In his Grade A draft for each team that he released earlier this month, ESPN draftnik Mel Kiper Jr. had LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and Notre Dame nose tackle Louis Nix III tabbed as the top two picks for the Pittsburgh Steelers. In his latest two round mock of the 2014 NFL Draft that he released on Thursday, Kiper has decided to stand pat on those selections for the Steelers.
As for the selection of Beckham by the Steelers with the 15th overall pick, Kiper writes:
Markus Wheaton, whom the Steelers got in last year’s draft, can develop into a good player, but he’s also the No. 2 wide receiver on this team as of today, and that can change if the Steelers grab Beckham. An explosive mover, Beckham can run by defenders, but also does a great job of creating space underneath. He’s also the kind of player who becomes extremely dangerous and hard to cover when Ben Roethlisberger extends plays.
It’s hard for me to argue with Kiper’s choice of Beckham for the Steelers as that’s exactly who I have them selecting in the first round of my latest mock draft and especially if the top 14 picks plays out exactly as he has them.
As for the Steelers selecting Nix in the second round, Kiper writes:
Nix is more talented than his 2013 tape showed, and working with Dick LeBeau in Pittsburgh’s system could turn him into a steal at this point. He has rare size and just needs to learn how to utilize his strengths more consistently.
If Nix does indeed last that long, it will likely be hard for the Steelers to pass him up and especially if things play out exactly the way Kiper has them. I must admit, however, that Washington tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins sure does look attractive at that spot based on Kiper’s board, but he does have a few character flaws that really need to be explored. I’m sure the Steelers have done that, but he hasn’t been brought in for a pre draft visit as of yet.
So, how would you feel if this is the way things played out for the Steelers in the first two rounds? Keep in mind that Kiper has the top three tackles (Robinson, Lewan, Matthews), top two wide receivers (Watkins, Evans) and top two cornerbacks (Gilbert, Dennard) already off the board when the Steelers pick in round one.