Kozora 2017 Steelers’ NFL Mock Draft – Version 5.0

I know we just did one last week but we’re reaching the point where we’re beginning to have an idea of who the Pittsburgh Steelers are actually interested in. With more news on visits, Pro Day trips, and dinners with the Steelers’ brass, the picture is never clear but it is clearer.

So we’re taking another dive into the team’s draft with a lean towards who the team has shown interest in and who fits their style.

If you missed my last mock, check it out at the link here.

Round One (30th Overall): Carl Lawson/OLB Auburn – 6’1/6 261

Though I just drooled over Jarrad Davis today, and you can’t discount cornerback – watch out for Clemson’s Cordrea Tankersley – Lawson is the name I can’t quit. There’s obvious interest in him and he’s an SEC kid at the team’s biggest need. He does carry some risk but still teeming with upside and that’s the type of guy the Steelers have gravitated towards.

Others Considered: CB Cordrea Tankersley, OLB T.J. Watt, ILB Jarrad Davis

Lawson Scouting Report

Round Two (62nd Overall): Cam Sutton/CB Tennessee – 5’11/2 188

Sutton’s lack of elite athleticism does worry me but the Steelers are in desperate need of a slot corner. And frankly, there aren’t a ton to choose from here in Round Two that are a logical fit for the team. Not much interest shown in Adoree’ Jackson – the name I gave them the last time – or Desmond King, who is a worse athlete and didn’t have Mike Tomlin or Kevin Colbert at his Pro Day (did the Steelers have any coach?). That’s why I go Sutton, who I do think is a better athlete than he tested and can play in the slot.

There is also potential for him to be a free safety, a theoretical replacement for Mike Mitchell whenever that is. Four year starter who has a better chance than most to see the field at some point in Year One. Tough position to learn though.

Others Considered: CB Quincy Wilson, CB Desmond King, S Marcus Maye 

Sutton Scouting Report

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

You know me giving this team a QB is not a thing that makes me happy; a lump of coal in the stocking, not the pony I always wanted. But the Steelers are holding up a megaphone to yell their interest in Kaaya. They met with him at the Combine, had Colbert at his Pro Day and met with Kaaya before his workout. I’m pretty confident the Steelers won’t draft a QB without Tomlin and/or Colbert watching them throw in person. Just feels like a requirement for someone they think could be their next franchise QB.

I still don’t know if he’s the best fit in this offense but hey, it doesn’t really matter what I think, does it?

Others Considered: CB Ahkello Witherspoon, RB Wayne Gallman, TE Jordan Leggett

Kaaya Scouting Report

Round Three (105th Overall): Rasul Douglas/CB West Virginia – 6’1/5 209

The Steelers need two cornerbacks; they really only need one outside linebacker. Sutton is their future in the slot, Douglas could be the future on the outside. He really seems to fit what the Steelers want even if his athletic profile is sub-par.

He’s tall, long (32 3/8 inch arms), with great hands/ball skills, picking off eight passes last year, just his second year playing Division One football. Carnell Lake was at his Pro Day. If he isn’t ready to start right away, that’s fine. Ross Cockrell can man the LCB spot and as the second third round pick, there isn’t as much an obligation to get him on the field immediately. Especially when Lawson definitely will contribute heavily and Sutton has a decent chance to.

Others Considered: RB Marlon Mack, DE Carlos Watkins, OLB Joe Mathis

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

I’ve had Anzalone rattling around in my head for awhile now and had him in my last mock draft, too. Sitting in that 4th to 5th round range, he’s a good athlete for how big he is, his run fits are strong, and though he missed a metric ton of time in his college career, he was there at the Senior Bowl and looked really good.

Have casually watched him on tape too because I’ve been watching basically every Florida game this side of Chris Leak over the last month, checking out Wilson, Davis, Maye, you get the idea, and he’s been impressive when the trainers weren’t peeling him off the field.

Others Considered: TE George Kittle, SS Rayshawn Jenkins, OLB Dawuane Smoot

Round Five (173rd Overall): Samaje Perine/RB Oklahoma – 5’10/5 233

Another popular pick of mine, Perine is back in this mock. Shouldn’t be any surprise the Steelers are going with a bigger back and Perine certainly fits the bill. Becomes the #2 behind Le’Veon Bell. Nothing wrong with taking a running back higher, I’d start thinking about it in the third, but the benefit of waiting a bit is the likelihood Bell is going to play 90% of the snaps in 2017.

Others Considered: OLB Carroll Phillips, TE Jonnu Smith, RB James Conner

Perine Scouting Report

Round Six (213th Overall): Michael Roberts/TE Toledo – 6’4/3 270

Waiting longer for a tight end than I’d like here but unless you’re not double-dipping at corner, a risky move in itself, one position is going to fall. This time, it’s tight end. Roberts isn’t the hyper-athlete I’ve mocked before, falling into the more conventional mold. Big, long blocker but an accomplished receiver a year ago, leading the NCAA with 16 touchdowns. James Daniel met with him at the Rockets’ Pro Day so there’s a connection element at play, too.

I’m losing out on my hybrid pick so the Steelers better choose Roberts and make me look good.

Others Considered: ILB/S Josh Harvey-Clemons, ILB/S Nate Gerry, NT DJ Jones

Round Seven (248th Overall): Javancy Jones/OLB Jackson State – 6’1 245

Could go in a million different directions for this final pick. I’ll go with one the Steelers have interest in, bringing Jones in for a visit, scheduled for sometime this week. He’s built low to the ground and was productive last year despite missing time to take care of his mom. It’s a late double-dip at OLB but a double-dip nonetheless.

Others Considered: ILB/S Paul Magloire Jr, WR Chad Williams, NT Tyson Fernandez 

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.

  • Michael James

    I’m beginning to get this very uneasy feeling that they will do something insanely stupid, like selecting Davis Webb in the first or Kaaya in the second.

  • Rye Stye

    No need to double up on CB in the first 4 picks. Won’t happen.

  • Aj Gentile

    I like it. Alex What do you think of the Tight End from Drake?

  • Doug

    Based on?

  • WreckIess

    I liked the last one a lot better lol. I’m not a fan over any of the mid rounders.

  • steelburg

    I like all the players. I just have a few in a little different order. But all in all when you look at the guys they have showed a nice amount of interest in all the guys you picked makes since IMO. My draft looks similar. I like Roberts in the 6th better and I like Jenkins in the 5th better so I am going to flip flop those 2.

    Rd1- Charles Harris, OLB, Missouri
    Rd2- Cordrea Tankersley, CB, Clemson
    Rd3 – Brad Kaaya, QB, Miami
    Rd3cp- Alex Anzalona, ILB, Florida
    Rd4- Marlon Mack, RB, USF
    Rd5- Rayshawn Jenkins, S, Miami
    Rd6- Michael Roberts, TE, Toledo
    Rd7- Javancy Jones, ILB, Jackson State

  • Bill Sechrengost

    Your selections are mirroring a lot of names that I’ve been looking at. I think Sutton has all of the abilities and experience the Steelers are going to want at that position. The only position you didn’t address that I was looking at was safety. I think they could use a little more depth there. Otherwise, I like your draft quite a bit, Alex.

  • CP72

    Good stuff Alex….when we will see the articles that show the players that fit the Steelers measurables based on past draft history?

    Those are a personal favorite of mine.

  • Eddie Cruz

    What are the chances we don’t draft a single defensive back?

  • CP72

    1. David Njoku TE
    2. Derek Rivers DE
    3a. Rasul Douglas CB
    3b. Brad Kaaya QB
    4. Samaje Perine RB
    5. Montae Nicholson S
    6. Mack Hollins WR
    7. William Likely III CB

  • Alex Kozora

    Zero.

  • Alex Kozora

    They’re mine too…waiting for Pro Days to get close to finishing up. But I’ve had the articles in a draft for awhile now.

  • Alex Kozora

    Right, considered S b/c of the interest they showed. Nothing really ever aligned.

  • Alex Kozora

    I haven’t seen him yet. I know others have said good things about him.

  • Alex Kozora

    Why not? No long-term depth on the outsie or in the slot?

  • Spencer Krick

    Just like the last one, I could get behind this. I’m liking Javancy more and more. The dude can play ST’s and I think he could potentially play inside as well as outside.

  • srdan

    I like it. I’m not high on the second round pick but i like the poistion a lot. If Maye was there I would prefer him and limp by this year wtih what we have(including the undervalued signing we had). Kaaya in the third would be good value, but Butler would even be better.

    Good mock overall, i can dig it!

  • Alex Kozora

    Any other slot corners you would go with, who would seem to make sense?

  • falconsaftey43

    Najee Murray, Kent State is a pretty darn good slot CB. Played inside in college, so should help him play there quickly in NFL. 5th roundish?

  • Brian Tollini

    Jumping on the Rasul train…you’re late, but glad you got on. Perine in the 5th would be great and although I agree with your thoughts on the QB situation, I believe Kaaya/Webb could even be our pick in the 2nd if the QB’s start coming of the board early (and they will).

  • Bill Sechrengost

    Rayshawn Jenkins, the safety from Miami instead of Douglas in the 4th would be the only change I would have made.

  • Brian Tollini

    Yes, need outside and slot depth, gotta double-dip there even more than OLB in my opinion.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    Alex, I just can’t get behind Lawson. This draft MUST return a legit starting edge guy on the right side. Lawson’s injury history scares me.

    For the same reason, I would have switched to select Mathis in the third. This is the year to double-dip within the first three rds.

  • steelburg

    I’m sold on a few things the team will do in this draft, I think they will draft a QB some where in the mid rounds, I think they will add a safety, and running back at some point in this draft. And I think they will add a corner who can play on the outside. Looking at the roster its easy to assume IMO that ILB is a need but they haven’t shown a ton of interest in the position like they have with the other positions. But I’m just about sold on them taking Kaaya or Webb in the 3rd. I know Bryant isn’t back yet but all the reports indicate he will be and I just can’t see another WR added when that happens. But the rest of your draft falls in line with the position groups I believe will be taken.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    You have 3 guys I am targeting in Lawson, Roberts and Anzalone so right there lets you know I’m on board. Not keen on Kaaya and not sure I like taking a QB in the 3rd but the evidence is there. I would love to get Kazee as a slot corner instead of Sutton but could live with Sutton and I do not mind Samaje and of course the last pick you mentioned Magloire as a other and would rather have him but that would be minor but I love Paul skill set.

  • Spencer Krick

    Maybe a S like Baker? I’m not sure if the Steelers have shown interest, but I think the only thing this draft is missing is someone to help in dime.

    Have the Steelers shown much interest in players who could help them play dime?

  • Alex Kozora

    Melifonwu.

  • Alex Kozora

    I was meaning in the earlier rounds moreso than overall.

  • Spencer Krick

    Right.

  • CP72

    I know you consider slot corner a must draft position. I think Gay has a year left in him. Sensabaugh is good depth. I’m also willing to give Golson one more year before I wipe my hands clean of him.

  • Alex Kozora

    Maybe someone like Josh Jones could do it.

  • Spencer Krick

    Think Maye could?

  • Aj Gentile

    I see OLB double dip is more important for this draft.

  • Alex Kozora

    I dunno, you heard Tomlin’s comments. They want to be able to play more man. I don’t think Gay – or even Sensabaugh, really – are going to help you better this year than last with that. And we all know Golson is a dart throw.

    It’s not just for this season but the long-term outlook. Slot corners are very tough to plug and play so drafting a year early has value.

  • steelburg

    I love Jenkins as a player I think he will be a huge steal in this draft.

  • Aj Gentile

    I believe he got praise during practice for the east west shrine game

  • Boots

    Do you like Sutton better than Kazee?

  • CP72

    I am super intrigued by Micheal Roberts from your draft. If Njoku is there though in the first that’s hard to pass on.

    Bell, AB, Bryant, and Njoku…whew good luck stopping that.

  • Spencer Krick

    Nevermind, I can answer this. He couldn’t.

  • Jeff Papiernik

    1. Obi Melifonwu, S
    2. Derek Rivers, OLB
    3a. Jourdan Lewis, CB
    3b. Duke Riley, ILB
    4. Jordan Leggett, TE
    5. Elijah McGuire, RB
    6. Jerod Evans, QB
    7. BPA

  • steelburg

    I have pulled back from taking TE that high but I know the team is all about value for the most part in round 1 and I could see them take Njoku if he is still on the board.

  • Alex Kozora

    Ha, agreed. Baker makes sense though.

  • Ray

    Not a chance Davis Webb goes in round 1. Don’t worry about that

  • CP72

    I want to like Charles Harris, but my god those combine #’s…..

  • Kevin Artis

    I don’t know the players but I’m happy you double-dip with OLB and CB. If we do that it will make my draft day a good one.

  • Brian Tollini

    The amount of time we spend in Nickel/Dime makes it a bigger need for me, where we will never have more than two OLB’s on the field.

  • Ni mo

    Lawson injury prone

  • Ni mo

    Terrel Basham

  • Ni mo

    Chad Kelly

  • Steve Johnson

    Please Don’t Say That. Sounds just like something STUPID Colbert would do though. No need to reach for a QB, they can find one in the 3rd or 4th Rd. One thing seems to be for sure though, they will select a QB.

  • Ni mo

    Obi melinfawu round 1 , adoree Jackson round 2 Terrel Basham round3 Sydney jones round 3 Duane smoot round 4

  • Michael James

    He absolutely shouldn’t go round 1, but there were several rumors that he will go much higher than most people think right now and that the Steelers are really interested.

  • Michael James

    Just a gut feeling.

  • Michael James

    Yeah, I really hope they don’t do it and maybe my fears are baseless, but it’s something I’m really afraid of.

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    Yeah I don’t see that (QB in the first THIS year).
    This is a GREAT mock which would be other-worldly if we:
    1. Took TE Leggett instead of QB in the 2nd, and
    2. Took Smoot in the 4th instead of Anzalone (NP with Anzalone but do we really need a LB who is MIA due to injury all the time?)

    Agree Lawson is probably their man in the first (although I could see them taking Obi there as well), and I think they will focus early on the SLOT CB position then double dip on another CB later on (second 3rd round pick perhaps). REALLY like the Petrine and Roberts picks – amazed that Roberts is t going higher but this is probably the best TE class I can remember.
    I would be pretty happy with this!

  • AnnoyedStudent

    Surely if Quincy Wilson is there in the second we jump at the chance?

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    Nahhh. Roberts is their man – a TE who is big, can block AND is a good receiver?
    How many times do you see THAT these days?
    No offense to your Drake guy or you but Roberts should be their TE pick.

  • Joseph Shaw

    I’m fine with pushing TE down the list. With JJ coming on and Green still theoretically in the mix, there’s really not as much roster space there than at other spots. We can take a flyer on a TE late and hope for the best.

    Otherwise, I love the draft. Like that we added some ILB depth. Thinking that another option would be to use that first pick on T.J. Watt, with the idea that he has some position flexibility and could play ILB in some schemes–and even rush up the middle that way. Then draft a pure OLB as well, see how it all shakes out. Can’t have too much talent at a key position.

    I’m coming to terms with Kaaya. I think you’re probably right, Alex–too much smoke for there not to be fire.

    No WR? That’s the only question mark, I think. I can’t imagine this draft going by without a single WR being taken. I know there’s only so many spots, but I think we learned last year that you can’t have too many WRs.

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    Oops. Just noticed that by taking Leggett instead of QB, we would be doubling up on TE!
    Plenty of other talent in the third to choose instead (ILB?).

  • Steve Johnson

    Why would you take a chance on a player in the 1st Rd that has a history of injuries? After Rd #1, which position (OLB or CB) do you think will have more depth left going into the 2nd Rd? I know that will eventually depend on who is selected in Rd 1. But do you think the Steelers will be able to find a decent CB at the end of Rd #2? Do you think the OLB class is deep enough to find a pass rusher at #60? History has shown that most teams go after DB’s midway through the 2nd Rd. With this draft being so deep with CB’s, wouldn’t it be smarter to pair one up with Artie Burns and Sean Davis? The secondary could be set for the next eight years.

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    Like this, ‘burg. EXCEPT the QB.
    Bad class for QBs – I think they go QB NEXT year.

  • steelburg

    The numbers is also what I have been struggling with, with him. I have been going back and forth on who to take and he is one of the most polished guys and that’s what draws me to him. If we took Rivers in round 1 would be good with that but I haven’t heard or seen anyone putting him in round 1. But Harris improved on some of them at his pro day. The 40 and bench press he did not do so they stayed the same.
    40 – 4.82
    Bench – 21reps
    Vertical – 37.5
    Broad jump- 9ft 10in
    3 cone – 7.05

  • Steve Johnson

    Too many quality and dependable WR’s that run good routes, hot routes and capable of catching the ball.

  • budabar

    And l. Jones at QB what a diapointment that could be

  • Doug

    Lol

  • RickM

    I have never seen Kaaya play. But from what IThey just can’t go from Ben Roethlisberger to a guy with a known lack of arm strength and accuracy (Kayaa). You need to make all the throws in the NFL and this guy simply can’t do it.

  • Joseph Shaw

    You mean on the roster? Or in the draft?

  • Ike Evans

    Kozora do u like davis over reuben foster? Im not sure they double dip at cb with sensabaugh on a 2 year

  • steelburg

    Im not a fan of taking the QB this year either but when AR2 says we need something everyone else makes sure it happens. Last year he said we needed a CB and in round 1 Burns was taken and was considered a reach by most, but AR2 put his foot down and I think the same will happen with the QB position this year. If they have to take a mid round guy I hope it’s Kaaya I see flashes of Matt Ryan in him and he is still really young. All that combined with the fact that Ben still hasn’t come out and said I am playing in 2017 all though it is assumed he will.

  • Carl Mendelius

    Lawson makes sense because he has a diverse set of pass rushing moves and production. I don’t like him due to his history of injuries. Sutton would be a very poor choice in a very talented CB group. Moreau, Witherspoon and Giriffin would be better choices by far. The pick I like is Perine, he is tremendously underrated and overshadowed by Mixon.

    This would be my 3-round draft for the Steelers next April:

    1. DE Malik McDowell (Could make en elite pass rushing DL rotating with Tuitt, Hayward and Hargrave keeping everybody fresh). Remember the Giants, they beat Brady twice because they could sack him without blitzing.

    2. CB Ahkello Witherspoon (Completely erased John Ross, very tall 6-3, fast 4.45). Needs to work on his tackling but he can cover anybody and fights for the ball with his height and long arms.

    3a. LB Ryan Anderson (Extremely solid, underrated, pass rushing LB with great pedigree in Alabama). He is much more consistent than his teammate Tim Williams who is the next Jarvis Jones.

    3b. RB Samaje Perine (Very powerful at 235 and capable of making good cuts, extremely underrated and overshadowed by Joe Mixon) He can make a great duo and complement to Lev Bell and share the load to increase his durability.

  • RickM

    From everything I’ve read, Kaaya would be a wasted pick. You called him the very definition of a statue in the pocket. He’s the antithesis of a younger Roethlisberger who easily moved around in the pocket to extend plays. And Kaaya can’t even throw a good deep ball and supposedly has a 38% completion rate from 11-20 yards. No Colbert, absolutely no.

  • Eddie Cruz

    I can’t believe that. I see the CB position as crowded as is. We have 3 guys imo competing for the nickel spot. Golsdon gay and sensabaugh. I think safety depth is more of a concern than CB. I’m not saying our CB’s are the best but I think the front seven needs more he

  • Jeff McNeill

    I love the mock drafts keep them coming!
    Round 1 Pick 30: Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
    Round 2 Pick 30: Derek Rivers, DE/OLB, Youngstown State
    Round 3 Pick 30: Jordan Leggett, TE, Clemson
    Round 3 Pick 41 (COMP): Sidney Jones, CB, Washington
    Round 4 Pick 28: Noah Brown, WR, Ohio State
    Round 5 Pick 29: Conor McDermott, OT, UCLA
    Round 6 Pick 29: Tashawn Bower, OLB, LSU
    Round 7 Pick 30: Trevor Knight, QB, Texas A&M

  • Alex Kozora

    Yell at him, not me, ha.

  • Alex Kozora

    To the point about Sutton, I’m looking at slot, you’re looking at outside. So we’re talking about two different positions. And I’m looking at guys the Steelers seemed to show interest in.

  • Alex Kozora

    I don’t – like Foster more. Unless we’re taking a trip to the doctor’s office. Then give me Davis.

  • Alex Kozora

    It’s all case by case basis. Short answer is yes, I would, but it depends on the injury history. Lawson coming back and playing – and playing well, mind you – in 2016 helps ease concerns.

  • Alex Kozora

    Yeah just couldn’t get WR to fit. No good position to take out.

  • Alex Kozora

    Possibly. Surely? That’s pushing it.

  • Alex Kozora

    You can address the front seven first and still get a CB, like I did in my mock. Tomlin has made it clear they gotta find a way to upgrade.

  • Alex Kozora

    No, on a personal level.

  • Joseph Shaw

    Steelers are going to find themselves in the same position–so many beautiful groceries on the shelf, only so much room in the cart. Something’s gotta give. But I really do hope we see double-dipping at LB and CB. And I’d be happy to toss out the QB for a WR, but I suspect the Steelers are committed to at least bringing in a developmental prospect. So maybe the TE pick is the one to go to WR instead.

  • Ni mo

    If he’s there at 30 Steelers will take him over Lawson

  • Jeff Peterson

    I don’t like Lawson – too many injuries. What’s interesting is some drafts have up to 4 QBs going in the first round. If that happened that would push down a lot of options that a lot of mocks have going higher- like peppers, harris, watt, and others.

  • AnnoyedStudent

    Ive seen him rated as one of the top 3 corner prospects this year. Do you not have him that high?

  • RickM

    I thought I did lol. This type of QB won’t succeed in today’s NFL. Landry had a similar criticism before we picked him, when the pocket collapsed he couldn’t improvise. If they are going to go with a QB, they have to select one with good pocket presence. I would rather they use their first-round pick as opposed to taking Kaaya – if those are my two options.

  • Ike Evans

    Hahahhahahahahhahaha yea i agree….theres this sense that davis is better then foster ive been reading lately….but i dont see it…..im thinkin its one of those things where teams are trying to lower reuben’s stock

  • Alex Kozora

    That sounds likely.

  • newguy68

    That would be a fantastic draft for the Steelers !!

  • Conserv_58

    Alex, It’s true that the Steelers need a real good slot corner, but that Corner mat already be on their roster in, Golson. I know that he’s been the invisible man for the past two years due to season ending injuries, but we still can’t count him out of the mix.

    As for taking Kaaya, with their first of two third round picks, Heck No! There is nothing about his game that translates to him becoming their next back up QB, let alone, their next franchise QB.

  • Conserv_58

    Uh, no it wouldn’t.

  • Conserv_58

    I agree that with the high likelyhood that Martavis returns along with the plethora of receivers they already have it would be a waste of a draft pick to take a WR.

  • Alex Kozora

    He might be but the Steelers can’t wait around any longer to find out. NFL train keeps on moving.

  • T3xassteelers

    Whoa… This mock is great. How’d Perine fall to 5 though?

  • Alex Kozora

    I do not.

  • Alex Kozora

    He’s in that 4th to 5th round range. I don’t think it’s that much of a stretch, even if it is one at all.

  • Conserv_58

    I’d allow room for them taking a safety at some point because they are thin at that spot. I no longer consider Shamarko Thomas as an option at safety.

  • T3xassteelers

    I guess that’s true, I’ve just seen him go in the 3rd so often I kinda had this thought he’d be around there and not late 5th.. But heck, if we got him there, that’s a win!!!

  • Joseph Shaw

    Note the comments on Cam Sutton at 2. He might have a future at safety. And I agree–another position it might be interesting to consider for the future. But there’s always next year…

  • Conserv_58

    Sure they can because they can’t afford to waste a valuable pick on Landry Jones 2.0. If you load that train up with garbage sooner than later that garbage has to get unloaded which makes using a valuable third round pick on him a waste.

  • Conserv_58

    They also need to be slot corners that are very good in man coverage.

  • Alex Kozora

    You don’t think Sutton is?

  • Alex Kozora

    Has anyone considered it for the past two years?

  • Gregg

    Great detective work Alex! Picking at 30, I’m concerned that this will not be a memorable draft for them.

  • Ike Evans

    I actually sat down and did a big board last night (couldn’t sleep) fellas, i do not think some of these guys are going as high as we think. Of course there will be reaches (i think at offensive line mostly) but for the most part ive underestimated the depth of this draft more then i thought. My entire thought process has changed.

    1. Obi
    2. Lawson
    3. Rivers
    3. Leggett
    4. Rasul douglas
    5. Brad kaaya
    6. Jamal williams
    7. Javancy

    Shortened version i gotta run but you guys know who talkin about at this point

  • dennisdoubleday

    Is Perine’s stock dropping? People started out mocking with the Comp 3rd or 4th at the worst.

  • Ed Smith

    LOVE this draft, would be beyond ecstatic if this is how it played out (although have to say can’t see Lawson or Rivers falling to us in those respective rounds). Really liking the Douglas kid the more see of him. Could be good value in 4th.

  • dillon degroot

    Sutton is such a terrible fit for the Steelers…The Steelers’ slot corner needs to be able and willing to help in run support, Sutton plays scared against the run. They would be much better off with Kazee in the slot.

  • Sam Clonch

    I wouldn’t be worried. Colbert has done pretty well drafting that late. Cam Heyward-32nd pick, Heath Miller-30th pick, Kendall Simons-30th pick, Santonio Holmes-moved up from #32 to 25. Polamalu-moved up from #27 to 16. If we could take away Ziggy Hood at #32, he’d be amazing!

  • Ray Powell

    I wouldn’t be too unhappy with this, maybe I’d have gone with Wilson in the second round and I’d be pleasantly surprised if Douglas, Anzalone and Perine are still available at these slots, but as a projection I rather like it!

  • Rye Stye

    Cockrell, Burns, Gay and Golson is the first reason why. The other is that this is the Steelers and they don’t traditionally focus on this position unless absolutely required (the last two years) and they have other interests this year. We’ll see who is right on draft day.

  • harding36

    Cockrell and Gay suck and Golson has never even played a preseason snap. I would actually go further than what even Alex did Andy take a corner in the first and third. I actually think you could justify first four picks being two corners and two olb’s.

  • Alan Tman

    Great job Alex!! I agree about Sutton though, so I would trade down and get John Johnson later. Great draft.

  • capehouse

    Going QB in rd 2 is not insane. It might not be what you want to do, but QBs go higher than they should, so if they want one they’re gonna have to pull the trigger early. Give me an Edge in rd 1 and I could care less what happens after that. Expecting Kaaya to last until the 94th pick might be more insane.

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    So these are the picks you believe the Steelers will select based off visits and interest? I really wish you do a mock based off who you want them to select personally being that you have the inside source and hope that they don’t draft a qb this yr (same here) so who exactly would gm kazora if had the chance

  • Ni mo

    What y’all think about Tre’davious white

  • Ni mo

    Replace layaa with Kelly

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    I would draft
    2 olb
    2cb
    1rb
    1ilb
    1TE
    1wr/s
    BUT NOT necessarily in that order

  • Kenneth Wilt

    I honestly don’t understand the Lawson love. I think his injury history makes him a 2nd round prospect.

    In addition, after watching his tape, Rivers to me is just not that impressive either.

    I like Obi, but don’t see him as that much different than the kid from NC State which you can get later.

    I like the mock at least the positions. I like Anzalone. I like Roberts. I like Davis Webb better than Kaaya. I think you have pretty much gone the same positions I see us taking. QB, RB, and TE on O with maybe a WR as well. OLB, S, CB, and either DL or ILB on D.

    I am excited, cause I expect a great draft.

  • CP72

    Dude we’re not taking Chad Kelly.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    This is probably the best mock I’ve seen so far and I back 100%.

  • GoSteelerz

    Not a big fan of Sutton. Especially if you draft him to play the slot in our defense. The slot CB needs to be good against the run. I thought Sutton looked pretty bad against the run, making him a poor fit for our slot CB and a poor fit at safety if we considered him there too. I’m ok with the rest of the picks, not that I want us to necessarily draft a CB this year, but we could certainly do worse than Kaaya, so I can live with that.

  • Voice O’ Reason

    I agree about Lawson. I wouldn’t exactly hate the pick. He’s a good player in the SEC, but I see injury risk and a lack of explosiveness when I watch his tape.

  • Josh Gustad

    I’m happy you didn’t go with Tankersley in the 1st. I like Lawson so much more.

  • RickM

    I was reading Anzalone’s Pro Football Focus scouting report. In addition to being off the field a lot, they say he is ranked 240th of FBS ILB’s in tackling efficiency, and in coverage he gave up 18 completions in 24 coverages, with one knockdown. Add to this, he only played 577 snaps total because of all the injuries.

    I apologize for the blunt question Alex. But are you sure you’re not letting a good week of Senior Bowl practice sway you a little too much? Or, is PFF all wet (as they have been from time to time).

  • Voice O’ Reason

    I wonder how fast a riot would break out if we took Maholmes in the 1st instead of an OLB or CB/S.

  • Josh Gustad

    I know Javanacy played at Jackson State, but dude is a beast.

  • Jim Foles

    Peterman is the guy with the arm and can take the hits.. Peterman in the third.

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  • PaeperCup

    I don’t love this draft, but I see it as very possible. The Steelers showed great interest in Lawson. They need both inside and outside CBs. They need RB depth. They absolutely are saying they will draft a QB. They want a TE for insurance, but don’t want to use a high pick on one since they have faith in Green. They need someone who can plug in at ILB to help Williams with Timmons gone.

    Not a big Lawson fan, but the 2 CBs, RB, and ILB I have mocked to them before and like. I’ve also considered Roberts greatly, but always hoped they’d pick one earlier. As far as LATE round TEs he’s got pretty good value.

  • PaeperCup

    1. TE Njoku
    2. TE Gereald Everett
    3. TE Adam Shaheen
    3. TE George Kittle
    4. CB Rasul Douglas
    5. TE Jeremy Sprinkle
    6. TE Jonuu Smith
    7. TE Cole Hikutini

    You know, because we need help at outside CB

  • Not getting caught up in the names, as they are all reasonable and nicely ranked, I would rather have a safety/hybrid guy than a second CB. By the way do you know if you got the spreadsheet I sent to you guys by email last week?
    Thanks,
    James

  • Steel SonofFarmer

    Not a big fan of the QB pick, plus I think we need to go more defense than offense.
    My mock draft is as follow but I dont know how realistic is it but i think it should work out.
    Please let me know how wrong I am.(hahaha)

    Round 1:30 Reddick (hoping) or OBI
    Round 2:62 Lawson (if he drops that far) or Basham
    Round 3:94 Leggett or Rasul Douglas
    Round 3:105 Derek Rivers orJordan Willis or Sidney Jones (ANYone WHO IS AVAILABLE)
    Round 4:135 Duwane Smoot or Dede Westbrook
    Round 5:173 James Connor
    Round 6:213 Jadar Johnson or Josh Harvey-Clemson
    Round 7:248 Chris Odom

  • The Truth

    I personally don’t want any of the QBs taken in the first 4 rounds.

  • LucasY59

    april fools was a couple days ago

  • LucasY59

    would need to use the 1st rd pick to get him, and I think there will be a better BPA at #30

  • Alex Kozora

    I promise I have no inside source, ha.

  • Alex Kozora

    You’re just naming starters…and Golson, who Colbert admitted you can’t trust.

  • Alex Kozora

    I’m talking about Golson and slot corner, not a QB.

  • Alex Kozora

    Thanks man.

  • Alex Kozora

    Well I admit I have to go through his tape with a fine tooth comb. Maybe my opinion changes. PFF can be important but it’s as subjective as anyone.

  • LucasY59

    I tried to revise my top 100 from around/pre-combine and couldnt decide on the last 50, there are so many good players that about 50 guys get left out that have legit reasons to be in a top 100 list, even without sleep it is a lot of work, but I could see a scenario where the top 5 guys make it to those picks (and I would be pretty happy with it)

  • Ni mo

    I doubt if he last to 30 but I like him

  • Ni mo

    My name is not dude

  • Ni mo

    My name is not dude ,this whole qb class is weak

  • pittsburghjoe

    That was great!

  • RickM

    I do definitely tend to rely on your tape analysis the most. I know there is great debate about the OLB position, but you’ve analyzed everything and you know what happened with Jarvis. You keep coming back to Lawson, so that’s the guy I hope they get. If you’re wrong you’re wrong, it happens.

    With Anzalone, there just seem some questions about his play even when healthy. Thanks for the response.

  • Andrew

    My Dream Draft:
    1. Obi-S
    2. Rivers-OLB
    3. Sutton-CB
    3. Butt-TE
    4. Conner-RB
    5. Griffin-CB
    6. Dobbs-QB
    7. OLB/ILB/BPA

  • Carl Mendelius

    1. DE Malik McDowell, lets have an elite pass rushing DL to get Brady like the Giants did.
    2. CB Ahkello Witherspoon, can cover anybody and fights for the ball really good.
    3a. LB Ryan Anderson, as fundamentally solid as they come and can rush the QB with technique more than athleticism.
    3b. RB Samaje Perine, lets have again a punisher RB who can share the load with Bell.

  • LucasY59

    I think 4th or 5th is accurate, will depend on if there is a run on RBs, I dont think more than 5 get picked int the top 2 rds, and then there might be a few rds where one or none (per rd) get picked until the 4-5th (where the run could happen and there could be 5-6 picked in a rd) so if there are still 5(ish) RBs they like available at the 4th pick, I could see them waiting until the 5th

    there is decent talent depth at the position so I dont think teams will be in a rush to get a RB after the first wave of top talent is gone, and there is talent at other positions that could put the RB picks on pause as well

  • Voice O’ Reason

    It would be pretty shocking if McDowell was there at 30. I’d definitely welcome him though.

  • LucasY59

    the similarities between Kaaya and Landry are what scare me, I dont want them to pick him (just like I didnt want them to pick Jones) but I could see them doing it, just think it will be the 3rd comp instead of the original 3rd (again similar to Landry where they had the earlier pick in the rd, and then picked a QB because they “needed” to)

  • Darth Blount 47

    Ah yes, the Darth Blount advocated “Double-Double-Dip.” Good form, Sir. Good form.

    May I simply make an observation about the CB selections? It kinda feels to me like you are throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping and praying that some will stick. You seem to have a few guys that you really like, yet want to revert back to a formulaic approach to mocking others to us. Which is totally fine, I get that this isn’t the Kozora Steelers. I won’t spend a bunch of time tearing at the totality of the picks, since I ADORE the D-D-Dip at OLB and CB. And the inclusion of ILB to the overall cake mix as well. Perine is a fine choice, as long as he proves he can catch the ball. I’ve already mentioned my reservations about Anzalone previously, and you echoed that appropriately above yourself. And no need for me to touch on Kaaya.

    I will just add, that I don’t prefer the flavor of either Douglas or Sutton. Douglas had a pretty bad Combine IMO throughout. Ran some of the slower times, His Broad and 3-Cone among the worst at his position. Vert is very average. And I thought he battled catching the ball, which was perhaps odd for him.

    Sutton had tied for the 2nd shortest arm length out of the 60 DB’s who participated at the Combine. He has small hands. (Carnies, circus folk, nomads you know, smell like cabbage… small hands.)
    He’s very slight and slender, lacks strength (11 reps on the BP is average) and yes, not overly athletic. His Broad also not being great, and his 3-cone was slightly better than Douglas. Besides the measured, I kinda just have the feeling that he is an average sort of player, who I don’t think is worth a 2nd round pick. But that’s just me.

    Overall, I thought it was a good effort. We may have differing ideas on the players chosen, but I can’t tell you enough how much I enjoy the 2 OLB’s, 2 CB’s (One In and one Out) And the ILB addition. Getting a RB and TE is also probably quite prudent.

  • LucasY59

    I think both Florida CBs are slipping, and both will be 2nd rd picks instead of 1st rdrs

  • Voice O’ Reason

    This might be my favorite mock yet from top to bottom. One comment is we might be able to get Connor in the 5th. It doesn’t matter as much w/ a power back, but his 40 time is REALLY slow. Plus, there’s the obvious risk involved w/ his health history. I’m a big fan though, and I’m sure the Steelers love him. I’ve been calling that pick since he was diagnosed.

  • LucasY59

    I think Baker would play Dime and I like him better than Sutton in the 2nd (especially if they see Cam as more of a FS in the future) Budda can play the deep safety in dime and Mitchell could play near the LOS

    I would even take Melifonwu in the 1st and then follow up with Baker, because I could see both getting a lot of sub package snaps (Budda as the slot/nickel guy, and Obi as the S/LB hybrid Dime guy, plus both of last yrs starting safeties and outside CBs, add Shazier and the back 7 of the D has a lot of Speed!)

  • Darth Blount 47

    Preach!

  • LucasY59

    are you arguing against yourself? a Safety is considered a DB as well, I might getting picky about your wording, but I agree with Alex, I could see them taking 3 DBs a slot corner, a outside corner, and a Safety (that would preferably be able to play in a Dime package)

    I also think this will be a Defensive heavy draft class for the Steelers and they will make a couple picks to help the front 7 (as well as the Secondary picks)

  • Darth Blount 47

    The Douglas train is slow enough that he could walk up onto it. 😉

  • Voice O’ Reason

    I like Sutton, but also think Jourdan Lewis would be the best fit for our slot CB (2nd round). Kazee or Corn Elder in rounds 3-4 would make me pretty ecstatic too.

  • Darth Blount 47

    And he shouldn’t. Though both guys measured out to close to the same level, Kazee has some of the best hands. And should be available later in the draft. Why pay up for Sutton?

  • Darth Blount 47

    Bingo. Bango. Bongo.

  • LucasY59

    usually the only announcement from a player that is under contract for the following season is a retirement announcement, and those usually happen at the end of the season before the beginning of the league yr (so the teams can do things to replace a player they had previously planned on being part of the team, needs to happen before FA starts, and definitely more than a month before the draft) Ben doesnt need to announce he is going to play (and like I said waiting till now to retire would be a D**k move by Ben)

  • Steeldog22

    Agreed. Would probably take Josh Jones and either a Leggett or a Butt with the 3rd round picks. Green will not be available. I don’t think he plays at all this year. No QB this year. They’re just honing their chops for future drafts.

  • LucasY59

    Gay is not a long term player, he might not even play much this yr if Sensabaugh was worth signing or Golson finally plays, Cockrell is also a FA after this season, so the only long term guy they can count on to be a long term guy is Burns

  • Darth Blount 47

    I tried to like this multiple times but it stopped me after just the one.. 🙁

  • Darth Blount 47

    I like White quite a bit myself.

  • Sam Clonch

    Anyone else think they may just be doing a “test-run” before drafting a QB? Figuring out what they’d ask, what they’d evaluate, what’s important and what’s not. Then they can watch everyone next year and try to judge if they were looking at the right things, if there’s anything they would do differently as they see the QBs they might have drafted.

    Then next year when they’re ACTUALLY ready to pull the trigger, they’ll feel like they aren’t just “winging” the process. It seems smart to me to do something like that. That’s the kind of advice I received when I was looking to get into day trading. “Practice with fake money until you know what you’re doing. Then go live.”

  • LucasY59

    haha, just make sure you click an odd number of times …or else it will take away your upvote

  • Darth Blount 47

    The guy was held together by duct tape and prayers, I’m telling ya.

  • Alex Kozora

    Does the fact Lawson returned in 2016 help calm those fears? It does for me.

  • Darth Blount 47

    Rivers and Willis will be long gone, but Sidney Jones as a draft and stash in the 3rd is certainly probably possible. Lawson likely won’t fall to 62, but if he did, you have the makings of a pretty darn good draft up there.

  • Alex Kozora

    Sure, there are definitely fair question marks about him. Totally understand. Lawson is one of many guys you could talk about – he’s just the one who makes the most sense right now. We shouldn’t forget about Watt or even Takk, even if I don’t really like the latter.

  • LucasY59

    Conner is only a 0.05 slower than Bell was, I think if James cuts about 10lbs like LeV did he could get a little quicker as well, his time isnt fast, but it isnt REALLY slow

  • Darth Blount 47

    Measure twice… cut once.

  • stan

    I don’t understand why slot corner would be a desperate need. Gay is an ideal player there and he played better than our outside corners. If we’re drafting a corner, its to replace Cockrell in the line-up, not Gay.
    I also think the Steelers really need to draft a developmental QB this year, not only because he’ll probably be better than Landry from the start but because we need to start preparing for the day when Ben actually does quit.

  • LucasY59

    Gay might not even be on the team next season

  • Brian Tollini

    I thought it was actually moving backwards at one time

  • capehouse

    Yeah because Colbert does so many stupid things. Ok

  • NW86

    THIS.

    How many SB’s have the Steelers won with Colbert? How many draft busts have they had (I’m talking true busts, out of the league in 2 years like many teams have)?

  • Ni mo

    Did you see gay get beat like a from all year

  • stan

    PFF gave him the highest rating of his career, probably because he was finally able to do what he’s always done best: play the slot. Twelve months ago he was a must-sign and he has the best year of his career, so why on earth would we cut him or reduce his role?

  • Alex Kozora

    Well it is tough to find a slot CB….and the domestic charge Jourdan Lewis has certainly made me change plans. I usually one decide to do a mock when I have something new to add to it so yeah, each one is going to look kinda difference.

    And you’re right, this is me trying to lean to what the Steelers are going to do since Pro Days are wrapping up and we’re getting a better gauge of interest. That’s one reason for Sutton.

    I get the issue with the way Douglas tested but they definitely want a big corner, they want someone who can be a playmaker – he certainly is – and they had enough interest to send Lake out.

  • NW86

    I agree with Rye Stye. I was with you up until the Douglas pick. We might have some question marks in long-term depth but that doesn’t require 2 picks in the first 3 rounds. Sensabaugh is one depth CB, your 1st pick is another.

    Also, picking two CB’s means you’re probably cutting THREE of the current 6 CB’s: Burns, Cockrell, Gay, Sensabaugh, Golson, and Shabazz.

  • Jay Hallauer

    Alex as always i enjoy reading your articles. My question though is how far do you have desmond king and cam sutton graded? I havent seen much of sutton but have a quite a bit of king. I like king more but that may be bias. If the players are available in the 3rd round you have listed i really hope there is no qb selected. How much when doing ur mocks do u take into play how the steeles have been selecting underclassmen in the 1st which lawson and watt are?

  • Jay Hallauer

    Prayin we dont take a qb this draft. Would rather it happen next year when there is more quality and depth

  • Alex Kozora

    It isn’t just about the short-term health but the long-term health of the team.

  • Alex Kozora

    Well I’ve done the reports on both so I think my thoughts are out there. Sutton is the better man cover corner and King is more physical and better against the run. It’s a flavor kind of thing. Personally, yeah, I like King more.

    I tried to describe where I was leaning to a pick because the team showed interest and it makes sense. Generally, this mock reflects that.

  • LucasY59

    I was hoping for a different thought process look to this mock, but instead it upped the ante on last weeks mock of following a Steelers pattern and I get cluing in on who / what the Steelers seem interested in, but I was really hoping for a mock where players are taken because they are the best available (and might not fit the standard need/”what the Steelers look for”) even a personal favs mock would be good, I know some will blast it (especially if it ends up being wrong, which is ridiculous for a mock since all of it is just a guess (some more educated than others) but IMO would be interesting regardless of how “correct” it is)

    a final mock where it is totally a “what will happen” prediction is good, but doing so before they have all the player visits and pro days done is just updating what we already know, without the final product where we will already know all of that

    I think the first 4 picks are reaching for need (but could see the Steelers doing so, even if I think it is a bad idea) the mid rds are good value (even if a LB with bad shoulders scares me) and the last pick will always be somewhat of a wild guess

  • Alex Kozora

    Yes Lucas, I know, that one will happen towards the end.

  • Steel SonofFarmer

    Aren’t they are projected 3rd round picks?? I might take them in 94th pick if one of them will be available. Thought about Basham?? Steelers love to draft from Ohio State so thinking that he will be a great option. Any player that you dont like here???

  • Andrew

    I agree Conner is a bit of a “reach” in the 4th, but I feel like he won’t make it to us in the 5th. He’s my preferred day three RB, and he still presents good value in the 4th (he isn’t going to get a lot of carries anyway). My biggest hope is that Shaneen (TE from Ashland) falls to the third and we get him over Butt.

  • Michael James

    Sorry, taking a QB in round two is one thing, but completely overdrafting someone like Kaaya is another thing. I just don’t rate this QB class at all. When I look at this class, the 2013 QB class comes in my mind and if you look back, you wouldn’t take any QB out of this class earlier than round 4 at best.

  • Jay Hallauer

    Appreciate the feedback. I think either way we’re getting some good players in the first 3rds.

  • Darth Blount 47

    Yeah, Lake leaving the witness protection program to head to the hills of Appalachia was certainly interesting. The best thing Douglas has going for him is his size. You didn’t overpay for him at the Comp pick. But he isn’t the best of value right there either.

    We are agreed, this slot CB hunt is proving difficult. But it IS out there. But where and when to invest? I think like you, I’m totally fine paying up for the right guy.

    And hey Alex, never forget I’m a fan. I’m sometimes critical because I care. 🙂 Your contributions are extremely appreciated.

  • Michael James

    I don’t want any of them either, but judging by the teams comments and actions we have to prepare ourselves…

  • Darth Blount 47

    I think it is pretty accepted that both Rivers and Willis are viewed as 2nd round picks, with the possibility of sneaking up into the 1st. I just saw a mock the other day that had Willis going late in the 1st. Not sure I’ve ever seen Rivers do that, to be fair.

    Basham went to Ohio, not Ohio State, lol, so that removes him from the contractual obligation that we know doubt have about having to pick a Buckeye.
    The best part about Basham is that he is flying under the radar and he can be had later than others, I think. I like the kid, but don’t love him. But I’m not against making him a part of a double-dip at OLB.

    As far as players I don’t prefer, I’m not a fan of Rasul Douglas. I have my reservations about Lawson, although again, I’m not anti-Lawson since he will likely be a pretty good rusher, I’m just concerned about his medical and his proficiency with dropping into coverage. Anybody in the 7th is fine with me. And I adore both Obi and Reddick up front. Those are 2 of my favorite players in the draft. I also think Connor in the 5th is good and an even better feel good/hometown story.

  • Boots

    I live two hours south of Gainseville so I see UF play way more than somebody whose parents aren’t blood relatives should have to, but when he was healthy he was all over the field making plays. If he checks out medically getting him in the fifth could be a steal!

  • Steel City Slim

    Javancy Jones seems like he’ll project more to ILB than OLB.

  • LucasY59

    because he is the oldest CB and they just signed a guy who could replace him as well, even if he makes it to the next season, that will be his final yr of the contract so if they can get a guy for the future it would be a good idea (and as much as I like Will, him having a career yr doesn’t say much, plus I disagree with PFF)

  • Boots

    I didn’t think so. It’ll be interesting to see how the first rd shakes out because right now I’m thinking maybe going outside CB first, edge second, and Kazee as the nickel even if its maybe a round before he’s projected.

  • Boots

    I agree plus Kazee is more physical and I believe has better instincts

  • LucasY59

    but my point is to break up the same thing over and over monotony, and Im not sure If what I am saying is coming across correctly (maybe these are your personal favs since I think Lawson would be on that list even if you didnt think the Steelers were going to pick him)

    I guess conditioning the readers to what the team will do is probably a good idea, might lessen the overreactions to some picks, but there will always be plenty of people that disagree with the pick, even some of us that should know better

  • stan

    That’s exactly why we need a developmental QB. The long-term health is what I’m thinking of.

  • RickM

    I agree. I don’t know why Colbert is attracted to these kind of guys.

  • kev4heels

    I would be looking at a TE in rd 3 instead of 6. However, good draft Alex. It’s exactly what you would expect the Steelers to do.

  • RickM

    His getting medically checked out in the off-season though is irrevlevant. He keeps getting hurt on the playing field. Four seasons with 2 games, 6 games, 2 games, and 8 games. I wish I felt he would suddenly become more durable in the NFL, but there’s no reason to believe that. I appreciate that you like him, but almost inevitably when you draft that type of repetitive injury player, you lose in the end.

  • Applebite

    Eric Saubert is nice as a project to develop…

  • Applebite

    Only real beef I have is Perine in the 5th…I just don’t see that happening.I think he goes much sooner.

  • Spencer Krick

    Who would be your round 3 Edge?

  • LucasY59

    agree on the thought process of taking a RB in the 4th (even if it is a rd early) and making sure they get the player they want (in the 4th rd and later they can pick players based on need a bit more, and reaching isnt as big of a deal) if they were reaching earlier it would be a problem because they could be passing up more talented player, but the mid rds are for filling specific needs and getting a player they think will make the roster is more important than adding a RB should be a priority, waiting another rd could result on settling for a player they dont like as much, and is probably worse than reaching

  • stan

    Gay is signed through 2018, not 2017, and I thought he had a very good year. I’m glad he’s not on the outside anymore because I think he’s lost a step and I don’t want him covering deep routes, but he’s the best slot man on the team right now and he’s much better than Sensabaugh.

  • LucasY59

    thats what I mean the following season is the next season (I dont think he will be cut this season, but anything after that is pretty uncertain) he lost playing time/starter spot to a developmental rookie and the lost step was noticeable as a slot as well, Im not big on Sensabaugh, but still think the team is looking for ways to replace Gay (and the Draft is the best way to do so)

  • Lee Foo Young

    I’m not denigrating your mock (maybe I’m mocking your mock?), but I’ll bet a six pack that the Steelers draft none of these players. Just a hunch, but I have rarely seen anybody’s published Steeler mock draft hit on more than one player and rarer still get round AND player correct.

    Which is why I mock mock drafts. 😎

    Feel three to throw bottle caps at me now.🌝

  • LucasY59

    I think Basham will still be available (and a 2nd rd guy could fall to the 3rd) and they could double up with Mathis or Price in rd 5-6, it is not the ideal way to fill the biggest need, but I think the two early guys they would get would help a lot with some of the other issues on the D, better coverage, better tackling, better speed, and more versatility, and getting the OLBs later could turn out to be just as good, I think the top tier pass rusher talent is shallow (the guys that will be picked before the Steelers are on the clock in the 1st) but the 2nd tier pass rushers have a deep enough talent pool that they could get a similar player with the 1st, 2nd or 3rd pick (if that makes sense?) so them waiting till the 3rd isnt that bad

  • J Jones

    I respect all the work u put into this stuff Alex and i know its impossible to forecast.

  • Boots

    When I responded to your post it was more in reference to asking Alex if he was letting the senior bowl cloud his judgement and bc I say pff to most of what PFF has to say not bc I personally like Anzalone that much. Admittedly I did a poor job of making that point clear.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    Did I mention I like Michael Roberts TE Toledo a whole lot?

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    Lol if you say so but I meant because of your player profiles and highlights that you lets just say “stumbled ” upon and put together

  • Riverstko

    I had three picks correct on my last year mock draft, Burns, Davis, Matakevich.

  • pittsburghjoe

    Then I hope you are not picking a QB in rounds 1-4!

  • pittsburghjoe

    I hope they are playing poker and bluffing.

  • Riverstko

    Anderson will be gone in the 1st or mid 2nd. Sounds sexy though lol

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    Are either throwing the 21 fake out so that teams think we’re going to draft a certain qb then try to beat us to him like the jets did with revis chargers did with rivers

  • Riverstko

    He is good but they would have to pick him in the 1st, and I don’t see them drafting a corner in the 1st round back to back drafts.

  • capehouse

    I couldn’t disagree more with that assessment. There’s not a sure thing franchise QB at the top of the draft but the top 7 QBs have a lot of talent. Much better class than 2013 that had only one 1st rd pick and one 2nd rd pick. This year you could see four 1st rd picks and two 2nd rd picks.

  • Andrew

    That’s what this draft has to be. Use it to our advantage. Why reach on a QB in the first when we can get secondary or OLB help. If we fill those holes this year, we can get a QB early next year.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    Im winning that hundo this year.

  • Joseph Shaw

    Respectfully disagree. There will be injuries, even if Bryant and Coates are back and play to their abilities. I’d rather have a tough cut at the position. Ayers and Hamilton are marginal.

  • MC

    I would love it if they are actually doing this. I want defense with the first three picks again this draft!

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    Cold Blooded!

  • Steeldog22

    This is my favorite.

  • Tony Hull

    Alex, this might be the best mock you or Dave has ever done. Has my ideal mix of positions (2 EDGE/2 DB/TE/RB/QB/ILB) and my favorite players for the round. Love that you got one slot CB and one Outside CB, although I think I would be ok with a safety in place of a corner.
    As for QB, while I don’t get why KC & Co. feel need to draft one this year, IF they do I like Kaaya or Webb in 3rd.

  • Darth Blount 47

    Haha. I have a lot of family from West Virginia. We’re always toughest on those that are closest to us. 🙂

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    I feel you! Ive been hooked after that Compilation video! #nolie

  • Alex Kozora

    What they team is looking like what they will do – and talking about that – is more important than who I like, though. Because we’ll just go circles about what guys we like and which we don’t. That’s why I lean the way I am.

  • J Jones

    Im not big on mocks but messing around on fanspeak and im convinced that we can find a talented qb and get crazy athletic on d. NE exposed our lack of athleticism on that side of the ball, and the ravens are always looking to get faster.
    30: R1P30
    QB PATRICK MAHOMES II
    TEXAS TECH
    62: R2P30
    CB AHKELLO WITHERSPOON
    COLORADO
    94: R3P30
    S MARCUS WILLIAMS
    UTAH
    105: R3P41
    EDGE DAESHON HALL
    TEXAS A&M
    135: R4P28
    CB BRIAN ALLEN
    UTAH
    173: R5P29
    RB AARON JONES
    TEXAS-EL PASO
    213: R6P29
    WR ROBERT DAVIS
    GEORGIA STATE
    248: R7P30
    LB HARDY NICKERSON
    ILLINOIS

  • J Jones

    Cb is so deep we gotta double dip imho

  • J Jones

    This is the deepest, most athletic group of corners that ive seen. Why not get 2 possible studs. NE is not afraid of gay or cockrell. Just thinking longterm

  • Alex Kozora

    It means you’re cutting two. Shabazz…I think I’ll survive. So it comes down to Golson vs Gay. If Golson plays really well (total dart throw), Gay becomes expendable. If Golson struggles, he becomes expendable and we can finally move on. Simple equation.

  • LucasY59

    yep I get it, I was just hoping for something a little different to add to what we talk about as well, but totally understand where you are coming from and If I criticize its just me disagreeing with what the Steelers will/should do, not a personal criticism of your mock, I think you do a great job of trying to show what the Steelers traditionally do when picking in the draft, and trying to find the guys that fit those things best has a lot of value

  • dillon degroot

    Mahomes is a big project for a first round pick..Pass on Patrick “boom or bust” Mahomes

    Witherspoon refuses to help in run support…pass

    Marcus Williams won’t be there in the third.

    Daeshon Hall as the first pass rusher taken is terrible..The Steelers need someone who can step in and make an impact day 1…Hall won’t do that

    Brian Allen won’t make the team….At best he makes the practice squad..

  • David Dulaney

    Mahomes in Rd. 1 is sheer insanity.

  • J Jones

    No. Going into a season with just a qb who is not only on the decline, but hasnt even dedicated himself to the organization for this upcoming season is insane. Mahomes at the end of the 1st seems to be a strong possibility for someone. May wanna cozy up to the idea, if hes there at 30 i think we would take him.

  • David Dulaney

    Zero chance. None.

  • J Jones

    Lol ok, but maybe other player options would be cool. Too easy just to say no, no, no….feel me? Thats not real feedback, which is why i posted it

  • Brendan

    There are a lot of injury prone guys on this list. Why no discussion of Budda Baker in the first?

  • thomas hmmmm

    Let the rooting begin because if the Steelers draft Lawson in the 1st round I am going to shoot myself…
    The only pick in this that I liked was the 3rd rounder Douglas…
    If the Steelers end up with this class it will be one of the worst in the history of the team.

  • dillon degroot

    Ok, I’ll play.

    Just using Fanspeak which is far from realistic here’s a mock I threw together…just for you.

    Rd1: Gareon Conley; CB….Can come in and challenge Cockrell for the starting job…At worst he sits for a few weeks to midseason..He’ll take Cockrell’s spot before the season ends.

    Rd2: Jordan Willis; EDGE…Can come in right away and rotate with the starters…Challenging Harrison for more reps

    Rd3: Justin Evans; S…Great backup for one season, team sets him up to take over for Mitchell considering he’s going to be 30 this season, and he counts for 8mil against the cap in 2018

    Rd3 COMP: Amara Darboh; WR…Insurance for Martavis…Provides good depth, and can challenge Coates or DHB for #2 job if Martavis gets hurt or in trouble.

    Rd4: Samaje Perine; RB…Great power to compliment Leveon “Gazelle” Bell….Can be a workhorse if needed…Also a great goal line player.

    Rd5: Damontae Kazee; CB…Good slot corner who likes to help in run support…Would likely sit for a while, but could challenge Golson and/or gay for slot reps.

    Rd6: Javancy Jones; EDGE….Won’t start immediately, but this guy is really underrated…He should work into the rotation late in the season to give Dupree and Harrison a rest.

    Rd7: Doesn’t really matter…Find someone who has one of those “could be good if…”stories tagged to his ass..

  • Ken Krampert

    I agree, mediocre bunch with no franchise types available to us. Not sure what next 2 years classes will look like, but I hate wasting any pick before #4 on these scrubs. I sure hope we wait a year, but it doesn’t appear to be laying out that way.

  • dillon degroot

    Budda’s too small to play in the box at the NFL level. He’d be a great FS for a cover 2 or cover 1 man team. But the Steelers need both safeties to be interchangeable. Don’t get me wrong..Budda has the heart to play the box..He just doesn’t have the body to make it work consistently.

  • Darth Blount 47

    ILB Zach Brown just signed with the Redskins. Just an FYI since he’s been discussed quite a bit on this site recently.

  • Matt Manzo

    You’re catching heat today!
    Only pick I don’t like is Kaaya. I can’t argue the round, I just don’t

  • Joe Jackson

    Ugh.

  • Joe Jackson

    Agreed. Why even waste the pick this year? Mahomes is the only QB that’s halfway exciting and he won’t leave the 1st rd.

  • Brendan

    I think he has the quickness and instincts to play in the slot too. I don’t see any reason he can’t be jack of all trades kind of DB. He was a sure tackler in the Pac 12 and I believe only missed on game due to injury. He out-weighs Sutton (who I also like) but people are calling for him to be a safety. You’re defintely not the only one calling him too small but I just don’t buy it. Same size as Earl Thomas when he came out too BTW

  • Joe Jackson

    Yeah I am good with this one. I like Alex’s position slots per round, but not crazy about most of the players outside Perine

  • Jim Foles

    Maybe they are making the other teams pick the QB’s early. not just wait for the second round and then a few more players drop to us. the master plan…

  • dillon degroot

    Budda is a very good player,he’s got all the coverage talent in the world, and he has the mindset to come down to the box and lay the boom, he just doesn’t have the strength or size to do it…If you watch his tape you’ll see he doesn’t lay out runners, he’s a grab and hold on kind of tackler against runners…That doesn’t work in the NFL. I’m sure he can come down to the box on occasion, but he won’t be able to do it as much as the Steelers would need him to…He’s gonna have to make his living as a deep cover “last line of defense” safety…That’s where he plays his best football.

    As for the Earl Thomas comparison…Earl Thomas is a FS…He doesn’t play in the box consistently..Seattle has Kam for that. Don’t get me wrong, Thomas will come down and lay the boom, but he doesn’t live in the box. There is also a ten pound weight difference between Thomas coming in and Budda (ten pounds does make a difference)…Budda is under 200 pounds and most analysts and scouts believe he has maxed out his frame.

  • Gautama Om

    Absolutely. We are one of the few that see the value here. Ben is on his last leg thus we need players that makes immediate impact to win now. If TE in the 1st then CB in the 2nd since its a deep class thus great value. Whatever CB we get late in the 2nd is most likely a high 2nd rounder any other year.

    Unfortunately Njoku would be long gone before the 30th pick. We can only hope we are so lucky.

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    Sadly, I agree with you on the ARJr thing – he IS, after all, the boss!!
    Let’s just hope he had the wisdom to employ somebody who has since talked sense into him.
    AND that that ‘somebody ‘ is Kevin Colbert!!

  • SteelNZ

    Don’t live in your fears 😉

  • Roy Bogle

    overal i like what u been doin ….but ,i think they should go all D early………then get some quality offensive pieces later. I just did one a few mins ago , using the walter football camp board…..something like this would be nice, and i definitely think we can get Lawson at the very least, in round 2, or someone of his caliber, heres what i got, what u think?….I think superbowl!!!!!!……..30: R1P30
    S JABRILL PEPPERS
    MICHIGAN…….other considered -Obi M.
    62: R2P30
    EDGE TYUS BOWSER
    HOUSTON………took cause of versatility, can play inside and outside , cover or rush
    94: R3P30
    EDGE CARL LAWSON
    AUBURN……seemed like logical choice cause he was still there!
    105: R3P41
    CB CORDREA TANKERSLEY
    CLEMSON,,,,,,was the best corner left wanted to make sue i got atleast one
    135: R4P28
    LB KENDELL BECKWITH
    LSU…….add depth at the buck lb position, between him and Bowser, thats one hell of a line backer!
    173: R5P29
    CB DAMONTAE KAZEE
    SAN DIEGO STATE……would secure up our no fly zone by taking over the slot, if Golsten doesn’t come around.
    213: R6P29
    TE JEREMY SPRINKLE…..excelent blocker with enough receiving skills
    ARKANSAS
    248: R7P30
    …..he prob….OKLAHOMA

  • Eddie Cruz

    I meant cornerback initially but obviously did that write that my bad lol. But I just don’t see the urgency for a CB. I could see the argument for safety. But what I really am wondering is the chances we don’t draft either​ one. I don’t see it as a need but I trust the FO. I’m not an expert. Just forming my own opinion.

  • J Jones

    Never seen a mock come close to real but Thanks for playing.
    Most rookie cbs struggle at tackling which is why id wait and draft for upside.
    Of course any pass rusher u take is playin the same role, rotating with harrison. To pretend as if hall at that point is not a steal is crazy.
    Safeties tend to drop, maybe not williams but who knows
    Seriously doubt kazee will be there
    Davis’ upside is also through the roof, love him in the 6th
    Thought u were gonna do something groundbreaking and u gave me chalk. Woulda read kiper for chalk bro

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    I think after Colbert said spending was about done and how they have faith in VDub the Zach and Hodge connections slowly fizzled out. Can’t do nothing but respect it.

  • Rocksolid20

    Am I the only one tired of hearing Golson’s name ?

  • GoSteelerz

    Lewis is decent, I’d be fine with him, and I like Kazee as well. I’d be happy with either one, or both of those guys.

  • LucasY59

    I dont expect him to contribute, but if he does it would be a really good thing

  • LucasY59

    for less than 5 mil with incentives

  • Michael Mosgrove

    here it is #6.
    i have fufilled just about everything. edge, te, cb, rb, qb, s and c.
    and why
    30: R1P30 EDGE HAASON REDDICK TEMPLE
    this dude is a steeler through and through. everything screams. but after his combine probably will be gone.

    62: R2P30 TE ADAM SHAHEEN ASHLAND
    a guy i have been banging the drum for for at least 5 months. he has been sky rocketing up the board from 5th round to walthers football has him at early to mid 2nd now. bigger faster stronger version of jessie james with beter hands and a better blocker.

    cam sutton had been my second round pick for 4/6 mock drafts but seeing how the mock was falling from walthers rankings and the fanspeak board i will take this draft all day.

    94: R3P30 CB RASUL DOUGLAS WEST VIRGINIA

    douglas does pretty well and his deficiencies could be trained out of him. lot of recent interest seems to be going his way. id be okay with him behind cockrell.

    105: R3P41 QB BRAD KAAYA MIAMI
    steelers have seemingly been all over this dude at the combine, at the pro day, having dinner. could be a decent project.

    135: R4P28 C PAT ELFLEIN OHIO STATE
    a center….yes a center. first off look at our starting offensive line. solid right now. look at the backups. finney for the guards, hawkins for the tackles, i like finney but center he is not. elflein could be that backup. especially if you think this will be ben’s last year or second to last year. pouncey already said he will retire when ben does. let him train pat and then we will still be set for the future offensively.

    173: R5P29 RB COREY CLEMENT WISCONSIN
    clement isnt a bad prospect but seems to be falling down the boards considerably recently. from the 2nd round to the 5th he has dropped on most big boards. so i could take him here.

    213: R6P29 S WESTON STEELHAMMER.
    very interesting project and with a name like that it works.

    248: R7P30 LB DONAVIN NEWSOM
    shows some good fundamentals and could compete for a practice squad spot or special teams.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    they wont use a draft pick as bryant insurance. thats what hunter is for.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    i had 3 right last year. 2 right in 15. 3 in 14. 2 right in 13.
    just sayin. hahaha.
    to be honest though. i had the players picked just not the right rounds.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    a project qb is not going to be better than landry from the start. especially with this qb class.. sorry that is not realistic.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    lewis with domestic abuse. take sutton over him. sideny jones hurt. we dont need another draft pick we wait on for 2 years.

  • Aeronius D. McCoy

    can’t complain with this draft.

    If the defense can build a strong enough CB corps, I’d like to see Gay move to FS on obvious passing downs (in nickel or dime). Mitchell needs to play as a situational guy instead of every down. Gay has better ballhawking skills.

  • blue

    NO ALEX

  • Brendan

    God forbid someone actually wraps up, I’d like to see more Steelers tackle this way. And he has increased his weight in college and there was an article on here saying they think he could continue to increase it. I don’t care though, I’ll take a guy with instincts and elite coverage skills over a big hitter. That’s what this team needs.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    1. Patrick Mahomes QB Texas Tech- After seeing another story that Big Ben is leaning towards playing this coming year makes me feel he is seriously considering retirement, we need our heir to the position. Mahomes and Trubisky are the only two I feel have the potential to be good.

    2. Jarrad Davis ILB Florida- 3 down ILB who has the ability to cover HB and TE’s. I love VW but he isn’t a 3 down ILB and teams will find ways to exploit us if he is in.

    3. Derek Rivers OLB Youngstown St- The need for a edge rusher is huge. Rivers has the tools and hopefully they translate into the pro game

    3. Samaje Perine HB Oklahoma- I’m not super high on him but the Steelers seem to have interest and the need for a quality back up is important.

    4. Damonte Kazee CB San Diego St.- This is one of my man crushes this year. This guy plays with reckless abandonment and can cover. I feel he would be a great slot corner

    5. Jeremiah Ledbetter DE Arkansas- Athletic, strong and has that hustle that Coach Mitchel loves. The need for strong depth at DE is important.

    6. Xavier Woods S Louisiana Tech- Physical safety that can cover. Always good to add depth at the safety position.

    7. Cethan Carter TE Nebraska- Athletic TE who can block. Was very under utilized for the Cornhuskers and could be a huge steal.

    Possible Quality UDFA’s I would like us to target

    James Onwualu OLB Notre Dame or Paul Magloire OLB Arizona
    Kyle Kalis OG Michigan or Alex Kozan OG Auburn
    Dare Ogunbowale HB Wisconsin or Elijah Hood HB UNC
    Nyeem Wartman-White ILB Penn St
    Speedy Noil WR Texas AM or Kermit Whitfield WR FSU
    Fadol Brown DE Louisville
    Josiah Price TE Michigan St or Cole Hikutini TE Louisville
    William Likely CB Maryland
    Michael Dunn OT Maryland
    Chuck Clark S VTU or Dante Barnett S Kansas St

    Used the CBS draft board as help for round

  • Voice O’ Reason

    Can’t argue with any of that. I’ve been hearing more and more about this Shaheen kid rising up the boards, but don’t know much about him except that he’s a huge TE from a small school. He’s on my list of players to dig into a little deeper.

  • dillon degroot

    Hunter’s not even a lock to make the team.

  • dillon degroot

    Witherspoon doesn’t struggle to tackle…He refuses to make the attempt…He plays scared. That’s a big difference you’re choosing to ignore.

    Hall is a good player, but he’s nothing special as a pass rusher, which is an issue in Pittsburgh.

    Davis’ upside is high, I agree..Which is why I never said anything about that pick..I thought it was a good one lol.

    As for the not being “groundbreaking”, ok cool…I wasn’t trying to be groundbreaking…You asked for an alternative to your mock..So I obliged.

    Your mock is centered around athleticism and potential..My mock is centered around guys who fit what the Steelers look for and can step in and play this season. Two completely opposite thought processes, which is the groundwork for debate.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    more of a lock than coates, bryant and ayers.

  • dillon degroot

    You’re missing the point….The Steelers don’t use safeties who can’t play in the box consistently. I’m not arguing against Budda being a good player..I’m saying the Steelers won’t draft him because he needs to be able to play both FS and SS…Which most in the NFL believe he can’t.

  • dillon degroot

    Lol…I’m not sure that warrants a reply but, fine…Hunter was brought in to see if he could win a spot on the roster…In order to win that spot, he needs to beat one or two of the following names…Hamilton, Ayers, DHB…Coates and Bryant are locks on the team..The Steelers are high on Coates, and Bryant is one of the best WR2’s in the league…Hunter has been on four teams in five years, he is far from a “lock”.

  • J Jones

    But they are called mocks for a reason. U knocked me for taking williams bc he was great value and still on the board? Lol funny u think so, urs is simply ur opinion…nothing more. As is mine. U have no insight, no facts, just players u like. Not that its wrong, just kills me that u pretend as if urs is rooted in some sort of reality, when its not. U killed my opinion only to provide ur own opinion. Less trolling, more real insight. Feel me?

  • Brendan

    But they do believe he can play nickel corner, correct? That’s my understanding, his tape there is solid and that’s a pretty big need. Someone who can play in the slot and deep has to have value in this defense. I’ve heard a lot of people compare him to tyrann Mathieu. You can tell me you wouldn’t like someone like that

  • dillon degroot

    Oh absolutely…He’s got the skillset to roll him into the slot, my only question is whether the Steelers will be looking for a slot corner. I think it’s possible, and if they do, Budda would be a hell of a tool to have. I personally think the Steelers have bigger needs to fill, but if they think they need a slot corner, he’s got the cover skills to play there.

  • J Jones

    Like they took bud based on his freakish potential rather than focus on his inconsistent production at Ky

  • J Jones

    You coulda just said “hey great mock, minus a few that i dont like” which is just about any draft i assume.

  • Steel SonofFarmer

    Lewis????

  • Brendan

    I agree, OLB and outside corner are probably the bigger needs. I haven’t really seen much discussion about him though and I hope he’s on their radar.