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Steelers Seven Round Mock Draft (Post Combine/Pre Free Agency): Take One

Discussion in 'The Bill Nunn Draft Room' started by AskQuestionsLater, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. AskQuestionsLater

    AskQuestionsLater Writing Team

    Apr 21, 2016
    Hello fellow brothers and sisters of TheSteelersFans! AskQuestionsLater here bringing you my first installment of the 2019 Steelers seven round mock draft. This time though, we are looking at players whom the Steelers might have an interest in after the events of the combine. For certain, some players have definitely caught Pittsburgh's attention for certain. Others not so much. For those that have however, will earn their keep and become members of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Now, before we begin, 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.

    Given the current circumstances, there are a plethora of options to choose from at pick 20. Part of the good reason to have a top 20 pick is that said players are the only players who are warranted a "First Round Grade" by the NFL Draft Advisory Board. Any other prospect would be considered the classical "Boom or Bust" label. That being said though, in this mock draft, the Steelers have their own definition of what constitutes as a "Day One Starter". To find out who this person is, let us not waste another second and get onto the mock draft shall we?!

    Round One (Pick 20): Devin Bush Jr. Linebacker from the University of Michigan.

    Round Two (52 Overall): Foster Moreau: Tight End from Louisiana State University

    Round Three (66th Overall. Acquired from Oakland): Amani Hooker: Defensive Back from the University of Iowa

    Round Three (84th Overall): J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. Wide Receiver from the University of Stanford

    Round Four (123rd Overall): Jordan Miller. Cornerback from the University of Washington

    Round Five (142nd Overall): Maxx Crosby. Edge Rusher from Eastern Michigan University

    Round Six (176th Overall. Acquired from Oakland): Devine Ozigbo. Running back from the University of Nebraska

    Round Six (194th Overall): Zack Bailey. Offensive Tackle from the University of South Carolina

    Round Six (209th Overall. Acquired from Arizona): John Baron II. Kicker from San Diego State University

    Round Seven (221st Overall): Derrek Thomas. Cornerback from Baylor University.

    All ten newly acquired picks have been selected for the Steelers. It is time to find out why each pick was selected. To that, we go to the post analysis. This time around however, I have divided up the sections. Much like my Post Combine Big Board, this will ensure that the analysis itself is not only clear but also more efficient to read! With that out of the way, onto the analysis.

    Post Analysis:

    Rounds 1 and 2:

    Regarding Devin Bush Jr.'s selection alone, I will not waste as much time detailing that aspect as to on what it takes to be worthy of being a first pick by the Steelers in the Mike Tomlin Era; the Modern AFL-NFL for that matter for Steelers defensive players. As such, here is the four key criteria listed below:

    1. 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.
    2. Must be an Underclassmen. Prior to Bud Dupree, no Seinor defensive player has ever been selected by the Steelers since the AFL-NFL Merger.
    3. Must be from a Power 5 Conference. Since the AFL-NFL Merger, Pittsburgh has only selected non Power 5 Conference Defensive players in the First Round three times. The last player selected? Aaron Jones, a Defensive End from Eastern Kentucky back in 1988; over 30 years ago.
    4. 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.

    Recently though, there has been one more form of criteria that the Steelers have added onward as far as my knowledge goes; players who have NFL Bloodlines. T.J. Watt was the first of this nee initiative by Tomlin and Colbert, Terrell Edmunds arriving soon thereafter. Devin Bush Jr. is likely to be the next one. His father, Devin Bush Sr., won a Super Bowl with the then named St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV. Given he fits the four key criteria in addition to this one, Devin Bush Jr. on paper does appear to be the pick. However, that alone would not warrant his selection. Kevin Colbert has been on record this offseason stating that the team did not do enough to adequately replace Ryan Shazier. This time however, he will not make that mistake twice. Not only is Devin Bush capable of blitzing very efficiently and defending the pass, he is also adept at defending the run. Yes, he is going to be pushed around a bit by those nasty AFC North interior offensive lineman a bit. That being said though, the fact that he reads his keys and diagnoses plays faster than anyone not named Ben Burr-Kirven showcases he does have the ability to become not just a day one starter but also a day one impact player; something this defense desperately needs.

    Moving onto Round Two, as is the case every year, Pittsburgh usually makes a controversial choice. I am not opposed to making this selection for the likes of Foster Moreau as he seems to be the candidate most likely to continue this trend of controversey. Yes, the team does have both Vance and Xaiver Grimble. I personally do not expect Jesse James back either as the market for free agent ends is going to be high. While I do expect Xavier Grimble to start, I also expect Vance McDonald to be hurt at some point. Given these two circumstances, Foster's selection does appear to be more clear than before. That being said though, the major reason he will be a controversial choice is due to his lack of production at LSU. However, I placate more blame on LSU's offensive playcalling than Moreau's abilities. Considering he is an athletic blocking based Tight End who can catch the ball, a certain Wide Receiver's removal directly indicating more balance within the offensive pass targets no less, Foster Moreau has all the tools of a Steelers Tight End and will be a valuable asset for the team in increasing the amount of balance on offense.

    Rounds 3 through 5:

    Given the fact that we have two third round picks this season, why not use both to continue to bolster the roster in key area's. This time, we will be focusing on the remaining big holes within the roster that can assist the team as starters or have important roles as sub package players. On that note, let us get started with Amani Hooker, a Strong Safety from the Univeristy of Iowa who has had a great collegiate career at the University of Iowa. Nevermind his ballhawking abilities, one of the more underrated defenesive backs in the class in that regard, his versatility is second only to Chauncey Gardner Johnson in my opinion. There really is not much he cannot do outside of playing as a single high Free Safety and being an outside corner; something Chauncey Garnder Johnson does better than anyone in the class. Given the fact that Morgan Burnett will not be a Steeler for much longer, having someone like Amani Hooker who has played not only in the Dime 'Backer but in a Pro Style Defense means that there will not be that big of a steep learning curve. That being said though, could Amani truly last this long?! I have him as the 45th best player in the draft currently. That being said though, there are a lot of good to really good safeties in this class who have become more than just merely their intended position. Add the fact that this class is loaded in other key positions such as Pass Rusher, Offensive Tackle, Defensive Lineman and Wide Receiver and the prospects of acquiring Amani are much higher.

    Much of the same can be said for the second of the two third round picks in J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. Even in comparison to last year, this year has a lot of good receiving options. However, due to the rise of the Tight End position in the NFL today, this class is also quite loaded at said position the same. Due to these circumstances in addition to players likr Myles Boykin greatly increasing their stock, it would not surprise me to see J.J. available. For me though, this is fine as J.JJ.J. fits thr Steeler mold of receiver to the "Tomlin T". He is not a deep threat by any means but he can play on the outside and in the slot. His combat catching abilities and abilities to catch in traffic are both second only to N'Keal Harry for me. The main issue? Much like Harry, he will drop some passes that are uncontested. However, I do not believe this is a concern but rather a form of fundmentals he will have to work on. Not only will Darryl Drake have a fresh new start with a team oriented Wide Receiver Locker Room, he will get essentially another JuJu to work with and show him the right way of being an NFL Receiver.

    For rounds four and five, this is where one of the aspects of the "Pre Free Agency" period is taken into account within the thread title. Jordan Miller, along with Byron Murphy, formed one of the best corner tandems in the entire country. While Byron was doing well enough on his end, Jordan more than held his own against some of the PAC-12's best receivers. Why rated so low?! Unlike his teammate in Byron, Miller does need some time in the weightroom if he is to become something more at the next level. That being said though, this is the perfect spot for him as he can learn behind the likes of both Joe Haden and whomever the team's Free Agent cornerback signing is. When Joe Haden can no longer play as well as he once did, Jordan will likely be ready to assume the number two or even number one corner spot. Now, this is not to say he can not play in an emergency spot duty. Just do not expect him to win as many one on ones in his rookie season against some of the bigger receivers in the league. Much of the same sentiments about Miller can also be said to Maxx Crosby; a player who I am very intrigued by. While most people claim his overall athletic ability did not match up well with his combine scores, I beg to differ; his agility being his biggest area of strength. For me, if a Pass Rusher hits below the 6.9 mark in the three cone, such pass rushers do normally have better success as they are able to bend the edge. Regarding their ankle flexion, same rules apply; sub 4.2. While he did play in a lesser conference, I came away impressed with his hand fighting abilities and abilities to hold the edge. Both of these qualities, paired with his athletic ones, are more than enough of a reason for him to be a developmental pass rusher. Given that Bud may likely never reach his potential at this point barring extreme circumstances, Maxx Crosby gives the Steelers a more promising bridge towards the future as he develops his abilities.

    Rounds 6 and 7:

    This is where, as always, the depth building is continued point of emphasis. Yes, rounds four through seven are where your depth building takes place. That being said, having three sixth round picks gives us more flexibility to the other area's within the roster. To start out, Devine Ozigbo is a solid choice to start out. It is possible he goes a round earlier due to his combine performance. However, having only one season of work to showcase to evaluators is going to give some pause. That being said though, he still is a great rotational option all the same. He has experience catching the ball in the backfield and is solid when running the football. Add his lack of tread and this is a rock solid piece to a young and upcoming Running Back corps. Continuing on with the versatility, Zack Bailey is one of the more underrated Offensive Lineman in the class. Sure, he is no Dalton Risner or Chris Lindstrom but he is still a versatile workhorse who has experience in playing all five positions. Given the aspect now that Gilbert is gone, another good depth option is needed here. In addition, it never hurts to give the likes of Zach Banner some motivation.

    On the note of motivation, Cris Boswell sure needs some; John Baron II rounding out our three sixth round selections. His 83% career collegiate avergae definitely is not something to write home about but hitting a perfect 5 for 5 of 50 yards or more is. Among the kickers in the class who can give Cris Boswell a run for his money, John Baron is definitely someone worth paying attention to. To round out the draft, let us go for another corner. Unlike Miller though, Derreck Thomas has all the athletic intangibles a coach could ever ask for. The issue is his lack of fundementals overall. Can he be a starting capable corner?! Depends on who is coaching him; a good test for both Terryl Austin and Tom Bradley. Considering that both are sticklers for the fundementals and technique of playing as a defensive back, Thomas has the potential to be molded into a quality depth option in time.

    There you have your analysis on all ten picks! I hope the analysis cleared up some of the confusion overall. For any remaining questions however, let us go to the final notes.

    Final Notes:

    Devin Bush Jr. is going to turn a lot of Steelers fans off... big time. Many people will immediately condem and berate him due to his lack of height and inability to make plays in the run game. While I do not disagree entirely on the latter statement, the former statement is both directly and indirectly beyond his control. Due to the increased usage of the spread based option in NFL offenses, Running Backs who are now catching more passes out of the backfield than they were over a decade ago and the continued threat of the slot receiver, the gollegiate game of football is responding to these threats by having uber athletic linebackers perform a multi arrary of roles; Devin White and Devin Bush being the highlights of the class. For that matter, the increased usage of the Tight End spot also means Pittsburgh may likely choose a Tight End in either Rounds Two or Three. Given the fact they already met Foster at the Seinor Bowl in addition to Vance's being no sure guarantee, it would not shock nor surprise me if he is in play in Round Two.

    Waiting on a receiver and a playmaking defensive back sound asinine but in retrospect and, as stated in the post analysis, a lot of talent is getting pushed down; some far more than I can recall since I began scouting in 2010. Add the fact that Oakland's early 3rd Round pick almost acts as a late round two and you have yourself a great player in Amani and J.J. Rounds four to seven are, again, more so predicated on the upcoming events within Free Agency. Should the Steelers not be able to acquire the Free Agent corner they want, a mock draft will be ready to showcase how immense of an effect that will be. Until then, the current selections are based on the assumption Pittsburgh has acquired their Free Agent corner.

    Alright everyone! We are almost home free! Before with leave though, allow me to give some closing statements!

    Closing Statements:

    This upcoming Wednesday is critical. For that matter, every Free Agency is. Where teams are going to bolster their roster ususally are dead giveaways towards their draft intentions. For the Steelers, this will be no different. There are certainly extreme circumstances regarding this but those usually are non existent. That being said though, Kevin Colbert cannot go without another year of replacing Shazier. Pittsburgh needs a linebacker in the worst way imaginable. Should he fail to get one again, look for those who want him out increase the sound of the proverbial wardrum even greater.

    That will do it for take one of this post combine/free agency mock draft! Thank you all for reading and I hope you enjoyed! What were your biggest surprises of this mock?! Who did you like?! Did not like?! Which players would you have?! Please let me know in the comments as they always help me out!! :)

    Before I go, yes, I will do a mock immediately after the Free Agency Signing Period is completed. Depending on if the Steelers can acquire a Corner will determine which direction I go for my future mocks. Until then, all of us have to play the waiting game!

    Once again, thank you all for reading! Very much appreciated! Until next time everyone, take care! Wednesday is going to be most interesting for certain; more so in a very long time!

    Go Steelers!!! :herewego:
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
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  2. BuckeyeBucco

    BuckeyeBucco Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2016
    I'd be more than happy with Bush in round one.

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