Todd McShay 2016 Mock Draft: Steelers Select Tennessee CB Cameron Sutton 24th Overall

You can tell that the end of the 2015 NFL season is near as the 2016 NFL mock drafts are now starting to surface on the major media sites.

Todd McShay of ESPN.com released his first version on Wednesday and the longtime draft analyst has the Pittsburgh Steelers selecting Tennessee cornerback Cameron Sutton in the first round with the 24th overall selection.

McShay writes:

The Steelers will need to address the cornerback position somehow this offseason. Sutton would be a good option if they want to pick one early. At 5-11, 196 pounds, he’s at his best in press-man coverage. His closing burst has helped him rack up six interceptions and 26 pass breakups over the past three seasons.

Sutton is expected to declare for the draft in the coming weeks. He was a three-year starter at Tennessee and that included him starting all 37 games during his college career.

While Sutton did record 26 total pass breakups and 6 interceptions during his career at Tennessee, he only had 6 pass breakups and 1 interception in 2015.

During the upcoming offseason, the Steelers are expected to re-sign unrestricted free agent William Gay and exclusive rights free agent Ross Cockrell. Additionally, 2015 draft picks, Senquez Golson and Doran Grant, will both be competing for starting jobs over the summer as will disappointing veteran Cortez Allen, whose 2015 season ended very early due to a knee injury. Even with all of those bodies expected to be present for training camp in late July, the Steelers will more than likely spend a 2016 draft pick on another cornerback.

Being as the Steelers haven’t selected a cornerback in the first round since 1997 when they drafted Chad Scott, it’s hard to imagine at this point in the offseason that that streak will be broken in 2016 and especially if they wind up picking later in round one.

As usual, these ultra-early mock drafts that take place prior to the scouting combine should be taken with a grain of salt. More than anything, they should be used to help introduce to players.

As the offseason progresses, we’ll have a thorough draft profile of Sutton after we have time to watch multiple games of his.

  • Putter

    I’d like the Steelers to pick 32nd…..

  • PA Hiker

    Meanwhile, camera girl in the back ground.. haha 🙂

  • falconsaftey43

    Steelers 100% MUST take DB in the first round.

    Lots of interesting CBs this year. Hargreaves, Sutton, White, King, Fuller, Jackson III, Murry. Will be fun to break these guys down. As of now, I’m loving King to the Steelers in the 2nd-3rd round.

  • Big Joe

    I like Todd’s evals and realize it’s really early, but Sutton is not a Rd #1 prospect. He’s a round 2-3 prospect.

  • Big Joe

    Good point but there’s only 31 round one picks this year as NE doesn’t get one

  • Big Joe

    It’s possible we go CB in 3rd or 4th if D.J. White hangs in that range. We’ll see how things take shape but I’m liking what I read and see on field from Darian Thompson (FS) and see him falling into mid to late 2nd round.

  • George Kroger

    I would rather take a safety in the first than a CB, but not sure if there will be one worthy in the early 20s. With Golson, Gay, Cockrell and Grant, I think we have CBs that will be much better than this year (please dump Blake). Will Allen needs to be replaced (aka not resigned) and Mitchel needs a ball hawking partner. To me, safety is a much bigger concern (than CB). Maybe Kearse (from Clemson) or Cash/Bell in the 2nd.

  • George Kroger

    King won’t last until the 3rd…maybe they could get him in the 2nd.

  • Ike Evans

    Couldnt agree more….love vonn bell

  • George Kroger

    Trading down definitely makes sense this year if they are going to go CB or safety, since the top CBs will be long gone by the time the Steelers pick and the 2nd tier guys can be had in the late first or early 2nd. And there may not be a safety worth taking in the first.

  • falconsaftey43

    Hard to tell where a guy will slot in this early. All I know is I like him as a player.

  • Gilgalad

    Hi Dave,
    I feel like it’s been touched on before, but what are the Steelers prospects for being able to release Allen outright after the season ends?

  • Ike Evans

    Imo sutton is much better than white……i think todd is right I think he and Desmond King will be first round picks when it’s all said and done

  • falconsaftey43

    Thompson is a really good S. Good group of S this year IMO. Ramsey, Bell, Thompson, Cash, Kearse are all guys I’m high on in the first couple rounds.

    Regardless of who it is, they MUST take a DB in round 1. It’s clearly the biggest hole on this team, and it’s what is holding the team back the most. It’s ok to reach for a need when it is a glaring one on an otherwise championship caliber team.

  • Ike Evans

    Cant see them going cb in the first round unless somebody falls…which may happen, its still very early to project. Where we stand right this moment…the value at offensive line, defensive line, and linebacker may far outweigh the value at safety(which is our top need to me) but like i said…that may change….guys like keanu neal and jayron kearse may rise as the process goes along…there are ALOT of quality safeties coming out this year which is very encouraging if we do go oline or dline in the first

  • RickM

    Way too early to be making these kind of projected draft picks.

  • Big Joe

    Maybe, but just don’t see it

  • PaeperCup

    Mcshay has us missing the playoffs apparently

  • PaeperCup

    If they double dip in 2 and 3, I wouldn’t be completely opposed if there’s good value there.

  • Zach Bolen

    No picking at 24 means you are in the playoffs.Think about it 12 teams are in the playoffs 4 division winners and 2 wildcards per conference.

  • Big Joe

    He actually has us losing in the 2nd round

  • William Weaver

    All we need is secondary players and maybe back up lineman on both sides of the ball. First round, take a pass rush specialist if there and then fill needs the rest of the way in secondary and lines. If the steelers can get some players and fix the secondary issues, have a healthy year, the Steelers will be dominant again! Great offense and defense might equal undefeated season dare I say. Especially with the AFC north being weak next year in my opinion. 13-3 at worst.

  • Ike Evans

    I understand that…its harder with sutton from afar because its to the point this year qb’s just dont throw at him…they really have avoided him all year…thats why his production dipped this year….i feel the same about white, i dont see it but maybe. He has all the physical traits but he gets smoked by every receiver hes played thats going to the nfl. I dont get it but you never know. Roby got burned alot his last year at ohio state but that coaching staff in denver has him playing really well….never know

    Sidebar…whoever the db coach is in denver is really good

  • George Kroger

    Yeah – me too.

    A week or so ago I saw a sight projecting him as a 3rd rounder; today, there’s a sight that has him as a 1st rounder. It IS hard to tell…after the combine players settle into slots. Long way from now though…

  • PaeperCup

    Yup, my bad I don’t know why I was thinking 6 teams in the playoffs…probably just thinking conference. doh

  • Zach Bolen

    If he can be as good or somewhere mildly close to as good as AB with punts I am ok with this pick.

  • Zach Bolen

    Yep yep happens to us all man just spaced a bit I bet.

  • e. smith

    No way. Theyv’e shown they aren’t capable of getting DB talent. Yet they find mid to late rounders and they turn out to be adequate. Get a big man, D-line or OLB, though they can’t seem to get the latter one right either

  • PapaJuju

    Desmond King in the 2nd or 3rd? The dude is a top ten pick. Bank on it.

  • SteelersDepot
  • harding36

    +1 to all of this.

  • steelburg

    I agree Sutton has Patrick Peterson type of ability on both defense and special teams. I guarantee he will sky rocket to the top of draft boards when it’s all said and done.

  • dollardoughtnut

    Instant depot GM favorite

  • Big Joe

    Ah. Will watch his bowl game if they’re in one.

  • Big Joe

    They’ll sign Allen for another year or other FA. No draft pick is going to start on this defense in year one

  • Big Joe

    I like him too as a SS fit but folks say he’s struggled this year. Admittedly, I haven’t watched him much but his evals thus far strike me as a Steelers type of safety

  • Ike Evans

    Yea i agree completely…he has had some lapses in coverage tho…hes much better in the box and more than likely thats wat hed be doing with us to compliment mitchell

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    He’s a little too tall for a Steelers DB.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    What if K. Fuller CB (Va Tech) fell to us in the first round? Or in the range of a slight trade up?

  • Ike Evans

    Hmmmm…I honestly only know fuller by reputation…never watched any film on him…so idk.

  • Nathanael Dory

    I dont think he is a good fit. Steelers play off coverage not press

  • Taylor Williams

    One can dream.

  • Nathanael Dory

    I still think they will draft an edge rucher in the first but a safety in second. I dont see them drafting a CB with Gay,Golson, Dorant, Allen, Cockrell and maybe Boykin lol we never know

  • Nathanael Dory

    Obviously

  • Matt Manzo

    At least wait til he gets arrested at a strip club! Or a DUI, or selling $5 worth of weed!

  • Matt Manzo

    ‘Tis the season!!!!! Though I’m nowhere close to having a big board!

  • George Kroger

    “13-3 at worst”

    Those damn injuries…without them, this year could be 13-3!

  • NinjaMountie

    I see the OL getting addressed early in this draft. With the way AV is playing, though, it’s driving the priority down in my eyes. If he plays moderately well against the Broncos it will drive it down further.
    We have to upgrade secondary in a pretty big way. I just don’t see a CB (Grant) who couldn’t see the field on this team, being an answer. I also don’t see a CB (Allen) who has been benched and benched and benched being an asset to this team. Free agency has to be used on the secondary if substantial improvement is to be made.

  • George Kroger

    Agree…that’s why I say trade down unless a stud pass-rusher falls to them (not sure who).

    I’m usually not a fan of trading down, but I think this is the year it makes sense. Get two 2nds (or high 2nd and 3rd) and take safety and cb with two of their top three picks.

  • William Weaver

    I agree!! Now imagine if we can get some secondary help in the offseason.. Offense is set. D-line starters and ILB are set. 2-3 secondary players and the steelers could be ready for another five year span like 2005-2010.. Free agency might be our key. Team is built, just need a little help.

  • George Kroger

    If Su’a Cravens can get his 40 time down to 4.5 or less, I think he should be the pick. Fits in perfectly with what they want from a SS – big hitter (and sure tackler), good cover skills on short and medium routes, good blitzer…just don’t have him deep cover, which coincidentally, Troy was not good at either.

  • George Kroger

    Don’t know the exact figure, but the 1.7 cap savings goes up quite a bit if Cortez is release after June 1. If they think he can’t contribute, I see this as the most likely scenario (post June 1st cut).

    I’m pretty confident they will re-sign Gay (and not Boykin). So, without drafting a CB, they start next year with:

    Gay
    Golson
    Cockrell
    Grant

    Throw in 1-2 rookies and I think they have enough bodies that are actually capable of playing well. Knowing the Steelers, they will sign one more depth guy…probably Blake, but I sure hope not.

  • George Kroger

    Yep…set until Ben needs to be replaced. At his age, there’s no knowing when that will be, but you’d like to think he’s got 5 good years left.

  • George Kroger

    Keep in mind, Tomlin (and most NFL coaches) don’t like playing rookie CBs. Grant will be in year 2 and they have Golson. Resign Gay and Cockrell (restricted) and that’s a good base group.

    I really think S is a much more pressing issue than CB (assuming Blake is gone). They should draft a CB, but with the 2nd or 3rd pick (depending on who’s available).

  • I don’t know Sutton, but it’s easy to see why the national media think the Steelers will take a CB. But I don’t think they will — not with Golson coming back. I would expect a CB later in the draft — rounds 4-5, perhaps. Of course so much will depend on value and who’s available wherever they pick, but I think a safety or OLB is far more likely in the first, or maybe even a guard.

  • William Weaver

    Agree

  • George Kroger

    Looking at the players around in the early 20s, I could see the Steelers taking DT to play the nose – someone like Jarran Reed. A player like that would make their run look like the Casey Hampton days!

  • NinjaMountie

    I try and always say secondary when talking about this because I feel there are different combinations that would improve it. If the playing rookies thing is true then, in reality, Cockrell wouldn’t be playing. He’s essentially a rookie. Also, Golson will not be much help next year, either.
    I do have hope for Grant, but it’s not as much as it was when we drafted him.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Its going to be hard to determine exactly where we will draft just because there are many questions in the tub. If Cortez comes around and Golson is what we hope he is we could be set at CB for several years with Grant, Gay, Cockrell and Blake still on the team…that could make quite a dynamic group and we already have them on the team. I am with Dave that there will be a pick in the draft at CB but I would think it will be in the middle rounds unless somehow a miracle fell to us.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I have no problem with Blake coming off the bench….I just do not like him as a starter.

  • Big Joe

    Now that I’ve had the opportunity to review Todd’s list, I have to say that some of his picks make some sense but that he needs to pay a bit more attention to detail on their selection slot. He has the Jets, KC, Steelers, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Denver, and one would presume New England all making the playoffs. It’s a fact that the Jets, Steelers and KC cannot all make the playoffs.

  • Big Joe

    If all were even I would agree with your point; however, while time will tell for sure, I’m pretty sure Cortez’s knee problem is chronic and is not going to be worth keeping for the price tag. Because Golson missed this year, he will not be starting in the slot but may see some limited play time. I agree that we will resign Gay and Cockrell; jury is out on Blake until he’s actually resigned. That leaves Grant who has either not learned enough or not shown enough to even compete for playing time with Blake on the outside. So, I’m not counting on Grant to make an astonishing leap forward in year 2. Therefore, that leaves us with Gay, Golson, Cockrell and Grant – only 2 or which has any NFL playing time. We’ll be drafting another outside, press coverage-capable CB with playmaking instincts and good speed.

  • Big Joe

    Agreed on the prospect option if they go D-line NT, but I don’t think they will spend a round one pick on a player who will only play less than 40% of the plays. I also considered Billings but remain uncertain as to his consistency and athleticism laterally. If they go D-line, I think it more likely they go DE with Robinson or Buckner (if he makes it that far).

  • Big Joe

    Golson is only a slot CB. We will likely draft another outside-capable CB somewhere around Rd 3, maybe 4. We won’t have a Rd 5 pick unless we give up a 4th round pick next year, or trade down in a round this year, to get one from someone else.

  • Big Joe

    Agreed. I don’t think there will be a round one Safety that hasn’t been pushed in there just to have one there. However, I think there are a couple in round 2 that fit what the Steelers typically look for in skill set, physicality and mental prowess.

  • Big Joe

    Yah. Nice thought but they won’t retain Boykin. He’s a true slot CB and we already have 2 with talent and Boykin will want to play and be paid for what he thinks he’s worth; what we don’t have is depth and talent at outside CB. Thus, we’ll draft one somewhere along the way or get an experienced, low-cost option in FA. As for edge rusher, there are only 2 that I see in the early rounds fitting what the Steelers typically look for now: Derron Lee (likely mid-Rd #1) – he’s a SAM LB with Shazier-like speed and instincts, and Joshua Perry (likely late Rd 1 or mid-Rd 2) – he has very good speed and instincts and plays both ILB and OLB well.

  • Big Joe

    I don’t think he’s a fit either and I’m concerned that his evaluations indicate he has tackling issues. Admittedly, I have not watched him much at all this year so maybe he’s done better in the tackling / run support area. If not, I don’t see this being a fit.

  • Big Joe

    I’d have to say, no, until I see what that knee looks like and whether or not it has affected his coverage skills whether physically or mentally. He will only be 5 months into the recovery process from his ACL injury before the Combine and he will likely not participate in his Pro Day either. Same goes for Will Redmond who has decent skills and solid speed. I’ve not known the Steelers to select a Rd 1 player based solely on tape after such an injury and with full knowledge that he might not be ready for OTAs and training camp.

  • Big Joe

    I wish I could agree; however, I don’t think Cravens is a fit. He’s an in-the-box safety and would be a liability in coverage. If we play Cover 2 or 3 more next year, he’s an even bigger liability. Unfortunately, he’s a tweener and the Steelers don’t like tweeners.

  • Big Joe

    I can appreciate your desire to fill the hole, but taking a DB in Rd #1 is never a MUST. I’d rather improve the D-line depth or OLB pass rush with quality talent first then take a S or CB in Rd 2 or 3. Every time Heyward and Tuitt go down, I cringe because I know we don’t have much behind them to stop the run or push the pocket. Looking forward at the OLB position, JJ has shown that he is not the answer; JH is close to retirement; and, Chickillo is unproven so that means the entire ROLB position needs an infusion of talent.

  • MailboxKid

    Drafting a CB is the scariest sign of them all. Tomlin never drafts CBs high, if he did that means the position is really that weak.

  • Carlos

    It won’t happen, the Steelers will adress DL, OL and OLB in top three picks. They will take a CB in later rnds and bring UFA’s to compete against Golson and Grant.

  • HAL WRIGHT

    Steelers will go Safety on round 1 ,DL or OL on 2nd and 3rd……

  • Ju

    It seems Desmond King is retuning for his senior season to Iowa.

  • Ju

    Maybe we can draft Cash and start Golden next year.

  • Aj Gentile

    The way it’s looking I’m hoping the steelers try to trade up in the second again. There will most likely be a lot of value for safety at the beginning of the second

  • Ike Evans

    Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo lol dammit

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Honestly you are not really saying anything different then what I am saying. I believe we have a lot of questions and only time will tell us what the answers are but I just do not think we are picking a 1st round CB because I think we do have potential with what we have and just do not think the Steelers will view the position as a more dire need than we the fans maybe do.