Hello fellow brothers and sisters of TheSteelersFans! AskQuestionsLater here, bringing you the very first installment of the Steelers 2020 Mock Draft. Given the fact that the Senior Bowl will be played soon, the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl soon thereafter, I thought it would be best if I started my Mock Drafts earlier this time around. As such, please be aware that all players in this mock draft are likely to vanish in the next. To that end, I only ask that you do not treat this as the final version for we are months away from that happening. Now, before we start this Mock Draft and, as always, a disclaimer; These written statements by the author do not reflect nor are shared opinions of members of TheSteelersFans Message Board, Staff Members and/or Site Administrator. Now, before we begin, like last year, I will have two seperate sections; one for the players and one for the explanations soon thereafter. In additon, these players will be discussed based on the rounds they were selected in rather than the individual themselves. With that out of the way, let us start the mock. 2020 Steelers Mock Draft: 1st Round, number 18 overall (aquired in 2019 from Miami); Minkah Fitzpatrick; Defensive Back from the University of Alabama. 2nd Round, number 48 overall; Ben Bredeson: Offensive Guard from the University of Michigan 3rd Round, number 104 overall (presumed Compensatory Pick): Cole Kmet: Tight End from the University of Notre Dame 4th Round, pick 124: Davon Hamilton: Defensive Tackle from Ohio State University 4th Round, pick 131 (aquired from Tennesee due to Miami trading away this pick received from Pittsburgh): Antonio Gibson: Running Back from the University of Memphis 6th Round, 198 Overall: Amik Robertson: Cornerback from Louisiana Tech University 7th Round, 233 Overall: James Proche: Wide Receiver from Southern Methodist University Our first lucky contestants have all been selected. Now it is time to break down each one! With that, let us begin shall we?!?! Rounds 2 and 3: For those of you who have been following Mike Tomlin since his introduction in 2007, there has been a distinct pattern in which he drafts his players. To obtain a better understanding of this, here is the basic criteria below; Must be between the ages of 20-23. Dating back to 2007, the average age of Steelers First Picks are 21.75; T.J. Watt and Jarvis Jones being the outliers. Must be an Underclassmen. Prior to Bud Dupree, no Seinor defensive player has ever been selected by the Steelers since the AFL-NFL Merger. Must be from a Power 5 Conference. Must be an elite athlete or showcase elite athleticism. Pittsburgh's Draft History says it all dating back to 1970. There are some outliers though; Jarvis Jones being the biggest one. Using the information given, we can now begin to connect the dots a little bit with our first selection in Ben Bredeson. Now, for the most part, Ben does check all the boxes. Power 5?! Check. 22 years of age?! Check. Elite athleticism?! Not really... but a good one overall. The biggest question though will stem from the fact he is a Senior and not an Underclassmen. Since 1970, Pittsburgh has selected an Offensive Lineman only once as a Senior within the first three rounds; Dermontti Dawson. No, Ben Bredeson is not the next Dawson but what he can be is a plug and play starter for the team. Not only this, Ben Bredeson can begin the reform movement along the Offensive Line with aging stars like Maurkice Pouncey and Alejandro Villenueva heading towards the wayside of 30. Heading into the third round, Tight End definitely was a need I was not willing to pass up on. That said, I went with, yet again, a safe selection this time as opposed to going against the grain. Cole Kmet is is a receiving option with the upside to run block. Of course, this is going to be a hurdle for him but the potential is there as a smooth athlete overall. Not explosive but he will be able to push for a starting Tight End role for what he does well is maintain his consistency throughout. Of course the effort and desire are there for him but he is never stagnant with either; getting better with every rep. That said, while he is not the most athletic player in the draft, he is arguably the most consistent. The 4s and the sixth: More often than not, this is where your depth building begins. While it can theoretically apply here, given what we know about the current contractual issues with Javon Hargrave and the soon to be issues with James, why not future proof a bit here?! To start, Davon Hamilton has been a bit of an under the radar level player for much of his collegiate career up until his 5th Senior Season as a Buckeye. Showcasing proper hand discipline, leverage and technqiue, Davon had evolved into a multi role disrputive force along the Ohio State Defensive Line. His best attributes though stem from him being more than capable when handling a two gapping role; a staple for Nose Tackles. Add his experience on not just playing multi roles but winning in multiple ways and he sure does sound like an early top 40 player right?! Well... not quite. Again, the athleticism is good but not to the levels of say, Javon Kinlaw or even Neville Gallimore. The biggest issue though stems from a lack of production as his previous three seasons saw him not be as productive. Despite such issues, Davon can slot into Javon's spot day one and, due to his versatility and experience, the defense might not miss as much of a beat. Now, I understand some of you are having bad Jaylen Samuels vibes from Antonio Gibson given the fact he was a dual threat weapon at Memphis. Worry not as I have taken that into consideration. The missing aspect regarding the comparison between Jaylen Samuels vs. Antonio Gibson is that Samuels was asked to do too much at North Carolina State whereas Antonio Gibson was asked primarily to perform just enough at Memphis. Have a player perform at their best with the skills that they have as opposed to having a player perform only as well as the plays that are drawn up to. Antonio Gibson has arguably the biggest chance of not just any player in Mobile currently but also the biggest chance to rise the highest in the entire draft. His ability to grow is impressive. It is not as game breaking as say, Henry Ruggs III, but Gibson does have playmaking potential out of the backfield. A high end athlete with the speed and quickness to match, acquiring Antonio here would not only be a absolute gift but also a player who can be the Lightning to James Conner's Thunder. Now, the sixth round choice I have is based off of depth and need. Would I want Mike Hilton to return?! Sure. Is Mike Hilton returning possible?! Absolutely. Are Mike Hilton's chances of obtaining more money elsewhere greater than here due to his resume?! Most definitely. Having a Slot Corner is becoming ever more important in today's NFL. That said, it is possible that Mike Hilton might be elsewhere in 2020. Granted, Cameron Sutton is there to supplant him but who is supplanting Cameron Sutton?! Enter Amik Robertson, one of the best ballhawking defenders in the draft. 14 Interceptions and 34 pass breakups in three seasons is nothing to scoff at, FBS, FCS or otherwise. Not only that, 184 total tackles with 23 for a loss?! Talk about fearless. Here in lies the issue; 5'9. That is Amik's height as far as we know for he is a Junior. That said, moving him inside will unlock more of his potential early on; something important no less going forward as Cameron Suttons time might be up after the 2020 season. To not only have a plan in place for the departure of Mike Hilton and Cameron Sutton is imperative and Amil Robertson is that and can be so much more in time. Round 7; The Final Frontier: Rounding out the mock draft, here is another small school player but one that is as electryfying as Antonio Gibson. James Proche might not be as fast or explosive but he is just as dynamic; 39 touchdowns to his credit over the span of four seasons after redshirting his Freshman Year. Like Davon Hamilton, James is also a fifth year. However, also like Davon, James is a late bloomer as well. Add the fact that this Wide Receiving class has one too many options to choose from in terms of not just talent and capability and players like Proche get lost in the shuffle. All that said, all the better. Given his experience, Proche likely will not have too much of an issue transitioning to the NFL sans the usual competition bump he will be facing. Beyond that though, he can push for starting time on Special Teams in both Kicks and Punts. That way, should anything happen to Diontae, at least they do have a Receiver that can do something with the ball in his hands. There it is everyone! These are the initial six players whom I have selected to be Pittsburgh Steelers. Each player not only solves a problem and/or issue for the current but also for the future. Before we go, time to wrap this up!! Final Notes: As stated before concluding the mock, each player represents this draft's likely common theme; consistency. All the players listed above not only have the tools to succeed in their rookie seasons but be consistent in their performances as well. Take for example Ben Bredeson. While he will never be a tier one athlete, his Football IQ and instincts overall is something he can build on as he has both. How about Davon Hamilton?! Consistency is the key for him but he does possess all the physical and football acumen to do it. In short?! Consistency, while key for any rookie, is imperative with this class. The tools and know how are already there, alleviating much of the difficulty a Coaching Staff may have with a very raw rookie. The finite points though and the continuation of repetitions will be critical. Almost home free everyone! Just about done! Before this Mock Draft concludes, let me conclude to seal the deal. Conclusion: Mock Draft season is in full force for yours truly! Very happy I was able to get this out as I want to continue to do these more often. Thankfully, I will finally have some new hardware coming within a few weeks so my ultimate goal of weekly Mocks is not too far off. As in regards to what is next for all of us on the 2020 Draft Season Trail, the next Top 32 Big Board will premier sometime tomorrow; the Top Five Positional Rankings sometime Sunday Sunday soon thereafter. From there on, I will have another Mock Draft next Friday! All this said, be sure to stay tuned as there will be a constant stream of information coming this way! Quite a bit of movement overall. Alas, it is time for us to part ways as I cannot type forever. No reason I will not type again barring some unfortunate circumstances though! I will be back tomorrow and I you join me on this 2020 Draft Tour. Get yo' popcorn ready because this is going to be one heck of a ride from here until April 23 when the Red Carpet hits Sin City! Hope to see you all there when the time comes!! Once again everyone, thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed! Plenty more Mocks await us in the not too distant future so get ready for the journey that awaits!! Until next time everyone, take care and have an awesome day. Go Steelers!!