Welcome to the Championship Sports Media Mock Draft Series! We will be taking you through mock drafts of all 32 NFL teams from now until the draft on Thursday, April 28th. You can find all of our mocks on championshipsportsmedia.com, and follow us on Twitter for updates!
Pittsburgh Steelers Mock Draft 2.0
It’s time for round two of our Pittsburgh Steelers mock draft. While there has been a lot of news about the Steelers since my last mock, the needs of the team have not really changed.
The team will likely be without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger who is likely to retire from the NFL. And Pittsburgh still has a slew of other starters from this season set to be Free Agents:
- WR JuJu Smith-Schuster
- OG Trai Turner
- OT Chukwuma Okorafor
- CB Joe Haden
- CB Ahkello Witherspoon
- S Terrell Edmunds
At this time it is still unclear about all of the team’s draft picks for this April’s draft. Up in the air is seemingly the 6th round draft pick from Kansas City from the Melvin Ingram trade. At this time we’ll assume Pittsburgh is getting that pick, along with a few other assumptions.
ASSUMPTIONS GOING INTO THE PITTSBURGH STEELERS MOCK DRAFT 1.0
In order to do this mock draft effectively, I am going to give some assumptions I am working under for what else the team might do. For example, if I don’t draft a Strong Safety, it is because I am working under the assumption, for this exercise, that the team will be re-signing safety Terrell Edmunds. These assumptions could change as the off-season unfolds, but here are the assumptions I am working with today:
- The Steelers re-sign Wide Receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster
- The Steelers re-sign Safety Terrell Edmunds
- Pittsburgh spends in free agency for a starting center and boundary cornerback
- Head Coach Mike Tomlin does not want to start a rookie quarterback next year
In my previous mock draft I assumed Pittsburgh would sign a starting guard instead of center. This time around I am choosing center to address in free agency. This is due to concerns of what happens if Tyler Linderbaum is not available to Pittsburgh at 20, or they want to draft someone else. It’s also useful to select different players in these mocks, so I did not want to take Linderbaum again just yet. Be sure to read my Mock Draft 1.0, especially if a player you want in Pittsburgh is missing from the list below!
With that said let’s get to the Pittsburgh Steelers Mock Draft 2.0!
Round 1 – Zion Johnson G, Boston College
Zion Johnson is a talented and productive offensive guard from Boston College. Transferring to BC from Davidson he’s been a three-year starter for the Eagles. With two years at left guard he’d be able to move guard Kevin Dotson to his natural position of right guard should Pittsburgh want to make that move. With just 11 starts at left guard in his NFL career it could help him more than hurt him to go back to his natural position.
Johnson is an extremely physical but also technical player. His anchor and hand-usage project him as a better pass blocker which Pittsburgh could use. They gave up 33 sacks this season. But Johnson has the athleticism and physicality to still be effective as a run blocker as well.
Round 2 – Darrian Beavers ILB, Cincinnati
Pittsburgh needs to make an immediate change at middle linebacker, and should even explore a first round pick, or top free agent at the position. Either way Darrian Beavers of Cincinnati should be on their list of options.
Beavers is a 6’4 255-pound linebacker with the physicality and mental processing speed to fix the Steelers’ 32nd ranked run defense. What Pittsburgh was missing this year from the position was a downhill linebacker that could cause problems behind the line of scrimmage (LOS). Beavers has the skills to do that, while also having the athleticism to not be a liability against the pass.
Round 3 – Andrew Stueber OT, Michigan
Michigan Offensive Linemen Andrew Stueber is a physical blocker behind is 6’7 338-pound frame. Notice a trend of these picks? Physical. Pittsburgh was in the bottom third in all advanced rushing and offensive line stats. Running Back Najee Harris was only average in terms of successful runs. And if you prefer traditional numbers they were 29th in rushing yards, yards-per-carry, and rushing touchdowns.
Stueber can fix that run game with his length, power at the point of attack, and nasty demeanor. He’s only an average athlete, but Pittsburgh doesn’t usually require their tackles to be out on the move too often. He also plays with good technique and IQ to help him in situations where his athleticism might hurt him. While Stueber might not be as strong as Okorafor right away he can certainly help the run game and physical nature of the group.
Round 4 – Reggie Roberson Jr. WR, SMU
Even with the re-signing of JuJu Smith Schuster I’m assuming, this team still needs more talent at wide receiver. Specifically down the field. Chase Claypool has not proven to be a real downfield threat at this time because of his inability to stack cornerbacks.
That’s where Reggie Roberson Jr. comes in. At SMU he specialized in becoming a lethal downfield threat with his speed, release off of the LOS, and ability to track the ball downfield. The wide receiver also has a Yards After Catch (YAC) element to his game the team will appreciate. He’ll need to expand his route tree and abilities to have a bigger role in the NFL, but he already has a skillset Pittsburgh could use right away.
Round 6 – Christopher Allen EDGE, Alabama
Christopher Allen aligns as an edge rusher for Alabama. At 6’4 252-pounds he has a perfect frame for a Steelers outside linebacker. Pittsburgh was missing a consistent number three outside linebacker that could also play on special teams this year. Allen has great physical tools and a high motor. He’s also always looking to make a big play when near the ball – had six sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in his one full year starting for the Crimson Tide.
Round 7 – Robert Cooper IDL, Florida State
Robert Cooper is a run stopping machine at Florida State. At 6’2 332-pounds he’s the perfect build for a Pittsburgh Nose Tackle. Cooper has a lot of power to him which allows him to get through the LOS and eat up multiple blocks. This would give others on the Pittsburgh defense more room and opportunity to make plays.
Cooper won’t provide much in the pass rush, but that wouldn’t be something he’d be counted on doing. With Tyson Alualu coming back for another year, and Pittsburgh hopefully re-signing Montravius Adams, Cooper would provide depth as a developmental defensive linemen.
Round 7 – Joshua Williams CB, Fayetteville State
Joshua Williams is an interesting prospect from Division II Fayetteville State. He is nearly 6’3 and almost 200 pounds. A playmaker in coverage (5 interceptions in the last two years) and a willing tackler (31 combined this year – 8th on the team). His play this year earned him an invitation to the Senior Bowl which is rare for a non-Division I player. Williams would be a player to watch if added to Pittsburgh who have fringe players at the position like Justin Layne and James Pierre
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