Lance Zierlein Goes Heavily Against The Grain With His Second Mock Draft Of The Offseason

On Tuesday, Lance Zierlein of The Sideline View released his second mock of the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft and this one really goes against what several of the mainstream draftniks currently have floating around right now.

While he doesn’t offer up his reasoning behind the selection, Zierlein, son of former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line coach Larry Zierlein, has North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron slotted for the black and gold at the 15th overall selection.

Not only does Zierlein have three quarterbacks coming off the board in the first five picks of the draft, he also has three tackles being taken in the first nine picks.

As far as the cornerbacks go, Zierlein really goes against the grain at that position as he has Ohio State product Bradley Roby being the first one off the board. He also thinks that Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard will fall all the way out of the top 25.

Two players that the Steelers could very well have interest in as far the first round goes, Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley and Florida State wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, are noticeably absent from Zierlein’s first round mock. He does, however, have a total of five wide receivers being drafted in round one.

This mock should create a pretty good discussion.

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

    I can see Benjamin going as far a 4th or 5th WR overall, CJ Mosley is not dropping to second round

  • chris ward

    Wow, he doesn’t have Mosley in the first round. That is surprising, I think Mosley is a solid football player and would be surprised if he falls out of the first round.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    For me, I think this shows one point. This draft is all over the place. There are some elite guys, guys like Watkins, Matthews, and Clowney, but after you get past that first group of say 8-10 guys, it is anyone’s guess. I don’t want to hear anyone say…that is too high for player X….it doesn’t make sense in this draft IMO. There are guys I might consider for us at a 15 who might be there in the 2nd when we draft because other teams aren’t as high on him as we are.

  • Big White

    Love CJ Mosely. Three year starter for Nick Saban, are you kidding me??? Athletic, can penetrate, can pursue. Would round out the corps with Jones, Mosely, Timmons, and Worilds. That’s is totally nasty!!!

  • Justin Barlow

    If we drafted Ebron, I sure wouldn’t stomp my feet… It would hurt to leave Gilbert on the board though…. I almost don’t want to be in such a position with that much talent sitting there.

    However, considering how lame the TE position was last year without Heath and Spaeth in the lineup, this more than shores up the depth, and also continues the development of a physical January offense that boasts up to 3 TEs.

  • steeltown

    That’s very true. Just because some have players projected or graded a certain way doesnt mean others will do the same. Take last year for example, Le’Veon Bell, I didn’t see him being selected in the 2nd Rd 48th overall and definitely not the 2nd RB taken in the draft… but, I think we can all admit he looks the part and by all accounts was a great selection

  • Eric MacLaurin

    I’m a big fan too but the size and injury flags make me worry.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    I think he could also play WR so he could give you depth at WR and TE.

  • Biggie

    After reviewing Ebron unless everyone else is gone and we move back have no interest in taking him at 15. He’s athletic and a receiving TE would be nice addition but his blocking has long way to go. If I’m taking a TE that high he better be more all around and he isn’t. Can get solid TE to compliment Miller later. He won’t be BPA to me at 15. Evans, Gilbert, Dennard, Mosley would all have to be gone to consider him and maybe a couple others as well.

  • Justin Barlow

    And that’s really the beauty of it. You can create some serious mismatches in the running game come December and January.

    You go AB, Spaeth, Miller, Lev’eon, and then split Ebron out wide…. If the defense puts an LB on him, you attack that mismatch without mercy… If the defense puts a CB on him, you motion him toward the formation and run the football right at the guy and hopefully create a nice corner. This could be even more devastating if we brought in a scat back like a Freeman.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    Agreed. I love the flexibility. If he and Evans have the same grade I would prefer the TE.

    My biggest concern is the 2015 defense if we don’t get a stud in this draft but I think he probably has the biggest impact on 2014 point differential.

  • Justin Barlow

    Yeah, a defensive lineman is what has me most worried about this year. CB the next year. And maybe a free agent is the solution next year when the cap situation looks a little different.

  • Jollyrob68

    Red flag health of his knees

  • Eric MacLaurin

    I’m not worried about DL at all.

    A 3rd lineman isn’t my concern. Its the idea of 8 dB’s and lbs to start, plus backups, injuries and a couple of starters retiring next year.

  • Justin Barlow

    I wish I could say that. I just see a massive hole at DE in the base and at DT next to Heyward in the sub packages. Young OLBs/CBs are definitely needed in the pipeline to start/contribute in 2015, but I don’t see the #2 DT on the roster for the sub packages let alone a #3.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    My point is that those needs aren’t part of the discussion for the top of the draft. We need a mid level free agent or two but we need really good players at LB and DB that we won’t be able to afford in free agency.

  • Jeff

    It wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if we had THAT much talent sitting at #15… Based on the needs of a few of the teams behind them, the Steelers could potentially trade back to get an extra pick, while still grabbing the guy they want in the first round…. They probably run so many different scenarios pre-draft to account for such situations. I think that’s what makes the draft so interesting – they have to put so much prep into a pick they have 10 minutes to make.

  • chris ward

    If his knees can stay healthy, he looks like a top 20 pick on film IMO.

  • Weiss Chad

    He might teams are worried about his knees

  • steeltown

    I have to somewhat agree, I just don’t see any truly elite type TEs in this draft. Ebron is getting Jimmy Graham type comparisons, but hell Graham was drafted in the 3rd Rd, Gronkowski was a 2nd Rder.. I don’t know, im torn, it would seem that an early-mid 1st Rd TE would have to truly be a complete player and/or a crazy freak like Vernon Davis 4.38 40time

  • PA2AK

    Any chance the Steelers really want Evans and trade up to get him? I hear a lot of people saying that most teams want to trade back. Steelers have 9 picks. I’m a proponent of using as many picks as they can this year, but I wonder if they would do it. Is he (or anyone else) worth it given our list of needs? We did sure up some depth at least in several positions.

  • wdhammer

    the need right now is not a TE . silly . CB, OSL, WO, NT, DE RB,

  • Ben Anderson

    This just serves to drive the point home that either A. Zierlein is an idiot or B. he puts things like this out there to get people to talk about what he says and writes, but that he doesn’t actually believe much of it. Anyone who has listened to Mark Madden should be familiar with this tactic. Chances are that it’s a bit of both.

  • Ben Anderson

    While I don’t see the 1st round unfolding as Zierlein has it, if both Gilbert and Dennard are gone, I can see them taking Ebron and the Steelers running 12 personnel as their base.

  • mlc43

    I have to disagree. Heath only has a couple of years in him and we saw what TE was like without him last year. Also, while there are definitely more immediate needs this year, that doesn’t mean you don’t take a Ebron there depending how the draft plays out. You don’t reach on a CB just because there is a bigger need there. I didn’t read this guys mock, so I don’t know his reasoning.

  • frednash

    Ebron cant block

    what is he the Bennie Cunigham of 2014

    I don’t remember if bc did

    all I remember is that Bennie was a load

    him and Miller receiving could put ab into the

    hof

  • wdhammer

    heath has a couple yrs you’re right .My point -Ike has no yrs .

  • mlc43

    My point is if the CBs are off the board then you don’t just reach on a CB because you need one. You wait and pick up 2nd round talent in the 2nd round. In that case you would then consider other needs in the 1st. TE and WR are needs. Though, DL could be looked at strongly here as well. Again, my point is the draft will in some ways determine the pick. TE is definitely a need. CBs and TEs will neither come in and start right away. Ike has one year left and Heath maybe two. We need to find their replacements real soon.

  • wdhammer

    agree with the CB’S.. I would draft a WO if evans were there. If not, look at your board and draft the best available ..

  • RyanW

    I would be pissed if we took Ebron over Gilbert or Dennard. CB is a MUCH bigger need.

  • Justin Barlow

    Not if youre looking to win now. Theyre both needs but what Ebron gives you is immediate red zone points. We need that more than anything.

  • RyanW

    You can get a bigger WR in round 2 and get red zone points. Dennard or Gilbert could at the very least play in subpackages or be our 3rd corner. Both are smart and talented enough to do so.

  • Weiss Chad

    I think steelers are planning on trading back w either Cleveland ,Carolina or San Fran.i personally would like to see dennard in first and Tuitt in second even w trade up.I gotta admit Wesley sanders intrigues me as does varret.

  • Nathan Shrift

    Z was really knocking down Dennard. Check out one of his twitter quotes.

    Dennard??? He is falling like a rock. Teams don’t think he’s fast enough. This will all make sense soon

  • pat

    Why all the hype about Ebron. If he was a WR he wouldnt be a 1st round guy and with his inability to block that is exactly what he is an overweight WR.

  • pat

    Ebron cant block so moving him in does no good

  • Justin Barlow

    Im sure he can block a CB or a safety. Cmon now

  • Justin Barlow

    I disagree. Everyone is saying there are plenty in round 2, but they are not in the class of Evans, Ebron, and Benjamin. Matthews and Robinson are nice, but its a downgrade from the top 3.

    Yeah Gilbert and Dennard can play in the sub packages, but would they really be a huge upgrade from a second year Shmarko? We would benefit in 2015 when they jumped in as starters and I am not against picking them. I just think that the bigger splash comes from the 6-5 plus receiver that steals the ball from the defense. We can double down on corners and get good ones for the pipeline. Ike was a 4th rounder and so was Cortez. Keenan Lewis was a third rounder.

    By contrast, 7 of the top 10 leaders in TD catches last year were first rounders

  • RyanW

    Theyre not in that class at first glance butbits been proven time and time again as we have shown that a high level reciever can be had in the later rounds (look and Brown and Wallace) Ebron isnt worth the #15 pick between character concerns, lack of blocking and dropping easy passes it’s not worth it if a high level Corner is there such as Dennard or Gilbert. You can find good corners or receivers in later rounds but it’s a bigger crapshoot with CB’s than WR’s in my opinion.

  • Jeff Anoble

    That would be a drastic move for them that would be out of character, however if it netted them say san fran’s extra 2nd and 3rd round picks it would be a great deal. I think eric ebron at 15 = arizona trading up and we get their 3rd round pick. At 20 for us, Dennard, Fuller, Benjamin, the list can go on.

  • Jeff Anoble

    Eric Ebron @15 = Arizona’s 20th and 3rd round pick for us.

  • JAMESH

    Ebron has been inconsistent blocking, but has also had some devastating hits. He was not asked to block much in school but was willing. That can be coached for his second year. This season, he’s mostly the slot WR.

  • JAMESH

    Well thought out. I like it.

  • JAMESH

    And his style does not fit LeBeau’s scheme.

  • Bradley Campbell

    I have considered Mosley 2nd rnd material the whole time. It will be interesting. He needs size but more than anything -a major issue is can he hold up physically in the NFL.

  • Weiss Chad

    I was thinking all three jumping up for wr or maybe even Miami for lewan

  • Weiss Chad

    I want Cleveland 1.27 &2.4