Draft Analyst Bucky Brooks Has Two Defensive Backs For The Steelers In Latest Mock Draft

NFL.com draft analyst Bucky Brooks has now released his fifth mock of the offseason and this time around he has tackled the first two rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft.

Brooks has the Pittsburgh Steelers taking two defensive backs with their selections and his second round choice might surprise you.

In the first round, Brooks has the Steelers taking Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard with the 15th overall selection.

Brooks writes:

The Steelers need to find a replacement for Ike Taylor as the designated No. 1 corner in the lineup. Dennard is an ideal fit with his grit, toughness and ball skills.

As you have seen over the course of the last few weeks, Dennard has become the favorite of several of the major media draftniks when it comes to the Steelers first round pick, so there is no shock value here.

With his second round selection for the Steelers, Brooks goes off of the beaten path as he has Washington safety Deone Bucannon tabbed as going to Pittsburgh with the 46th overall selection.

Brooks writes:

With Troy Polamalu nearing the end of a distinguished career, the Steelers need to groom a young, athletic safety to take his place. Bucannon is the ideal guy for the job with a strong nose for the ball and a penchant for delivering teeth-rattling shots in the hole.

Brooks obviously doesn’t see Shamarko Thomas as being Troy Polamalu’s successor. However, in his defense, the Steelers did bring Bucannon in for a pre draft visit. They’ve also had safeties Calvin Pryor and Brock Vereen in for visits as well, so perhaps Brooks thinks there’s a fire that is letting off all of this smoke.

The Steelers of course traded up last year to draft Thomas, so drafting another strong safety early this year would on the surface make that deal look bad. Perhaps, however, the Steelers see Thomas more as nickel/dime/quarters slot/backer defender for the long-term than they do a true strong safety.

After the Steelers signed Mike Mitchell early on in free agency to replace Ryan Clark, I had pretty much ruled out them drafting a safety this year, but it’s hard to ignore how many that have been brought in for visits.

This should make for some pretty good discussion. How many of you are now thinking that a safety will be drafted next month?

  • Nolrog

    We don’t need a replacement for Troy. The next safety tandem is already on the team, Thomas and Mitchell. Safety is one of the few positions that we don’t have a huge need (OLB is the other, depending on whether they resign Worilds of course.) I could see them drafting a safety for depth in the back end of the draft, but going corner, safety in the first two rounds ignores many other much more urgent needs.

  • RW

    Who knows if Thomas is a true safety. The point is that he’s safety-capable. Go for a bigger short-term need now, unless the value is outrageous (i.e. Pryor is there at 2.15).

  • Paddy

    With the last few drafts I question if the Steelers can produce a good draft. If Thomas is indeed not fit to replace Troy then heads need to roll.

  • dgh57

    When it comes to DBs I see us taking two CBs and with the 2nd one taken maybe having some Safety experience to provide versatility might be nice but not back to back draft picks. That’s about the closest thing to a Safety I see us drafting.

  • Brendan

    OLB isn’t a need? There is zero depth at that position.


    C’mon, man! We’ve got Chris Carter!


    Maybe he can punt.

  • I can kind of see what they are thinking, Cleveland (provided they get a QB who can throw a forward pass) will have a more dangerous passing attack, Cincinnati already has one, and Baltimore may become more difficult to defend as well. And if they are going to play big nickel, since this is becoming a passing league, they are going to need an athletic and fast secondary, which may require the use of three safties.

    I don’t want them taking a safety higher than round 5, but if its the bpa by a wide margin, I could see them taking one.

  • What if Jones or Worilds as he has done in the past gets hurt?

  • Last year was bad?

    Jones, Bell, Wheaton, Thomas, V. Williams- all except Wheaton saw significant snaps. Yeah that draft was god awful-eye roll.

    2012 Produced Decastro & Beachum, lets cut all of these bums!

  • Ben can, better than what they have had

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    I would be shocked if we took a safety in the first 5 rounds. The ONLY way I could see us taking a safety at all would be a scenario in which the BPA in rounds 6 or 7 would be a safety, and even then I think the chances are minimal.

  • Callentown

    I dunno. Trading up to get a safety (last year) in theory should mean that the team drafted him to replace Troy.

    Needs at CB, DLine, and both Inside and Outside LB, PLUS WR/TE, and possibly OT means the team cannot fill all of the holes in the draft, even if all picks worked out!

    A Safety pick would be questionable, at least to those of us who may not know the Steelers plans. For all we know, they could be building a new defensive alignment with three safeties.

  • srdan

    You should go back and analyze drafts again. You are severely mistaken.

  • srdan

    Safeties are good late round picks regardless of whats on the team because they are usually ST studs.

  • Ben Saluri

    Really have to wonder, where Thomas would rank,
    in this years draft class.

  • Jason Brant

    Agreed. Last year’s draft was a homerun.

  • Biggie

    I think we are looking for serious upgrades in the secondary as well we should. The addition of Mitchell and resigning of W. Allen has helped solidify the safety position, but that is not to say if the right guy is there in this draft that we should not take one. I prefer to see upgrades made to the depth at CB. Ike and C. Allen are currently the only starting material at the position. Gay can play in the slot and is decent against the run and on STs but is never going to be able to start outside. With Ike having one, maybe two years left starting we need to add one or two young cbs to groom into starting cbs to work in rotation with C. Allen for the future. With needs on the DL, LB, WR, TE and RB we can’t afford to hit nothing but the secondary. Will have to do well in the later rounds this year and even after the draft for UDFAs.

  • Anthony Hargraves

    The writing is on the wall guys. coach said that sub packages is the new thing. So why are you surprised that they are looking for more good DB’s? I suspect that they will draft athletic LB’s and DB”s to match the pass happy league that is the NFL.

  • Geoff Cordner

    I don’t mind if the Steelers draft a Safety and a CB if it gives the team more ability to blitz the QB. If the Steelers can draft players that can help them increase the number of sacks and draft players that can help in the redzone.. then I’m happy. I don’t care what position they play in…just get more W’s baby!

  • 804Stiller

    Like the article suggests, Shark has the ability and speed to cover the slot. Hopefully, the game slows down for him this year. I don’t think drafting a safety mean he is a bust in any fashion. He was bound to struggle some as a rook. I wouldn’t be mad if we get two DBs. The law of averages say for every Cortez Allen, you draft a Hawthorne. For every Keenan Lewis, you draft a Curtis Brown. Needing to replace Ike, it’s probably best to draft a couple.

  • AndyR34

    Finally! Someone is listening and observing! As Anthony said Coach T. indicated sub packages are the here and now! Most of you are thinking base 3-4-4 defense…which they played maybe 35% last year? Everyone is thinking Thomas is “Troy’s replacement”…not necessarily. Because he is so cover-capable he could be some S/CB hybrid and Troy’s replacement is not yet on the team. Good teams draft for needs 2-3 years down the road…bad teams draft for now. Where do you want to be?

  • Toddy Bravo

    I like Bucannon, but think our 2nd round pick might be a bit high for him. I also think there’s a reasonable chance he drops to the 3rd, though most likely not all the way down to our comp pick at the end of the 3rd.

  • AndyR34

    Doom – he’s a troll!!! You are arguing against nonsense, LOL!

  • Really last years draft produced 3 maybe 4 future starters maybe even 5. Yeah trolling. Yep nonsense what team needs 5 future starters. lol you pat yourself on the back. hang your head in shame

  • Eric MacLaurin

    With current pass heavy offenses and 230 pound linebackers you really do have to look at everyone and consider the better player over the prototype build or normal formations. Having your extra defensive depth at safety offers the possibility of shamarko playing CB and poly playing lb instead of trying to predict injuries.

  • RMSteeler

    A lot of people forget that Keenan Lewis was a Curtis Brown. Until the last year of his contract.

  • I would have him slotted as the 3rd or 4th best safety.

  • Ike Evans

    I’m hoping they still draft a safety early….the value man…..the value is there

  • MC

    Got no problem with taking another safety. With more sub packages on the field, Shamarko can see plenty of time in the nickel spot as he has cover skills and would be in a great position to rush the passer with his speed from the slot.

  • Nolrog

    You’re right. There’s no depth, but there are two starters. Right now, there’s no DE, one MILB (not sold on the others), and one corner who will likely be gone in a year.

  • Nolrog

    That is a concern, yes. The defense has an lack of depth all over and that’s another major concern. But that still does not trump the fact that we have no DE, need another MILB and corner. Those are the needs right now, not safety and not OLB.

  • Nolrog

    It’s hard to call it a home run after only one year. It looks like it was a decent draft we still need to see these guys another couple years before we can give it a fair grade.

  • CP21

    A lot of teams are going nickel with 3 safeties and 2 corners. If Steelers are moving that way, Bucannon makes perfect sense at 46. The Steelers can always find a WR with their 3rd round compensatory pick in this scenario.

  • Nick Williams

    I would love to see shamarko as the nickel cb and Buchanan is a stud