2015 Steelers Mock Draft: Alex Kozora Version 3.0 – Post Free Agency

With free agency dwindling down, it’s appropriate to conduct another mock now that the roster is a little bit clearer. One more mock will be conducted, coming shortly before the draft.

As I’ve done throughout this series, I used the simulator on fanspeak.com. I did, however, change the board I used from Fanspeak’s to Matt Miller’s board. Comparing the different boards, I found his to be a little more accurate.

This is based off of what I think the team should do if I ran the war room. Tell me what you agree and disagree with in the comments below. Continue to round out my player knowledge and feel more comfortable in my mock.

Round 1 Pick 22 – Marcus Peters – CB – Washington – 5’11/5 197

If you listened to the most recent The Terrible Podcast, you found out Dave-Te Thomas’ love for Peters. I’m not quite at that level but consider me a big fan. Most talented on-field corner in this draft, above Trae Waynes and the rest.

It’s impossible to say what Peters will be like off the field but Peters has been accountable and remorseful in comments about his transgressions that led to his dismissal.

The Steelers’ off man scheme may not seem to mesh with Peters’ physical, press nature on paper but it’d be foolish not to play him to his strengths. Ike Taylor played plenty near the line of scrimmage, too.

Though rare for the team to select the position so highly, the team hasn’t been in this need of a cornerback for a long time. Takes some of the pressure off the front office hoping Cortez Allen pans out.

Without a strong pass rusher on the board or any top guards falling, I went with the best talent.

Bio: http://www.gohuskies.com/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=208062167

Scouting Report: http://www.steelersdepot.com/2015/02/2015-nfl-draft-player-profiles-washington-cb-marcus-peters/

Other Players Considered on the Board: DeVante Parker, Todd Gurley, Jake Fisher

Mock Draft Notes: Names are a bit unconventional and would’ve stirred up a lot of controversy. From a strict talent standpoint, these are some of my best players on the board. Parker would upset many but you can’t deny the talent.

Round 2 Pick 24 – Maxx Williams – TE – Minnesota – 6’3/7 249

Back to my boy from up north. A 20 year old, ten year future starter in the league? Where do I sign up? There are a lot of mid to late round tight ends I’d be fine with taking if I couldn’t grab someone like Williams early. But I’m not passing up the value.

He can step into Heath Miller’s role next season and the team won’t have to worry about its starter for another decade. A refined blocker for his age with natural hands, he’s got NFL in his family tree and will make a great fit in Pittsburgh.

Bio: http://www.gophersports.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/maxx_williams_793659.html

Scouting Report: http://www.steelersdepot.com/2015/01/2015-nfl-draft-player-profiles-minnesota-te-maxx-williams/

Other Players Considered on the Board: D.J. Humphries, Henry Anderson, Markus Golden

Mock Draft Notes: A lack of strong competition for the selection made choosing Williams a little easier. Humphries would be the most talented guy on my board. I really like Anderson but the second round seems a little high. Ditto for Golden.

Round 3 Pick 23 – Tyler Lockett – WR – Kansas State – 5’9/7 182

I am in the interest in filling needs. But I’m also in the interest of gathering up as much talent as I can. It’s the best way to ensure success. Said I would take Lockett and there’s no way he falls out of the third. He may be small but has the defined role a player like Dri Archer didn’t.

Arguably the best route runner and separator in this year’s class with terrific body control and stellar return value. Multi-facet player who is going to help you win several ways. Steelers run a ton of 11 personnel and are one injury away from seeing a whole lot of Darrius Heyward-Bey. Nobody wants that.

Bio: http://www.kstatesports.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/tyler_lockett_763638.html

Scouting Report: http://www.steelersdepot.com/2015/03/2015-nfl-draft-player-profiles-kansas-state-wr-tyler-lockett/

Other Players Considered on the Board: Markus Golden, Davis Tull, Donovan Smith

Mock Draft Notes: Golden would’ve been my pick had Lockett been off the board but there’s no question the receiver is the superior prospect. Tull is an interesting project. Smith moves quite well for a big guy.

Round 4 Pick 22 – Eric Rowe – FS – Utah – 6’0/6 205

Rowe is another Dave-Te Thomas favorite and probably the guy who made me “wake up” to him. Rowe will probably go much higher than the 4th come the real deal – this simulator is still lagging in adjusting Rowe’s stock.

Profiled him a while ago and while I wasn’t convinced he can stick at corner – who was a safety moved to corner out of need, after all – he shows excellent ball skills. Finds and high points the ball as well as any defensive back in this class, frankly.

Has versatility. Can play the slot the way Shamarko Thomas was asked to his rookie year or perhaps Thomas goes back to that role in subpackage football while Rowe patrols center field. Rowe gives you options and will become a playmaker in the secondary. Something they sorely missed last year. Don’t need to remind you that the Steelers were the only team in the NFL not to get an interception from their safeties in 2014.

Bio: http://www.utahutes.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/eric_rowe_757046.html

Scouting Report: http://www.steelersdepot.com/2015/01/2015-nfl-draft-player-profiles-utah-cb-eric-rowe/

Other Players Considered on the Board: Davis Tull, Adrian Amos, John Miller

Mock Draft Notes: Tull narrowly misses the cut. Amos was close too and is cut from a similar cloth to Rowe. Don’t be surprised if the former Penn State safety shows up in my final mock – I’m a fan. Raved about Miller from day one.

Round 5 Pick 24 – Davis Tull – OLB – Tennessee-Chattanooga – 6’2 246

I get it. I don’t like waiting on an outside linebacker, either. Beyond round two, the depth becomes surprisingly thin. After my second round selection, and even then I was only looking at guys like Trey Flowers and Lorenzo Mauldin, the following outside linebackers I would have had an opportunity to select were: Za’Darius Smith, Zach Hodges, Kyle Emanuel, and Hau’oli Kikaha. Small pool to select from and not many inspiring selections.

If there is any other defense for waiting, the track record for success over the last two years at the position isn’t kind. Tough transition to make. Since 2013, no rookie edge rusher had more than five sacks.

Tull is a player I, truthfully, need to do homework on. But he sent everyone scrambling to the tape after touching 42.5 inches in the vertical and 11 feet even in the broad. Despite a dinged hamstring, he still managed to run a 4.57 at his Pro Day.

Surgery to fix a torn labrum is going to knock him down some boards but I like the value. Developmental guy who can hopefully be able to contribute in 2016. By then, we’ll know where the team is going to stand with Jarvis Jones. Make it or break it year for him.

Bio: http://www.gomocs.com/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=204979002

Other Players on the Board: Josh Robinson, Jeremy Langford, Derrick Lott

Not a lot else that was appealing to me so I threw up two of the top runners. Like Tull’s teammate but it’s too early for Lott.

Round 6 Pick 23 – Josh Robinson – RB – Mississippi State – 5’7/7 217

Robinson was a player that appeared in my last mock. This time around, I get him a full round later. He’s short, not small, and packs a wallop of a punch. Bowling ball who is extremely difficult to bring down. Fearless dude that gives him a boost in pass protection.

Love the value and really puts the Steelers in a good place at the position. All-star in Le’Veon Bell, a veteran in DeAngelo Williams, a rookie in Robinson, and a wildcard in Archer.

Bio: http://www.hailstate.com/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=205503173

Scouting Report: http://www.steelersdepot.com/2015/03/2015-nfl-draft-player-profiles-mississippi-state-rb-josh-robinson/

Other Players on the Board: Corey Crawford, DeAndre Smelter, Robert Myers, Joey Mbu

Mock Draft Notes: Lots of good competition for this pick. If I hadn’t snagged Lockett early, you can bet I would have been targeting Smelter in the last two rounds. Always been a fan of Mbu’s body type. Just haven’t been able to throw on the tape yet.

Round 6 Pick 36 – Corey Crawford – DE – Clemson – 6’5 283

First mock draft with a compensatory pick. This one is getting hung up on the fridge. Watched the tape on Crawford and will have a scouting report going up on him later in the week. Has the frame to add weight with the height and length (34 1/2 inch arms) the team desires from a five tech. Good athlete who played a lot out of a two point stance though is more natural with his hand in the dirt.

Another developmental prospect who must improve his upper body strength, but with the team seemingly intent on keeping Cam Thomas, there won’t be a need to give Crawford many snaps in year one, anyway.

Bio: http://www.clemsontigers.com/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=205529455

Other Players on the Board: DeAndre Smelter, Robert Myers, Joey Mbu

None of the previous players went off the board. Chose Crawford over Mbu because I’m more comfortable talking about his game.

Round 7 Pick 22 – Robert Myers – OG – Tennessee State – 6’4/6 326

Another small-school player I need to dig up some tape on. Watched him at the Combine and came away impressed with his athleticism. Times reflect that, turning in a rock solid ten split. The team has to still be seeking interior line help after selecting Wesley Johnson last year and making no additional improvements to the group after losing him to the New York Jets. Myers will add that competition. Could easily see him beating out Chris Hubbard.

The Steelers typically shy away from small school kids but if there’s a time they seek them out, it’s with their final selection. Since 2009, Mike Tomlin has taken three players from small Division One or FCS level schools. David Johnson from Arkansas State in 2009, Nick Williams from Samford in 2013, and Rob Blanchflower from UMass in 2014.

Bio: http://www.tsutigers.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=19600&ATCLID=204986304

Other Players Considered on the Board: Clayton Geathers, Ryan Russell, Mario Alford

Mock Draft Notes: Geathers shouldn’t be dropping this far and is a product of a quirky sim. Would’ve scooped him up two rounds ago if I hadn’t already taken Rowe. Russell, an edge rusher from Purdue, is a player I’ve been meaning to check out. Anytime a player with sub 4.3 speed, like Alford, is sitting on the board in the seventh, you have to at least consider him.

A final look at my third mock.

Hope you enjoyed it. For comparison, below are the links to my two previous mocks.

Pre-Combine: http://www.steelersdepot.com/2015/02/2015-steelers-mock-draft-alex-kozora-version-1-0-pre-combine/

Pre-Free Agency: http://www.steelersdepot.com/2015/03/2015-steelers-mock-draft-alex-kozora-version-2-0-pre-free-agency/

About the Author

Alex Kozora

Full-time blogger from mom’s basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.

  • Alex Kozora

    At the risk of derailing this post, reply here or hit me up on twitter (link at the top) to ask a question for this week’s Chalk Talk video. Anything Steelers related. Draft, current roster, etc.

  • 20Stoney

    I wouldn’t be against the picks but I will be surprised if either Peters or Williams are on the board in those spots.

  • Biggie

    Peters is definitely one of the top Corners and it will be about due diligence (character) as to whether we target him. I think Kevin Johnson is the pick at CB in Rd 1 if there. No way are we hitting offense twice in first three picks, may not hit offense till at least 4th round, but if we do as average TE is this year in the draft I don’t see Williams dropping all the way to us in Rd 2. I could see Clive Walford maybe but not Williams. Waiting to hit OLB till Rd 5 would be ridiculous. RB Josh Robinson in RD 6 would be solid pick. Rowe lasting till Rd 4 might be hoping. Overall not a very realistic Draft. We’ll hit defense 3 times in first 4 Rds, can almost bank on it and at least 5 out of 8 picks on defense.

  • Nwall2

    Loved the fact that you are drafting the way the Steelers FO usually does, BPA. Not reaching for an OLB when there are more talented players available such as Williams,Lockett, and Rowe.

    My two favorite picks that I think are the most realistic towards the later rounds are Tull and Crawford. Tull is an animal and I think will only get better as he’s surrounded by players like James Harrison and coaches like Butler. And Crawford’s size and short glimpses of athleticism can’t go unnoticed. Like Tull, I think being around a player like Cam and a coach like Mitchell he will finally get his act together and give more of a consistent effort.

  • Alex Kozora

    Like I wrote, there weren’t many strong candidates at OLB, really by the time I even got to my second pick. And in the first, Beasley (who I probably wouldn’t take anyway) and Dupree were off the board.

    Sure, some of the picks might seem a little out of the norm but I didn’t plan it that way. Just what the sim spit out to me. You’d be surprised what happens on draft day. Guys go earlier than we think, players fall, happens every year.

    I don’t like it at from an offense/defense perspective. Don’t think that is the right approach. Look at it from a team perspective. How can the team, as a whole, benefit. And that’s what I thought I did. Got some great talent.

  • Brian Miller

    Alex, why do you think the FO has been so quiet on the FA corner back market? Do you think they are more confident in Blake and Allen than we know of, or do you think they know they will be able to add significant help in the draft? Also, does your get say the starting safeties for this year are already on the roster?

  • afrazier9

    i like peters definently but that next pick has to be olb or nt then we can do offense but we have address defense in the first three picks but alex i agree the steelers are going to go of base with there picks and piss alot of people off but hey that is how they do it GO STEELERS

  • falconsaftey43

    Gut feeling right now, if the Steelers go CB in the first round, do they get an OLB that turns into anything out of this draft? Conversely, if they go OLB first round, do they get a competent CB? Do you think this will influence their decision, or will they still go with the guy they like better in the first round, and do you think that is the right approach? Sorry for the long question.

  • steelburg

    I completely agree with everything you just said except for Josh Robinson a 5’8 running back with a 4.7 40 in the 6th I would much rather have a guy like Matt Jones or Carlos Williams or just keep Dri back there. I also agree that at least 5 of the 8 picks will be defense.

  • falconsaftey43

    Josh Robinson is nothing like Dri Archer. He is much more in the mold of Maurice Jones-Drew, a real power between the tackles runner.

  • ApexSteel

    I like Peters in the first, but the rest of the draft shows what I’m afraid of. This OLB draft is top heavy. I count maybe 8 prospects that might be worth while in the first two rounds and if we don’t get one in the first we might not get any of them.

  • Tony Richards

    Was Kyle Emmanuel available in Rd 6 or 7? Or do you not see him as a good fit for the Steelers?

  • JesusChristTheGodMan .

    They trust their board and take the Best most talented player on their board, again they will not reach for a need just because we think they must. Even in the 2nd rd it is not a good idea to reach for a need, stick to your board and if Maxx Wiliams is at the top of your board with a 1st rd grade, how do you pass that up for a late 2nd rd early 3rd rd graded pass rusher? Take the best player, not the most needed and you will be successful in the draft most likely

  • steeltown

    Peters and Maxx in the 1st and 2nd respectively would be awesome IMO I also like Rowe in the 4th and J.Robinson in the 6th, but like most, I am a little weary of waiting till the 5th for an edge rusher. We’d really be gambling on Lemon or H.Jones proving worth.

  • JesusChristTheGodMan .

    Love Josh Robinson, I don’t care what his combine numbers are, that kid has that heart and will that can’t be measured. Just watch the tape, that is all. BTW falcon, I’ve made that same MJD comparison since I first seen Josh run, those thick powerful legs and his short stature, very reminiscent of MJD.

  • JesusChristTheGodMan .

    sometimes the draft just falls the way it falls, there are times you just can’t get what you need with good value

  • steelburg

    His pro comparison was Mike Tolbert not MJD. He is a fullback stuck in a running backs body. Tolbert weighs 32 pounds more then this kid. Don’t get me wrong he is a tough runner between the tackles but he is a little on the small side weight wise and height wise to be a short yardage back like Tolbert.

  • falconsaftey43

    He’s my favorite RB to watch in this draft. Guy just bounces off of everyone. It’s amazing how deep this Rb class is, after last year having barely anyone of note.

  • JesusChristTheGodMan .

    Umm because he isn’t a fullback? Tolbert and Robinson are not similar at all

  • I started to hating your draft but with a little research it is pretty sweet. Let me say that the one thing that will not happen is Rowe getting to the fourth round, as Mr. Thomas said he would take him in the first. I questioned Mr. Dulac’s picking him in the first during a chat. Made me really look at him. From a physical standpoint and measurables he is top notch. Position flexibility in Rowe’s case it is a plus not a minus like some CBs that you hope stick and then get moved to safety.
    Take a look he is a top performer at every combine event. Plus add in what Mr. Thomas said. I think he will be a guy picked waaaay earlier than anyone expects. I don’t blame you for playing the cards you were dealt as far as him being left in the 4th. I would be happy if they took him in the second round so 4th is like hitting the lottery in my opinion. I wonder if Locket would have been there in the 4th if you swapped 3rd and 4th selections?

  • JesusChristTheGodMan .

    Yeah me and my dad were discussing RBs, and I showed him Josh and he came to the conclusion I did, if the Steelers do draft a RB he should be the pick, the only other late round RB I like is Matt Jones but not because he is better runner, granted he’s good, its his elite pass blocking from the RB position that I like. But I’d still prefer Josh who shows the potential to be a good pass blocker.

  • falconsaftey43

    MJD: 5’7″ 210 lbs
    Robinson: 5’8″ 217 lbs

  • StrengthOfVictory

    I know the “He won’t fall that far” comments aren’t terribly helpful. And in the case of mocking, say, a top-15 player to a team in the 20s, I can absolutely see the justification. I just really can’t buy Maxx making it so deep into the second round. I think it’s a stretch he makes it out of the first. With TE-needy teams like Baltimore, New Orleans, Cleveland, and Miami in the mix, I think it’s unrealistic that the top-rated TE falls the the middle of the second round.

  • afrazier9

    i just fill like out of these first to picks you need to come away with a starter who can be plug and play and yes i know it doesn’t mean who they draft will automatically start (Shazier) but getting a tight end that you know is two or three years from really being a factor is kind of crazy when you can draft something that you need that will have a better chance of being an impact player if you draft Max for example he is maybe third on depth chart at best which takes away from his snaps and again we want really get any bang for our dollar compared to a position of need like OLB NT were they will immediately be put into rotation and can push the other player one spot in front of him

  • PittsburghSports

    Just a heads up. In my opinion, Matt Miller’s board used to be the best, but I don’t believe it’s been updated since originally posted. Dane Brugler’s was good as well, but I actually like fanspeaks now. He just updated it last week, and I think it’s as close as you can get to the current rumors circulating, although every board on there has positives/negatives. As far as your mock, I like the positions you addressed throughout the draft. My only problem is that you only selected 3 players I’ve heard linked to the Steelers(Peters, Maxx and Rowe). It’s just the way I do mocks. My first criteria that needs to be met is having the player interviewed, dined, worked out or brought in for a visit by the Steelers. I just think it keeps me honest.

  • Anthony Glenn

    Alex I usually agree with your postings about the steelers except this one. I like your first pick but the rest i have questions behind them. I know you stated the sim pick it out for you this way so I just have questions to ask. Because if our draft came our looking like this I would be a little happy, sort of. You honestly think TE Williams will fall to the second round with a team like the Saints, Ravens and cheating Patriots who needs TEs? Also is WR that much of a pressing need in the 3rd when OLB and CB are more pressing. Yes CB was address in the 1st rd but the way our luck is with CB I would double up in the 3rd. I wouldn’t wait till the 5th rd to address OLB. Again I know the sim spit this out so it’s fine but I would be a little concerned if we draft this way. We have a 6th and 7th rd pick that we can trade away to move down in the 2nd or 3rd rd to pick a quality OLB or CB depending what we draft in the 1st rd. Thanks again for the read as always.

  • PittsburghSports

    Wait, my bad. I believe the Steelers interviewed Tull at the Combine.

  • Alex Kozora

    Sure, it may look a little funny. But that’s the sim and I can’t control it. It’s the draft. We all know it’s unpredictable. Guys go earlier than we think, players fall farther than we think.

    WR is not the biggest need. I get that. But I had taken a CB, there wasn’t an OLB worth taking, and Lockett was far and above the best player on my board. I don’t miss the opportunity to pass up talent like that. What it came down to me.

  • Alex Kozora

    That’s fair and I get that. But I did tailor it to what I think the team should do, rather than what they will do. So I didn’t have to worry as much about interest.

  • Alex Kozora

    He went before Tull in the 5th.

  • PittsburghSports

    Yup I get that. And, although we knew the Steelers talked with Kevin Johnson and his parents, we just found out about the dinner, so I’m sure there’s plenty of players out there that have talked with the Steelers and we just haven’t heard yet. That’s why I’m excited to start hearing more prospects being brought in for visits.

  • Anthony Glenn

    Ok I see what your saying. If in some crazy alternate universe Williams did fail to the second rd and we drafted him would u be fine with the rest of your sim draft if the steelers drafted this way?

  • steelburg

    MJD 5’7 210 lbs/ 4.39 forty
    Robinson 5’8 217 lbs/4.7 forty
    Tolbert 5’9 245 lbs/ 4.75 forty

    Like I said Robinson is the size of a halfback with the running style, and speed, and ability of a fullback. He compares to Tolbert because they have the same ability as far as catching the ball out of the backfield, running style and ability.

  • homewood619

    I have Marcus Peters being selected in the 1st round but I think we would be able to get Owamaghe Odighizua in the 2nd round due to him sliding because of the hip surgery. I have us selecting TE Nick Boyle in the 4th round. Next year we will be selecting a TE higher in the draft…..but WR Darren Waller could be a steal in the 7th!

  • steelburg

    Robinson is the size of a halfback with the running style, and speed, and ability of a fullback. He compares to Tolbert because they have the same ability as far as catching the ball out of the backfield, running style and ability. Both are around the same size and both are about the same speed.

  • Alex Kozora

    Sure, I’m happy with it.

  • Bill Sechrengost

    Alex, I love this mock draft. I’m not surprised to see Lockett and Robinson on your list. You seemed to really like both of them in your profiles (maybe some day you could do a list of the top 5 players you liked the most from your profiles, not necessarily the best). I was getting to the end and I thought you needed at least one OL, so seeing Myers at the end is good. Now all you have to do is finish the 100 other profiles people want before the draft and you’ll be good. Good job, as always.

  • falconsaftey43

    40 yard dash times have little to do with RB production. Quickness, vision and balance are the primary attributes that a RB needs. Have you watch Robinson much? He is MUCH quicker than Tolbert.

  • Derek Bonadio

    22: R1P22 CB KEVIN JOHNSON / WAKE FOREST
    56: R2P24 DT CARL DAVIS / IOWA
    87: R3P23 WR TYLER LOCKETT / KANSAS STATE
    121: R4P22 OLB MARKUS GOLDEN / MISSOURI
    160:R5P24 OT SEAN HICKEY / SYRACUSE
    199:R6P23 S JORDAN RICHARDS / STANFORD
    212: R6P36 CB CRAIG MAGER / TEXAS STATE
    239: R7P22 TE C.J. UZOMAH / AUBURN

    Here is what I ended up with. I don’t think RB is as big of a need as people think due to the Williams signing and the drafting of Archer last year. Plus, Harris is a serviceable 4th RB that is getting better. I know the public doesn’t really view Archer as a “RB” but I think the front office does. I like Maxx Williams especially in the 2nd round but with McLendon, Cam Thomas, Decastro, Foster, Beachum and Adams all on the last year of their deals I think we go best player available on either the O-line or D-line. Hickey would move to OG and IMO would be a much better pro there oppose to OT. I picked Carl Davis over Laken Tomlinson (which was difficult). Either one would be a solid fit. Davis is a beast and could move around from NT to DE giving us versatility. I absolutely love the Lockett Pick!! Your are right! The kid is a special player that can line up everywhere. Lockett is one of my favorite players in this draft and if we can land him in the third, do it! I am cool with Peters over Johnson. Both would be good fits. Peters is a little better than Johnson right now at this stage but both have the potential to come in and start.

  • Tony Richards

    Do you pick him up in the fifth round if available or do you like Tull more?

  • Toddy Bravo

    If Maxx Williams dropped to the Steelers in the 2nd, I would dance around the block in my Bennie Cunningham jersey, but I think there is literally zero chance of it happening. He’ll go early 2nd at worst, IMO.

  • Jeff Anoble

    I’m on board for Marcus Peters in the first round. He could be a future Rod Woodson type for us. However the word on him is if he gets into the right situation. Are the Steelers the right situation? Tomlin and the orgainization don’t have a great track record in keeping guys in line. NT T’amu, Blount and Chris Rainey being recent problem guys and even Mike Adams being stabbed on the South Side. Who gets stabbed on the South Side? Also no sign whatsoever of interest towards Peters. No personal interviews and only Lake at Pro Day. If he doesn’t visit here it’s unlikely they pick him. I personally think Tomlin will pick (and I’m not crazy about it) Jarvis Landry LSU CB if they do go CB.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    Do you think Ifo Ekpre-Olomu will be there for our pick in the 3rd round and if so do you see us taking him? Thanks!

  • AndyR34

    Rookie CB’s are seldom…notice I didn’t say never…plug and play impact players…no matter in which round you pick them. Reaching for a supposed need is a recipe for mediocrity. You may “feel” differently, but you would be wrong on all counts…at least as compared to our FO’s standard practice.

  • AndyR34

    I like your sanity.

  • AndyR34

    So…OO’s hip surgery is a big concern to all the other teams…but not to us??? Crazy justification for a player falling to us and we take him. Go ahead and point to Jarvis Jones…I think that other teams just didn’t think he was that good. He hasn’t proven them wrong…yet.

  • Steel PAul

    Alex, nice draft. I didn’t use that site but just went thru the first five rounds. It’s an exercise that takes some time and thought.

    I appreciate the angle of this mock being who you’d like the team to pick. Just so hard to see the picks go offense in rds 2-3.

    LOVE picks 1 and 4. Why not Marcus Golden in the second and maybe Walford at TE in the third?

  • Jollyrob68

    I like this mock. I wouldn’t be surprised if DeVante Parker is on the board that he would be the pick.

  • From Great Blue North Draft Report….to give credit where it is due.

    “At the same time, its no secret that NFL teams are always on the lookout for those long, tall cover corners that can be disruptive downfield. And the latest hot name in that category is Utah’s Eric Rowe, who was kind of thought of as something of a tweener heading into the draft process, but has been moving up boards across the league since he showed that he was a better athlete than people generally thought at the combine. Rowe now looks like he has a chance to be selected in this year’s second round.”

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Great question as that’s exactly the way I feel when doing countless drafts and finding myself desperate at times. Actually, I haven’t done many as things change so quickly that they are quite the waste of time. But when I do, I try to take the BPA in the first round, but if it’s not OLB, then I end up like Alex, saying to myself, “How in God’s name can I reach for this type of boom or bust prospect at OLB?”
    And that continues until rounds 6 or 7, when I finally feel great about taking a guy like Tull or Emanuel. So if I get an OLB in round 1, the draft seems to go great, otherwise I end getting great value by drafting OT’s, DE’s, and others that no one wants in the first few rounds. This scenario could very well happen with the Steelers, because they hate to reach.
    Unlike us, the Steelers will not get a redo.

  • steelburg

    I have seen him. I actually like him as a player I just wouldn’t draft him. Let just put in in perspective he has at best average quickness and vision with above average balance. He had pretty good college numbers but they are a little inflated do to playing with Prescott and that system. But I wouldn’t say he doesn’t have a chance to be successful in the NFL because he seems to be a very determined person to over come things. But like I said I like him as a player just not good enough to draft him. I don’t think he is more talented then Josh Robinson who is currently on our roster.

  • Lambert58

    Nice post, Kozora. Aside from the obvious lack of pass rusher in the first 4 rounds, I wouldn’t mind this draft at all. Favorite line: “Steelers… are one injury away from seeing a whole lotta DHB. Nobody wants that.” lmao. I’m coming around on Peters. He may be a knucklehead to some extent, but there’s no denying the talent and upside. I’m thinking it is worth the risk. Would love to grab Rowe in the 4th, but it likely won’t happen.

  • johnhoien

    This might be the year we break from the CB drought… It would almost have to be Peters… Could it be that other teams would pass on his character issues, but the Steelers would not.. Probably not in the first… But we may just be desperate enough w/ no pass rush.

  • Steve Johnson

    Also Eric Rowe, I don’t think he will be there in the 4th.

  • MDR21

    Good stuff, CBS database seems to be the most realistic

  • Alan Felicia

    WOW, Lockett, round #3? Can You be that much In-Love with this Player? LOL!

  • homewood619

    Owa will be a disruptive defensive force! He has more moves than Jarvis and built like a battleship! I’m not concerned with the hip….he is still young.

  • steelster

    I don’t think ifo will be there in the third round. The eagles pick a few spots ahead of the steelers in the third round. At some point chip Kelly will draft a duck.

  • LucasY59

    good point, would be really happy with IEO in the 3rd tho

  • DoctorNoah

    How does Maxx WIlliams fall to 2/24?

  • steelster

    To me ifo would be a good pick in the second round. Ifo will be on the board in the second round.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    Maybe we should pull the trigger in the second round then if we don’t see value at olb there. Then maybe draft TE Jesse James in the later rounds.

  • Toddy Bravo

    lol. Before Stephon Tuitt dropped to us, I was hoping we’d take Jarvis Landry in the 2nd round…last year. I assume you’re talking about Jalen Collins from LSU? I think the Steelers would take another position before they reached for him in the 1st. He may just be available in the 2nd though and would be a good choice in that spot.

  • AndyR34

    Dude – you don’t get it! I’m not arguing against (or for) OO…I am saying that your logic needs help!

  • LucasY59

    I agree and thats why I would be REALLY happy with him in the 3rd, I think there is a decent chance in the 2nd and depending on who else is available would take him there, but IF things go the way I want them to I would take him in the 3rd

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Alex. There’s no need to defend this mock. It is a gold mine (as far as value is concerned). And that’s what drafting is all about. If people don’t understand that, it’s difficult to convince them otherwise.

    i know people think that if we draft an OLB in 2nd round that means he’s going to be good at the NFL level… (not the case)… At least half of our draft picks usually get cut in the end. You never know which rounds will produce productive starters and which rounds will bust (Jarvis).

    People say we can’t wait until the 5th round to draft an OLB. I say why not? Kevin Greene (5th round). Clark Haggans (5th round). James Harrison (UDFA). You’ve just got to get the right fit.

    In our 3-4 scheme, if the DL does their job, any decent edge rusher should be able to get pressure. And Tull is way more than decent. He’ll probably go in round 3-4.

  • AustinTxStillerFan

    Go listen to Dave Te Thomas’s comments in the latest podcast on Max WIlliams. He did not do well in interviews with teams. Turned off a lot of teams and he lacks definition. Lots of baby fat. Some argue Walford is best TE on the board. In any case, the pick has to fit and he has to be a better talent than others in the draft at all positions of need. TE is a position where there is not always a 1st rounder. All you have to do is name one guy that the TE needy teams covet more and he drops. I’ve seen him go in mocks as late as the 3rd.

  • srdan

    I think you are forgetting who our best corner is. He almost had an argument for the probowl last year with 3 pick 6s.

  • AustinTxStillerFan

    I’ve done dozens of mocks on fanspeak using lots of different boards. in 85% of them, the top 5 OLB are gone by 1-22 and the 2nd tier are gone/mostly gone by 2-24 On the other hand, corners are available throughout the draft. Either we get lucky and one falls to 22, trade down, trade up, or pick BPA.

    Alex’s mock is very realistic imo, because Colbert has established that he does not reach. I will be shocked if we go OLB in round 1 or 2 unless one drops to 22 or we trade up/down.

    Note: I WANT an OLB in 1 or 2. I do not think we will get one standing pat.

  • AustinTxStillerFan

    Not sure he is forgetting, he is wondering who #2/3 will be. We have one who we would prefer to play in the slot. We need 3/4.

  • srdan

    Maybe I misread it, but nowhere does he mention that.

  • srdan

    I said somehting similar about Tuitt last year.

  • AustinTxStillerFan

    Implied, not written. He asks about Blake/Allen, who are the top two candidates for 2nd CB. The implied issue is, who will play the 2nd CB spot in base? He actually gives W Gay a sort of complement by omitting him, because he doesn’t even discuss whether they have confidence in him (which given the average Steelers fan’s historical attitudes towards W Gay is a change).

  • cp72

    Eric Rowe is the only pick I don’t agree with. I think it’s a stretch he will be there late 4th ( you do point this out). Big, fast and has played both safety and corner. I see a ceiling of early 2nd and a floor of mid 3rd for his selection.

    Love love love the Tyler Lockett pick. I never have the stones to pick him in the simulation. I usually take a pass rusher that I normally don’t like much.

  • srdan

    The first round selection seems almsot desparate. But then I really read up on him today. To me he makes a lot of sense. Our defense has too many good guys on it. I’m not advocating for drafting a headcase, far from it. But I am advocating for drafting a player that plays as hard and agressive as he does, and could potentially create issues. We have a senior coaching staff who I trust will coach up players like this. I also prefer players that have on the field questions rather than off the field. I’d rather take a player that plays agressive beyond the whistle and gets called for it, than one that drinks and drives. It’s easier to control the former with coaches.

  • Craig M

    I think a (CB) is pretty much a must in the 1st but I believe a (DE) 2nd (G/OT) 3rd 4,5&6 go for (S)/(CB)/(OLB) and finish up w/ a (DE/DT).

  • Tullydew

    All the people bashing Alex for not addressing OLB early need to watch Davis Tull on tape. He will be one of the best OLB in this draft 5 years from now. Put on his tape vs Tennessee. He dominated their Tackles.

  • Alex Kozora

    Basically what happened to me. Am quickly realizing this edge class isn’t as deep as I thought it was. Top heavy with some interesting late round players. Not much in the middle.

  • Alex Kozora

    I do hope to do a love/hate article right before the draft.

  • Alex Kozora

    All it takes for that one team in that range to like a different TE or be a little down on Maxx. We all know the odds aren’t great of one going in the first round and 1-2 will go in the second. So it’s not that far-fetched to think he falls if someone like Walford goes ahead of him.

  • Alex Kozora

    Just don’t think Golden is worth that second. Round too high for him. Run defense is a mystery to me. Didn’t have to do it at Missouri. Plus, will he be a dominant pass rusher? Probably not. Lump him in with Flowers and Valles.

  • Alex Kozora

    Yeah, definitely don’t see that as desperate. Only one you could argue is would be Crawford because that light is barely flickering for him as a five tech. DE class just sucks and I didn’t want to wait more than I had.

    On the field, Peters is an elite talent. You have to trust him and your staff to manage him, and trust you are capable of giving him a stable situation (what happened in Washington w/ coaching staff turnover). Do that and you have a heck of a talent.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I feel Josh Robinson is too stiff when he runs….no question he makes big plays in college but will he be able to do the same thing with the big boys?

  • Toddy Bravo

    This would be a similar shock, maybe more so. As I recall, Tuitt had a very productive season followed by a down season that was attributed to his recovery from an injury. Tuitt also wasn’t rated the top player at his position. Anything can happen. Just think it’s highly unlikely.

  • Alex Kozora

    You’re right. He is a little stiff in his COD. But he has good vision and finds the hole quickly. Lower body strength is off the charts. Love that value in the 6th.

  • srdan

    Agreed

  • Toddy Bravo

    Sure, anything can happen on draft day. I just haven’t seen a single article, website, ranking, publication or any source that doesn’t have him as the #1 TE. Even so, you’re right that there’s an average chance he falls to the 2nd, but how many times has the #1 TE dropped as far as the latter part of the 2nd. I would bet not many.

  • Matt Manzo

    I got one! For Chalk Talk!
    How about going over all the crazy things Dave Te said during the podcast?
    Stephone Anthony at MLB and Shazier outside?
    Moving Deon Simon to OG?
    Eric Rowe a good pick at 22?
    Shaq Thompson a good pick at 22?
    Tull being one of the best edge guys?

  • Looks to me, Alex, like you’ve been Dave Te’ed. But, then, so have I. So have many of us, I would suspect.

    There was a lot I found odd about his analyses on Monday’s podcast, along with the usual hyperbole (some of it I actually found off-putting, to be honest, especially when it was negative), mostly because seemed to be pushing a lot of second-round talent up into the first, but also because he just doesn’t seem to be on the same page as many of us when it comes to the Steelers needs/system.

    That said, he did make an awfully strong case for Peters, and as long as the Steelers think the “character” issues shouldn’t be a problem, I would prefer him over Waynes and KJ. That’s a big “if,” but not necessarily a major hurdle, and there’s a reason I put character in quotes. Consider:

    First, there are different kinds of character issues/problems. It’s one thing if you run with the wrong people, if you get yourself into legal/criminal trouble, if you have drug problems, etc. In this case, he ran afoul of his college coaches, and as Dave-Te said, there may have been good reasons for it. That might suggest a penchant for causing trouble and not being a good team player, a coachable player, but it may just have been the situation. Again, hopefully the Steelers are doing their research.

    Second, people grow up. And Peters may very well have the makeup to develop into not just a great player but a good and decent man. This whole process turns players into meat, as if they’re nothing but bodies and statistics with quantifiable moral and mental elements, and it can get pretty revolting, especially with the media establishment being so sanctimonious all the time (as if they’ve never done anything wrong in their lives). Let’s give Peters the benefit of the doubt.

    Third, a lot of guys have “character” issues. Sometimes they grow out of them, and sometimes the issues go away. To me, Adrian Peterson has a massive character issue, and apparently he’s doing little to resolve it. But what about Big Ben’s, uh, issues? I’m not saying he did or did not do what he was accused of doing, but it’s pretty clear he did some stupid things, to say the least. Or what about Pouncey, who has gotten some notoriety for his behaviour? Yet those are two of our leaders! Why couldn’t Peters be a leader too?

    Anyway, other than that, I worry about OLB here, Alex, but I tell you, if we walk away with Peters and Maxx (whom I like a whole lot), I’d be ecstatic.

  • Heather Danis

    I would agree with you on Peters but I would have to be sold on Williams in the 2nd. However, so long as his reported “full of himself” attitude didn’t put the FO off, I wouldn’t be terribly unhappy though I would question whether or not he would put his own needs above those of the team if he was “full of himself.”

  • The GreekGeek

    Hey Alex. I like your draft. Made me want to run the sim again myself with the new compensatory pick. I ended up with a nice haul, although I missed out on a RB or TE but I felt the value was elsewhere considering that a TE or RB would be #3 or at best a #2 on our roster this year and probably next year…

    22: R1P22 DE ALVIN DUPREE KENTUCKY
    56: R2P24 CB KEVIN JOHNSON WAKE FOREST
    87: R3P23 CB ALEX CARTER STANFORD
    121: R4P22 G JOHN MILLER LOUISVILLE
    160: R5P24 S ADRIAN AMOS PENN STATE
    199: R6P23 DE LYDEN TRAIL NORFOLK STATE
    212: R6P36 WR DEANDRE SMELTER GEORGIA TECH
    239: R7P22 OLB KYLE EMANUEL NORTH DAKOTA STATE

    I got lucky with how the board fell, but each time I run this, I seem to get lucky with at least a couple rounds… I can’t wait til the draft…

  • Heather Danis

    Alex, thanks for the article. While I’m not sold on Williams due to his high evaluation of himself, that’s up to the Steelers to determine if they are ok with it. I understand your reasoning for your 3rd Round selection but would rather have Marcus Golden rather than taking Lockett and waiting until the 5th. I think we can wait until the 5th for a WR like Darren Waller or Chris Conley or Tre McBride (if he’s still around). They are all WRs with good speed who could, in time, create more mismatch problems for the defenses in the AFC North when added to our present WR corps. Though he had a solid 2014 improving his catching, Lockett just seems to me to be a WR that is just destined to be hurt more often than not and while he would add another speed dimension for us, I believe him to have a small catch radius and would be limited against stronger CB’s. Time will tell I guess. I like Rowe and Tull but am just not sure they’ll be there despite what the Sim allowed for.

  • Rick Tilves

    Cannot wait that Long for an Edge Rusher,

  • renoir

    dont think we go te at all in this draft..best olb/s/cb in round 2

  • Double R

    Coulda had Markus Golden in the 3rd, but you re in love with Lockett, coldnt pass him up. Totally agree with you, the kid is smooth! Much better football player than any 3rd rd olbs.

  • Milliken Steeler

    This is my two cents. Defense heavy and a few nice pickups on offense.

    22: R1P22 DT EDDIE GOLDMAN FLORIDA STATE

    56: R2P24 CB KEVIN JOHNSON WAKE FOREST

    87: R3P23 CB IFO EKPRE-OLOMU OREGON

    121: R4P22 DE MARKUS GOLDEN MISSOURI

    160: R5P24 TE NICK BOYLE DELAWARE

    199: R6P23 RB DOMINIQUE BROWN LOUISVILLE

    212: R6P36 S ANTHONY JEFFERSON UCLA

    239: R7P22 QB CHRIS BONNER COLORADO STATE-PUEBLO

  • JesusChristTheGodMan .

    Well from that perspective if Alex is playing the role of Tomlin and Colbert, and he loves the kid Lockett and see’s the third round as tremendous value but only likes Golden even though he is a need filler he doesn’t have him nearly as high on his board, Alex stuck to his board much like the Tom/Bert team will

  • JesusChristTheGodMan .

    Yeah every time I run that simulator I realize how quickly the edge rushers go in accordance with their value, yet I continuously see CBs I love/like in every round, the CB class is definitely deeper than the edge rushers regardless of what the media says as you said it’s really top heavy with intriguing prospects later, the middle is very underwhelming. So idk if we don’t get an edge rusher in the first 2 rounds maybe the 3rd (depending on how the draft falls), we may be waiting until the 5th and after for good value in this draft

  • Melly

    kevin greene was a FA signee for us…just saying. there were not many teams that ran a 3-4 10,15,20yrs ago! that’s one of the reasons why Pitt was able to find good/great LBs late.

  • Alex Kozora

    Need to throw on tape of Tull first to answer that with any confidence.

  • MDR21

    Like it, I am hoping for something like this, don’t think we can afford WR at #3. Yes I know Kevin John in 2nd is a pipe dream, but hey Fan Speak put him there, who am I to deny destiny!

    22: R1P22

    DE

    BUD DUPREE

    KENTUCKY

    56: R2P24

    CB

    KEVIN JOHNSON

    WAKE FOREST

    87: R3P23

    S

    ERIC ROWE

    UTAH

    121: R4P22

    TE

    JEFF HEUERMAN

    OHIO STATE

    160: R5P24

    OT

    COREY ROBINSON

    SOUTH CAROLINA

    199: R6P23

    WR

    DARREN WALLER

    GEORGIA TECH

    212: R6P36

    DE

    FRANK CLARK

    MICHIGAN

    239: R7P22

    RB

    KENNY HILLIARD

    LSU

  • I guess Maxx has that question mark, yes, but I suspect it’s being overblown during this pre-draft crazy season, where any and all flaws, real or perceived, are magnified, and where the media do everything they can to create drama and storylines. As with Peters, hopefully Colbert & Co. have done, and are doing, their research, but I don’t really have any concerns. Maxx comes from a football family, and I suspect he knows, or will soon come to know, what he needs to do to succeed in the NFL. Besides, the Steelers are just the sort of franchise a young man needs to keep his excesses in check, with leadership at every level of the organization.

  • I don’t know much about Lockett, but it does seem like too much of a luxury pick in the third for what would, at best, be our #4 WR. Sure, it would be great to have that sort of depth should AB go down, or if Wheaton or Bryant doesn’t quite pan out, but there are just too many other needs. I’m not against taking a WR, but it’ll have to wait.

  • Hard to see KJ dropping to our spot in the second, but a Dupree-KJ-Carter haul would be pretty amazing. But I can’t see the Steelers taking two CBs in the first three rounds.

  • Alex Kozora

    While I can’t say with certainty, I think Peters has shown to have grown up. Judging off his comments after the season, he seems to realize the mistakes he’s made and owned up to them. At least he has accountability.

    And the coaching staff did allow Peters to work out at Washington’s Pro Day. Not all teams do that.

    You’re right. Ben is a prime example of a player turning his life off the field around.

    Thanks for responding as always, Michael.

  • Donny Simmons

    VIEW EACH TEAM’S DRAFT

    22: R1P22
    CB KEVIN JOHNSON
    WAKE FOREST
    56: R2P24
    DE NATE ORCHARD
    UTAH
    87: R3P23
    OT DONOVAN SMITH
    PENN STATE
    121: R4P22
    TE JEFF HEUERMAN
    OHIO STATE
    160: R5P24
    CB CHARLES GAINES
    LOUISVILLE
    199: R6P23
    RB MATT JONES
    FLORIDA
    212: R6P36
    CB CRAIG MAGER
    TEXAS STATE
    239: R7P22
    OLB MARCUS RUSH
    MICHIGAN STATE

    Alex this is off the CBS board

  • Shannon Stephenson

    In the end it is a 6th round pick and I do enjoy listening to what your thoughts are on the different players in the draft. Keep the good work up.

  • Brian Miller

    I’m not worried about Gay, I have been a big fan of his since Louisville, I am worried about a contingency plan in case Blake and/or Allen do not work out.

  • Mark Martin

    Here is my current mock draft:
    1st- Kevin Johnson-CB (WF)
    2nd-Nate Orchard -OLB (Utah)
    3rd- Ifo Ekpre-Olomu- CB (Oregon)
    4th- Jesse James- TE (Penn State)
    5th- Matt Jones- RB (Florida)
    6th(199)- Anthony Harris -S (UVA)
    6th (212) Jeremiah Poulasi -G (Utah)
    7th – Kyle Loomis- P (Portland St.)