At this point, mock drafts are starting to settle into the groove of players mocked to a specific team. That’s mostly true for Pittsburgh (though some still think it’s QB and mock drafts have a weird obsession with sending OL to them in the first). Anyway, it’s boiled down to three positions: cornerback, inside linebacker, safety.
Cornerback isn’t as much of a need as the other two. And this mock draft from National Football Post hits on those positions well. In the first round, they have the team taking Alabama safety Ronnie Harrison with pick 28. Author Dion Caputi explains:
“Analysis: Heavy, productive, down-hill defender tied into an athletic and imposing 6’3″ 215lb frame. More importantly, ready to help out from day one.”
Hard to argue with any of that. If you’ve been lurking around mock drafts, you’ll see Harrison’s name come up often in connection with Pittsburgh. On paper, it’s certainly a fit in need and talent. I guess the only “hurdle” would be is how rare it is for Kevin Colbert to take someone from Alabama. It’s never happened in his past 17 drafts. Of course, that’s not a very good reason to pass up someone who meets all the other criteria, just a weird fact that’s worth mention.
At pick 60 in the second, the Steelers talk Texas inside linebacker Malik Jefferson.
“Analysis: Who knows if Shazier will play again and Pittsburgh badly missed the range he provided at the position. Supreme value.”
Again, no disagreements here. As a junior last year, he racked up 110 tackles, 10 for a loss, and four sacks. He’s been a three-year starter for the Longhorns.
This is a pretty “vanilla” approach to the draft with names we’ve seen before. But vanilla isn’t a bad thing and both selections make sense for the Steelers.
Below are scouting reports we’ve written on both players.