It may be 11 months until the 2015 NFL Draft rolls along, but with a lack of news in the Steelers department right now, this is an entertaining yet meaningless article. I expect to get every pick wrong, but based on the few evaluations I have done this is who I would take if the draft was tomorrow. This is also assuming the Steelers have the same picks they owned in the 2014 draft, except for the compensatory pick.
The Pick: Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa
This offseason the Steelers could lose two starters along their offensive line in Maurkice Pouncey and Marcus Gilbert, and the way I see it they have two options. They could re-sign Pouncey, let Gilbert walk, and draft a player to take over at right tackle. Release Ramon Foster to clear $2.25 million in cap space, re-sign both Gilbert and Pouncey, move Kelvin Beachum to guard (where he could make a case as an All-Pro), and draft a player to be the starting left tackle. Either way I think Scherff is the pick here. I doubt all five offensive line starters are back together next season so I replacement will need to be drafted early. I like Scherff as the man for the job because he is a mean, nasty tackle who will fit right in with the Steelers’ power running game.
The Pick: Josh Shaw, CB, USC
If cornerback isn’t the pick in the first round next year, it should almost definitely be the pick in the second round. There is now way that you can have a Cortez Allen-William Gay-Shaq Richardson trio of cornerbacks atop your depth chart. If they hope to have any semblance of a good secondary to complement their hopefully solid front seven, they need to have a big infusion of young talent. Josh Shaw is the type of lanky cornerback who the Steelers covet. From what I’ve seen of him, he is also good in the off-man scheme that the Steelers run. He could form a nice one-two punch with Cortez Allen and William gay in the slot.
The Pick: E.J. Bibbs, TE, Iowa State
Heath Miller is inevitably aging and there is a lack of quality depth behind him. Matt Spaeth, David Paulson, and Rob Blanchflower does not a stable of tight end depth make. There is a desperate need of early round talent and E.J. Bibbs could be the man that brings it. He isn’t the tallest tight end, but he is strong and good in traffic. He is also good in space do to his bulk and ability to break tackles. He is very similar to Heath Miller and since Miller has worked so well in the offense, why not add a very similar player to reap the benefits after he retires? Seems like a good plan to me.
The Pick: Xzavier Dickson, OLB, Alabama
Jason Worilds still has not been resigned to a long term deal following being assigned the transition tag and there is no guarantee that he is back next season. Chris Carter has also been a severe disappointment and he will inevitably be gone after this season, leaving an open backup spot. At the very least they need to bring in a guy on the third day to be a backup and spot contributor. Dickson is on the bigger end for 3-4 outside linebackers, which is also how LaMaar Woodley and Jason Worilds are built. Dickson won’t be able to come in and be an immediate starter or big contributor, but he will be a solid backup who could develop into a starter one day.
The Pick: Andrew Manley, QB, Eastern Illinois
I didn’t like the Landry Jones pick when it happened and I don’t like it now. It was a failed experiment and if he doesn’t improve he should be gone. He hasn’t been that awful on the field, but he doesn’t have very much upside and isn’t a viable solution to be in contention to replace Big Ben. Both Ben and Bruce Gradkowski are on the wrong side of 30 so there needs to be an infusion of young talent to the QB position. We may be a few years away from having to take a quarterback early, but it is never to early to add a late round flyer who may just turn out to be something special.
The Pick: Justin McCay, WR, Kansas
I expect AB, Markus Wheaton, Lance Moore, Martavis Bryant, and Justin Brown to make up the wide receiver depth chart next year, which means there will be an open slot on the practice squad. Lance Moore’s contract will expire after next season and that means there will be an open spot on the depth chart. McCay should be able to occupy the spot on the practice squad for one year and then be called up to the active roster for the 2015-2016 season.
The Pick: Spencer Roth, P, Baylor
There isn’t much to explain about this pick except for the fact that the Steelers’ punters have been horrible. Unless Brad Wing can perform like he did in college and stay out of trouble off the field, there should be turnover at the position again next season.
What do you think about this way too early mock draft Steelers Nation? Leave comments in the section below!