With the 2014 NFL Draft now just a few more days away, NFL Network analyst Bucky Brooks has dared to mock the first four rounds of it and as you can imagine, he has some interesting selections for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
With the two top wide receivers and cornerbacks already off the board come time for the Steelers first-round selection, Brooks has LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. going to Pittsburgh with the 15th overall selection.
The Steelers need another playmaker on the perimeter to alleviate the pressure on Antonio Brown to carry the passing game.
I certainly understand Brooks’ reasoning here and even mocked Beckham to the Steelers myself in round of my latest mock draft. However, it should be pointed out that he has Pittsburgh passing on UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr, Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley and tackle Taylor Lewan. In addition, he now has Kyle Fuller as his third cornerback coming off the board just seven picks later.
In the second round, Brooks finally addresses the Steelers cornerback need by giving them Stanley Jean-Baptiste of Nebraska.
It’s time to find a replacement for Ike Taylor as the No. 1 corner in the lineup. Jean-Baptiste possesses the size and ball skills to develop into a premier corner in the NFL.
I’m not a big fan of Jean-Baptiste’s, but I see Brooks’ reasoning here. However, looking at his board and selections, I think I would have went Fuller in round one and followed it up with one of the several wide receivers he has coming off the board later in the round.
In the third round, Brooks really gives us a surprise as he has big Tennessee tackle Antonio Richardson going to Pittsburgh.
Protecting Big Ben continues to be a problem for the Steelers. Throwing a tough, hard-nosed edge blocker into the mix could be a solution.
That’s a tough pick to swallow, but once again, I understand Brooks’ reasoning. Based on his board, however, I think I would rather have Georgia tight end Arthur Lynch, who is the very next player off the board, than Richardson.
Speaking of tight ends, Brooks addresses that position for the Steelers in the fourth and final round of his mock with the selection of Crockett Gillmore of Colorado State. I like Gillmore, but I think that’s one round too early for him.
I don’t envy Brooks having to do a complete four round mock as there’s no way I would attempt it. However, I have a feeling this one won’t please many of you when it comes to the Steelers.
Here is few an interesting observation of Brooks’ four rounds. While he is realistic in round one with only five wide receivers coming off the board, he has nine more being selected in the second round. That’s a total of 14 in the first 64 selections. That’s a lot of wide receivers and nearly one for half of the teams in the league. Do you feel that number is too high?
It’s certainly easy to pick a mock draft like this apart and once again, I tip my hat to Brooks for attempting it. Now it’s your turn to pick it apart. Who does he have going too early and too late? What player or players are still on the board that shouldn’t be?