Kozora 2017 Steelers Mock Draft – The Final One

Well guys, this is it. My last crack at a Pittsburgh Steelers’ mock draft for 2017. Again, this is based off what I best think the team will do, not what I want them to do. I’ll post my rationale for each pick including in the selection.

As always, let me know your thoughts and your mock drafts in the comments below.

For reference, here’s my last mock.

Round One (3oth Overall): TJ Watt/OLB Wisconsin – 6’4/4 252

Agreeing with Dave on this one. The Steelers brought in seven outside linebackers, showing it’s a priority, though anyone who watched the Steelers and is even faintly familiar with them knows OLB has been the team’s biggest need. Watt will come in at ROLB and rotate with James Harrison in Year One, taking over in approximately the year 2037 when Harrison finally retires.

Watt was one of two Combine outside linebackers to check every single box in the “what they look for” study. The Steelers sent Mike Tomlin, Kevin Colbert, and Joey Porter to the Badgers’ Pro Day and they had dinner with him, something they’ve done with the last two first round draft picks.

He’s on the rawer side, there’s no question about that, but Bud Dupree wasn’t the most refined prospect either. He didn’t even have a true OLB coach. The upside here is immense and that’s usually the way the Steelers lean. Frankly, for how new he is to the position, Watt is pretty refined.

Difficult decision over them choosing a safety but this is the “safe” and logical pick.

Why He Makes Sense: Colbert/Tomlin at Pro Day, Pro Day dinner, underclassmen, tested off the charts athletically

Others Considered: S Jabrill Peppers, S Josh Jones, CB Marlon Humphrey

Watt Scouting Report

Round Two (62nd Overall): Chris Godwin/WR Penn State – 6’1 209

Yeah, I know this one sounds surprising. I’m a little shocked, too. But as I wrote this morning, the fact they brought in five receivers tells you there is a strong chance they take one early – within the top three rounds – and Godwin was one of those five. He fits almost every category of what the team looks for in the position, only failing in his three cone by literally .01 of a second.

He’s a big playmaker, fast (4.42) with the ability to win contested throws downfield. The team doesn’t seem to have much confidence in Martavis Bryant’s return and it’s looking like the NFL will not give the Steelers an answer of his 2017 status prior to the draft.

Why He Makes Sense: For nearly hitting our “what they look for study,” for the team bringing in five receivers, and the fact the team has drafted at least one pre-visitor in the first two rounds in every draft since 2010.

Others Considered: S Marcus Maye, OLB Carl Lawson, OLB Tim Williams

Godwin Scouting Report

Round Three (94th Overall): Brad Kaaya/QB Miami (FL) – 6’3/7 214

I normally had the Steelers’ compensatory pick reserved for QB but I’m bumping things up a spot here. Less QBs to choose from than any other position they’d be interested in. Creates more urgency to draft one as soon as possible. Kaaya or Josh Dobbs feel just as likely. I’ll take Kaaya to be a little different since a lot of people are floating to Dobbs’ name (and totally justified for it). Think the team is impressed with Kaaya’s work ethic for a young QB – only 21 years old – and his decision making, only 12 INTs the past two seasons.

For the last time, I’ll remind you all I’m against a QB anywhere, especially in the third where the success level is microscopically low, but the team seems hell bent on finding one.

Why It Makes Sense: The team has made their interest in the position clear and it is believed Kaaya had a pre-draft visit with the Steelers. Had dinner with the team before his Pro Day, too, and you have to think any QB they draft is one the bosses watched work out.

Others Considered: QB Josh Dobbs,OLB Derek Rivers, RB D’Onta Foreman

Kaaya Scouting Report

Round Three (105th Overall): Shaquill Griffin/CB UCF – 6’0/1 194

Sorta compromising based on the study I posted today, noting the correlation by not bringing in many cornerbacks and not drafting one high, with the reality and my gut. They need corner depth and Tomlin has professed that the team needs to be better in man coverage.

That’s where Griffin succeeds. Great athlete all around, one of two corners to fit our study, and a willing tackler who plays the pocket well. 4.38 speed will, at the least, make him an impact special teamer in his rookie year.

Why It Makes Sense: Griffin checked every box, and the team needs to add to the position.

Others Considered: CB Rasul Douglas, WR Mack Hollins, RB Marlon Mack

Griffin Scouting Report

Round Four (135th Overall): Alex Anzalone/ILB Florida – 6’2/7 241

A guy I’ve been high on since the Senior Bowl. Anzalone has had an injury plagued career but always jumped out on tape to me when he was healthy. A good, not great, athlete but big hitter who shows sideline-to-sideline range. Gives the team some good depth behind Vince Williams and Ryan Shazier. Had 53 tackles, four for a loss, and three sacks in just eight games as a senior.

Why It Makes Sense: Pittsburgh was at his Pro Day, including inside linebackers coach Jerry Olsavsky. Position of depth need.

Others Considered: ILB Jalen Reeves-Maybin, TE George Kittle, OLB Dawuane Smoot

Round Five (173rd Overall): James Conner/RB Pittsburgh – 6’1/4 233

The Steelers want a big back and they don’t come much bigger than Conner. He just makes sense for the Steelers. Great story, fits what they’re looking for, even though pad level is an issue because he’s so tall and his speed is only so good. Easy to connect the dots here and I think 5th round is as late as they will wait on taking a running back.

Why It Makes Sense: No team knows Conner’s story and work ethic better than the Steelers. Need a #2 back for the team.

Others Considered: RB Jamaal Williams, OLB Carroll Phillips, RB De’Veon Smith

Conner Scouting Report

Round Six (213th Overall): Samson Ebukam/OLB Eastern Washington – 6’1/7 240 

Ebukam had a killer Pro Day, running a 4.50, jumping 39 inches in the vert, and turning in a 7.07 three cone. Great athlete who can bend the edge, fluid and comfortable in coverage, and productive at a small school, pretty much a requirement. 71 tackles, 15 for a loss, and 9.5 sacks last year.

I had him pegged in the 5th but there’s a chance his level of competition drops him a round. Very comparable to Travis Feeney but a more defined and filled out frame.

Why It Makes Sense: The Steelers have double-dipped before and they brought him in after he didn’t get a Combine invite, generally a solid sign of interest (getting a physical is critical).

Others Considered: CB Brian Allen, NT DJ Jones, OLB Keion Adams

Ebukam Scouting Report

Round Seven (248th Overall): Matthew Godin/DE Michigan – 6’5/4 295

You gotta go with one off-the-wall pick in each mock, a pick that no one – myself included – could really predict. I’ll save my flier for the last round with an unknown in Godin. He’s a pretty average athlete, though his reported 10 split of 1.75 is pretty impressive, but a high motor guy and that’s always attractive to John Mitchell and the Steelers. Similar to L.T. Walton.

Steelers at his Pro Day and have shown interest in Chris Wormley but instead, they go with his under-the-radar teammate. Certainly not guaranteed to make the team but his competitiveness will make the room better. And that’s what you want in a late round pick.

Why It Makes Sense: Because it can’t always make perfect sense.

Others Considered: NT Treyvon Hester, NT Stevie Tuikolovatu, TE Jason Crooms

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.

  • Darth Blount 47

    Very logical assessment, Alex.

  • 😳🤔 I’m with you.. I hope they don’t take a wr that early or QB @ all. What’s you take on Melifonwu & about where does he get picked? I really like this kid.

  • kev4heels

    hope you are wrong alex. just don’t understand why we are looking at non-franchise QBs with the state of our roster.

  • Alex Kozora

    I think he’s off the board 5-1o picks ahead of the Steelers.

  • Alex Kozora

    I hear you brother.

  • WreckIess

    Mixed feelings about this draft, but it’s realistic. Love the Watt pick. Hated him early on, but I think it’s just because his brother is a douche and just left me with a bad impression of the Watts. I want the team to get a corner or hybrid safety with that 2nd pick, but if Goodell continues to drag his feet that’s going to move the need for a WR up which sucks. Don’t like Kaaya or Anzalone, but I get why you picked them. Conner and Ebukam are two great picks though.

  • Alex Kozora

    Just curious the rationale behind Anzalone…worried about the injury history I’m guessing?

  • Petherson Silveira

    I thought Steelers sent just Porter to Watts Pro-Day. I didn´t know KC and MT had dinner with him. Cool! I like this pick, his upside is huge.
    Chris Godwin is awesome player, but i don´t think we need a WR. If indeed happen, although, i will be happy, cuz he will be a monster for us.
    Seems to be our destiny to Colbert draft a QB this year. I would like us to wait another year, coz this class is lackluster at QB talent-wise. Kaya makes a lot of sense.
    Despite i like really like Shaquill Griffin physical tools and his background histoty, i think we could do better with our 3th compensatory pick.
    Love yours 4th, 5th and 6th round picks.
    i think Safety is missing in your mock, coz they brought some to visit and show interest. And maybe missing some double-dip at EDGE or CB. With just 8 picks, its impossible to do all that and still taking 3 offensive players.

  • WreckIess

    Yup. 14 games in four years is worrisome. There’s a lot of talk about how good he could be if he stayed healthy, but he really hasn’t given any indication that can so I’m iffy on him.

  • falconsaftey43

    Man, hard to think they’ll only draft one DB and it won’t come until their 4th pick. They lack a future at slot CB and FS and possibly outside CB depending on their view of/ability to re-sign Cockrell next year.

  • steelasfreek1981

    What if the Steelers are moving towards a 30 Stack/3-3-5 Defensive wrinkle?
    Shazier ran this Defense in Ohio, we’ve drafted D. Grant, etc..
    With that said, how would this change the Steelers wants and needs in this draft?

  • RickM

    I like Watt as the first pick. It seems pretty logical if he’s available. I like Godwin, but do think you’re wrong positionally on the 2nd rounder (WR). The Steelers also brought in 5 receivers in 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015 and didn’t take a WR in any of the first two rounds. I think they’ll go 3rd round at the earliest for a WR. Seeing Brad Kayaa as your next pick has officially deflated me. I really do not see this guy as an NFL starter. And then you pick often-injured Anzalone, a guy who can’t tackle all that well when healthy. Wow. That’s enough punishment for one morning lol.

    Thanks for your early round guesses. For one of the few times, I hope you have missed the mark other than Watt. My fear is that Colbert will be thinking like you on Kayaa and Anzalone.

  • ScullNCrossbones

    I like it. Only thing I’d change would be best TE available in R2 instead of Godwin. Just feel like there will be less competition for a rookie TE to get on the field but understand the counter argument. Thanks for all the mock draft work this year, Alex.

  • newguy68

    No TE’s in a draft loaded with them??? Only one corner??

  • Burgh Ball

    Love the anzalone pick, kid is a football player, nose for the ball, side line to side line player. Health is the only flag with this pick. I’m betting contributes immediately on ST.

  • Nolrog

    Honestly, I would be very disappointed if the draft worked out that way, very likely even angry.
    IMO, TJ Watt will be off the board. Someone will bite on him because of his name.

    I think there are much more significant needs than QB and WR in the 2nd and 3rd, especially for a win-now team (and I am assuming that Bryant is back).

    I could see them going TE early on, especially if there is one that can develop into a Heath like player. But corner should be addressed much earlier than the 3rd supplemental, and WRs we have a very good history of finding them later on.

  • Bill Sechrengost

    Thanks Alex. I think the Steelers are going to address the deficiencies that brought them short of a Super Bowl last year, which is why I can see them drafting Godwin. They desperately needed a good #2 wide receiver last year at the end and it showed. I do think that is why they will also draft a backup RB higher than the 5th round. I agree drafting an edge rusher is a necessity in 1st round. Watt could definitely be their guy.

  • george

    Alex, I love your work but I hope you are wrong on this one. I like Watt #1 but I still think we need to go best available corner/safety/tweener in the 2nd. Plus I don’t think Kaaya is a 3rd rounder. Maybe a fourth or fifth but not third, certainly not 94th overall.

  • Joseph DeFazio

    Thanks, Alex. Good read and justification. I am trying to really narrow down my choices because, well, we all need a hobby. Right now, I am in agreement with Watt in the first but think he may be gone as the buzz seems to be growing on him. I have it down to Watt, Humphry, Peppers and a long shot of Mahomes (I think he will not be there). I am hoping Josh Jones lasts to #62.

    As for the QB, I am starting to think if they can’t get Mahomes in the first, they are looking more at an immediate upgrade at the #3 and someone who takes over for Jones at the #2, so I am pegging Josh Dobbs as I think he is a 4th or 5th rounder. I think they wait a year to find Ben’s replacement. Maybe not sound logic, but it looks like they are determined to pick a QB but not just any one. I think it is Mahomes, Kayaa or Dobbs.

    The one guy I have had in my draft for round 3 all along is Marlon Mack. I also have a feeling about Jarren Jones from Notre Dame and I also like Reeves-Maybin as a pick in 6/7.

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    Alex, I am with you on the QB thing – I say hi big or go home (I.e. If they REALLY want to find BBs successor then take a Mahomes in rd1).
    Especially galling to see that we lose out in D Rivers in taking Kaaya or any other QB!

  • Tab Holder

    Not a fan of Watt, Alex, or Godwin as the round two pick. I would bet money we don’t draft any of the
    three.

  • AndyR34

    Oh Alex, Alex, Alex…(smh). I understand your rationale, but I would sure be deflated if this were their draft. But…as I have said before…their needs are many, but their choices are too few. I think I like your previous mock much better.

  • Brandon Stokely

    Sign me up. This would be a killer draft if it plays out anywhere near this.

  • Steve Johnson

    If Marlon Humphrey is sitting there at #30, they have to take him. You’re trying to tell me Watt is more valuable? If his last name wasn’t Watt, 2nd Rd at best.

  • Michael Conrad

    Alex. I Like your picks and would be happy with them but I don’t see a safety which I think is a real need.

    The Steelers backed themselves into a corner by not signing free agents at any of the positions of need . Now they have a lot of needs even with eight picks. I see eight picks with no doubling up.

    OLB/S/CB/TE/RB/WR/ILB/QB

  • The Tony

    Rd1- Tak McKinley edge ucla
    Rd2- Teez Tabor CB Florida
    Rd3- Bucky Hodges TE Va Tech
    Rd3- Amora Darboh Wr Michigan
    Rd4- Wayne Gallman Rb- Clemson
    Rd5- Carroll Phillips edge- Illinois
    Rd6- Anthony Walker ILB- North Western
    Rd7- Nate Hairston CB Temple

  • falconsaftey43

    I keep flip flopping on my opinon of taking a WR early. Obviously the “need” for one can swing widly depending on the outcome of a lot of unknows with the current WRs. On the otherhand, there is room to get a high pick WR on the field even if everyone else stays healthy.

    But then I’m looking at what kind of impact a rookie WR could really have. Looking at Steelers history and using yards/game as the stat. Here’s the top guys in their 1st year (1st season active for at least 1 game).
    Bryant 54.9
    Holmes 51.5
    Wallace 47.3
    Rogers 45.7
    Randle El 30.6
    Sanders 28.9
    Ayers 26.5
    Burress 22.8
    AB 18.6
    Justin Brown 11.8

    Of those guys I think the general consensus is the 1st 3 made a significant impact their rookie year. Rogers, many really wanted more from and he’s part of the WR crew that was deemed not good enough, hence the current potential draft need. The rest, that’s not much of an impact.
    So impact from Steelers’ rookie WRs is not typically significant. Best case for the WR high pick is he’s forced into the #2 role due to suspension/injuries and he puts up Bryant like numbers, which would be great, but highly unlikely.
    Most likely case is his role is limited by the number of other WRs on the roster and he’s lucky to put up Sanders like numbers.

  • RickM

    Why would a player with a very dominant injury history in college suddenly become a reliable, healthy player in the bigger and more physically demanding NFL? I’m curious what the thought process is in believing this. Do you just think he had repeated bad luck in college, and his issue is not physiological?

  • Jeff Papiernik

    Round 1 – Obi Melionfwu, S, Uconn
    Round 2 – Derek Rivers, OLB, YSU
    Round 3a – Jordan Lewis, CB, Mich
    Round 3b – Tanoh Kpassagnon, DL, Vill
    Round 4 – George Kittle, TE, Iowa
    Round 5 – James Conner, RB, Pitt
    Round 6 – Kenny Golladay, WR, NIU
    Round 7 – Javancy Jones, LB, Jack St.

  • Alex Kozora

    Maybe and I considered him as a possibility, obviously. Humphrey may have trouble seeing the field year one whereas Watt is going to get to play right away.

  • Danielsteelstrong81

    I like this

  • Alex Kozora

    Well hey, picking any three players in a draft of 256 and saying they won’t be the guy is pretty easy to do. The odds of us nailing any one player is low because there’s so much you can’t control.

  • Darth Blount 47

    If the plan with Ebukam is to keep him at OLB, then technically he DID double-dip, with Watt/Ebukam. I agree that I feel like he whiffed on Safety, though.

  • Alex Kozora

    Ha, well as long as you get the raitonale. Usually what we believe is going to happen and what actually happens end up being two different things. It’s good to mix things up, throw a curveball into it all.

  • Darth Blount 47

    My brother and I have been mentioning the possibility of going 3-3-5 for a while now. In this new NFL, I actually think with the right personnel, it could not only be done, but be effective. But it would take a mind who is well-versed in it to do it right and proper. And you’d have to change your draft philosophy to stack the cupboard with the right ingredients as well.

  • Alex Kozora

    Yup, that’s totally fair my man.

  • Alex Kozora

    Yup, the “big three” were there!

  • That’s what I was thinking, about 7-8 picks. As long as the Cowboys don’t get him; I live in Dallas lol

  • Alex Kozora

    Well heck last year, when they were arguably even thinner, they ended up drafting just two.

  • Alex Kozora

    Steelers didn’t seem to have strong interest in TEs. Hard to double-dip on everything. Only 8 picks (why I think a trade back in 2nd makes sense).

  • Sam Clonch

    Would kill me to end up with a backup QB instead of Derek Rivers in the 3rd, lol.

  • Ward Holder

    Totally agree with this comment – Godwin would be a surprise I could live with, Kaaya instead of a safety or TE would make me find other things to do on Sunday afternoons (or nights in November!)

  • Darth Blount 47

    Says the former 2-time Ratbird, lol. 😉

  • falconsaftey43

    True, but they did so in the 1st and 2nd rounds, not the late, late 3rd. Hey, it could happen, they historically don’t value CBs much.

  • Darth Blount 47

    My guy, Tony Walker Jr! Good pick. Good value in the 6th. And my other guy Bucky… good pick, not so sure that’s good value in the 3rd at 94 though. Maybe. I sure do like him and his potential.

  • SouthernSteel

    Agreed. …love all the work Alex puts into this site!!!….. but this mock has very little excitement for me…IMO dosn’t seem to make us better just adds some depth….don’t see any of these players starting or becoming stars…

  • mokhkw

    I’ve also been thinking along those lines since they signed Alualu and didn’t replace Timmons. I think it makes a ton of sense tbh, much more so than the 2x DL Dimes that have failed to create any pressure.

    If they draft another DL by mid round but no ILB then it could be an indication they are going in that direction but I’m still curious about Mychal Kendricks who the Eagles are willing to trade for a mid to late round pick or could be picked up after the June 1 cuts.

  • Michael Conrad

    I did a fanspeak draft and got the same picks . I would be happy with it but the Steelers want a QB.

  • Darth Blount 47

    Haha. I’m trying to make it my personal mission that Brad Kaaya doesn’t end up in Pittsburgh. I have a young apprentice who has shown quite a strong ability in the force. I dare say it will be unleashed this weekend… if necessary.

  • Chad

    I am not against taking a WR so early, lets add to our strength, that makes sense to me. I expect them to add a WR or TE in the first three rounds, why not get someone you really like in round 2? I also really like this TE class and hope they grab one, its so deep it would be shame to not at least throw a late pick at Roberts. As for Kaaya, I am not against picking him, I would just feel a little better if it was the pick 105 rather than 94, and for that matter I like Dobbs more. But its hard to argue against your logic on this mock Alex. I’m just hoping Reddick or Davis fall to us, I think either would be the pick if they do.

  • Brian Tollini

    I don’t care if his last name McButterpants, he is a 1st round talent with a sky high ceiling. Injuries are the only concern for him for me.

  • Brian Tollini

    I like the players you took Alex, but at the end of this draft I would just feel like there wasn’t enough done for our secondary. I understand you are taking this on as what you THINK will happen and not what you WANT, but hopefully they prioritize the secondary more than this.

  • Ni mo

    Alex watt is a one year starter you don’t think that’s a reach ?

  • AndyR34

    Please…no!

  • falconsaftey43

    It’s not like Humphrey is a super polished CB prospect. He’s a really good athlete, but has some serious growth needed (finding the ball mainly). Watt’s a fantastic athlete who put up great stats in his first year starting on D (only second playing D). He flashed a ton of potential and has the athletic traits to project very well. I don’t know that I’d consider Humphrey and more “polished” as a CB than Watt is as an OLB.

  • TroymanianDevil

    I think Jourdan Lewis won’t be picked for off the field issues (Even if they are unfair, which I’m not saying they are in this case, we just hear a lot of allegations around the draft is all I’m really saying). But he’s a good player, I just suspect another CB at 3a. And the rest of the draft is great, my mocks follow a very similar path.

  • Ni mo

    Replace Lewis with Witherspoon or Sydney jones

  • Jeff Papiernik

    I like Lewis over Weatherspoon and I’m not convinced Jones will contribute this year with his injury

  • Jeff Papiernik

    He was brought in for a pre-draft visit even after the allegation happened. If they were going to take him off their board, they wouldn’t have wasted a visit on him. But you’re right, it might drop him a round which is why I have him slipping to us in the 3rd.

  • Petherson Silveira

    Yeah!! Sorry.

  • Petherson Silveira

    You double-dip. Sorry.

  • Petherson Silveira

    So, the chances we take him is huge. Just missing experience and captain, but every every other boxes. Cool!

  • Darth Blount 47

    No worries! There has been a lot of talk about maybe moving Ebukam to ILB on some sites, so I can understand the hesitation to just assume / lump him in at OLB/Edge.

  • capehouse

    Not sure I believe they’ll completely ignore the Safety position with all the pre draft interest.

  • Alex Kozora

    You like Nate Gerry? Oh, I didn’t know that…

    Safety was hard for me to pass up but if you can’t get one in the first two rounds (Maybe, Josh Jones hard for me to think they’ll be there) I think you just have to pass. No one left.

  • Matt Correll

    Alex, based on your earlier post, I think there is a lot of picks here that make sense. It looks like based upon the pre-visit/pro day indicator that DE might be addressed in the 3rd round. Maybe Tanoh Kpassagnon?

  • CP72

    I’m looking for one tight end in this deep class….need some insurance for Ladarius. Somewhere around the 4th or 5th round. See if a guy with a day two grade slips because of the depth.

  • Jeff Papiernik

    And the fanbase doesn’t. This mock appeases me and other fans, but probably not the coaching staff haha

  • disqus_WrRvUyG2DA

    Team needs(Defense!) OLB,ILB, a safety.
    We dont need a qb and there are none worth taking
    We dont need a wr unless they are sure Bryant will not be back
    We dont need a rb but could draft one later in the draft and if we dont get one then sign d.Williams back.

  • Alex Kozora

    Burns didn’t start many games. Dupree was super raw. Timmons started 13 games. Mendenhall had 14 starts. There’s precedent.

  • Matt Correll

    Taco Charleton makes the visits either at 5 or 6 depending on how you categorize him. So if you call him a DE (which I do) that would make 6, so the second most at a position. So, maybe they even go Wormley in the 2nd, and bump WR to the 3rd?

  • Alex Kozora

    Well I mean, someone is going to take him. If there isn’t evidence of long-term injury concerns, then I think you feel a lot better about it. Unless you believe a player can truly be “snakebitten” and have bad luck.

  • Alex Kozora

    Jones is a good name to throw out there. Dtto with Nazair Jones from UNC.

  • Ni mo

    Just curious but I’m hoping obi is there

  • Alex Kozora

    If they don’t get one in the first though, who do they take? Obi, Budda, Peppers, Maye, Josh Jones, all likely to be gone at 62. What happens then?

  • capehouse

    I was listening to a Dave Te Thomas podcast from a couple weeks ago and he really talked up the Steelers interest in Golladay. He said the Steelers talked to him for so long at the combine that other teams were banging on the door to get in lol. Dave Te compared him to Stallworth and said the Steelers might try and grab him in rd 3.

  • Jeff Papiernik

    I see the allure but yikes, way too early imo.

  • capehouse

    Can’t imagine the Steelers would draft such a poor tackler like Witherspoon.

  • Justin Warrenfeltz

    Man I would be over the moon if we got Godwin. But I don’t think he falls to 62.

  • capehouse

    I think you just answered yourself 😉

  • BallHandling Hooker

    If it’s Rivers and Douglas in the third instead of Kaaya and Griffin – not that either of those are bad – this is close to a dream draft.

    Especially getting Anzalone and Conner that late.

    A TE would have been nice, but can’t complain if the Steelers draft that many players that can make a difference.

  • T3xassteelers

    If Griffin and Kaaya were swapped and then Griffen were replaced with Sutton or Lewis I’d say this draft would be pretty good. But 2 of first 3 picks on offense? Mehhhh… Not a huge fan

    Do LOVE Godwin though.

  • Matt Correll

    Sorry- I was adding the names from the pro-day visits you added at the end of your last tracker post to the number, instead of just focusing on the 30 pre-draft visits.

  • Dan

    Agree with Watt if he’s available, but it would be hard to leave Peppers on the board. No, no, no on drafting more WRs. We need to give reps and work more with the WR herd we got.
    There’s an article on ESPN now by Fowler, “Clock ticking..Bryant…draft plans”

  • RickM

    Why does that someone have to be us? He had a dislocated shoulder in 2013, a torn labrum in 2014, another shoulder surgery in 2015 and a broken arm in 2016. I agree, if those don’t exist, go for him. But they do. What good does it do when he plays well in the few games he is healthy?

    I genuinely feel for the guy, but with our need for some depth at ILB we’re going to hitch our wagon to this injury profile? I can see Colbert doing it as Feeney’s repeated injuries didn’t scare him away. But sometimes the red flags should be too numerous to ignore. If we do draft him, he’ll be hurt in his rookie season.

  • Ken Krampert

    This looks very much like a Steeler draft. One can always hope we don’t waste the pick on Kaaya, but things are leaning toward a QB around the 3rd. Godwin at 2 wouldn’t surprise me at all. We have a history of drafting WR high for the purpose of CYAing for Bryant. I would like to see a safety in there, and double dip at CB, but with QB and DL eating up 2 picks that eliminates that thinking. Would really like to see us beef up the secondary, but unfortunately, this draft seems very realistic…..

  • Joseph Shaw

    Alex–pardon me if this is already asked elsewhere, but: Love the Watt pick, that would be my pick too. But if he’s off the board–if Green Bay swipes him at 29–who then?

  • Greg

    I get how you got here, and it could happen. But with that said, if we dont get three defenders in the first four picks, I would be upset.

  • Gregory Jackson

    Great Mock – Seems very realisticLikley.
    Although I agree that Pitt is looking for a QB, since a 3rd rounder is SO Unlikely to ever be a true starter, why not wait until 5-6 for a Jerod Evans or CJ Beathard as opposed to betting the bank on Kaaya?

    Here is what I came up with in my most current:

    Takk McKinley (I think TJ will be gone by 30)
    Raekwon McMillan (I think he drops and cant be passed up)
    Shaq Griffin – Agreed with you here. He is definitely on their Radar and I cant see them going later for CB
    Jake Butt –
    Jalen Myrick – Agree with the Double Dipp here.
    James Conner
    Kenny Golladay
    CJ Beathard

  • newguy68

    Agree wholeheartedly on trading down. There’s a lot of quality TE’s .

  • Biggie

    Would love Watt, Godwin. I see little to no help in secondary. Griffen ok, will take a good bit of time. Can’t see Anzalone lasting that long, but like him alot. Connors for sure, Ebukan, Godin depth guys or PS maybe. Need to hit defense 3 out of first 4 picks at the least. If we get Godwin in first 4 picks great, then hit 3 out of 4 at Edge, CB, S, ILB in some order with other 3 picks. Hate this QB draft so no on QB in first 3 rounds if at all. Prefer next year by far. Bad mix when teams will be reaching for QBs in weak group, guys going way earlier than they should.

  • budabar

    Tomlin and Colbert have been high on kaaya sense he threw at miami’s pro day in 2016 so get ready

  • Steelgator

    Not sure how you jumped from “have brought in 5 WR’s” to “a strong chance they take one early.” Look at the WR’s they’ve brought in; Godwin is the highest rated among them with a 2nd/3rd round projection. I don’t think we’re at all forced to assume that the Steelers would pick a guy at the very top of the level of interest they’ve displayed.

    It’s more likely that the Steelers will take a player somewhere in the middle of the range of players they’ve visited with, which would also be consistent with history. The last 9 WR’s the Steelers have drafted have been in the 3rd round or later, and they’ve had a great deal of success. The last WR drafted in the first two rounds was 2nd rounder Limas Sweed in 2008, which was not a success. I see no reason to break from that formula, and the Steelers focus on bringing in mid-late round prospects says they see no reason to either.

    History and meetings with the team would suggest that the Steelers may be interested in any of Godwin, Reynolds, or Gibson as good value at the end of the 3rd, the round where they’ve selected 4 out of their past 9 picks at WR. But they could just as easily be satisfied with a guy like Hollins, Gallo, or Etta-Tawo in the 5th round at the earliest.

    I see no reason at all to believe the Steelers are interested in WR in the 2nd round.

  • S.T.

    “Limas Sweed” and “not a success” are redundant.

  • LucasY59

    I agree and think the interest in Godwin is for if he falls to the 3rd pick and is too good to pass up, but in the 2nd there should be a different BPA

  • Matt Correll

    Alex, just comparing this Mock with your last one, which do you prefer?

    1st Round: Lawson (last mock), Watt

    2nd Round: Sutton, Godwin

    3rd Round A: Kaaya, and Kaaya

    3rd Round B: Douglas, Griffin

    4th Round: Anzalone; Anzalone

    5th Round: Perine; Conner

    6th Round: Roberts (TE), Ebukam

    7th Round: Javancy Jones; Godin

    *I think overall, I would prefer the new mock results. I like the double dip on CB in your last mock, but your study shows that that would not be very likely. I do think it is interesting that in both of these mocks you did not have them taking a Safety. How did you decide that?

  • LucasY59

    totally agree on the QBs, wait till at least the 4th and get Dobbs (unless someother team reaches for him earlier) and if he is gone that is just one more pick at a different position that will actually help the team

  • Godwin is a beast, having watched him all year. I had him slated more as a third but I wouldn’t be upset if he was the 2nd pick depending on the board out there.

  • The Tony

    Give me some reasons why No. I put this together in about 5 minutes ha

  • Ni mo

    Tak is hurt but most likely gone , teez tabor a cb that runs 4.8 I know 40 time is overrated but naw he’s too slow bud Dupree is faster than him

  • Ni mo

    Yup I said the same thing about peppers

  • The Tony

    There is a realistic possibility of Tak being there at 30. I would rather have Watt. Tabor has value deep in the second round. If he didn’t run so slow, he easily could have been a top guy just off tape alone

  • Matt

    I don’t think Alex or the front office sees the secondary as the dumpster fire that some on this website seem to think it is. (Not saying you are one of those who see it as a dumpster fire.) I think Burns is a promising young player who can develop into a very good corner. I also think that Cockrell is better than many here will give him credit for. He’s not an all pro by a long shot, but I think he is a pretty solid cover corner on the outside. Golson is a big question mark, but Gay is still more than serviceable in the slot. I’m not wild about just completely giving up on Golson. Overall, I think the corner group is a solid bunch, with the potential to be much better than that.

    Davis and Mitchell are our safeties. And Golden is a solid backup/special teams guy. I can see the use in grabbing the heir to Mitchell. So if I leaned toward a high secondary pick, I’d go with a safety. As Alex points out, the top safeties in this draft are almost certainly going to be gone by pick 62, so unless you grab one in Round 1, it may not happen this year.

    Best thing this team can do to help its secondary is get the pass rush humming. I’d love it if the Steelers spent their first 4 or 5 picks on defense. But I think Alex is right – they’re going to mix it up. I just hope they wait until after the 3rd to grab a QB.

  • JT

    Very hard to argue with your logic here, even if we may not like the players. I wouldn’t be shocked at Watt if he’s on the board. The question to me is if he falls. I personally would be okay with Watt and Godwin, but I’d hate to see a QB so early. So here’s hoping somebody is there that they don’t expect.

  • KiJana Haney

    After hearing the press conference now I think the steelers will draft a wide receiver. I do not think they will take a quarterback this year but I think they will take one early next year. I think they will go edge, cb, wr, rb, ilb, dl/edge, for the first round and then the last two rounds would be a toss up

  • Alex Kozora

    Right, and this is what it’s about. What the team will do – not what I want them to do.

  • Alex Kozora

    I like this one more. And think it’s more likely.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Alex –

    What a lot of people on this site may not realize is… This mock draft takes into account what “Kevin Colbert” wants. Not just what the “fans” want.

    Everyone’s saying, “I want a CB…” “I don’t want a QB…” “I don’t like Watt…” “Blah-blah…”

    The Steelers have looked at every singe one of the late 1st round / early 2nd round OLB prospects. Even though it’s not what I personally would choose, it is extremely likely that Colbert simply targets the guy he wants and takes him at 1.30 (whether people think he’s reaching a little bit or not). Just pick the right guy. And if Watt is the right guy… fantastic.

    Even though I personally think Martavis Bryant is going to be reinstated and have a full productive year, Colbert obviously does not. He’s going to draft a WR, the only question is when. Again, Godwin checks nearly every box the Steelers are looking for. And if he can catch a wide open pass in an AFCCG rather than dropping it like a butter-fingered scrub… I’m happy with that pick as well.

    Even though I personally would rather draft a CB before the 3rd round, Colbert has been scouting middle/late round CB’s extensively. And there is very very good depth at CB this year. Griffin may not be a big “name” but, once again, he checks every single one of Colbert’s boxes. And he has the raw skills/measurements to be just as good as any of the higher ranked CB’s if he works hard enough.

    As far as QB, anyone who has been paying any attention, knows the Steelers are drafting a QB whether we like it or not. And it makes sense (based on the value windows) that we’d use a 3rd round pick. Rooney wants a QB. In any company, when the owner wants something he usually gets it. We’re not drafting Kaaya (or whoever) for this year. This pick is for 2018 or 2019. As long as he’s better than Landry Jones that’s all Colbert (or Rooney) really cares about.

    I predict you’re going to be right on at least 2 of these picks. Even though I personally would steer a little different direction if I was GM.

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    Wish you would’ve done a mock with the players that you preferred instead

  • Jeff Papiernik

    I wonder if Watt is still there at 28, do they swap with Dallas? Because Watt to GB almost seems like a certainty.

  • PaeperCup

    Good job Alex, I hope you’re wrong haha.

    JK, I like Watt, makes sense allowing him to learn and grow while rotating with James.

  • Mike Lloyd

    Wow. No TE at all. Shocking. In the 3rd a QB? Disappointing.

  • Joseph Shaw

    Agreed. At the same time, while I like the Watt pick, I don’t think I’d trade to move up two spots for him. Too many other options at the position. And that’s why I’m curious what the backup plan would be for Alex…a different OLB? Or switch to DB?

    I’m also coming around on the idea of Jabril Peppers. Has the look of an impact player, as does Watt. That’s the key–this defense needs impact players. No safe picks…swing for the fences and try to get a guy with some energy, even if he’s raw.

  • Jeff Papiernik

    So Alex, I did my own little bit of investigation. Going back to the last few years, these were the number of safeties taken in the first two rounds.

    2013 – 6
    2014 – 4
    2015 – 3
    2016 – 5

    So let’s see, Hooker, Adams, Peppers, Obi, Maye, Jones, Baker. That’s 7 safeties right there. I’m guessing at least one of Maye, Baker, or Jones would be available in the 2nd round just based on history.

  • Jeff Papiernik

    He did offer up other names as alternates, Peppers, Josh Jones, Marlon Humphrey. So yeah, Alex is thinking probably Watt or bust as far as OLB goes. If he’s not there, then they switch up the strategy and go best available DB.

  • Ryan Alderman

    Wonder where Peppers will go now that he’s been caught with a diluted sample. How stupid can you possibly be?

  • Phil Brenneman II

    Man do i hope you are wrong Alex. Receiver and QB back to back that early? I think I would cry

  • T3xassteelers

    Peppers tested positive for diluted sample at combine!

  • Jeff Papiernik

    If it was another Reuben Foster deal, it’s not stupidity but bad luck. Like Foster, he never failed a drug test in college, so I’m not ready to condemn the guy yet.

  • Ryan Alderman

    I’m with you, probably jumping the gun myself and need to wait until more comes out regarding it. I like the kid myself but either way have my doubts if the Steelers will take that chance with Bell and Bryant’s escapades still overly fresh on their minds and impacting their roster. We’ll see.

  • Jeff Papiernik

    I wasn’t opposed to someone ahead of us taking him to help drive other prospects down the board. I bet he is available at 30 now which will make things very interesting depending on how the board shakes out. If everyone else has been taken, do you roll the dice? Tough to say.

  • T3xassteelers

    When I look at Watt and his tape.. I can’t help but feel he’d be a top 10-15 pick if he were black. Dude is a baller. The only real negative he has is 1 year of production…

  • Sam Clonch

    Would still rather het an OLB in the first, but you gotta think it’s Obi over Jabril now for the FO.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    I’m with you on picks 2 and 3, and nice movie references to dodgeball and Wayne’s world!

  • Steel Realist PAul

    He also has the benefit of the last name of the NFL’s top defensive player. Gotta count for something..

  • Brian Miller

    Agreed, and I believe that Watt’s ceiling is higher.

  • pittsburghjoe

    With Peppers failing the pee test, you can guarantee Obi will be off the board.

  • Steeler-Drew

    So we are back to addressing the secondary with what is essentially a 4th round pick? Especially when a player like White could possibly come in and fill the slot position right away. He could also play outside which increases his value immensely. No offense to you Alex I know you picking who you think they will select, and you may very well be right. But if they go back to this mindset of devaluing the secondary they are beating their head against the wall. It will surely fit the definition of insanity and show they have not learned from previous mistakes. In a year with talent in the secondary they can fill multiple needs in the next two years, selecting a WR in the 2nd would be mind boggling.

    Gay’s replacement needs to take this year. Do they really want to take the risk Golson or Sensabaugh is that player? The should also be eyeing Mitchell’s and possibly Cockrell’s replacement this year. I realize they can’t get all 3 in one draft but IMO it’s imperative they take measures to replace 2 of 3 this year. Especially if they have any plans on beating the Patriots if not this year then next. It’s going to take more than just a pass rush to beat them. And don’t get me wrong I like Griffin and where you selected him but if they come out of this draft with just an outside CB who may serve as a backup for the full year, that’s not going to cut it IMO.

    I also think Watt will be over drafted because of his name and probably won’t be there. Of course, a player like White may not be there either. Even so, if they did draft Watt there should be some quality secondary players in the 2nd I would take over Godwin in a heartbeat. The only way they should even consider a WR in the 2nd is the league has given some indication Bryant won’t be reinstated. Even with all of their shenanigans I highly doubt that is going to happen. Even though we would not see production right away I would take S. Jones over Godwin in a minute. If a player like Jackson or Baker falls to the 2nd that would also be a no brainer over Godwin. Other players I would consider if available over Godwin(i know some of them will be gone but not all of them): Awuzie, Tankersley, J. Lewis, F. Moreau, M. Williams, M. Maye, and J. Evans and maybe even D. King. I like Godwin as a player but selecting him in the 2nd and Kaaya in the 3rd would essentially blow up their draft.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    Alex, I’m with the rest. Makes a lot of sense, but hate picks 2 and 3 (Kaya).

    Defense has to be the priority and if they’re going to waste a pick on a third string, maybe someday secodnstring QB, the rest of the earliest hasn’t to be D.

  • LucasY59

    adding a guy like Kpassagnon would really help if they were going to do this

    Draft to get pieces to fit that D
    1. Melifonwu (gives them a guy that could line up as the 5th DB or 3rd LB)
    2. Bowser (also Versatile can play inside or outside and cover from either)
    3. Kpassagnon (like I already mentioned could be the most important add for this change, can rush the passer all along the DL, so again versatility is important, also a rotation would keep the 3 man rush from wearing down through the game)
    Comp. Lewis (need to improve the slot coverage, and depth for the CBs)
    4. Griffin (add another outside guy with size/speed)
    5. Conner (need to add some Offense and RB should be a priority, and James fits well, plus is a value at this pick IMO)
    6. Ejuan Price (need to add another OLB for the base D and Depth)
    7. Jimmie Gilbert (another depth guy that can play STs)

  • Eddie Cruz

    Does this mean peppers is off our draft board? I would guess yes considering the last exception we made blew up in our face with Mike Adams. Not that he failed any other test that I’m aware of but his on field performance never measured up and I think him getting stabbed set him back too. Not sure it’s fair to blame a man for being stabbed, but what do you think about taking peppers anyways?

  • Justin Warrenfeltz

    Late-round QB draft picks almost universally NEVER end up productive starters in the NFL. You can count the number of success stories on one hand since Brady was drafted in 2000. It’s just a waste of a pick, unless you really WANT another Landry Jones.

  • T3xassteelers

    Exactly!! Should be top 10 pick based on all that haha. Honestly don’t know why some people are so down on him..

  • SfSteeler

    i get the Kaaya developmental pick cause there is a solid core built for the future except for Ben questioning retirement…its the Goodwin/WR pic at #2 that just bring up the NFL farce about Bryant and being given a last minute hurdle for his reinstatement…

    if Bryant isnt reinstated before the draft can the team file a grievance with the NFL or something?

  • Justin Warrenfeltz

    …But he’s awful. Totally immobile in the pocket. =(

  • Michael Mosgrove

    Weston steelhammer in 7th or bust!

  • stan

    I keep going back and forth over whether the Steelers will choose a big back of a smallish back in this draft as a back-up to Bell. You’d think big back because goal-line/ short yardage running takes a toll and you’d think that getting a good big back would allow a natural opportunity to rest Bell and keep his mileage down. However, he’s also a stud in short yardage situations and getting a smallish back with a more complete repertoire will allow the team to have a better back-up if Bell gets hurt (knock on wood).

    P.S. I’m a little surprised there wasn’t a tight end in this mock.

  • Kevin Reich

    1. White cb
    2. Rivers olb
    3. Lewis Cb
    3. Bowser olb
    4.j. jones S
    5. Kittle te
    6. Conner rb
    7. Wr/ilb

  • Terrible Towlie

    change Anzalone to Rakwon McMillan…and get rid of the next landry jones and it was a good draft

  • Justin Warrenfeltz

    If Godwin’s there at 62, he’s a tremendous upside, polished receiver. I watched him all season up at Penn State (ex-girlfriend was an alum and massive college football fan) and I’m telling you, this kid is going to be a stud.

  • Justin Warrenfeltz

    I don’t think the Steelers reasonably have him on the board in the first. But if he’s still available in the second? The value is there, I think, even with the “failed” drug test.

  • SfSteeler

    that pick of coach and Goodwin looks like how my dad looks and i feel when i used to disappoint him…:(

  • Terrible Towlie

    substitute McMillan for Anzalone

  • Terrible Towlie

    *pimpin * $$ McMillan

  • will

    I think there is “Watt” fever on this board…….would you like him if his last name was Jones or Sweed??

  • Terrible Towlie

    if we go wr….i hope its Noah Brown in 6th or 7th…big body, great hands, deceiving speed
    or kill 2 birds with one stone by taking Curtis Samuel RB/WR/KR/PR….he played more traditional RB than Harvin, but think Harvin without the baggage. faster, and can run between the tackles

  • Frank

    Pretty good. I wonder if they would consider C.Lawson RD 1? After today, I think J.Peppers is off the board. In the 6th RD (or somewhere), I’d like to see a safety over a 2nd OLB.

  • Terrible Towlie

    thats a pretty big flag,,,,,,especially after being burnt by drafting injured players

  • HiVul

    I understand that you did this draft based on reading the tea leaves but I really hope it doesn’t turn out this way. Watt is a risky 1st round pick and the next 2 picks are offensive. Very possible the defense wouldn’t get much help at all from a draft like this.

  • stan

    I still think it would be tough for the Steelers to draft a WR early like that. If Bryant comes back then are you even going to use him? The team already has a bevy of decent NFL players at the position in Rogers, Ayers, Hamilton and Coates. I can see taking one but not that early.

  • Justin Warrenfeltz

    Godwin is worth it. I’d not lose a single wink of sleep if we had to cut any of those guys to make space for Godwin.

  • Uh… not bad. I’m slowly, slowly coming around on Watt, but I worry he’s being overhyped. (Although your Dupree point about rawness makes sense.) OLB is certainly a “safe” pick in the first, but I still think they’ll go secondary. I’d like Obi, but one of the top CBs would work as well. Honestly, I might even take Peppers over Watt or any of the OLBs, because I think they’ll be able to grab an edge rusher in the second, and probably a pretty good one. (Okay, maybe not Peppers given the diluted drug test.)

    My mock would be:

    1) White
    2) Rivers
    3) Jones

    Yeah, fine, QB. I’m against it, but it’s hard to avoid mocking one given the obvious interest. I’d probably go secondary again with the third pick, then turn to offence, but it’s all a matter of who’s available. But I’m not sure the Steelers will go D with their first three picks. I’d say WR will be a bit later, though. RB and QB first.

    Anyway, I think my dream is:

    1) Obi/Humphrey/White
    2) Lawson/Rivers
    3) Douglas/Jones

    Alternatively, maybe it’s Humphrey-Obi-Rivers.

  • LucasY59

    depth chart for that package (with all the versatility guys could line up in lots of different places)

    RDE 1.Heyward 2.Kpassagnon 3.Tuitt (Walton inactive)

    NT 1.Hargrave 2.Tuitt 3.Heyward (McCullers inactive)

    LDE 1.Tuitt 2.Alualu 3.Hargrave (or do they put a pass rusher like Dupree here?)

    ROLB 1.Harrison 2.Bowser 3.Melifonwu?

    ILB 1.Shazier 2.V.Williams 3.Gilbert/Matakevich (probly no room for S.Johnson/Fort)

    LOLB 1.Dupree 2.Chickillo 3.Price (Moats is a cap cut)

    RCB 1.Burns 2.Griffin 3.Gay (Lewis could be depth as well)

    FS 1.Mitchell 2.Melifonwu 3.Golden

    SS 1.Davis 2.Melifonwu 3.Dangerfield

    Extra DB 1.Melifonwu 2.Lewis 3.Golson

    LCB 1.Cockrell 2.Sensabaugh 3.Melifonwu

    I couldve listed guys like Bowser at all 3 LB spots, the 3 starting DL could play all 3 spots on the DL (and Alualu as well, and Kpass could play both DE spots and could line up as one of the OLBs on some plays) (like I mentioned a OLB like Dupree and Chickillo (maybe Deebo?) could line up as a DE) Obi and Davis could play at least 3 spots in the Secondary, and guys like Burns or Shazier could also move, but should be so good at the main position they play that moving them much isnt worth taking them away from what they do best

    27 guys on the Roster for D, most depth guys will be big ST contributors, Matakevich, Chickillo, Gilbert, VW, Bowser, Griffin, Golden, should be ST stars (*Melifonwu, Davis, and Burns could be, but probably wont be used) and guys like Sensabaugh, Lewis, Golson, and Price could contribute as well *and that doesnt include guys on O like Nix, DHB and Coates also contributing a lot as well

    *Guys like Gay, Mitchell and Harrison could be gone after this season (Deebo might be the only one to stick, but could also walk away happy/on his terms with another ring if they win it all, Gay would do the same, but might not be contributing much even this season, and Mitchell would save a decent amount of $ as a cap cut)

  • Alex Kozora

    Don’t think that happens in the 4th though.

  • Alex Kozora

    Different classes change things though. This is a good group You have a guy like Baker who isn’t just a safety and could be seen in the slot. Peppers is a mix. I don’t think Maye will be there b/c of his draft invite.

  • stan

    It seems like that 2nd round pick is almost destined to be a player that the team thinks is too good to pass up but isn’t necessarily a need. That’s the great benefit of going into the draft without any glaring holes.

  • LucasY59

    I think Wrinkle is a good way of putting the difference between this scheme the 2-4-5 they normally run and the 3-4 base, are all fairly similar, so minor adjustment and changes can be made so that whatever they do is the most effective

  • Alex Kozora

    Look at the others considered. The safeties, Humphrey, and I’d throw Jarrad Davis in the mix too.

  • Alex Kozora

    Based on the history. When they bring in 5+, there’s a good chance they draft that position high. Check the other article from this morning.

  • Joseph Shaw

    Gotcha. Now, if I pressed you and said, “Pick ONE”… 🙂

  • John

    Great post. I will add a few comments. We brought in several lower tier TEs. I think we are taking one. If you look at our offense, we are losing our back-up RB supposedly, Ben only likes throwing to AB and LaDarius and Bryant if available. The last two are questions and we lost Wheaton. Not sure they trust Coates. They believe in taking the top off the defense. So we need another red zone threat at a minimum and maybe a change of pace back or a deep threat WR. All those guys you can get in rounds 3-6. I think there are lots of OLB like Ebukan you can get later also. Same with corners, particularly slot ones.

    The safeties need to be taken early. I also think we need a playmaker. We all also overdo the picks of guys they brought into town. While they take a few of them most years, most other picks are not them.

    I can see something more like Peppers, Davis or A. Jackson in round one and moving from there. CB round 3. WR round 4. TE Round 5. OLB either 2-3 and one in later round.

  • Brian Tollini

    Yeah, I definitely am not in the category of considering our secondary a dumpster fire, but I definitely am not as optimistic as you. I like Burns, I think Cockrell is a solid player, not ready to give up on Golson, but Gay might not even make the final 53 and there is absolutely zero depth behind them. We need two CB’s and a safety from our 8 picks in my opinion, and at the very least, 1 CB and 1 safety.

  • John Hinton

    Alex – Now that you’ve completed this version of what the FO will likely do, what would be YOUR ideal Mock draft for each round? Think of this exercise like your Christmas wish.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    I wasn’t all that into him until lately. When you look at what he did in only one year, he could absolutely be the next big thing.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    Oh, don’t get me wrong. I don’t have anything against the player. It’s the position I don’t want to see go that high.

  • LucasY59

    Agree on Kaaya and Anzalone,

    with Kaaya this could be the worst yr to pick a QB (and its not just because of the talent available, but also the number of teams looking for a QB) picking at the end of the rd and having so many teams ahead of them means they either need to take a player a rd earlier than they worth (which already happens with QBs so double it) or the QB wont be available, and in Kaaya’s case Im not even sure if he is better than a QB they might be able to get later like Dobbs

    with Anzalone its not just his injuries, but that somehow despite the history he is a possible 3rd/4th rd pick, when he should be a 5th/6th, a LB with bad shoulders is a bad LB to have, so I guess if they did an extensive medical check on him and felt comfortable he could be the pick (but I still think it should be later like Feeney was last yr) and drafting Ebukam also makes the Anzalone pick not the greatest, Samson is someone like Feeney that could possible play inside

  • Justin Warrenfeltz

    I hear ya. And I generally agree. But I also really like Godwin haha.

  • Rob H

    I believe the line of thinking that they are just getting themselves tuned up with the process of evaluating/interviewing OB’s. I think the only way they take a QB early in this draft is if someone they graded as a late first or early second rounder makes a freefall down the board to their late third or fourth pick. It would be criminally foolish to waste an early pick on a qb that would at best be a backup for three years, especially in this particular draft.

  • LucasY59

    I was looking at stuff like that previously as well, when I was trying to decide whether Obi would be available at #30 (with the top 2 guys being top 15 locks, and there rarely being more than 3 Safeties picked in the 1st)

    I am fairly confident he will be (plus there has been less talk about him as a 1st rdr the further the combine is in the past (which doesnt mean much since the guys talking arent the guys picking)

    add in a guy like Peppers and I highly doubt 4 Safeties have been taken in 29 picks, especially with talent at other positions, mainly CB, the total # of DBs (taken in the 1st) is not something I looked up, but this draft could come close to setting a record (there are definitely 10+ guys talented enough but not enough picks for all of them to be taken)

    this is also a reason for me to think a guy like Baker could make it to #62, I would add Williams to the 7 you mentioned, and am pretty sure a Safety they like could still be available

  • Jeff Papiernik

    Which is why I’m ok if we took a guy like Watt in the first. Heck, there’s a chance even Obi is there at 62 if other guys like Williams, Maye, and Jones are valued more.

  • LucasY59

    Watt/Baker or Melifonwu/Rivers, either way they are doing pretty well, the first duo might be slightly better than the later because of Watt’s ceiling and Baker’s ability to contribute in the slot right away, but I also really like Obi’s versatility and picking him makes it so they dont have to pick a ILB early as well

    so I guess dream scenario would be TJ/Obi

  • Jeff Papiernik

    Oh God, if we got TJ/Obi…….

  • T3xassteelers

    I agree. I felt the same way.. But the guy can play.. So much potential there too

  • Matt Manzo

    Very realistic! But Kaaya in the 3rd hurts! Only cuz I just see him as a back up.
    Everything else seems spot on based on this mornings study. I would be sad to not get that hybrid safety, though.

  • Gilgalad

    Alex-
    Do you think it’s possible the front office seems likely to draft a quarterback is because they might believe this is Ben’s last year?

  • Bobby hains

    Well some can breath a lil easier now that J. Peppers now has a big red flag due to him taking a urine dellutant when he got tested today is considered testing positive because he used that too camouflage his urine.. So more than likely now most teams will not draft him in the 1St rd.

  • Bobby hains

    I also agree with Alex… I too think tj. Watt will be picked 1strd.an look good in black n gold!. Now gentleman care to place your bets on the pick?

  • Steelsmoke

    Watt good first pick ,wr is a area of need but so much talent in cb s ilb hybrid has got me dreaming of shutting it down between sticks.

  • LucasY59

    would you dislike him more if it was Jones or Sweed???

  • Darth Blount 47

    If they truly like Kaaya that much… they sure are high on something.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    The Packers may feel the same way, so IF he’s there, we shall see.

  • T3xassteelers

    Yup. I’m like 90% they’d take him

  • Matt

    I can see your point. Golson is the big question mark. But if he can be the kind of player that the Steelers thought he was when they picked him (or close to that guy), then I think the Steelers are okay for now at CB. Given the needs of the team, I think double dipping at corner in the draft isn’t possible. Not without leaving too many other holes in the team. If Golson can come on and take over the slot corner position by the end of the year, I think the Steelers would be fine with no corner or picking a corner in the 3rd round or later. I realize that’s a bit of a gamble. But the team is going to be gambling one way or another this year. They’ve got holes in their D at OLB and ILB. Corner is a position that could be improved, and they need to think about Mitchell’s successor. Backup RB, TE and #2 WR are all question marks too.

    You can flip a coin between ILB and OLB as to which is the biggest question mark. Dupree has flashed a little here or there, but he hasn’t generated a consistent pass rush since he was drafted. He may become a 10+ sack a year guy, but that remains to be seen and others have pointed out that outside of his sacks he doesn’t really generate pressure. In other words, he’s good for a splash play or two per game, but is not a constant disruptive force (which is what the Steelers need). Harrison is great, but he’s also old and isn’t the same pass rusher he was in his prime. He could have one last great year in him, or he could decline significantly or get injured this year. We definitely need to pick up his successor this year. But ILB is also an area of need. Williams is a step down from Timmons. Were it otherwise, the Steelers wouldn’t have tried to resign Timmons nor would they have chased Hightower. Shazier has yet to play all 16 games. While you may not be wild about our corner depth, the ILB depth behind Shazier and Williams is alarming.

    I may be in the minority, but a draft that goes: Jarrad Davis, best available OLB, CB, backup RB, double-dip at OLB, … would be my ideal scenario for this team. But then again, if I knew what I was doing, I wouldn’t be posting my thoughts on this site for free, right?

  • Steeldog22

    That will get them an indefinite suspension in my book.

  • Jim Foles

    so we have a chance at Watt and Peppers 1 and 2… nice.

  • Bobby hains

    Peppers is not worth a 1St rd. Pick to me IMO.. Also I don’t think the Steelers an most teams are going to take a step back on him now ..I don’t think he’s all that as a playmaker that I’ve seen an heard.. I want a true position player like C. LAWSON OLB. much safer anyday

  • Jim Foles

    Awuzie and Lawson 1 and 2

  • Applebite

    If I didn’t know any better, I’d swear that the league office was doing its best to force the Steelers hand in getting rid of Bryant…in the interest of fairness to the rest of the league. It doesn’t feel right, and it smells funny too…

  • John

    Can anyone answer the pertinent question of how an LB corp of DuPree, Williams, Watt and Shazier can function covering people? I get that Shazier has it. But usually at least one OLB needs to cover some and don’t think either of those do. And Williams ain’t going to cover so don’t we need a coverage LB and/or a hybrid player to do that?

  • DoctorNoah

    I think Watt off the board in 1st and Lawson off the board in 2nd before we get to pick. We’re going to end up with someone’s supposed second round pick and everyone’s gonna be upset.

  • Brian Tollini

    I wouldn’t count out Jarrad Davis at 30th overall, I think he is someone they could seriously consider or Raekwon McMillan a round later. If we draft a CB or two it doesnt have to be on the first day, players like Corn Elder, Damontae Kazee, and Jourdan Lewis could be day 2 and 3 targets that would allow us to work on getting pass rushers in the early rounds. I feel like the more I try to figure out what their plan is, the further away I get from the answer.

  • AndyR34

    IMHO, Takk will not be a good OLB, Tabor not what we want in a CB and too early. Agree w/DB47 on Hodges (and Walker…but don’t think he will last that long). There are better WR’s than Darboh to choose at 105, Gallman OK in 4th. Don’t need another edge or CB at the back of the draft…not a help for the roster.

  • pittsburghjoe

    Somebody, quick! Catch the flying aliens that just came out of Alex’s ears. 400 hundred profiles, 4 mock drafts and several podcasts have taken their toll. Dave needs to give you an all expense paid vacation on Neville Island. lol.

  • John

    My guess is we pick Hopkins, Golladay or Reynolds later at WR. And we pick a TE later — maybe the guy from Toledo or Ashland. So that frees up on draft spot in round two and means one of the later picks needs to be different. I would keep Ebukam. Put CJ Beatherd as QB in Round 6.

  • blue

    Save the worst for last. Connor is the only pick worth drafting.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I agree with what you are saying with the 1st pick whether I like it or not but in the 2nd pick although the Steelers did bring in quite a few WR’s most of those guys where guys going in the 4-6 draft range and not 2nd round. Steelers are going more defense early on IMO.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    2017 Pittsburgh Steeler Shaggy Final Mock Draft
    1.Takkarist McKinley Edge Rusher UCLA- Not my favorite but he is athletic and gives AR2 the pressure guy he is looking for.
    2. Josh Jones S North Carolina St- We need a athletic ILB or a safety that can be like a ILB and Jones size gives us that in the 2nd
    3A. Cameron Sutton CB Tennessee- William Gay is about through and the need for a slot CB will be important and Sutton should be there in the 3rd
    3B. Brad Kaaya QB Miami(FLA)- The Staff hve had long looks at several QB’s and my feelings is Kaaya is one they like.
    4. Jourdan Lewis CB Michigan- Even with off field he has talent and can be had later in the draft at a position that needs good depth
    5. Samson Ebukam OLB/ILB Eastern Washington- The Steelers stay away mostly from these small school guys but Ebukam can perhaps put on a few hats
    6. Mack Hollins WR North Carolina- With no #2 WR on the team as of Sunday the Steelers are looking for a late round gem and with Hollins coming off a injury they could get him at a discount.
    7. Treyvon Hester DL Toledo- Mitchell likes athletic guys and he can turn a late round guy into a starter….we will see if he can do it again.

  • Gautama Om

    I really hope Watt is there at 30. I feel like we need to trade up a few spots using one of our 3rd rounders though…if he is still there at say 26th.

  • Shane Mitchell

    I like all the picks in the even rounds, odd rounds not so much, dare I say flip flopping the QB and OLB round selections would be better if we are drafting a QB at all in this draft. I would take Mahomes in the 1st and best OLB available in the 3rd over Brad Kaaya and TJ Watt any day, you get a potential franchise QB and an OLB that is not far from Watt. TJ Watt isnt that good, no need to force an OLB selection in the first round, we looked at so many so we have draft flexibility not because we were looking for the best one to draft round 1.

  • Jay Brenner

    Id shoot myself LOL.

  • SilverSteel

    Doesn’t seem to be hurting McCafrey’s stock.

  • SilverSteel

    That would be too good to be true. Seriously

  • Phil Brenneman II

    Shoot me first.

  • Darth Blount 47

    If we did all that AND grabbed a RB… that’s at least 4 Offensive guys. That’s way too many for my tastes in this draft.

  • Darth Blount 47

    What do you got in mind? Your money squarely on Watt, huh?

  • Darth Blount 47

    I agree, I’d much rather have McMillan than Anzalone. And I certainly can do without a QB.

  • T3xassteelers

    His stock is recently going super high

  • Terrible Towlie

    sooner? later?

  • Terrible Towlie

    run a 5-6 bring 5 at the qb and 6 left to cover at the most being 5

  • Rick Tilves

    I would not take Goodwin at 2. I would take Best CB available. Take Edge Rivers over Kaya in 3rd. Take Conner in 4th, because I don’t think he will be there at 5. Take best QB or ILB at 5. Just my opinion.

  • Bobby hains

    I say Watt an you

  • Steelgator

    For one thing, a 5+ visit position is functionally as likely to be addressed in the 3rd round as the 2nd according to your own data. Your analysis in no way suggests that WR will be taken before the 3rd as it shows the 3rd round is a very viable landing place for 5 visit positions.

    Second, your category is too broad. It would make no sense to expect the team to address a position in which they visited with 5 first rounders the same as one in which they’d visited 5 late rounders just because both positions had received 5 visits. There is a great deal to be inferred from which players they choose to visit with, and in this case it is that they probably don’t plan to seriously consider WR’s until the 3rd round at the earliest.

  • Darth Blount 47

    I say Watt doesn’t get to us. Likely goes to an earlier team than GB or then at the worst, 29th to GB. Top of my mock is still fluctuating. But if Dave runs the usual Mock Contest around here, you’ll get to see my picks. And if he doesn’t, I’m sure I’ll still get my mock on here somewhere.

  • will

    Never stated l disliked him……and……you did not answer my question.

  • Aj Gentile

    This is actually trash! Why waste the time?! I’m kidding but I’m not a huge fan of this draft but I get the reasoning on why you picked who you did. I feel like if T.J’s last name wasn’t Watt he wouldn’t have first round talk. Don’t like a WR in round 2 but since it’s Godwin it’s all ok