McShay’s Latest Three-Round Mock Draft Has Steelers Going Heavy Defense

With the 2017 NFL Draft now just a little more than two weeks away, ESPN analyst Todd McShay figured Wednesday was an appropriate time for him to release a full three-round mock that includes him making every selection for all 32 teams if he were the one calling the shots

For the Pittsburgh Steelers four selections in the first three rounds, McShay has them drafting three defensive players in addition to one on the offensive side of the football.

In the first round, McShay has the Steelers selecting Wisconsin edge-rusher T.J. Watt at 30th overall and he writes:


Watt continues to move up the board, despite having just one year of notable production at linebacker after suffering a season-ending knee injury in 2014 and undergoing a position change from tight end. He has the frame (6-4, 252) and athleticism (4.69 40, 10-8 broad jump) to continue to develop as a pass-rusher.


It’s easy to connect the Steelers to Watt being as the team has showed quite a bit of interest in him during the entire pre-draft process. If you were to knock Watt any at this point it would probably be due to his overall lack of college experience on the defensive side of the football.

In the second round, McShay has the Steelers selecting UCLA cornerback Fabian Moreau and he writes:


Moreau needs to improve his ball skills, but he has top-tier coverage ability and physical tools.


Moreau, who needed surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle that he suffered while bench pressing during his pro-day workout, will reportedly need four to six months to recover. In short, he’s expected to be ready to play come the start of the 2017 regular season.

In the third round, McShay has the Steelers picking Florida linebacker Alex Anzalone with their first of two selections and he writes:


Anzalone played just one full season at Florida. I’m intrigued by his range against the run and in coverage, though.


Anzalone, who measured in at this year’s scouting combine at 6027, 241-pounds, registered 53 total tackles and three sacks last season, his first full one as a starter, which wound up being cut short by a broken arm. He lost several games to injuries during his college career.

With the Steelers second pick in the third round, McShay has them selecting Baylor wide receiver K.D. Cannon and he writes:


Cannon is an underdeveloped route-runner, but he has the toughness, quickness and top-end speed to develop into a productive slot receiver, which Pittsburgh needs.


Cannon, who measured in at this years scouting combine at 5110, 182-pounds, caught 195 passes for 3,113 yards and 27 touchdowns in the 38 games he played at Baylor. He ran the 40-yard-dash in 4.41 seconds and posted a 37-inch vertical jump as well.

  • Spencer Krick

    I’m not so high on Watt at 30, but I think this would be a fairly satisfying top 4. The more I think about it the more I’d be okay with Baker at 30 if Obi isn’t there.

  • JT

    I’m actually working on a project to track major mock drafts in the Colbert/Tomlin era. First round picks only. It’s proven rather difficult (its almost like these guys don’t want their performance tracked….). But so far McShay has proven to be largely on point.

    Personally I’m leaning towards flipping OLB/DB from draft. But I could live with this.

  • Phil Brenneman II

    Definitely love the ratio of defense to offense (wouldn’t mind 4:0 either) but would need to think more on the picks.

  • Matt Correll

    Watt and Moreau would not be the combination of EDGE and CB that I would hope the Steelers get, but I would definitely be happy with those two positions being targeted in the 1st and 2nd. The idea of drafting an injured CB in the 2nd round though… tough sell given Golson’s track record… I really do not care for his 3rd round picks. I would much rather see them pick a S and RB or TE. I know Anzalone has some good tape, but he also seems very injury prone. And if we are going to draft a WR, I’d much rather wait until the 4-6 rounds.

  • Sam Clonch

    What everyone else said.

  • WreckIess

    I’m starting to warm up to Watt so that’s fine. Really don’t like the idea of Anzalone in the 3rd even a little bit. He couldn’t stay healthy in college and there’s really no indication that he’ll actually stay healthy in the league.

  • PaeperCup

    I like Watt a lot. Super productive for only playing the position for a year. I think if he stays healthy, he will be really good down the line. Of course that means he might not be a big contributor right off the bat. Some may be luke warm about that idea, but remember that we do still have James H playing half the snaps at the position. Maybe by the time he’s retired, Watt will be primed and ready.

    I never really considered Moreua, haven’t seen his name attached to the Steelers at all really. But it is a position of need.

    I do like Anzalone, although that’s a little higher than I’d think he’d be picked.

    K.D. Cannon 3b…meh.

  • PaeperCup

    Some might be out of a job if people new their mock record….*cough*Kiper*cough*

  • Big Joe

    While the first two picks are possible given their attributes, I’ve seen very little on the FO looking closely at Fabian or either of the last 2 picks. I don’t disagree that Anzalone has the traits but I don’t see the overt interest. As for Cannon, nope. IMO, he doesn’t possess the attributes that we look for in a WR. If they took anyone on O with that pick, it would likely be a TE, a RB, or Josh Reynolds who may or may not be there when they pick in the 4th.

  • Pervis Gilchrist

    McShay must be sipping along with everyone else. As far as choosing an edge rusher T.J. Watt is not the one i’d take. He has moved up so much since the combine it’s ridiculous. If he wasn’t J.J.’s brother he wouldn’t get this much noise with only one year of playing. Since Rivers will probably be gone personally i’d prefer Lawson, T. Williams, Bowser, or Javancy Jones from JSU before Watt. As for a CB, King or White will work, hell i would really like to c us get Obi at 30. The ILB choice is ok but i would go with the TE from Ashland over the WR. Take notes McShay.

  • Big Joe

    Fabian has some of the traits the team looks for but I, too, haven’t see the clear interest. Still some invites to go until they reach their limit so we’ll see. There are a few more, like Awuzie, that would interest me more at this point.

  • PaeperCup

    This is the dart board portion of the off season. Between the experts first mocks, and their final mocks, where they just start throwing names out there hoping one will stick come draft day and they can take claim that they “called it”

  • tequila0341

    3 out of 3 of the top picks have serious injury histories. Then a slot receiver. What a great draft.

  • His newest mock is based off of what he would do and not what he thinks the teams will do. Although I wouldn’t mind us looking into Fabian, just like you said…they haven’t shown much interest.

  • H.K. northern cali

    D-lineman in the 3rd please.

  • steeltown

    Dont like it. Injury history and overall lack of experience, no thanks

  • Consistent

    Lol all weekend you will hear,”I called it…I knew they were looking to improve(whatever position)and thought this kid was the answer” not mentioning they just about mocked every player to almost every team just in case. It’s part of the entertainment

  • Consistent

    I wonder how McShay would grade that outcome?? I’m assuming he wouldn’t be high on these selections overall even if he mocked the selections personally

  • Consistent

    Watt has a 2nd round feel to me at best but the whole world knows ‘networks’ are going to love his storyline so much that he has star potential immediately if he can pan out…I believe those ‘networks’ have his stock rising

  • KiJana Haney

    I would be pumped if this is the way the draft happened. I am really big on moreau.

  • KiJana Haney

    Maybe I am the outwire but I still have hope for golson

  • Matt Correll

    I sure hope he turns into a contributor, but my point is he hasn’t contributed a thing in the first two years of his career. So I’m just leery of drafting another injured player.

  • Matt Correll

    I’m with you on Anzalone. I think Alex Mocked him to us at one point taking him in the 5th. If we could get him there, I’m all for it, but not in the 3rd.

  • Jeff Peterson

    I agree. but I’d be ok with Watt. I think he has hustle & talent. Plus learning from Harrison and JJ? Wow. I am not big on Anzalone in the 3rd. however, I’ve seen 6 mocks that have D Rivers in the 3rd. I’d love to see Steelers go 1. Watt 2. J Lewis or Tankersley 3a. D Rivers 3b. S Jones or M Maye 4. James Conner… We’d finally be set in pass rush and corners for 4+ years.

  • steelburg

    Golson had little to no injury history coming out of college. I think he has just caught to very unlikely breaks the last 2 years. I know I’m in the minority but I fully except him to contribute next season and I think he will stay healthy for the most part.

  • Sam Clonch

    You are, but I’ll jump on that train with you. Can’t do any harm to hope. I do think they need to prepare in case he doesn’t pan out though.

  • Jason

    Just my opinion but I feel like if his last name wasn’t Watt he wouldn’t be in the first round discussion. Nothing against the kid, he’s got a great motor but I wouldn’t be happy selecting him in the first.

  • VinHuddle

    Really like the first two rd picks

  • steelburg

    I think Watt would be an ok pick. But I do like some of the other guys a little better, but woundnt mind him at all.

  • Jeff Peterson

    If watt & T. White are taken I really think the Steelers should trade back. Trade back for like the 39th (jets) – they need a QB – and pick up their third. Now Steelers would have 2 second rounders and 3 third rounders. If there’s so much CB/Edge depth why not trade back IF a first round talent isn’t there?…. 2a. J Lewis or Tankersley 2b. Engram or Godwin 3a. D Rivers 3b. S Jones or M Maye 3c. T. Williams 4. J Conner..

  • Lambert58

    Agree. I’d be a lot more comfortable with Watt at #62. But I like the Moreau and Anzalone. If Anzelone can stay healthy, he could be the second coming of Jack Lambert. Don’t know Cannon.

  • Rotten Sircus

    He has us taking 3 previous injured players …Lmao. #GTFOH !!! I agree with the all defense approach but maybe McShay hasn’t realized knee injuries are truly serious !!!

  • Carl Mendelius

    The pass rush the Steelers need to beat the Pats doesn’t have to come from the OLBs necessarily. Actually there is a better pass rush in the sense that it doesn’t require blitzing: Put together an elite pass rushing DL. In fact the Steelers are close to have one, of course it is only my opinion, but if they draft another great DE they could rotate him with Tuitt and Hayward and keep everybody fresh and hungry. This is the strategy the Giants executed to beat the Pats in two SBs. Michigan State´s DE Malik McDowell is falling because of a bad interview at the combine so he could be available at the 30th, or Tanoh Kpassagnon from Villanova could be another option at the 62nd.

  • Carl Mendelius

    Agreed, McShay´s mock draft is bad even as a simple guess exercise.

  • LucasY59

    agree with you on both points, I am starting to think that IF they HAVE to take a OLB in the 1st it should be Watt (but would prefer to wait till the 2nd and get Rivers or Bowser) and with Anzalone when I first started looking into the draft I thought he might be worth a late rd pick where the injury issues arent as big of a risk, but he quickly rose out of the value picks after the Senior Bowl, a LB with shoulder issues is hardly worth taking at all and definitely not in the 3rd (I think the shoulder is why the team was willing to let Feeney go last season instead of calling him up to save him from being poached, and like Travis last yr, Alex should only be a 6th rd pick)

  • LucasY59

    after the Draft happens all mocks magically disappear, but even without the evidence most are way under 50% accuracy and a good one is where players go within 5 picks of where they were mocked, and getting the actual team/player correct is pretty rare

    the only other guys that can still get paid for being wrong most of the time is the weatherman

  • LucasY59

    not an espn insider (and there is no way I would pay to look at this mock) but without knowing for sure who he passed on I think I could find players he passed on that I would rather have over the ones McShay picked,

    Watt has become my fallback option for the team if the take a OLB, but I think they would pick Reddick, Melifonwu or a CB like White or King over TJ,

    Moreau isnt a terrible pick, but if I was picking #62 is where I get a OLB, and only a player like Baker or Awuzie (both would have to fall more than a dozen spots to be available) would be the only other options instead of a guy like Rivers or Bowser

    Anzalone should be at least 2 rd later, the injury history is too big of an issue

    and Cannon is the worst pick of all of them, doesnt really fit what the Steelers need if they were going to pick a WR (and is a couple rds too early as well)

  • TrappenWeisseGuy ;

    I was thinking a while back about that and that if he didn’t have the last name he’d be a 4th rounder. I’ve subsequently moved him up to the 2-3rd round as a “realistic ” value.

  • TrappenWeisseGuy ;

    I’m glad I don’t pick mocks for a living. Once you get past the first 5 picks it becomes a bit of a lottery.

  • TrappenWeisseGuy ;

    Because of his injury history I’d be happier with someone like Basham or Bowser in that round. If AA is there in the 5th, then maybe you pull the trigger.

  • Ike Evans

    For all you obi fanboys

    1. S OBI MELIFONWU CONNECTICUT
    2. EDGE CARL LAWSON AUBURN
    3. CB CAMERON SUTTON TENNESSEE
    3. QB BRAD KAAYA MIAMI
    4. EDGE/DL TANOH KPASSAGNON VILLANOVA
    5. WR JOSH REYNOLDS TEXAS A&M
    6. TE MICHAEL ROBERTS TOLEDO
    7. RB DE’VEON SMITH MICHIGAN

  • NinjaMountie

    There are things I like about this mock more than any other. Those things are the first pick and the positions of the rest. I like the idea of OLB, CB, ILB, WR, though I might go TE instead of WR.
    WR being to mind, have I missed something on Bryant or are we really still waiting? Getting close to draft time and that’s just BS if he drags it out much longer.

  • NinjaMountie

    I like most everyone there. Only one I really don’t like and I think you like him because you’re a Miami fan, lol.
    I just don’t like Kaaya, AT ALL. Though, to be fair I don’t like any QB in this draft much. Shoot, I like some FCS QBs more than any of the ones that will be drafted.

  • LucasY59

    every pick has a multiplied lower chance of being correct (especially if you already have some wrong) so yes the mock is just a guessing game that they get paid for without any requirement to be accurate (and expecting it to be so is close to impossible)

  • Ike Evans

    Lmao you might be right….miami fans are tough tho, by and large dont like kaaya….i dont get it….hes a machine…

  • NinjaMountie

    I’m a Watt fan as well. I don’t want to because of his lack of experience but I think he might be the real deal.

  • PaeperCup

    I like it when someone gets picked to a team that no one really mocked and the experts ramble on about how much sense that makes and that it’s an obvious pick and that essentially they would have done the same.

  • NinjaMountie

    He’ll probably be the next R. Wilson…he’ll get drafted in the 3rd and blow the league up and then I’ll be really, truly eating a plate of crow while being very sad, lol.

  • harding36

    Baker is my guy; one of my favorite players in the draft!

  • Ike Evans

    Lol…me too. If he goes to a team with a bad oline…hes cooked. He will suck…but when protected, hes somethin like matt ryan

  • harding36

    I agree. But KD Cannon isn’t a slot receiver; he played outside almost exclusively at Baylor and he’s a Mike Wallace clone (fast, terrible route runner, suspect hands). I think he can be a decent player, but putting him in the slot (especially when we have Rogers and Ayers) would just be dumb. not sure what McShay was thinking there. the other picks at least sort of make sense, even if the player isn’t one we like.

  • PaeperCup

    Anyone with insider want to give us a scoop on who was available at these picks?

  • SilverSteel

    Wish I had that job all day long. 🙂

  • SfSteeler

    would be nice to hear something about his ‘offseason’ workouts given that hes starting his 3rd season now and has basically zero steelers play/workout time accumulated…would like to know what hes doing to keep his skill set up and active…

  • Steel City Slim

    I agree 100%. I’ve been saying for the longest that if hus name was TJ Smith he’d probably be a 2nd or 3rd round prospect with the small sample size of him playing the position, injury history, and position change.

  • Ryan Alderman

    I’m sure they’d love to trade back, all about having a willing partner.

  • MC

    Hmmm im not sure about Watt at 30 but he won’t be there at our second pick. A scenario I would like would be to trade down out of the first round with a team looking for a qb, take Watt later and with the extra pick/s, double dip at edge and CB.

  • MC

    Kpassagnon looks like he could be that guy. His body type looks a little in between edge and DE so he could take a position full-time and/or come in as a specialist.

  • MC

    The thing that concerns me the most is that both injuries came during camp, not even a preseason game. I just really doubt his ability to take NFL contact in games that matter based off that. I really hope he proves me wrong.

  • Rocksolid20

    HA , Ha , Ha , Ha , Ha and so on .

  • Jeff Peterson

    Jets are looking to get ahead of browns’ 33 overall…

  • Jeff Peterson

    See the dope brought a gun to the airport today? What an idiot

  • jacob

    Steelers like young players they can develop to what they want. Just look at last drafts

  • steelburg

    Both of his injuries had nothing to do with contact though. If I got injured in the weight room or running on a field would you say I couldn’t take a hit on the field? I really do believe that he will make a positive contribution to the team this year.

  • Mike Lloyd

    Amen. That’s a good plan right there. Drop down 6-8 spots, if he’s gone and you don’t see your value where you want it, do it again. I’m not averse to trading out of round one. Especially for an edge and db’s. Good depth there.

  • Darth Blount 47

    Well…. 1 out of 4 ain’t bad. :’-(

  • Darth Blount 47

    Moreau is a good player. He’s easily my favorite pick from this mock. But I’m hoping he slides to us in the 3rd.

  • Ryan

    Depends on how the first round goes. There’s always a few guys unexpectedly going off. Jets may even go QB 6th overall.

  • MC

    ok but if but if both injuries aren’t contact related, doesn’t the idea of impending contact for him concern you? It’s just adding another significant element of the game that increases the risk of injury. If it was only one season ending injury I would chalk it up to bad luck, two makes you think of REALLY bad luck or durability issues or both.

  • MC

    Unfortunately if there is no good value at OLB at 30 im sure they’ll just take their highest rated DB, which im completely fine with as long as its good value and not a reach. I wish this team was crafty like the pats are on draft day but they’re too stubborn in their ways.

  • MC

    I commented the same thing on his gun at the airport article. Where is the insight into what he’s doing while he’s on the sidelines? no mention of him studying the playbook inside or out, nothing about him doing what it takes mentally to return, nothing about him chomping at the bit to get back on the field, nothing about his determination in rehabilitating and coming back stronger. I’ve never seen a second round pick be so quiet.

  • John Pennington

    Why do they continue to mock the steelers with 1 year starting experience or hurt.This makes no sense at all.The steelers are trying to win this season cant wait for people to get well did that last year with players getting paid to heal,.Need players who can play now not people like Green Golson Chick who never heal but get paid anyway.We should all be so lucky.

  • Brendon Glad

    I would like to see Desmond King drafted by the Steelers.
    The nuances of WHEN are why the FO gets paid, & I don’t.

    I just know when I like people and when I don’t. Not always right, but Opinions are opinions…and the Steelers should be listening to ALL brainstorming on how to draft DB”s.
    Desmond King is one to like, in my opinion.
    But I gotta admit, I probably would wait myself out of him, if I were GM.
    I’m hoping it goes like Tuitt did. I loved him too. But as GM, i mighta jumped the gun. Tough poker-game.

  • Austin Willie

    I don’t like watt he looks like a bottom of the second guy I know there’s stuff surrounding Tim Williams but man he looks like the guy if it’s going to be edge

  • Austin Willie

    I love the second pick tho he’s defiantly has shutdown corner traits imo

  • Jeremy McClurg

    The Steelers have already been rumored to saying Watt is good, but not 1st round good

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I could live with this draft although its not the route I want.

  • Brenton deed

    I think if Bryant is reinstated then WR is not a primary need (meaning first three rounds). Of course if the FO thinks a hall-of-farmer is there, well OK, they draft him.
    As s silly game (it’s that time of year) suppose a young Deebo, Ben, Bus, Lloyd and Woodson were available at 1:30… who do you take!

    PS: I was going to put Mean Joe on that list but that’s a no-brainer … you take him every time!

  • pkeats86

    I feel like similar things were said about Clay Matthews. That’s who he has been compared to a lot and I feel like it’s pretty accurate. Will he turn into that on the field? I am not sure. But, I know I could not believe the Packers took Clay in round 1 when it happened.

  • Mike Lloyd

    I guess I’m saying that the difference in value between an outside edge at 30 might be the same at 38, or even 42. They may have near equivalent grades on a player at those slots because there is so many. ..And same at DB.

  • Ray Powell

    I’d be happy with this.

  • steeltown

    I agree, but those guys all played extensively and were not necessarily injured