One of the great draft guru’s we have on Steeler Addicts has released his yearly Steelers mock draft, v1.0. It’s a solid all around draft for the Steelers with a surprise or two; depending on how you view things potentially unfolding.
Great draft talk is always going on with Kyle and the rest of the draftnicks on SA. We’ll have several mocks coming up like always so be sure to check in our war room often to see what the latest thoughts and projections are. Coming up in the near future will be Nick’s mock draft, another avid draft fan here on the site. The reason we promote these mocks here on the homepage is to show appreciation to the dedication and thought that goes into these projects. Kyle, Nick and the rest of the draft guys on SA have a solid track record and are well respected among the members.
We’ll keep Kyle’s mock draft updated as he tweaks his picks over the next month and half.
1) Dont’a Hightower MLB Alabama
I think if Higtower is there at 24, he will be the pick. MLB is a need, but in this case it is also a luxury pick. Hightower has had his stock up and down over the last few years, looking like a first rounder early and then a mid rounder after his injury when he didn’t really play that well and looked sluggish off the snap. Since then however he has been a force in the middle of the Alabama defense. Running a 4.6 at the combine has me sold on any speed question marks he once had. At 6-4 260 that speed is ridiculous. He is a perfect complement to Timmons in the middle and will start early in his career. Has the size to take on blockers, he has the blitzing ability to get to the QB both through the middle and off the edge at OLB so if Harrison and Woodley both are hurt we won’t be crippled at OLB, and he has the size and strength to play DE on passing downs and just get after the QB. Very versatile, but will be a key in the middle of the defense for us, I’ve compared him to Adalius Thomas in that he can line up anywhere on the defense pretty much. IMO he’s a better prospect than Rolando McClain in every way
Other possible picks:
Cordy Glenn- Big, mauling guard. A rare athlete at the position, instant upgrade at either guard spot
Mike Adams- 19 reps isn’t a problem IMO, these 6-8 guys usually do about that much, Starks did 21. Great athlete and would be a great duo at tackle with Gilbert.
Dontari Poe- If he’s there
Peter Konz- Upgrade at guard or an EXTREME upgrade at guard if they move Pouncey and put Konz at center
2) Brandon Brooks OG Miami (OH)
Here’s a guy that has quickly risen up my board, hard to judge someone playing at Miami Ohio that didn’t get a combine invite, but here’s a little info on Brooks pro day:
After sizzling during the testing portion of his workout, Brandon Brooks continued to impress during a 10-minute segment of position drills. According to scouts Brooks moved well around the field, looking fluid and smooth. At one point during bag drills he knocked over a coach from the Pittsburgh Steelers after violently striking the bag with his powerful hand punch. Brooks is slated for a second workout next Thursday, March 8, where he will solely participate in offensive line drills. The expectations from NFL decision makers at the workout is Brooks will be the first non-combine participant drafted in April
Miami (OH) Guard Brandon Brooks had a very good pro day. He showed great athleticism (4.98, 32 inch vertical) and is a very big guy at 346. Not sure why he didn’t get a Combine invite.
I think the bold is a positive thing much more than it is a negative thing. He kind of reminds me of Heath Benedict, a prospect who passed away a few years ago that the Steelers were very interested in coming in and replacing Alan Faneca. Big violent guard that showed a great punch and nimble feet. I have him as a 3rd round prospect at the moment, but the Steelers take him near the tail end of round 2 after missing out on Decastro, Konz, Glenn, B. Washington, K Osemele, and maybe Kevin Zeitler. But Brooks is a great consolation prize to missing out on the top guards in a pretty good guard class.
Other Possible picks: Brandon Washington, K. Osemele, Kevin Zeitler, Stephen Gilmore, Alfonzo Dennard, Chase Minnifield, Alemeda Ta’amu, Jared Crick
3) Josh Chapman NT Alabama
Here’s a guy that fought through injuries to play on arguably one of the greatest collegiate defenses ever, and he played a position that got no glory while opening up things for guys like Hightower, Upshaw, and Kirkpatrick to be first round picks. He won’t be able to work out till this summer but he had a good showing on the bench (like 33 reps I believe) and he looks the part of a NT that we look for. We don’t need a NT to run a 40 to draft him in the 3rd round, his tape speaks for itself
Other possible picks: Brandon Boykin, Doug Martin, Vontaze Burfict, D. Posey, Chris Polk
4) Isaiah Pead RB Cincinnati
RB probably needs to be addressed with Mendenhall starting out on the PUP list and his status being unclear. Dwyer, Clay and Redman are not guys I am comfortable with as RBs to start the year with and who the hell knows what they have planned for Baron Batch. My guess is Batch wins the 3rd down back role, but doesn’t do much more than that. The Steelers have shown a lot of interest in Pead and he had good workout numbers, definitely good enough to warrant a 4th rounder.
5) Chad Deihl FB Clemson
Massive 6-2 265 pound FB, no Arians leaves a window open for the Steelers to use a real FB again. This man has head hunter potential. He’s got good acceleration, a mean punch, and never misses his assignments. Watch some stuff on him; he’s a crushing lead blocker. Not sure what the Steelers actual intentions are to use a FB in the next year, but if they go back to a more traditional FB running scheme, Diehl is a hell of a jumping off point.
6) Ron Brooks CB LSU
Never started at LSU but was impressive in drills and ran in the 4.3s, it’s hard to find a starting spot when you are playing behind 2 top 6 picks in Peterson and Claiborne, and a Heisman Hopeful in Tyrann Mathieu, but he’s athletic and can cover and be a beast on ST.
7) Blair Walsh Kicker Georgia
Best kicker in the draft, bring him in to compete, it is about time to make moves on a kicker that can be reliable.