Mock ESPN’s NFL Nation Mock Draft Pick For The Steelers

ESPN.com’s NFL Nation reporters have now completed their final mock draft of the first-round of the upcoming 2015 NFL Draft and it includes a few interesting selections.

For some reason, Jeremy Fowler sat in for Steelers beat writer Scott Brown in this mock and he selected Connecticut cornerback Byron Jones for Pittsburgh with the 22nd overall pick in the first-round.

Fowler writes:

The Steelers haven’t drafted a defensive back in the first round since — you guessed it — recently retired Troy Polamalu in 2003. The cracks are starting to show in the secondary, and the 6-foot-1, 199-pound Jones is brimming with upside after a sub-4.4 40 at his pro day and a 44.5-inch vertical jump at the combine. Jones will need to refine his man coverage in the NFL, but who better to teach defensive technique than the Steelers? It’s time to invest in a young cornerback high in the draft.

Come time for the Steelers selection, only two cornerbacks were off the board as Trae Waynes went 11th overall to the Minnesota Vikings and Kevin Johnson was taken by the Kansas City Chiefs with the 18th overall selection.

Additionally, only three edge-rushers were selected ahead of the Steelers pick and that resulted in Shane Ray and Randy Gregory still left on the board. Both , however, wound up being drafted later in the round.

In total, six wide receivers were drafted in the first round and five cornerbacks.

So, did Fowler make the right choice for the Steelers and if not, who would you have selected?

  • steelster

    I’m so tired of reading mocks. Pure speculation. Ready for the real thing.

  • bjp8180

    Doubtful in my mind that they go for him in 1st especially with whos left

  • bjp8180

    Hear that

  • steeltown

    In this mock New Orleans got Dupree and Malcom Brown…. damnnnn

  • Kenneth Wilt

    It would be really hard for me to pass on Shane Ray. He isn’t even someone I fathomed would drop that far. If he does, he would be my pick even if Peters is there, and typically has been my guy at the moment. I think if we get Peters and Orchard, we have a really good start, but if we could get Ray, start thinking 3rd-5th round CBs cause we’ll probably take 2.

  • Lil Smitty

    I actually wouldn’t be surprised at them taking Jones at 22. He has the physical abilities to succeed. All he needs is the patience and the desire to be great.
    Most college corners are not ready to play in the NFL. They will take a year or two to develop into a reliable CB. I think Jones is worth the chance and investment.

  • Jason Vancil

    In that scenario, if they passed on Shane Ray, I would kick the dog.

  • Heather Danis

    Jones is a real reach at 22 IMO and the team just doesn’t reach just because of need. Take Gregory or Peters if the FO is comfortable with the facts behind their character-related issues; if not, take La’el Collins to give us more talent on the offensive line. Some may want Shane Ray, but I’m still concerned about his inability to hold the line against the run and being more of a one-trick pony.

  • PittsburghSports

    Wow, so we had Byron Jones, Randy Gregory, Marcus Peters, Shane Ray and La’El Collins available. That’s probably the best scenario for us I’ve seen so far, although I’m a Kevin Johnson fan. I’d say it’s a good pick if CB is what they want. Tough decision between him and Peters though. Neither is a reach at 22.

  • John

    I’d run up and make the pick of shane ray. His injury doesn’t concern me as he probable won’t play much the first year anyways. I doubt any OLB that we pick plays much year one.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Yes, but of course that will not happen. Now a few of those stupid teams have been getting a little better and drafted more tackles or DL, where they used to always think QB, WR, CB, etc.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Lael Collins would have been my pick. But if they love one of the CBs, then anything’s possible.

  • Marcus. Peters. Period.

    But Jones is a decent pick, for sure. But it would be interesting to know where where the Steelers rank Gregory and Ray. It wouldn’t be easy to pass on them both.

    Curious that the photo above shows Cam Erving as a CB. Maybe that’s where the Browns will play him… at least the article gets it right.

  • steeltown

    It’d be tough not to draft La’el Collins in this scenario…

  • steeltown

    Ray primarily played on the Right side. We have multiple ROLBs, we need a (Left) strongside LB prospect IMO

  • Superdriller316

    Johnson scares me. He didn’t play at his combine weight. And to average out to a missed tackle every 5.something attempts takes me back to two years ago. Not a good thought.

    I like Jones, being able to play corner or safety. Position flexibility is what’s preached, right? He’s high character, he was a captain, and is an athlete.

  • Lambert58

    They will not pass up Randy Gregory for Byron Jones. Book it.

  • Lambert58

    Can’t wait!

  • Lambert58

    Would love it if 5 WRs came off the board in the first 21 picks.

  • I have loved Peters ever since the draft process started and I dont think I would change my mind if he was there especially since he has done nothing but make me feel better about his character but la’el Collins would make our line sick and either way peters, Collins, ray, gregory, melcolm brown, are all better football players than Byron jones so no he did not make the right choice…..i like byron jones but i like taking better football players more…….and by the way, if i were a colts fan and they got la’el Collins I would light up a cigar!

  • Sonny Saks

    Any guess what time they will be on the clock?

  • puCrepeaP

    I agree, with all the talent at OLB and CB in the next 2 rounds, you can’t pass up on a player like Collins at 22.

  • Vinhuddle

    While watching the show I wondered if the presenter would surprise me and call out La’els name. It would be tough not to take him as you stated. I’d even go with Peters over Byron. Now Peters vs Lael….I’m not sure which I’d prefer.

  • LucasY59

    It would be hard to argue another player is BPA over Collins at 22

  • LucasY59

    those guys arent very good at making the “surprise” picks they make the obvious ones, or they fit a player into a need regardless of who BPA really is

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I just think CB is so deep that in all honesty we could get our future CB in the 3rd. I can only see if a stud which I do not feel is in this draft fell to us which at that position is highly unlikely that we will not draft one in the 1st this year. Pure speculation of course. 🙂

  • Vinhuddle

    Appx 75 hrs to go.

  • LucasY59

    yep I would take Peters or Jones before I would Ray or Gregory, too bad the hype didn’t last with those two so Dupree or Beasley would’ve been available also. It is funny how some top ten guys (at the start of the pre-draft process) always drop usually for a stupid character issues or a medical thing (but it is also mixed with some flaws on the field also, like the two mentioned above)

    Jones seems the safer pick as far as character go, and cant argue his athleticism and size, Peters has been one of my Favs from the start, and Collins would be the one to continue the trend of surprising picks that make a lot of sense when you look into it a little more

  • Rick Tilves

    Was OLB Dupree or Harold on the Board still ? I think they need and will take either of them ahead of a CB. Get CB in 2nd. Football has not changed. It is still Won Up Front and if they get more pressure on QB from front 5 (including OLB’S) the CB’S will have it easier.

  • Rick Tilves

    But, Peters is Trouble waiting to happen with his Bad Attitude.

  • LucasY59

    I would easily pass on Gregory and Ray, Collins would be the hard one to pass on, Jones or Peters would be good picks IMO,

    Ray is better than Gregory but is a one year tweener that it might be hard for him to transition, his pass rush is good, but he will struggle against the run and dropping in pass pro, he is very similar to Jarvis and since Jarvis already cost a #16 pick I don’t think they would use #22 two years later (Gregory is the same but worse with weight and weed issues)

  • Rick Tilves

    SORRY, I forgot you said, Ray was available and I read Dupree was gone, so I would take Ray or Harold.

  • SteelersDepot

    Super catch.

  • LucasY59

    I agree on the depth at CB, I think it will take all the pass rushers (worth picking at 22) and other BPA candidates to be off the board before they take a CB, however if that is the case they should be able to get one since Peters, KJ, and Jones should all be pretty good pro CBs, The Depth will allow them to double dip and get another quality guy in the 3rd or 4th

  • George Apostolos

    Lael Collins would be a nice pick, but rookie guards can be a plug and play from day one. We still have foster, can’t we wait a year and draft a gaurd in the top three rounds. I would rather get a guy that can help the defense in the first

  • JNick

    That’s no way to treat your wife!

  • ASTEELER4LIFE

    I KNOW I’M READY, ENOUGH WITH THE MOCK DRAFTS.
    IMO FULLER FOR THE BEARS WAS THE BEST CB IN LAST YEARS DRAFT.
    DENARD AND GILBERT WERE 5’s AT BEST LAST YEAR

  • Matt Manzo

    The weight issue really bothers me!

  • Matt Manzo

    I like the thought of him as TroyP type LB! I think he and Shazam could be lethal, but it would be an experiment, like Mclendon!

  • I’m with you! They need to move the draft closer to free agency and be done with it!

  • Rick M

    I agree with you. You have a guy who played CB at 170-175 who will likely play at 190-195 in the pros. How will that translate to the guy you are seeing on tape? It’s easy to say he’ll be stronger tackling and just as effective covering receivers despite the extra weight, but you can’t be sure of that. I think he’ll be the pick if he’s available at #22, but personally I’d look elsewhere.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    Chuuch!

  • Jason Vancil

    I won’t mention what I’d do to her.

  • Matt Manzo

    I keep forgetting that!

  • Matt Manzo

    How bad is BJones shoulder injury? Some are worried by it and others aren’t at all?!

  • Bryant Terrance

    Does anyone have a real issue with the Steelers taking Marcus Peters?

  • Thanks, Dave. Even more fitting that it’s the Browns, who might just do something that stupid.

  • Donte Williams

    to me the press and media has been blowing this Peters thing up i need to hear from him or the steelers with their meeting with him what exactly happened at UW. the coaches there obviously didnt think it was much cause they let him attend their proday. they have also came out and said that he never once put his hands on a coach let alone choked one. if peters is sitting there at 22 take him and then get your 2nd tier pass rusher in the 2nd or hell trade back up into the 1st as long as you are not given to much up to get a ray or gregory

  • I know Peters has an attitude bc you can tell he has an attitude but I can’t speak to the levels of his attitude bc I don’t know obviously it exists bc he got kicked off the team….I’m just gonna say this: first off our defense needs attitude and secondly, getting kicked off a team will go along ways in change; it’s a humbling experience and there are plenty of real life examples to look towards from Cris Carter to Tyrann Mathieu so him having been kicked off the team was probably a good thing for him moving forward and lastly, I wouldn’t even put this under the category of Ray Gregory Williams etc. who are getting in trouble for pot and DUI offenses which are problems they could be suspended in the future if they continue to occur…from my knowledge Peters has never been in trouble off the field and availability is very important! Now, we be taking more of a chance on Peters than the average player coming out–sure we would but the reward would be greater imo as well and it wouldn’t be as big of a chance as Gregory or Ray who obviously have such a big problem to the point where they can’t control themselves leading up to the biggest event in their life….either that or they are just really really dumb which isn’t a good thing either.

  • Rick Tilves

    I would stay Away from anyone with recent drug problems or an Attitude they could be embarrassed by later on. My guess is Tomlin/Colbert feel the same way. Can Peters attitude Change ? Maybe, but are you willing to Risk a #1 on it ? If it is me I say No.

  • Yea, well I just find it hard to believe that they brought in someone for 1 of their only 30 pre draft visits when they plan to stay away from them….that is the definition of a waste (of their time and their pre draft visits). He is obviously at the very least still in consideration.

  • Rick Tilves

    steelife07, I am not saying it is 100% impossibility they will not draft him. Neither of us know what goes on in Colbert’s head, especially after the last 5 years of Poor Drafts. They don’t always draft people they bring in and many times, as I have read they have drafted people they never brought in for a meeting. I was only an Asst. H.S. Coach in my past, but players with bad attitudes are not good for the Team. Again, I am just saying I would not take a chance on him at #1.

  • OK we shall see….If peters is on the board when we pick, I personally don’t think they will pick any other CB instead of him.

  • BTW, the past 5 drafts: M. Pouncey, J. Worilds, E. Sanders, A. Brown, C. Hayward, M. Gilbert, D. DeCastro, S. Spence, K. Beachum, L. Bell, M. Wheaton, V. Williams, Shark, S. Tuitt, M. Bryant, D. McCullers, and much like L. Bell after his first season I think R. Shazier will prove to be a good pick….either way I wouldn’t exactly classify those drafts as poor….could they have done better on a few of them yes but most of those drafts he did a good job. 3 future starters is considered a good draft by most so I wouldn’t say he has done a poor job.

  • Rick Tilves

    We will just have to Agree to Disagree on that one. I do not think 9 starters right Now in 5 yrs. is very good. The only Stars in that group are Pouncey, DeCastro,Heyward, Bell, A.B. Others have Potential to be Good. Others are just part-time roll players. They Could have drafted C,J. Mosley instead of Shazier and I think that was a Huge Mistake.

  • Rick Tilves

    I just found out yesterday what Peters “Bad Attitude” was about.
    He got into a Physical Fight with a Coach, resulting in him being thrown OFF the Team. Bad attitude and lack of Discipline. Most Coaches are not going to throw their “Best Defensive Player” Off the Team for a minor reason. If I am Tomlin I do not roll the dice on Peters.

  • Well, I do disagree on that one…after Bell’s first year I thought he would still turn out to be a better pick than Lacey even though most people thought otherwise, and I think Shazier will prove to be a better pick than Mosley….hopefully as early as next season but he showed us what he is capable of in OTAs , training camp, and preseason….he is very explosive and can stick with any TE in the league in one-on-one coverage. I just feel Shazier has special traits that will make him a more special player than Mosley in a similar way that Bell had superior traits to Lacey….it’s a shame he had to deal with injuries his rookie yr but that’s life. It doesn’t mean I’ll be right, but I feel good about it and hopefully for us steeler fans it turns out to be true.

  • I was aware of the rumors when the draft process started, but I have since heard that the coaches at UW said that him getting physical with another coach never happened….I’m sure at this point Colbert and Tomlin along with the rest of the league have gotten to the bottom of what really occurred and if it was true I’m sure you are right and they will stay away….I just think they knew the truth to that story before they brought him in to Pittsburgh for a personal visit and if that was the case they wouldn’t have wasted their time. They had the combine, UW’s pro day, etc. to find out that info before deciding if he was worth the visit or not. I guess it’s just a matter of hrs now before we find out.

  • First off, 1 STAR player per draft is not a bad thing. There are 12 starters whether they are on our team any more or not there are still 12….financially we could not keep Worilds and Sanders, and Tuitt starting in the trenches the 2nd half of his rookie yr in our system is impressive…M. Bryant and Wheaton are both on the field in 3 wr sets, and Spence having the severe injury he had can not be a knock on Colbert, and V. Williams is starter capable, but has Timmons in front of him–what are you gonna do lol….nobody should be surprised with Timmons’ big contract and Williams’ ability to play well for us at the Buck LB if Timmons is let go next season. 4 of our 5 starting O-line came from those drafts Rick….an O-line that helped the offense finish as one of the best in the league….yes, an O-line that could be improved but still one that helped our offense finish as one of the best….and when most people talk about improving our O-line they refer to replacing Foster–and he was not part of the 4 we drafted the past 5 yrs.

    But that’s fine, we will disagree.

  • Rick Tilves

    Could UW be Protecting Peters for the Draft ? If the altercation never happened Why was he kicked off the Team ?

  • Rick Tilves

    I think the 5 Players I did mention are Very Good to Excellent Players and God Bless Sean Spence, I prayed for him to be a Miracle and it became true. Still he is still a part-time player and the WR still have a lot to Improve, even though they start i 3-Wide. On the O-Line I would not ever give up on Pouncey and DeCastro (Who should have been in the Pro Bowl) the other 3 are avg. and could easily be replaced. They just don’t have anyone else, not even the Wasted 2nd Rd. pick Adams. I just Wish for Us Steeler Fans & the Team Colbert/Tomlin have done All their Homework and have a Successful weekend in the Draft. They can’t have anymore like Mike Adams OR any player like the wasted 4th Rd. Bust QB, “Clipboard Jones”, who will never play in the NFL.

  • They have no reason to protect him…if the truth were to come out later and they lied to NFL executives it would ruin their reputations. Regardless of the reason for kicking him off the team, the bottom line is they kicked him off and that in itself just shows that they don’t put up with anything….I can’t see the positive in them protecting Peters at this point.

  • Regardless, a lot of those players are starters for a team that made the playoffs…I wasn’t implying that Spence was a starter but between him or Shazier I guess one of them is going to be our starter(Shazier). I’m also not implying that they couldn’t have made better choices with some of their selections over that span or that they have been one of the better drafting teams bc I’m not saying that and I could name several teams that have drafted better than us during that span, but you said they did a poor job and I’m just saying I feel you used poor choice of words.

    Enjoy the draft, and hopefully we come away with one of the better looking ones this year!

  • Rick Tilves

    Then if UW would not put up with him, then why would Tomlin and Steelers ? I just would hate to see them pick him and have it (Him) blow up in their face and Wasting their #1.

  • Rick Tilves

    SAME to you Steellife007.
    We are on the Clock Buddy !

  • Well, I guess we don’t have to worry about it and I guess we will never know what they would have done…..I wanted Peters but I didn’t expect Bud Dupree to be there and although Peters is the best CB prospect I have seen since Revis I think if him and Dupree were both available I would have wanted them to pick Dupree for 2 main reasons 1) It is hard to find a player capable of playing the elephant position especially one as athletic as Dupree 2) We don’t have to even worry if there would be any issues with Peters. The entire reason of me wanting Peters is because I felt comfortable with the actions I was able to see from him since being kicked off his team and I thought he was head and shoulders better than any other CB in this draft and I just didn’t want to take another player at the same position when I know he is not even close to the player of Peters…..of course I understood your argument the entire time and if I didn’t feel comfortable as a coaching staff I would take a different player even if it was a player at the same position not nearly as good–I just didn’t feel this way about Peters personally.

    Here’s to hoping Dupree can be one of the next great Steelers OLB’s!

  • I was never implying that Tomlin would put up with him, I just believed that he could learn from being kicked off the team and every action I saw from him since, not even the start of the draft process, but since he was kicked off the team looked like a player who might have learned. I believe a person still learns from their mistakes even at the age of 21….I know I sure did. However, I do realize some people just never learn or grow up….just didn’t see those actions in him. I see those in Gregory which is why I’m glad we stayed away from him….reminds me of another Josh Gordon.

  • Rick Tilves

    I Agree with You My Friend. I Never thought Dupree would be there for Steelers. In the Latest Mocks they had him going in Top 10. I hope Peters gets his head on straight and is a top player and citizen in K.C. I hate reading about how all thee young men blow their careers and lives away.

    Did you hear ? The Steelers are “reportedly” trying to Move Up to get the 1st pick in 2nd Roound ! I Wonder for WHO ? Who is the Best CB not taken in 1st ? That would be my guess.

    Rick

  • Rick Tilves

    AGREE on Gregory and Ray ! They will have to start their NFL Careers with One Strike on NFL Drug Policy. One Strike from a suspension,