree with that. But I always thought that it has more to do with our DEs rather than our OLBs. Yes, we are thing at OLB even though we have good young starters, but man are we exposed at what I view as the most integral position on our defense.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I love Lucas in the 7th…he seems to need a little more anchor strength in the run game but he has the ability to be a starter. My draft has a lot of what your has.

  • They don’t have it, probably waiting for Woodley’s cap savings. And they don’t seem to want to kick the restructure can down the road.

  • steelcityboss

    Happy Bday Dave. I love your work. Here is my mock. Tell me what you guys think….

    1. CB Dennard MSU

    2. DE Tuitt ND

    3.WR Ellington SC

    4.CB Cockrell Duke

    5. OLB Adrian Hubbard Alabama

    5. RB James White Wisconsin

    6. OLB Barrett Colorado

    6. CB Shaquille Richardson

    7. TE Marcel Jensen Fresno

  • Jollyrob68

    Happy Birthday, Love your Mock and would be very Happy. I’m not sure if Crichton will be on the board that late in the second but we can hope. Great Job Dave

  • cecka

    whoever wrote this article is dumb as fuck!

  • cecka

    Only pick I like is the 3rd round and thats only because you didn’t take a corner before.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    If Tuitt is there in the 2nd you can end the draft right there…I like it…I am not too familiar with Jensen but my guess will be we will draft a guys that all of us will wonder where he came from.

  • Jollyrob68

    Think of it this way, We lost/ traded Holmes,Hines,Wallace and who have we replaced them with? AB was already on the team with Wallace so he doesn’t count. Getting Beckham,Evans or BEnjamin in rd 1 is a good thing. The monkey wrench is if Jake Mathews some how fell to The Steelers(as in one mock). He’d be the pick.

  • Skinny Merlino

    Need to go cb in round 1 we have better options all around at wr at cb we have an old ike a unproven Allen and nothing I really hope they don’t go wr in the 1st

  • Ike Evans

    I actually really enjoy this mock…love critchon, odb, freeman

    1. Kelvin Benjamin WR Florida State-smh I’ve been sold…I wasn’t at all at first the drops really scared me and the fact he’s older and a late bloomer scared me too but I’ve been convinced lol I kinda hate to admit it
    2. Troy Niklas TE Notre Dame -probably won’t happen lol but I like the value
    3. Pierre Desir CB Linwood
    4. billy turner OT south Dakota state
    5. Antone exum CB/S Virginia tech
    5. Deandre Coleman DE/DT California
    6. Henry Josey RB Misouri
    7 AJ Tarpley ILB Stanford
    7. Zach Fulton G Tennessee
    7. Beau Allen NT Wisconsin

    Hmmmmmm I don’t really like this draft I’m going to re do it….it was a freestyle

  • Jason

    NIce knowin ya. Prepare to be banned

  • Dennis

    I love you thinking in this draft. very similar to mine. I just did this mock the other day.
    1. Odell Beckham Jr. WR LSU – love this guy, everyone looking for size. I like talent.
    2.Stanley Jean-Baptiste CB Nebraska – I want to take a CB in round 1 or 2.
    3. Marcus Smith DE/OLB Louisville – this guy is a beast from a great college defense.
    4. Ross Cockrell CB Duke – same as you
    5a. De’Anthony Thomas RB Oregon – solid 3rd back and I love his return skills too.
    5b. Taylor Hart DE Oregon – solid player to develop.
    6a. Shaquil Barret OLB Colorodo State – same as you
    6b. Brock Vereen S Minnasota – special teams and solid player to develop.
    7. Max Bullough ILB Michigan State – leader on a great defense and can be a good special teams player.
    I liked your draft a lot. I think the Steelers will be able to get a NT and a TE of the same value as UDFA. That is why I went with two players at S and ILB that were defensive leaders on their teams in college.

  • Dewayne Braxton

    Seriously, Wheaton is the projected starter and he basically has no experience, so Beckham could possibly beat out Wheaton. If not, he would definitely beat out Moore and contribute on special teams where he excells as a retuner.

  • Jason

    And for the record Dave has probably forgotten more about the Steelers than you’ll ever know and even though I don’t particularly like this mock either to post what you did is nonsense. Besides without this site we’d have to rely on the Post-Gazette for info….yikes.

  • Skinny Merlino

    So we are gonna act like ideal Beckham or any other rookie wr is proven in the NFL lol they come in with question marks as well cb is the bigger need we have no Antonio brown at cb

  • TJenks048 .

    Well to me Beckham doesn’t really remind me of Sanders at all. More like a college version of Santonio…….without getting caught smoking weed all the time.

  • Jollyrob68

    For Worilds, It’s smarter to play out the deal for one year and then get a signing bonus plus guaranteed money on a longterm contract. This isn’t what us Steelers fans want to hear but it’s a business.

  • Jollyrob68

    Steelers always wait on CB, I would love that trend to change but the two that Dave selected are two Very good cb that would be ready to contribute this year and possible start next year. Watkins can play most of the DB positions and Crocket is smart & tough.

  • Jollyrob68

    DE? Steelers dont play them they strip them down. Grab a DE late plus Chrichton can play DE,DT & OLB.

  • MC

    Happy birthday Dave from ya biggest fan out here in Australia. Love your work buddy.

  • Justin Barlow

    I don’t see why Crichton cant play DE. I think he could be fantastic and add a lot of flexibility to our defense. He could platoon with a bigger guy so he could keep his weight down. His biggest value IMO would be as an inside guy in the sub packages.

  • Caleb


  • GoSteelerz

    Not impressed with either CB, doesn’t really stand out vs. the pass, trouble getting off blocks and tackling vs. the run.

  • RedCarpetDefense

    Rd 1 – CB Kyle Fuller
    2 – DE Stephon Tuitt
    3 – LB Kyle van Noy
    4 – WR Brandon Coleman
    5 – TE Joe Don Duncan
    5 – OLB Shaquille Barrett
    6 – CB/S Dontae Johnson
    6 – LB Greg Blair
    7 – OT Michael Schofield

  • Nolrog

    Happy Birthday man.I don’t see OLB in the 2nd round. There are far greater and more immediate needs.

  • Iron Cadet

    remember at the end of the season when we all said ok we need to focus on defense in this draft. and then we saw all these flashy receivers and went oo nvm i want one of those. people are forgetting we only have 1 starting defensive end! and a secondary of a shell of ike, gay, and cortez. we were scoring a lot of points but we couldnt stop anyone, including the freaking dolphins and raiders. remember the patriots game? we put up all those points but it didnt matter. defense please

  • Weiss Chad

    I concur

  • Louis Goetz

    I cannot take another year of William Gay looking at other defenders and saying, “I thought you had him.” As much as I would love to see the Steelers take Mike Evans or Kelvin Benjamin, there are just too many teams in the market for an outside corner for the Steelers to let 96 guys come off the board before grabbing one. I know a lot of people are up again and down again on Justin Gilbert. It’s hard not to be impressed by 4.37 speed. I have way too much faith in Carnell Lake and Rod Woodson (if he’s there again this year) to be afraid of drafting a gifted kid who needs some developing. If the work Gilbert needs is too much of a risk for the 15th overall pick, what Dennard lacks in elite gifts, he makes up for with technique and work ethic. I really hope the Steelers are able to draft one of these guys as opposed to a receiver. The need at CB just outweighs the need at WR, no matter how tempting Evans and Benjamin are.

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    The only picks I like on this draft are rds 1 and 6.
    I would definitely prefer we take a CB in either rd 1 or 2 vs. taking Crichton in rd 2 because there are OLBs available that are talented and won’t require re-learning a new position (DE to OLB). And probably in later rounds as well.
    I’m not sold on Carrethers in rd 6 either, and would prefer either Ellis or McCullers as our new NT but honestly don’t quibble with any of these so long as we take a NT that will be talented enough to allow us to move McClendon to DE and solidify our DL.
    Don’t know much about Watkins the CB other than he is not one of the top 5 CBs in the draft, which is THE area where we need top talent – no more Curtis Brown 4th round (or later!) CBs please!!
    I will be shocked if we don’t take either Gilbert, Dennard, Fuller or Verrett in either rd 1 or 2.
    The rest of this draft is just so so…… not particularly good or bad.
    Benjamin would be a disaster for us – I hope to God we don’t take him because I think there’s a 90% chance he could be a bust with only at 10% chance he would be a ‘TD machine’.

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    Wheaton has been working with Ben in Cali this offseason to develop that all important chemistry between QB and WR. I think he is going to have a great year this year, but unfortunately our D is lagging our O at this point and so taking another talented receiver (either WR or TE) is a good idea.

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    ‘Good young core’ – I agree with that.
    And also agree with you that the first rounder should be able to START, especially on O.
    I think we’re all caught up with this ‘tall’ vs. ‘short’ thing; as long as they are TALENTED, who cares?
    If it’s red zone production we are after, let’s take the TE Ebron and use him and Heath down at the goal line – that would be a tough combo to cover and allow us to get Heath’s ultimately replacement as #1 TE.

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    Agree, Cadet. I like us to take a CB rd 1 or 2.
    But let me ask you this: If you accept that a first round D player probably won’t start (due to DLB’s philosophy/practices re: rookies), are we better taking a D player that won’t start for at least a year, or an O player that we can plug and play?
    Not arguing with you on the D thing, just curious to see how you view this question, because I think it makes a real difference in how we approach rd 1 in particular.

  • Donny Simmons

    Guys I have been running 7 round simulations on fan speak so take a look.VIEW EACH TEAM’S DRAFT


  • srdan


  • Andrew

    As someone who follows SEC recruiting, Jarvis Landry was the highly sought after WR prospect at LSU compared to Beckham Jr. Now Beckham Jr. will most likely go first round, far ahead of Landy.

  • Iron Cadet

    I agree that they most likely won’t start, but they will see the field and be given every opportunity to contribute. Just like Jarvis, ziggy, heyward, woodley, Timmons, and so on did. People get too hung up on whether a rookie “starts” or not. But if he is in there then he has a chance to be a difference maker. I also do not believe that we are 1 year away from the superbowl, even if we got mike evans and justin gilbert and Louis nix.

  • Donny Simmons

    We have 2 5th’s and 2 7th’s

  • Ahmad

    It’s not the draft I have in mind but I would be more than pleased with these selections.

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    Yes, ‘start’ is just a label; perhaps I would have been better saying ‘signficant # of snaps’ instead.
    Regardless, I have been in a quandry as to whether we should take a D or O player in rd1 because of the reluctance of DLB to play rookies (start or otherwise) unless forced to by injury.
    I think we have to improve our D more than our O, but it’s frustrating to think any D player picked early will not help much this year.
    I think we are 2 years away provided we have as good a draft (if not better) this year as last.

  • Guest

    Love how I post a comment that offered no criticism but it doesn’t get posted

  • steelster

    Maybe if you had a name instead of guest.

  • Iron Cadet

    Then we should never pick a defensive player early with that logic. All of our recent 1st round defensive players have seen a significant number if snaps this year. And if it’s a defensive end then they have pretty much no competition to start and at cb will be starting next year and playing nickel or dime this year which is pretty much starting too. The only offensive thing we need is a redzone target. It’s impossible to predict who we will draft but conversations like these help tie me over until some real information comes out 🙂

  • patrick Mayfield

    Tuitt and Hageman were brought in. I think having Keisel as a stopgap will make them less likely to pull the DE trigger early but the FO is looking at the top guys

  • patrick Mayfield

    I agree. He has fluidity and good hands. Short shuttle time is outstanding and more than 0.4 sec less than his 40. His combine vert jump was great too. 6″ more than K Benjamin to neutralize the disparity of height.

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    Exactly. One of these website experts used that logic and said we should take Ebron (Who I like and think would be valuable to us) even if Gilbert/Dennard/Fuller ARE on the board when 15 rolls around.
    I told him something to the effect that we are NOT the Detroit Lions and should NEVER get away from building our D, merely trying to outscore other teams. That’s just not the way we are built!! Plus, how many SBs has Detroit won?!

  • Clifford Taz Johnson

    We need receivers because we picked up people no one wanted

  • srdan

    C’mon man. It’s impossible to have a roster of only stars. Plus I disagree with you. Dhb and Moore are playing next year, here or somewhere else.

  • Iron Cadet

    I mean going back and watching the Green Bay game and the dolphins game, our offense was great. But if we can’t stop tanehill and Flynn then we need to change something. Cuz there’s no way we can beat Rodgers and manning

  • Bradys_Dad

    With the exception of rounds 6 and 7, I pray that this is totally wrong.