The last few years the editors of FanSided’s NFL division get together and to a first round mock draft that goes out just before the draft begins. I had the reigns again this season for the Steelers, and it was no easy choice. But, a choice I had to make and I went with Oklahoma State’s CB Justin Gilbert.
Here’s what I said as to why….
There are two schools of thought for whom the Steelers should select as the 15th overall pick – a corner or a big and tall wideout. As what I previously thought would happen in the real draft, the FanSided mock has an early run on QB’s and some other offensive weapons. This allows the top corner in the draft, Justin Gilbert, to fall to the Steelers. The Steelers might be one offensive playmaker away from getting to the playoffs after missing the last two seasons, but Colbert and Tomlin will be looking to find that impact and ‘splash’ player on the defensive side. Secondary is a huge need for the Steelers, and Gilbert’s abilities are a perfect fit for the Black & Gold defense. Gilbert does a great job at neutralizing the top receivers he faces. His decision to stay his senior year really paid off and he garnered seven INT’s, seven passes broken up, and 42 tackles. Gilbert, despite Dick LeBeau always making rookies sit the majority of their early years, should make an impact very early on and could easily replace the aged Ike Taylor if Taylor’s performance slips. Very solid 1st round selection by the Steelers here.
Indeed there was a run on QB’s in this mock – four in eight rounds to be exact. That left the door wide open for the Steelers to choose any of the top three corners in this draft. As much as folks talk about Dennard and Fuller, I just couldn’t pass on Gilbert and his abilities. It came down to Fuller or Gilbert, and I think that Gilbert is a guy that could make an impact almost immediately on this team, regardless of Dick LeBeau’s habit of letting rookies sit until the collect rust.
You can check out the rest of the mock here at FanSided’s NFL Spin Zone.