Hello fellow brothers and sisters of TheSteelersFans! AskQuestionsLater later here, giving you my first installment of my mock draft for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Considering that the NFL Scouting Combine is rapidly approaching, many people will have their own takes on whom the Steelers should select with their first pick. This is simply my take on whom Pittsburgh just might select this time around. Before we begin and, as always, a disclaimer: The written statements by the author do not reflect nor are shared opinions of members of TheSteelersFans Message Board, Staff Members and Site Administrator. One final aspect before we move on. For those of you who are relatively new to this site and, for that matter, new to me, this mock write up will be the normal up until the post scouting combine. For those of you who have known me since April 21 of 2016, I will be taking a different direction with my mocks this time around. With introductions and our disclaimer out of the way, please sit back, relax, and enjoy the read; courtesy of yours truly! Now, let us not make haste and begin!! Round One: Byron Murphy: Cornerback From the University of Washington. Round Two: J.J. Arcega-Whiteside: Receiver from the University of Stanford. Round Three: Darrell Savage Jr.: Defensive Back from the University of Maryland. Round Four: Jalen Jelks: Defensive End from the University of Oregon. Round Five: None Round Six (Pick One): Neville Gallimore: Defensive Tackle from the University of Oklahoma. Round Six (Pick Two): Tyre Brady: Wide Receiver from Marshall University. Round Seven: John Baron II: Kicker from San Diego State University. Now, with our picks out of of the way, it is time to verify why each selection was made! Once again, sit back and enjoy the post analysis. Post Analysis: Let us get the easiest aspect out of the way first (literally). Byron Murphy has been slotted by many within draftnik sites to Pittsburgh... and for good reason. To start out, Joe Haden cannot keep this level of consistency up forever. Some state that Artie Burns is essentially Chad Scott. Considering this writer has insufficient information on how poorly Chad Scott played ( I became a Steelers fan in 2008 mind you), the better example for me would be Cortez Allen. That being said, Byron Murphy not only acts as an immediate upgrade for our cornerback position but also acts as a foundation for the future when Joe Haden simply cannot do it anymore. Considering Murphy is not scheme limited by any means in addition to bringing some violence to his run defense, he is a quintessential pick for Pittsburgh. Now, here are the two more controversial choices for picks two and three. Simply would not be a Steelers Draft without one right?! Getting back on topic, let us start with the receiver while Pittsburgh did acquire a receiver in Round 2, it was not the likes of say Hakeem Butler, Deebo Samuel or even a route technician in Riley Ridley. Nope. I went with J.J. Arcega-Whiteside instead. Why? Unlike some, I still believe that Ryan Switzer can develop into a solid return man. Granted, it will not ever replicate Antonio Brown, but this pick, much like the first one, solves two issues. First off is body control for a receiver; something that Whiteside is unbelievable at acconplishing and second only to N'Keal Harry in my opinion. The second most important aspect would be how consistent are his hands? Again, this is an area where Whiteside shines in; namely his ball tracking skills which are again, second only to K'Keal Harry. Contested catches, redzone catches, catches in traffic are not an issue with him. That being said though, the issue is not with Whitesides ability to catch but his athleticism; something many will critique him heavily for. A good combine can alleviate some of those concerns but not all of them. The reason why J.J. could potentially draw immense ire to much of the Steelers faithful is that many will point out that there already is a much better J.J. in JuJu and a true deep threat should be considered. Well, that statement regarding not having a deep threat in it of itself is somewhat of a contradiction. Pittsburgh already has one in James Washington... or so I believe they do. I believe that, an offseason of work will assist young James into a fine deep threat for year two as he ended his rookie season on a good note. The second big controversial pick, rather pick three, is likely going to also be controvesial given his style of play is going to remind some on here of another Terrapin who has not lived up to expectations. While Darrell Savage Jr. lives up to his last name in addition to playing Free Safety, Chauncey Gardner Johnson will likely be a favorite among the Steeler faithful; some even hoping to acquire said player in Round Two. Yes, Chauncey does not have the speed quite like Darrell but Chauncey does give you a nice chess piece to use on the backend as Chauncey does possess the better range of the two. Add the fact that Chauncey also possess some of the best versatility among safeties and it is hard to make a case for Savage. Well, the major reason I did opt for Savage than slot Chauncey in Round Two is because of the fact what Savage arguably does better than any other safety in the class; tackle. Among the safeties in the class who bring the same level of tenacity and violence, only Nasir Adderly and Taylor Rapp would be on equal footing. Nevermind his big hits, he tactically and strategically plans out on how he is going to lay some lumber on would be receivers within his vicinity. Another positive asepct would be his ability to generate turnovers; 8 total at Maryland. While it is disappointing to see he did not generate any forced fumbles, he has shown he is capable of taking it to the house as he has done twice in his collegiate career. The biggest reason however why Darrell obtains the nod over Chauncey is due to how consistent Darrell was in comparison to Chauncey over their career. Sure, Chauncey was the better player in 2018 but every other year in their collegiate careers belonged to Savage Jr. Not only that, Darrell gives us the oppurtunity to deploy a three safety look. Given the fact that Darrell has the ball skills necessary to develop into a quality Free Safety, having him being deployed immediately as a Cover 2 safety solves two issues; the current issue with Morgan Burnett and the long term one with Sean Davis. Should the team feel confident enough for Darrell And Terrell to be the future, the team can move on from Sean in 2020 or bring him back on a team friendly deal should he elect to stay. Getting onward with picks four through seven, this concept of the draft is where you build your team. A crucial component towards team building is finding not just impact players with the first three picks but also acquiring depth players who can step up or step in if need be should their number be called. To start this, Jalen Jelks is essentially Brian Burns minus the finer aspects of the position. It is not that he is incapable of getting to the quarterback... he just is not versed overall well enough like Brian is. Then again, Oregon did not put him in winnable situations anyway. A situational role will assist his development for certain. A year in an NFL Strengh and Conditioning Program could make him the guy to play opposite of Watt. Regarding the likes of Neville Gallimore and Tyre Brady, they are as you would expect; solid depth players who can become contributors should they develop properly. This is more so from Gallimore due to the fact that Pittsburgh really needs a zero tech to spell Hargrave. Thankfully though, Gallimore does have the required strength and just enough lateral quickness for the job. Add the fact he has experience in playing in the zero to three technique within the defensive line and you have a player who can develop into more tham just a run stuffing specialist. Much of the same can be said for Tyre Brady as well. Should he develop, he is the future deep threar option with the ability to contest catches like James Washington. That being said, he has some way to go in terms of building his frame. As it stands right now, he is a backup option. John Baron II is more so motivation for Cris Boswell. That being said, being 5 for 5 on field goals of 50+ yards is nothing to scoff at. While I wish I had more analysis on John Baron II, the fact of the matter is that kickers are more simplistic than most other positions as the analytics does much of the hard work. The tape can showcase certain aspects to us such how well a kicker can plant his foot and drive his leg. The issue with that is a kicker's game is more mental than anything else; their success determined within the stat sheet and how consistent they can do it. This now concludes the post analysis. Now, it is time to wrap this up! Final notes: Each major area of need and areas of depth were considered in this mock. Keep in mind that a draft cannot cover every hole in a team; hence why specific positions were left out of the draft all together or were ignored until the later rounds. The most puzzling one could likely be at outside and inside linebacker for many. That being said, this mock draft is under the pre context of Pittsburgh already signing their pass rusher onto the team. Regarding the Inside linebacker critique, keep in mind that both Tomlin and Butler have increased their usage of a Cover 2 or 3 defense using three safeties and have opted to go for just one true linebacker rather than deploying two to the field. Namely, Tomlin's main plan of his form of the Cover 2 or 3 is to have either the Strong Safety or Dime 'Backer act as an additional linebacker for passing plays and have them rely on their speed in addition of the lone linebackers ability to penetrate quickly into the backfield. The type of defense of course will depend on whatever the offenses personnel are within that play. Closing Statements: There you have it everyone! A Seven Round Steelers Mock Draft! One before the combine no less. With less than two weeks remaining, I decided upon myself it was long overdue I did one. For those of you who wanted me to go a different route, fret not. Keep in mind that this is "Take One". "Take Two" will be up tomorrow, "Take Three" on Monday soon thereafter. I have not yet decided on a possible "Take Four" yet so let me first complete the third take before ongoing with that. Thank you all for reading and I hope you enjoy! The next mock draft will be coming very soon; a much different take no less. How do you like the new format I used? Like it? Do not like it? What are your overall thoughts on this mock?! Was this mock within the same level of thought you had?! Did you believe this mock could have went differently while accomplishing the same goal?! Which players would you sub out?! Please let me know down below as it always helps me out! For those new to this new format, please observe the link below for further information on what my old format was: http://thesteelersfans.com/forums/threads/2018-steelers-nfl-mock-draft-pro-day-wrap-up.19418/ Until next time everyone, have a good weekend and take care! Go Steelers!!