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.