Thursday, April 30, 2015

If It Ain't Steel's Steelers 2015 Mock Draft


Updated:
The wait is finally over. The day when half the teams in the NFL are assured a spot in the Super Bowl and when the season is already over for the other half...at least if you ask their fans. 

That's right, the 2015 version of the NFL Draft is finally here. 

I had planned for at least two more articles breaking down the various potentially available players in the two biggest positions of need. But two computer glitches caused me to lose LOTS of research and hours of writing that would've been said breakdowns. So, despite saying several times that we would never do a mock draft, here is (*blech*) If It Ain't Steel's 2015 Mock Draft. 

Round 1 - Marcus Peters, CB, Washington: 
Aside from all the game film and the reading of the explanations and the mea culpas, what finally pulled me completely into the Peters camp was Kevin Colbert. At the Monday press conference with he and head coach Mike Tomlin, Colbert had two mini rants where he said it's "horrible" when people put out "much misinformation" via whatever means regarding "a kid’s...character," and that they themselves "don't pay attention to mock drafts (*ahem*) but rather do their own "due diligence." 

In my humble opinion, that had Marcus Peters' name written all over it. Add to that they met with Peters at the NFL Combine, defensive backs coach Carnell Lake was at Washington's Pro Day, and then Peters was also brought in for an official visit. It just seems to add up his being the pick at no. 22.
Alternatives: (our choice) Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest;
Byron Jones, CB, UConn;
Owamaghbe Odighizuwa DE/OLB, UCLA;
Danny Shelton, DT/NT, Washington;

T.J. Clemmings, OG/OT, Pittsburgh;
Eddie Goldman, DT/NT, Florida St. 

Round 2 - Lorenzo Mauldin, OLB, Louisville: 
"That which doesn't kill me makes me strong enough to kick your whiny butt." (That's how the saying goes, right?) Well, Mauldin endured in 16 different foster homes growing up and it made him stronger. It made him strong enough to be a productive pass rusher, but didn't kill his character. He sounds like a Steeler. 
Alternatives: Quinten Rollins, CB, Miami, OH;
Eric Rowe, CB/FS, Utah;
Nate Orchard, DE/OLB, Utah;
Preston Smith, DE/OLB, Miss. St.;
Eli Harold, OLB, Virginia.


Round 3 - (Split) Tre McBride, WR, William & Mary:
The Steelers need a no. 4 WR who could someday be more, McBride is worth the pick, and it's Mike Tomlin's alma mater. A very feasible selection. 
Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon: 
Ekpre-Olomu doesn't seem to get that he's on the smaller side. He tackles, he has power that belies his frame, he tackles, he battles on every play...oh, and he tackles: he had over 200 in three seasons at Oregon. But we can't take that many CBs, either. 
Alternatives: D'Joun Smith, CB, Florida Atlantic. 

Round 4 - Senquez Golson, CB, Ole Miss: 
Remember the Redskins' Pat Fischer...? Golson isn't very big, but all he does is make big plays. The Steelers could use someone like that.
Alternatives: Derron Smith, FS, Fresno St.;
Blake Bell, TE, Oklahoma;

Steve Nelson, CB, Oregon St

Round 5 - Jesse James, TE, Penn State:
Can the "outlaw" and "biker" jokes. Ok? Good, because this is one player the Steelers have had their eyes on for a while. Big, strong, can block and has upside. Let's be Frank, James, I think you'll be riding right on into town very soon. (Sorry, I couldn't resist one after all.)
Alternatives: Shaquille Mason, G/C, Georgia Tech;
Davis Tull, DE/OLB, Tennessee-Chattanooga.


Round 6 - Max Valles, OLB, Virginia: 
Every time I watched film of Virginia's Eli Harold, I saw Valles doing something impressive. Young and raw, Valles may have come out too early. But that could also be to his advantage in that he could virtually be a tabula rasa for the right coaching staff. 
Alternatives: Anthony Chickillo, DE, Miami, Fl.

Round 6 (Comp) - Kyle Emmanuel, OLB, North Dakota State:
A big fish in a small pond, but the Missouri Valley Conference Defensive MVP did lead the FCS with 19.5 sacks. Who knows, he might make a living as a valuable reserve with starting capability - every team needs those.
Alternatives: Dexter McDonald, CB, Kansas

Round 7 - Troy Hill, CB, Oregon:
Per Pro Football Focus, he actually grades out better than Ekpre-Olomu, the tackling guru mentioned above, but didn't get the press. That's ok, his the swagger caught my attention. 
Alternatives: Corey Crawford, DE, Clemson.

There you have it - the first and last If It Ain't Steel Mock Draft. Let's just hope I get at least one right.

ADDENDUM: I don't know why it hadn't dawned on me that I had 4 CBs, so I adjusted it. In my defense, though, there are several CBs and edge rushers who will be available starting in the 3rd round who could be be with the team for years to come. Part of the reason for that also, though, is explained in the "Tidbits" section. 

~

TIDBITS: 
OFFICIAL PRE-DRAFT VISITS -
DE/OLB Eli Harold, Virginia
DE/OLB Nate Orchard, Utah
CB Senquez Golson, Mississippi
TE C.J. Uzomah, Auburn
CB Marcus Peters, Washington
CB Alex Carter, Stanford
DE/OLB Max Valles, Virginia
WR Breshad Perriman, UCF
QB Tyler Murphy, Boston College
TE Wes Saxton, South Alabama
WR Sammie Coates, Auburn
TE Cameron Clear, Texas A&M
G Quinton Spain, West Virginia
TE Jeff Heuerman, Ohio State
TE Kennard Backman, UAB
DT Xavier Cooper, Washington State
DE/OLB Randy Gregory, Nebraska
WR Devin Gardner, Michigan
WR Jaelen Strong, Arizona State
CB Steven Nelson, Oregon State
CB Darryl Roberts, Marshall
CB Bryce Callahan, Rice
CB Eric Rowe, Utah
CB Doran Grant, Ohio State
DE/OLB Kyle Emanuel, North Dakota State
S Landon Collins, Alabama
DE Preston Smith, Mississippi State:
DE/OLB: Davis Tull, Tennessee-Chattanooga.
(Over half were edge rushers and/or cornerbacks.)

PRO DAY DINNERS -
RB Matt Jones, Florida
C Max Garcia, Florida
CB Kevin Johnson, Wake Forest
OLB Alvin Dupree, Kentucky
OLB Danielle Hunter, LSU
CB Jalen Collins, LSU
OLB Shane Ray, Missouri
OLB Markus Golden, Missouri
OLB Lorenzo Mauldin, Louisville
WR DeVante Parker, Louisville
CB Charles Gaines, Louisville
S Gerod Holliman, Louisville.
(3/4 of them were edge rushers and/or cornerbacks.)