You can check out my complete first round mock draft here. To follow that up I thought that I would do a 7 round Steelers mock draft. So… here it goes.
Round 1: Pick 25 (from San Diego)
The Pick: Louis Nix III-DT-Notre Dame
PIT Gets: Picks 1(25) and 2(57)
SD Gets: Pick 1(15)
With concerns about his knees and durability, Nix may not be worthy of the 15th selection in the draft. So the Steelers trade back to acquire another second round pick and still have a shot at Nix. Slotting Nix at nose tackle and moving McLendon to defensive end will immediately improve the defensive line. Yes Nix is a 330+ pound behemoth, but he is so much more. He moves like few other men his size can, and he can still plug holes in the run game. He has the potential to be one of the best nose tackles in the league.
Round 2: Pick 46
The Pick: Bashaud Breeland
It’s easy to see this pick becoming a possibility when May comes. Breeland is type of long corner that the Steelers and Dick LeBeau like to have in their defense. When watching him on film it’s easy to see why he garners comparisons to Richard Sherman. He isn’t as big as Sherman, at 6′ and 189 pounds. But he displays many of the same qualities in his game as Sherman does. Don’t be surprised is Breeland is the successor to Ike Taylor as the next shutdown corner in Pittsburgh.
Round 2: Pick 57 (from San Diego)
The Pick: Demarcus Lawrence-OLB-Boise State
I know what you’re thinking, the Steelers have many other holes on their roster fill before outside linebacker. But I expect Worilds, Jones, and Chris Carter will the only outside backers on the roster come training camp. Meaning there will be a need for a solid situational outside backer. Lawrence can fill that need and even start if Worilds continues his injury habits. He is a good zone blitzer and is a perfect fit for the Steelers’ defense.
Round 3: Compensatory Pick
The Pick: Christian Kirksey-OLB-Iowa
Many different analysts are projecting an inside linebacker in many different rounds for the Steelers. I am in the camp of people that thinks they should take one in the mid rounds. They were severely lacking at the position this past year when Vince Williams was forced into duty, but this year they could bounce back. Kirksey, an improved Williams, and a healthy Spence will compete for the stating job. Expect them to all receive significant playing time if this is the case, though.
Round 4: Pick 114
The Pick: Ryan Grant-WR-Tulane
Any analyst who mocks a wide receiver to the Steelers early in the draft is, in my humble opinion, crazy. Despite many thinking that it is one of the Steelers biggest needs, the third round is the earliest the Steelers should select wide receiver in the draft. These same analysts may also think that the Steelers need a big receiver. They are wrong there too. It may be nice to have a big receiver, but the Steelers offense is predicated on quicker than fast receivers who can get open and create space. Grant is a perfect fit.
Round 5: Pick 145
The Pick: Seantrel Henderson-OT-Miami(FL)
The Steelers already have a solid offensive line, most of them just lack the upside to be elite players. Seantrel Henderson is the opposite of the lineman the Steelers already have. He has the skills to be one of the best offensive tackles in the league, but he has off the field issues and lacks commitment. He was suspended multiple times when at Miami and also seemed to lack a commitment to getting better. He’s a boom or bust prospect. If he busts, he’s the same as plenty other fifth round picks.
Round 5: Compensatory Pick
The Pick: Dexter McDougle-CB-Maryland
This pick would be the steal of the draft if McDougle’s career plays out like I think it will. McDougle suffered a shoulder injury three games into his senior season this past year, and this kept him out for the rest of the season. Even though he was invited to the combine, the injury kept him out of drills. Based on his senior tape, I would give him an early third round grade, so getting him this late is a great pickup. If he is able to fully recover from injury, he has the skills to become the best slot corner in the league.
Round 6: Pick 176
The Pick: Jerick McKinnon-RB-Georgia Southern
At the combine McKinnon displayed amazing athletic ability, placing in the top 5 in all major tests. But it’s not only his athleticism that the Steelers will like, but also his versatility. While at Georgia Southern he played quarterback, running back, receiver, corner, and safety. In a league where it’s easy to come by a starting caliber running back, you can easily find a third stringer. Corners and safeties on the other hand are hard to come by. Wherever he plays, McKinnon will be a solid player.
Round 7: Pick 207
he Pick: A.C. Leonard-TE-Tennessee State
Leonard undoubtedly would be a day two pick if he didn’t have off the field issues. The Steelers can capitalize on his slipping in the draft and scoop him up in the seventh round. Any tight end who gets drafted by the Steelers won’t have a huge role immediately. However, when Heath Miller retires they could play a big role. If he can clean up his off the field issues, Leonard could have a big future ahead of him. This could be a steal for the Steelers.
Thanks for reading Steelers fans. Feel free to leave a comment and share your opinions. Follow me on Twitter @a_chiado97