Heres my first mock of the year, I have my pick and then several alternate picks...this early in the process this might look like a jumble of names and thats because it is. I like to explain and try to justify the pick and i will briefly do the same with the alt picks.
You can hate on it, just tell me why or Im going to be a dick. I like everyones input, but if you look back on these threads guys like Timmons, Sepulveda, Pouncey, Sweed, Gilbert, C. Brown, Heyward (2011 was a good year for me), Dwyer, Thad Gibson, Decastro, Mike Adams, Taamu, and Paulson all were on one of my 3 mocks a year at one point or another....im just on fire the last few years. But the alts are really intended to be guys to watch on the rise and fall over the next few months
1) Manti Te'o MLB Notre Dame (dream pick is Jarvis Jones (dream pick last year was David Decastro*))
Barkevious Mingo, Eifert, Dion Jordon, David Amerson, Keenan Allen, Eric Reid
A ton of Notre Dame Haters on the board, i get it i really do. They give themselves an easy independent schedule, they turn 90% of catholics into the biggest football fans when they are doing good, they get overrated because of the massive audience they bring in, and they are always on ****ing tv....trust me, I hate them too. But lets be real people, none of that is Manti Teos fault. Cant let allegiance to a school skew your views of a player when he goes pro, and Teo is a damn fine linebacker even if he makes up girls.
He reminds me a lot of james farrior but hes much bigger, he could play 7 LB positions, has incredible instincts, and has legit sideline to sideline range. He has the size to take on guards and room to get bigger to become even better against the run but the man can can a guard on one on one or shoot a gap with the best of them. He had a bad game in the NC, against some great talent...we need to look past that to an extent. THe body of work he compiled speaks well beyond one game where the irish were simply out classed on the field and on the sideline. I maintain hes the best LB since willis....thats better than hawk, mcclain, rivers, timmons, bowman, maualuga, lauranitis, kuechly, cushing, matthews, lee, spikes, hightower, jackson, simms, beason and any other guy you can come back at me with...teo is a better prospect.
He would lead the defense, he would create turnovers, stuff the run, blitz, rush the passer, and imo most importantly...cover TEs.
Mingo and Jordon are both insane athletes, and honestly not usually what he look for in an OLB but it may be time to break that mold. With Hampton out and Heyward likely getting MANY more snaps on defense im not sure we need a stud OLB against the run, even with hood in and aaron smith out we posted the #1 run defense and hood is truly the worst starter we have on either side of the ball. We usually go for shorter, stockier and most importantly powerful OLBs, but these guys are dazzling athletes that are born the chase down QBs....Jordon is better, but mingo has some scary potential too. Mingo scares me though too in that he reminds me a TON of aaron maybin, who was sooo explosive and had such a vicious first step but was a liability against the run.
Eifert is an excellent talent, so is Ertz, his only real competition to be anythng worth a damn at TE this year. He would ulitimately replace miller but i think haley would love him as he could play in the slot or out wide even once miller is rehabbed. Hes better than Rudolph and Carlson, and i LOVE Rudolph
I hate Amerson as a CB, but I feel all tingly inside thinking of him as a FS...hes a pick machine, and not by accident, his ball skills are elite. He can run, he can catch, and he can lay the boom. He would be an excellent conversion guy.
Keenan Allen is really the only WR i have interest in using a first round pick on...wouldnt hate it at all, but really the team could be poised to make a run at Bowe....not by any means a typical steeler move, but bowe would be a great steeler, especially under haley. Who knows, the FO might think its time to move some things around and make that splash move they make once a decade.
2) Travis Frederick OG Wisconsin
Matt Elam, Xavier Rhodes, TJ Mcdonald, Chase Thomas, Shayne Skov, Justin Hunter
I LOVE Frederick as a guard, he fell off a bit this year moving to center to replace Konz, but hes a beastly guard (i actually have him ranked #1 among guards, and im a HUGE fan are warmack) and if they landed him to play LG I'd make a bet with anyone that out of mike adams, Travis Frederick, Pouncey, Decastro, and Gilbert we end up with a hall of famer coming out of that line.
Matt Elam would be an excellent FS, he really plays all out and can do everything, including playing corner and covering man to man. Not afraid to stick his nose in the run game either and has a knack for creating turnovers.
Xavier Rhodes is a guy i love seeing fall off the map, loved him 2 years ago...thought he was a nnamdi clone, and that hasnt changed. He is excellent in press man coverage, has good hips, good ball skills and ridiculously long arms. More to come on Rhodes in the next few weeks.
Chase Thomas is a high effort pass rusher that could be a 2nd/3rd round steal in the right system. I love him as a pass rusher, not quite clay matthews as far as white OLBs go but definitely better than barwin, kruger, brooks reed ect were coming out imo
Skov is a guy i think id really like in the middle too, nothing flashy but does his job and can take on guards....would be an upgrade over foote, who really actually has come into his own lately but by no means is irreplaceable.
Justin Hunter is next on my list after Keenan Allen as a moderately "big" WR that ben clearly wants and really kind of needs with the smurfs we have running around. Hes just not the precise passer that can deal with this quick little guys and thats it, he thrives with the big WRs and TEs which opens up so much for littler guys like brown and sanders.
3) Jesse Williams NT Bama
Da'rick Rogers, Gerald Hodges, Margus Hunt, Desmond Trufant, Dennard Robinson
Jesse Williams is one of my favorite NTs this year....Is he as good as Marcel Dareus was at Bama? Nope...but he is a disruptive NT that is a decent athlete for his massive size. Sucks they just invested a 4th rounder in Taamu, but maybe just cutting ties and moving on sooner rather than later is for the best (even though i still have faith in Mcclendon Woods, and Taamu) I like him more than Josh Chapman, another former bama NT who i loved last season. He would be able to play right away and be an immediate replacement and upgrade over hampton....this is a steal after not investing a first rounder in guys like Jenkins or Hankins
Gerald Hodges i like as a MLB in a 34, I dont think hes that far off from Lee or Bowman the other year and i usually hate all penn state players not named Paul.
Margus Hunt is a VERY interesting guy, hes about 6-8 or 6-9, super raw but has the potential to fall somewhere between JJ Watt and Calais Campbell as a 34 DE. The have guys at SMU, I wouldnt be surprised at all to see him get a lot of looks from the steelers, i think he could be an awesome player.
Dennard Robinson is a an insane athlete, has hester-like return ability, better than randel el gadget ability, and could prove to actually be a decent WR prospect at around 6-0 and 200 pounds, he actually has a sturdy build even though hes labeled as vastly undersized (because he plays QB)
4) Brandon Jenkins OLB Florida State
Ryan Swope, Jon Bostic, Aaron Murray, Mike Gissellie, Montee Ball
Jenkins could be one of the top DE/OLBs when its all said and done but i would imagine his knee would drop him to the 4th round range. He is one hell of a conversion guy, could stand up and play elephant LB even though he looks much more like an OLB, he kind of reminds me of a cross between anthony spencer and manny lawson. Spencer is meh as a LB but a good pass rusher and excellent against the run meanwhile Lawson looks more like a pass rusher but has played much better dropping back and playing a more traditional SAM backer with cincy. Jenkins could do it all imo
Swope is a very interesting WR prospect, definitely the kind of big play guy that would help the steelers...more to come on swope after we see his timings
Bostic would be assuming we miss out on a top MLB like Teo, Skov, or Ogletree but he would be an excellent plug and play MLB and special teamer for us
Murray is the one i really wanted to comment on, hes short but has terrific accuracy and good arm strength. Bout time we get a real backup for ben, someone who can come in, be willing to learn the new system and make it his own. Possible successor to ben, but not neccesarily....but definitely a guy id feel comfortable with taking snaps when the start QB gets his next injury at the worst possible time.
Ball is a guy that clearly should have declared last year when his stock was at its highest. I think hes a good player, a hard runner with good vision and decent speed. He reminds me a lot of Chester Taylor, my only problem is im not convinced hes a significant upgrade at the position at this time.
5) Marcus Lattimore RB South Carolina
Gonna be a lot of "I wouldnt waste a pick" on an injured player, well I am 100% for it as high as a 3rd round pick. You hae needs to fill now but you cant sell short the immediate future either....IR him, and you essentially you get 2 first rounders the following year and Lattimore is an incredible talent, not quite trent richardson but who the hell is? Take a flier on an elite back that has injury problems, the position has a short shelf life anyway...if you can get 3-4 years out of him after giving him a year to rest and rehab, you come out of this a winner. If Mcgahee is a first round pick, Lattimore is worth anything after that for sure
6) B.W Webb CB William and Mary
One of my sleepers this year, from Tomlins Alma Mater. Fast CB that could be a decent developmental guy for a 6th round pick
7) Sam Mcguffie WR/RB Rice
Just because the mcguffie videos of him hurdling over people are awesome and I hate mocking someone i dont know in the 7th round. Hes Danny woodhead, just bigger and more talented