Oct 6, 2012; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker Ryan Shazier (10) celebrates in the first quarter against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

AC’s 7-Round Pittsburgh Steelers Mock 2.0: Post FA Day 3


My updated Steelers 7-round mock draft has underwent many changes since the first edition.  Here is my updated version.  Here is my projection of the Steelers roster heading into the draft

QB: Ben Roethlisberger, Bruce Gradkowski, Landry Jones

RB: Le’Veon Bell, LaRod Stephens-Howling, HOLE

FB: Will Johnson

WR: Antonio Brown, Jericho Cotchery, Markus Wheaton, HOLE, Derek Moye

TE: Heath Miller, Matt Spaeth, David Paulson, HOLE

LT: Kelvin Benjamin, Levi Brown

LG: Ramon Foster, Cody Wallace

C: Maurkice Pouncey, Fernando Velasco

RG: David DeCastro

RT: Marcus Gilbert, Mike Adams

LDE: Cam Heyward, Brian Arnfelt

NT: Steve McLendon, HOLE

RDE: Alex Carrington, HOLE

LOLB: Jarvis Jones, HOLE

LILB: HOLE, Vince Williams, Terence Garvin

RILB: Lawrence Timmons, Sean Spence

ROLB: Jason Worilds, Chris Carter

CB: Cortez Allen, Ike Taylor, William Gay, HOLE, HOLE

FS: Mike Mitchell, Will Allen, Robert Golden

SS: Troy Polamalu, Shamarko Thomas

 

Round 1: Pick 25 (from San Diego)

PIT Gets: 1(25)

SD  Gets: 1(25) & 2(57)

The Pick: Ryan Shazier-ILB-Ohio State

He was viewed by many to be an undersized 4-3 weak side linebacker, but he could very well be a 3-4 inside linebacker.  Shazier answered questions about his size at his pro day when he weighed in at 237 pounds.  He has the all around skills needed to succeed in Dick LeBeau’s defense.  He the tools to defend the run, drop into coverage, and rush the passer.  He will be a very good complement opposite Lawrence Timmons.

 

Round 2: Pick 46

The Pick: Dominique Easley-DT-Florida

 Easley suffered two ACL injuries, one in each knee, over the course of his college career.  Had he not suffered the second injury, he could be have been considered a top 10 pick come May.  After the injury, however, the Steelers have a very good chance to grad him in the second round.  All good NFL teams in the NFL have one thing in common, BPA drafting.  Worst case scenario the Steelers have to trade Easley, Cam Heyward, or Alex Carrington.

 

Round 2: Pick 57 (from San Diego)

The Pick: Marcus Roberson-CB-Florida

Roberson is pretty raw coming into the league, but he has very nice potential.  He underperformed at the combine which could cause him to fall because he is largely thought of as an athlete with lots of potential.  His underperformance at the combine could cause him to slip to the Steelers pick here.  He won’t have to play immediately which should allow him to develop into a nice player.

 

Round 3: Comp. Pick (awarded for Mike Wallace)

The Pick: Marcus Smith-OLB-Louisville

The way Smith was utilized at Louisville is very similar to the way the Steelers like to utilize their outside backers.  Smith being comparable to Worilds only adds to the attraction.  Smith can blitz from the inside or the outside which will make him a perfect fit in LeBeau’s zone blitzing scheme.  With both starting outside linebackers having health questions, it will be good to have an above average backup.

 

Round 4: Pick 114

The Pick: Cody Latimer-WR-Indiana

Wide receiver is not as big of a need for the Steelers as many think it is.  The position does not need to be addressed until the third round at the earliest.  Latimer would be a perfect fit for the team in the fourth round.  Latimer is a vertical threat that will fit perfectly in Pittsburgh’s offense.  Although size shouldn’t be a necessary requirement for the Steelers, Latimer has a nice blend of size and speed.

 

Round 5: Pick 145

The Pick: Ryan Carrethers-NT-Arkansas State

In my opinion, Ryan Carrethers is the most underrated player in the entire 2014 NFL Draft class.  He consistently received double teams when in college at Arkansas State, despite this he still produced.  Nose tackles are only used in Dick LeBeau’s defense about 30% of the time.  Carrethers would be a stout nose tackle who can contribute on run downs.

 

Round 5: Comp Pick (awarded for Keenan Lewis)

The Pick: Bene Benwikere-CB-San Jose State

After taking Roberson, the Steelers still only have 4 corners on their roster.  Benwikere would be an excellent 5th corner.  Playing at a small school, he hasn’t received much attention.  He could wind up being a steal here at the end of the fifth round.

 

Round 6: Pick 176

The Pick: David Fluellen

With Dwyer off the board to Arizona, LaRod Stephens-Howling will likely be returning to Pittsburgh.  To complement Bell and Stephens-Howling, the Steelers need a back who can come in and gain tough yards.  Fluellen is very similar to Jonathan Dwyer, and he should be a nice third option at running back.

 

Round 7: Pick 207

The Pick: AC Leonard-TE-Tennessee Tech

Tight end isn’t an immediate need, but it will be a need after Heath Miller retires.  Leonard is a very raw tight end who is more of an athlete, but he has loads of potential.  He has three years to develop before he is able to compete for a starting role.  He is a boom or bust prospect, and if he busts he’ll be the same as most other 7th round picks.

Tags: Nfl Draft Pittsburgh Steelers Steelers Mock Draft

  • Keith Brydalski

    I’m confused by your SD/ Pitt swap of picks. Are you saying Pitt moves down to 25 and SD gets our 1 and 2?

    • Blind Mellow Jelly

      Me too. That was weird.

    • Anthony Chiado

      Sorry I messed that part up. We trade down from 15 to 25 and we get their second. My bad

  • Milliken Steeler

    I would take Jeff Janis in the 5th at WR. 6’3″ and 220 lbs and has run a 4.3 and ran a 4.4 at the combine. 200 catches, 3000 yards and 30TD’s his last two years of college. This kid is a steal in the fifth round.

    I don’t think Latimer goes until the 6th or the 7h round.

  • Dom DiTolla

    Fantastic, use the first four picks on defensive players who will essentially rot for 1/2 to 2/3′s of their rookie deals with LeBeau still there. If this draft strategy actually happens this May from the Steelers, I’m throwing a brick through my television. Lol.

    Drafting defensive players who will simply sit, play special teams and barely contribute in the early rounds could be disastrous for the Steelers. If the players have to sit and learn even if they have the talent and skill-sets to contribute, the F.O. might as well draft developmental prospects in the later stages of the draft (rounds 4-7).

    The only way that any rookies will see playing time next season on the defensive side of the ball will be through injuries (i.e. Vince Williams last year), or a complete and total lack of personnel at a respective positional group (which is why I’d be fine with them double-dipping at CB and using a first or second round pick on that position).

    On the other hand, to think that Matt Spaeth is an adequate #2 tight end and that there is zero experienced or elite depth behind Antonio Brown and Jerricho Cocthery is a joke.

    Passing up the types of tight ends and wide receivers who could instantly upgrade the receiving corps in the first four rounds would be a disservice to Roethlisberger and the offense as a whole. The defense will still be porous next season, and the Steelers will need to be ready for some shootouts.

    As far as trading down is concerned, I would love to see that. Recoup the pick they lost w/Thomas last year and add competitive bodies to the roster.

    • Craig

      Hey. Let the kid dream – LeBeau may change his ways and play rookies. I said MAY.

      • Dom DiTolla

        Lol.

        If LeBeau resigned or was fired this past offseason, then I would not be as anti-defense (except at cornerback despite the fact that this class is loaded with talent top to bottom) as an early round draft strategy.

        I just think that people are ignoring how thin and inexperienced that depth is on the offensive side of the ball too at some important skill positions like TE & WR.

        Colbert & Co. should be focused on upgrading the skill positions like those, especially since they will likely see the field and contribute early in their careers. Ebron, Seferian-Jenkins and Amaro are all tremendous upgrades over Spaeth, and there are plenty of wide receivers who would easily be at least #3 on the depth chart based on talent alone who will be drafted in the first three rounds.

        If they want to keep Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh, it might behoove the front office to provide him with some competent weapons. Not drafting linebackers who will see 100 regular season snaps during their first two seasons combined.

        Hell, even running back is in need of a serious upgrade. If LSH leaves or is cut, this team has nobody behind Bell to spell him and limit his touches so he can last more than his rookie deal due to his upright running style.

    • Anthony Chiado

      Even though they are going to be sitting a considerable amount this year, they will be playing significant roles next year. So even if they do sit it will be better for their development in the long run.
      Even though Spaeth may not be the best backup tight end, he is adequate enough when we have so many other needs to fill. AB, Jericho, and Wheaton are definitely an adequate top 3. The wide receiver class is so deep this year that they can wait until the fourth round to get a starting caliber receiver.
      I am tired of everyone suggesting that they need to target offense last year, when the O was easily better than the D last year. I will throw a brick through my TV if we spend a pick on offense until the 3rd round comp. pick at the earliest lol

      • Dom DiTolla

        Better for who? The Steelers? Or the team that poaches them in free agency when their rookie deals expire and they’ve only contributed on the defensive side of the ball in 1/4 to 1/3 of their rookie deals?

        Remember, Spaeth is only under contract for the rest of this season and how many years Miller has left is definitely a question. Plus, in what universe is Spaeth “adequate?” This team is in serious trouble at TE in 2015. Passing on a prospect like Eric Ebron at #15 would be moronic for a two-down nose tackle or a defensive player who will rot on the bench and special teams. Give me a tight end who actually adds a new dimension to an offense in “12″ personnel over a scarecrow who can barely block like Spaeth.

        How much longer Cotchery will actually stick around, if at all, is a pressing question as well. Moreover, the jury is definitely still out on Markus Wheaton, Derek Moye, Justin Brown and the cavalcade of reserve/futures guys they signed.

        Ignoring tight end and wide receiver, particularly early, will have enormous ramifications. This team will be playing plenty of shootouts with the defense they project to put out on the field in 2014, even if the rookies actually play.

        Hell, the team only has one running back under contract at this point as well. Le’Veon Bell will need someone to take the pressure off of him too.

        While they could find playmakers at WR later in the draft, why ignore ones who could be instant impact players for defenders who will gather splinters during that span?

        The only reason guys like S. Thomas, J. Jones and V. Williams played last season was due to injuries and a lack of personnel at their positional units. I’m just glad Foote & Woodley got hurt last fall so Jones and Williams could actually struggle and go through growing pains which they would have went through in year three when they finally saw the field.

        Honestly, with LeBeau still there, do you really think any rookie CB will start over Taylor, C. Allen or Gay? Or Thomas or any rookie safety drafted will see time over Polamalu, Mitchell or W. Allen? Or how about a rookie nose tackle starting over McLendon? Or a rookie inside linebacker over Timmons or even Williams? If history is any indication, not a chance

        If LeBeau & Co. are so intent on “development,” then they should take the “developmental prospects” in the later stages of the draft. Leave the top rounds for the play-makers and guys who have the best chance to make impacts early.

        Of course, if LeBeau resigned, I’d actually like to see this team have a defensive-heavy draft. Sadly, that didn’t happen.

        • Anthony Chiado

          Normally I would agree with you about taking developmental prospects because rookies would be stolen away before they actually play, but not this year. The reason I say this is because first of all we always have so many injuries on the defense. Second because the front office has struggled in the draft the lately, especially late in the draft. Even though our offense was by far the best unit on the team last year, it isn’t built for shoot outs. But if we can shore up defense in the draft the offense won’t have to be putting up 25+ points every game.
          Even if the Steelers do draft Ebron in the first round, he won’t see tons of playing time either. Miller will still be the starting tight end and Ebron will only come in during 4 and maybe 3 wide receiver sets.
          The main reason why I want to draft defense early is because wide receiver is arguably the deepest group in the draft. On the other hand, many of the defensive positions are thin, especially inside linebacker. In the fourth round we could get a receiver who would be almost as good as guys we could get in the second round. You can’t say the same about most of the defensive positions I have them drafting early.

          • Dom DiTolla

            Really? This year’s cornerback class is probably the deepest in the last five years. Even Colbert said that after the East-West game and it is far deeper than cornerback. John Mitchell has turned eons of late-round defensive line prospects into stars, capable starters and role players during his two-plus decades. Also, there are outside linebackers who could be had later in the draft (S. Barrett is a prime example) who could flourish and develop as well.

            The decision to let go of Foote spells that the team is likely comfortable with Williams as a starter, Garvin as a capable backup and Spence as a wild card to return this fall. I know I didn’t see a large number of first round picks on Seattle’s defense last year either, they seem to have found value in the free agent market and in the later rounds of the draft.

            I’m not opposed to taking a receiver later, but the TE position is thin unless the team is willing to roll the dice on someone like Lyerla, Grimble or Leonard. As far as your idea that Ebron “won’t play,” that’s a stretch too. Haley likes his 12 personnel packages, and Ebron would add a vertical element to the passing game between the 20′s and be a viable red zone threat to compliment Miller. Even a dullard like Haley could understand how to utilize him properly.

            Although you say the defense sustained so many injuries, I guess you forgot how Miller, Spaeth, Bell, Wheaton, etc. missed chunks of last season as well. Heaven forbid they shore up those positions with elite talent.

            You also say that the offense isn’t built for shootouts. While that might be true, why not draft players to make it a unit that does? They have a more than capable quarterback to do it, and weapons like Brown, Miller and Bell would be even more dangerous if other playmakers were added to the mix.

            The Steelers need to highlight the skills of their best player, Roethlisberger, and giving him the appropriate weapons to take advantage of the league’s rules which highlight offense is an absolute must as he finishes the prime of his career over the next three-four seasons.

            Of course, I can only dream and have readied myself to see this team waste early draft picks on players who either won’t pan out or only contribute on the defensive side of the ball until the end of their rookie deals.

          • Craig

            For someone who doesn’t have time to write, he sure can bust out a highly informed comment out several times. ;) Love ya dude!

          • Blind Mellow Jelly

            Finally a Steeler fan with common sense. Thanks for educating these lunkheads stuck in the past on what is going on in other organizations that are actually winning playoff games in the two thousand teens. Now please advise the Steeler organization to get rid of Ike Taylor and Dick LeBeau ASAP!

          • Anthony Chiado

            What unit carried the Super Bowl champion Seahawks? That’s right defense not offense. Defense still is, and always will be, the way to win championships.

          • Dom DiTolla

            With the rules favoring the offense the way they do, defense is going by the way-side. It didn’t hurt the Seahawks either that one of the biggest postseason choke artists of all time was playing quarterback against them.

            Although the Seahawks illustrated that it doesn’t take a bevy of early round picks to build a solid defense. Of course, their coaching staff let those guys play early in their careers and helped them develop into studs.

            Also, what good is a defense if the offense has enormous deficiencies at wide receiver, tight end, running back, etc.?

            Of course, you’re welcome to as many 8-8 seasons as you like if this team ignores their glaring holes on offense.

          • Anthony Chiado

            They may be able to develop talent that they get later in the draft, but that talent is far from a sure thing. They will also take longer to develop. One example is at cornerback. Even though it is the deepest class in a long long time, they need someone who can start next year after Ike is gone. A fourth round pick or later likely won’t be able to start in his second year. Don’t even try to tell me that Barrett would be able to be an adequate spot starter if Worilds, Jones, or both are hurt, which is a very real possibility.
            It’s also a heck of a lot easier to build a defense that can hold a team to around 20 points a game than it is to build an O that can put up 25+ per game. It’s also a lot easier to have success with a mediocre offense and a great defense. Look at the Seahawks. Even though their offense isn’t exactly mediocre, if they didn’t have as good of a defense as they did they wouldn’t have any business being in the Super Bowl.
            I won’t be happy come may unless the Steelers’ first 3 picks are on defense.

          • Dom DiTolla

            25 of the league’s 32 teams put up at least 20 points per game and 11 of which averaged over 25 (including Seattle, yeah really mediocre). Only six of the league’s teams allowed fewer than 20 points per game on the defensive side of the ball.

            With how bad Pittsburgh’s defense will be over the coming years and the trend in offensive play, the Steelers will likely find themselves in plenty of shootouts and need their offense to bail them out on a consistent basis.

            Of course, taking two-down nose tackles in round one and sitting them for two years will remedy that ill, right?

    • [email protected]

      Dom, although there is obvious truth to what you are saying about D rookies not playing, does that preclude us EVER using one of our first 3 picks on defense?
      If we don’t use some early picks on D then the recent demise of our D becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy – we WILL continue to decline on that side of the ball. We are about at the tipping point and need to invest some top picks in our D.
      Besides, I think it’s possible that given our current circumstances this past policy of no rookies played may change simply because it’s just not doable anymore. Neither the Rooneys nor the fanbase will continue to accept that it’s wise to do so if we have a third straight 8-8 result (or worse).
      So do we wait until DLB retires or dies to use top picks on D?

      • Dom DiTolla

        It won’t but it should be a strategy since the team should expect return on their draft pick investments as they rebuild. Plus who is to say that the defense will decline with guys drafted in the later rounds and the team elects to plus some glaring offensive holes instead.

        Last time I checked, Heath Miller is a year removed from of a major knee surgery, is in his 30s, and Matt Spaeth is the top backup at TE. Antonio Brown will be the only receiver on the roster with play-making ability if Jerricho Cotchery bolts. Finally, Le’Veon Bell is the only running back who is currently under contract. Oh, and did I mention that Marcus Gilbert is still the starting right tackle while Maurkice Pouncey is returning from a knee injury of his own?

        Seattle built their defense well through the mid-later rounds and solid
        free agent acquisitions. Why can’t the Steelers do so? Are their scouts,
        coaching staff & front office not up to that task?

        Also, the task of sitting youngsters wasn’t “doable” in 2012 or even last season for Pittsburgh coaching staff even though they were rebuilding and the youngsters could have contributed.

        The only reason guys like Vince Williams and Jarvis Jones played was because there were either season-ending injuries to veterans or a lack of personnel existed at a position. Shark Thomas contributed early due to a lack of personnel, but his injury allowed LeBeau to play Will Allen and Thomas wasn’t allowed to touch the field after he got healthy.

        As I’ve stated multiple times, I’m not against the Steelers employing a defense-heavy draft strategy. I just hope that they keep in mind the glaring holes on offense and actually allow the rookies to play & contribute instead of rot and play special teams if they are capable of doing so.

  • Game_Time

    1st Justin Gilbert CB/KR/PR / Darqueze Dennard / Jason Verrett CB
    2nd Ra’Shede Hageman DE
    3rd Donte Moncrief / Martavis Bryant WR (Comp – Mike Wallace)
    4th Justin Ellis / Ryan Carrethers / Daniel McCullers DT
    5th Prince Shembo OLB
    5th Devonta Freeman / James Wilder Jr. / Jerick McKinnon RB (Comp – Lewis)
    6th Joe Don Duncan / A.C. Leonard / Colt Lyerla TE
    7th Aaron Colvin CB

    • [email protected]

      Nice job, Game Time!!!!! This would be an AWESOME DRAFT!!!!! This draft above is crap.