2012 Draft

2012 Steelers Mock Draft Version 5.0 – Final Version

Here we go with my final mock draft of the 2012 draft for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Let me start of by disclaimering that I would be floored if I have the same success that had last year, as I picked the first three players correctly, albeit I had rounds two and three flip flopped. I may never be able to duplicate that success again as long as I live. No matter how many player rankings you read and how much tape you watch, you never know how far a player will fall or how high another player may be on another team\’s draft board and rankings. I know quite a bit about the team needs of all of the teams in the NFL, but my main focus is the Steelers, and it is enough trying to decipher what they will do.

If you followed the mocks last year and this year, you notice how vastly they can differ from the first mock to the final one, especially in the first few rounds. Most of my early mocks are done with just brief film study and tons of reading. The deeper I get into the process, the more tape I watch and the more reading and research I do. I also look at draft history, pro days, pre draft visits and of course combine information. No matter what you read, there is no substitute for watching as much film as you can on a player. It doesn\’t have to be a full game worth, but your tape selection should include at least portions of three games and against good competition if you can find it. The more diverse of a tape selection you have the better.

My mocks are a process to me, as are the post about players that go along with them throughout the months leading up to the draft. While it might seem that I am in love with a certain player at times (Coby Fleener), I know better than to do that. I love looking at the knowledgeable comments that some of the mocks and post produce as I believe my readership consist of some very knowledgeable fans, and that type of feedback is very useful to me.

Also I reserve the right to adjust these picks after day one and before day two starts if there is a trade on the first night!

I hope you have enjoyed the mock drafting season as much as I have and I thank all of the writers for their work and all of the feedback on each mock. My goal is to at least hit two of these picks straight up and nail at least 6 picks with the 70 players listed in the each round of this post.

Previous Mock Draft Versions:
Steelers 2012 Version 4.0
Steelers 2012 Version 3.0
Steelers 2012 Version 2.0
Steelers 2012 Version 1.0

OK, enough disclaimer and forward.

Let me start of by saying that I do not think the Steelers will draft an offensive lineman in round one unless Matt Kalil, Riley Reiff or David DeCastro fall all the way down to 24 and that is just not going to happen. I think it is safe to say that Mike Adams is off the Steelers draft board as well now and I am just not convinced that Cordy Glenn is worthy of the pick, even if he falls that far. Jonathan Martin is more of a second round right tackle, as is Bobby Massie, despite his rise up the draft board the last several weeks. The guard class is deep enough to stretch into the second round in my opinion and I do not think that tackle is that big of primary need this year on the Steelers big board, but a good guard with versatility to play tackle is. A tackle could likely be added in the later rounds as well. There is always the chance that they have plans to bring back Max Starks right at the start of training camp for depth purposes if he is healthy. I am not ruling them out drafting one, but I am not in this particuliar mock.

Round 1 – Pick 24 – OLB Nick Perry – USC

4.58 40-yard dash

1.57 10-yard dash

2.59 20-yard dash

4.66 20-yard shuttle

7.25 three-cone

38 1/2 inch vertical jump

10’4” broad jump

Bench pressed 225 pounds 35 times

33 inch arm length

9 1/2 inch hands

77 7/8 inch wingspan

2009 13 01   24   16   08 00-00  00  0-0  09.0-63   00  08.0-58    10
2010 12 09   25   15   10 01-08  02  0-0  07.5-39   03  04.0-27    18
2011 12 12   54   31   23 01-00  03  0-0  13.0-64   03  09.5-52    23
TOTAL 37 22 103   62   41 02-08  05  0-0  29.5-166   06  21.5-137    51

Why an outside linebacker here? James Harrison is nearing the end of the road and Jason Worilds may or may not be the long term answer to replace him on the right side. There is speculation that Worilds might be in for a move inside, but there is nothing concrete really to base a decision on just that unfounded speculation. In short a move inside for Worilds does not make sense from a depth perspective in my opinion. For now I consider Worilds better suited for the left side and a backup to LaMarr Woodley. Chris Carter, last years 5th round pick, has given us no indication he is a long term solution to take over for Harrison either. He still is considered a project in my eyes and likely in the eyes of the Steelers as well. The Steelers 3-4 defense thrives on their outside linebackers to provide pressure on the quarterback and that element of the defense was missing last year with both Woodley and Harrison were sidelined with injuries. Lawrence Timmons was pretty much useless outside and it took away from what he does best inside, making tackles.

Before I get to Perry let me start of by saying that I think the real prize here that the Steelers hope falls to them is outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus from Illinois. The junior is just 21 years old, his character is impeccable, and the only real down side is that he only has one real year of production under his belt. Illinois did him no favors sitting him so long in my honest opinion. He recorded 16 sacks as a junior to go along with 21 quarterback pressures. He had 22.5 thrown for losses to go along with 57 tackles, 28 of which were solo. As a pass rusher, Mercilus can beat defenders with either his speed or power and has very good body control and excellent hip snap. His pro day really cemented his first round status. A source informed me that the Steelers were present at his pro day and another source told they have privately worked him out. Mercilus would not name a few of the teams that worked him out privately as they wanted to keep it on the down low. I believe the Steelers were one of those teams and they didn\’t bring him in for a pre draft visit as they had no need to and wanted to keep his name out of the lime light. In my opinion he will be the pick if he is on the board, but the Chicago Bears or the Tennessee Titans could very well snatch him up a few picks earlier, as both have shown strong interest in him.

My job is to mock what I think will happen and with Mercilus presumably off the board, I think the Steelers turn their attention to Perry, who they had in for a pre draft visit. The junior measured in at the combine at 6026 and weighed 271 pounds after deciding to bulk up prior to the combine. Even with that extra weight he ran a 4.58 according to some scouts, but his short shuttle time suffered I believe as a result. That clocked in at 4.66. Perry is a lot more agile on tape at a lower weight, so I suspect he will be asked to drop back down to the 260 range and that should help with his shuttle times. Like I said, the shuttle did not match what I saw on tape.

Perry has admitted that he wants to play in a 4-3 system if it was his choice, but is open to learning outside linebacker in a 3-4, which most of the scouts think he is best suited for. He can line up on either side, but seems best suited on the right. His ability to disrupt the pocket and track down ball carriers in the backfield allowed him to post 21.5 quarterback sacks and 29.5 tackles-for-loss, in addition to 51 hurries during his USC career. In 2011 he led the Pac-10 in sacks (9.5) while making the All-Pac-12 first team. That was the most sacks by a Trojan since 2007. He also led the team in tackles for losses with 13 and added 3 pass deflections, 2 forced fumbles and 1 fumble recovery to go along with 54 total tackles last year.

The explosion that Perry shows on tape is really impressive and it is backed up by his 35 reps on the bench, a 38.5 inch vertical jump and a 10\’04” broad jump. That equates to an impressive 83 explosion rating, which is out of sight in that metric. He has a very quick twitch in addition. Perry will need to adjust to life standing up in the 3-4 and will have a bit of a learning curve as a result, mostly in drop situations. He has shown that skill set to scouts at his impressive pro day and that will improve even more at the next level in my opinion. He shows good recognition and discipline against the run and offers great back side chase ability. His first step is tremendous. Perry is a high character kid that interviews well.

A few things to end up pick one here. I am not as high on inside linebacker Dont\’a Hightower as most are and that primarily is because of his lateral agility and ability to flip his hips and drop fluidly. He is a crash inside linebacker that makes plays and that can\’t be denied. He also has high character, is a solid team leader and understands the 3-4 defense. I do not believe the Steelers are ready to give up on Stevenson Sylvester just yet as the heir to the James Farrior throne in addition. I believe that the Steelers might have brought him in as a smoke screen being as so many people have linked him to the Steelers at 24. The Steelers also have never drafted a “true” inside linebacker in the first round in the Super Bowl era.

Should both Mercilus and Perry be off the board at 24, and that is a possibility, I could see a scenario unfolding where the Steelers take calls for the pick in attempt to move down a few spots to select Shea McClellin or Andre Branch. Keep your eyes on McClellin as he is screaming up the draft boards after his pro day. There is some talk he could be drafted now anywhere in the mid first round to the early second round as a result. It is so hard to gauge his stock right now, but he very well could be the second or third best outside linebacker in this class. I just do not have enough confidence to make him the pick here and I really wish I did.

I am 75% confident the Steelers pick in round one will be a linebacker.

Players to be considered here: Whitney Mercilus, Shea McClellin, Kevin Zeitler, Cordy Glenn, Mark Barron, Dontari Poe, Dont\’a Hightower, Coby Fleener, Stephen Hill – ((Dropped Branch added Zeitler))

Round 2 – Pick 56 – G Brandon Brooks – Miami (Ohio)

4.99 40-yard dash

1.74 10-yard dash

2.84 20-yard dash

4.58 20-yard shuttle

7.42 three-cone

32 inch vertical jump

9’2” broad jump

Bench pressed 225 pounds 36 times

33 1/2 inch arm length

10 inch hands

80 1/4 inch wingspan

Brooks was a combine snub that wowed teams during his pro day by running a 4.99 40 yard dash and clocking a 4.58 short shuttle time. When you look at his measureables it computes to a 77 explosive rating and that explosiveness shows on the game tape. His versatility is another asset as he played left tackle, left guard and right guard. During his time with the Redhawks Brooks started 41 of 45 games he played in and registered 287 knockdowns and 47 touchdown-resulting blocks (35 of those were for the ground game, an impressive figure, as Miami ran for only 40 touchdowns in games started by Brooks during his career)

Brooks showed his stuff at left guard in the East West Shrine game at left guard and was very impressive. He drives well with his powerful legs and shows great core strength in both his run blocking and pass protection. He uses proper hand technique and hip swerve in his retreat setting up in pass pro and his first punch usually hits its mark.

Brooks shows he has ability to get off his blocks and to the second level with a great deal of consistency and is also finisher. His athleticism makes it hard for second level linebackers to avoid him a good bit of the time, but he is not nimble enough to be completely without misses. He has good short area quickness to trap if asked to run power.

The Steelers would likely jump at the chance to draft the nasty Amini Silatolu should he fall this far, but I do not see that happening. Silatolu is a move left tackle that projects as a guard at the next level, but offers that flexibility like Brooks has in a pinch. Did I mention that Silatolu is nasty? The Steelers need a left guard so Doug Legursky can return to being a swing interior lineman. Both Brooks and Silatolu were pre draft visitors along with Mitchell Schwartz, yet another versatile guard/tackle type, so it figures that round two could be one of those three players. I have had Brooks in several of my mocks up until this point and I think round two is a great place to snag him.

Players to be considered here: Amini Silatolu, Derek Wolfe, Mychal Kendricks, Bobby Massie, Lavonte David, Harrison Smith, Bobby Wagner, Dwayne Allen, Mitchell Schwartz

Round 3 – Pick 86 – NT Mike Martin – Michigan

4.92 40-yard dash

1.66 10-yard dash

2.75 20-yard dash

4.25 20-yard shuttle

7.19 three-cone

33 1/2 inch vertical jump

9’5” broad jump

Bench pressed 225 pounds 36 times

32 1/4 inch arm length

9 1/8 inch hands

78 1/8 inch wingspan

2008 12 00   20   09   11  00  00  0-0  04.5-19   00   2.0-15    00
2009 12 12   51   20   31  00  01  0-0  08.5-26   00   2.0-08    02
2010 12 12   37   21   16  00  00  0-0  06.0-39   00   2.5-32    02
2011 13 13   64   20   44  00  00  0-0  06.0-24   00   3.5-18    03
TOTAL 49 37 172   70 102  00  01  0-0  25.0-108   0 10.0-73    09

This selection was tough for me. Will the Steelers go running back or nose tackle in this round? They of course could target other positions, but these two stood out the most in my opinion. Once I narrowed it down to nose tackle, the choice was either Martin or Josh Chapman, neither of which came in for pre draft visits. My heart told me Chapman, but my gut told me Martin.

Martin met with the Steelers at the combine and they also showed up at his pro day, where they reportedly worked him out on the side. Martin has said in many interviews since the combine that the Steelers seem genuinely interested in him and recently said on SiriusXM Radio that he’s added weight since the combine, and has had quite a few conversations with the Steelers. He measured in at the combine at 6012 and weighed 306 pounds. He is rumored to be at about 315 right now.

His 4.92 40 yard dash at the combine along with his scout reported 4.25 short shuttle time matches his quickness and agility that I saw on tape. Martin uses his wrestling background and ox like strength to hold the point of attack as he maintains solid leverage when asked to two-gap. I must admit on my first initial look at the tape, I did not see him asked to work double teams and was concerned he may be a 1 gap defensive tackle only. After a deeper study I saw he could indeed manage two gaps like a good 3-4 nose tackle should. He maintains great balance consistently and uses his hands to punch well off of the snap. Those hands stay very active during his battles in addition. He is very disciplined at working inside his thick frame.

Martin showed that he can play the 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 and even 5 technique at various times in games and this is a plus. He understands technique and gap control and seems to be a student of the game. One thing that stuck out on tape was his ability to drop a few times into a short middle zone and deliver a legal chuck to a receiver coming across on a slant. He also shows great effort in chase and you don\’t see him on the ground very much. At times he will get lazy and not stay square and he will try to spin off of contact at times. That can be fixed. He also needs to be a more violent tackler instead of a drag down guy at times.

As far as pass rushing goes, Martin can push the pocket and is more of a bull rusher as you would expect. He recorded 10 sacks during his career at Michigan to go along with 9 total pressures. He started 37 of 49 games while at Michigan and finished his career with 172 tackles (70 solos), 25 tackles for losses and forced one fumble.

Martin anchored a defense that was second in the Big Ten in rush defense and first in red zone defense during their regular season. He also was a team captain with great character and happy personality. He really gives a great interview and would look great in the black and gold. Woodley, who also played at Michigan, has been reportedly pushing Martin hard to the coaching staff.

Players to be considered here: Josh Chapman, Isaiah Pead, LaMichael James, LaMarr Miller, Greg Childs, Ladarius Green, James-Michael Johnson, Sean Spence, Kelechi Osemele

Round 4 – Pick 119 – RB Ronnie Hillman – San Diego State

4.43 40-yard dash

N/A 10-yard dash

N/A 20-yard dash

N/A 20-yard shuttle

N/A three-cone drill

37 inch vertical jump

N/A broad jump

Bench pressed 225 pounds 36 times

30 inch arm length

8 1/2 inch hands

72 1/4 inch wingspan

2010 13 08  262   1532  5.85  17    93    117.85
2011 13 12  311   1711  5.50  19    99    131.62
TOTAL 26 20  573   3243  5.66  36    99    124.73
2010  09      068 07.56  01    20    2   2   0   0   0
2011  24      270 11.25  01    71    1   1   0   0   0
TOTAL  33      338 10.24  02    71    3   3   0   0   0
2010 13      271      068   1532         0         0     1600  18  5.90    123.08
2011 13      335      270   1711         0         0     1981  20  5.91    152.38
TOTAL 26      606      338   3243         0         0    3581  38  5.91    137.73

Tomlin and Colbert have pretty much admitted that they will add another running back this offseason via free agency or the draft. So far one has not been added through free agency and it looks almost certain that Mewelde Moore will not be brought back. The Steelers have some question marks at the position, especially in the 3rd down and change of pace department as last years 7th round pick Baron Batch looks to return from a torn ACL that cost him his rookie season. While Batch looks to be fully recovered, he has yet to play a down in the NFL.

The Steelers had Isaiah Pead and LaMichael James in for pre draft visits, but it would be surprising if either fell down to the fourth round. If either of them do, it could be the pick. Not to be left out of the possibilities is LaMarr Miller as well. The Steelers had a large contingent at the Miami pro day and eyes could have been watching him closely. Like Pead and James though, Miller too is likely to be off the board by round four.

Enter Hillman, who measured in at the combine at 5091 and weighed 200 pounds. The red-shirted sophomore ran a 4.41 40 time according to a few scouts. He was unable to go fully at his pro day due to a hamstring problem and that could allow his stock a bit. The Steelers reportedly had people present at the San Diego State pro day.

Hillman has shown the ability to run both inside and outside with both patience and agility. He can stop and start on a dime and smooth turn the corner where he accelerates quickly. He is also a big play type of back as of his 36 touchdown runs, 19 were for 10 yards or longer, including 9 carries for at least 40 yards and 6 others for 50 yards or more. He became much more involved in the Aztec passing game last year, finishing fourth on the team with 24 receptions for 270 yards and a touchdown. He also led the conference and placed 15th nationally with an average of 152.38 all-purpose yards per game.

Hillman does tend to run too upright at times and this will need to be corrected at the next level. While he is a decent and willing pass protector, he is a long way from being polished in that area. A little more weight and muscle could provide him with a better base. This would help him run better between the tackles as well, He likes to bust runs outside more times than not and is careless with the football at times. Should he mature in the passing game even more as a receiver, he could very well be a perfect compliment type back, but in my opinion will never be an every down back. He has low mileage and age on his side, so his development is far from other.

Players to be considered here: T.Y Hilton, Michael Egnew, Senio Kelemete, Trenton Robinson, Cam Johnson, Zebrie Sanders, Aaron Henry, Keshawn Martin, Tony Bergstrom

Round 5 – Pick 159 – CB Keith Tandy – West Virginia

 4.51 40-yard dash

1.49 10-yard dash

2.47 20-yard dash

4.29 20-yard shuttle

6.91 three-cone

35 inch vertical jump

10’0” broad jump

Bench pressed 225 pounds 16 times

32 7/8 inch arm length

9 1/8 inch hands

76 1/4 inch wingspan

Tandy is a well put together cornerback that lacks elite size and length. He measured in at his pro day at 5102 and weighed 197 pounds. He posted a decent 40 time of 4.51 to go along with a 4.29 short shuttle. He put up 16 reps on the bench and his vertical was 35 inches.

One thing that shows up on tape with Tandy is his physicality as he is not afraid to tackle. He registered 64 of them last year alone for West Virginia. He also led the team in interceptions with 4 in 2011 and was credited with a team leading 9 pass breakups in addition.

Tandy likely projects as a nickel type corner at the next level and possibly could be a candidate to move to free safety. He shows great body control, but lacks ideal foot work. He does break quickly on balls thrown in his area underneath and that is why he likely fits better in zone. He makes plays and is solid on special teams.

His run recognition is great and he is always eager to come up and offer that support, but could use more core strength and work on his ability to wrap up. His transitional quickness will limit him in man responsibilities, but he seems to have a good football mind and great anticipation. He was a team captain and is noted as a dedicated worker with a good character to go along with it. The Steelers attended the West Virginia pro day and had Tandy in for a pre draft visit. He should be available in round 5 and seems like a perfect Steeler type player.

Players to be considered here: Nate Potter, Tommy Streeter, Marvin McNutt, Lucas Nix, DeAngelo Peterson, Tom Compton, Hebron Fangupo, Nate Potter, Chase Minnifield

Round 6 – Pick 193 – TE Derek Carrier – Beloit

4.51 40-yard dash

1.57 10-yard dash

2.53 20-yard dash

4.08 20-yard shuttle

6.65 three-cone

38 inch vertical jump

10’2” broad jump

Bench pressed 225 pounds 15 times

31 3/8 inch arm length

9 3/8 inch hands

77 inch wingspan

2008 09 04   16      217 13.56  01    58  1.78      24.11
2009 10 10   34      600 17.65  04    50  3.40      60.00
2010 10 10   64    1044 16.31  12    82  6.40    104.40
2011 10 10   75    1250 16.67  12    60  7.50    125.00
TOTAL 39 34 189    3111 16.46  29    82  4.85      79.77

Judging by the pre draft visits and roster, the Steelers look likely to add a tight end at some point during the draft. The 6th round is the perfect opportunity to do that and Carrier is a small school guy that seems to fit the bill.

I knew nothing about Carrier until scout Dave-Te Thomas turned me on to him and he has seen his stock rise from the undrafted ranks after an impressive showing at the Wisconsin pro day, which the Steelers attended.

Carrier measures in at 6033 and weighs 238 pounds. He ran a 4.51 40 yard dash and had an out of sight short shuttle time of 4.08. An impressive 38 inch vertical jump also caught the eyes. While Carrier played wide receiver at Benoit, many scouts project him as a move tight end/h-back type at the next level that would more than likely line up detached from the line.

In a quick look at the limited tape I could find on him, Carrier appears to get off the line well and into his routes. He uses his speed to get into the seem and usually gets good separation. He fights for the ball with good body control. The blocking aspect I did not get a chance to watch, but as a wide receiver it likely was limited. He definitely would not be considered an in-line type tight end prospect. He is a pass catcher only right now in my opinion and he did that at a small school level.

Carrier is what he is and that is an intriguing move tight end prospect from a small school.

Players to be considered here: Andrew Datko, Markus Zusevics, Levy Adcock, George Bryan, Miles Burris, Akiem Hicks, Nigel Bradham, Michael Smith, Jeff Fuller

Round 7 – Pick 231 – DE Ryan Van Bergen  – Michigan

4.96 40-yard dash

1.76 10-yard dash

2.87 20-yard dash

4.43 20-yard shuttle

7.69 three-cone drill

30 inch vertical jump

9\’04” broad jump

Bench pressed 225 pounds 31 times

32 7/8 inch arm length

9 inch hands

79 1/4 inch wingspan

Van Bergen had the eye of the Steelers coaching at the Michigan pro day and they worked him out on the side along with Martin according to reports. He certainly projects as a 5 technique defensive end at the next level and on tape I saw him play on both the right and left sides at the 3, 4 and the 5 technique line-up. He had a team-best 12.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks in 2011.

Van Bergen measured in at 6044 at his pro day and weighed 290 pounds. He moves great on film and that showed with his 4.96 40 yard dash time and his 4.43 short shuttle time. He also put up 31 reps on the bench. He very well could have increased his stock enough that he might be off the board in the 7th, but I will take my chances that he will there for the Steelers.

Could this be another late round defensive end gem for the Steelers? He did not make a pre draft visit, but with his solid character and good football smarts, it likely wasn\’t needed. He kind of reminds you of a young Brett Keisel when you see him with a beard. That is not fair to do that though to either player. I think the Steelers could do worse by adding him

Players to be considered here: Blair Walsh, Micah Pellerin, Donte Paige-Moss, Johnnie Troutman, Corey Harkey, David Paulson, Kelvin Beachum, John Hughes, Nicolas Jean-Baptiste

Round 7 – Pick 240 – WR Toney Clemons  – Colorado

4.43 40-yard dash

1.53 10-yard dash

2.28 20-yard dash

4.33 20-yard shuttle

6.93 three-cone drill

36 inch vertical jump

10\’08” broad jump

Bench pressed 225 pounds 11 times

31 3/4 inch arm length

9 3/8 inch hands

78 1/4 inch wingspan

When in doubt in the late rounds, go with players brought in for pre draft visits is my motto. Clemons is a local kid that has produced enough buzz that he will likely be drafted in the late rounds. Several have a 6th or 7th round grade on the Michigan transfer, who is the cousin of Steve Breaston. Notice the connection in there?

At his pro day Clemons measured in at 6021 and weighed 210 pounds. He ran a head turning 4.43 40 time to go along with a 4.33 short shuttle. He is not the purest of route runners, but gets a good release off of the line and gets open nonetheless. The thing that stuck out the most to me on tape is his strong hands and his ability to high point the ball instead of letting it into his body.

Clemons played on poor offense yet still managed to score 8 touchdowns and averaged almost 16 yards per catch on 43 catches last season. His two year career average at Colorado was 13.5 yards per reception on 86 catches.

He graduated with a degree in Sociology last December and was a two-time recipient of the CU Gold Group Commitment Award (Fall 2009, Spring 2010), presented to those who have achieved “Excellence with Class” in their academic, athletic and personal lives.

Players to be considered here: Blair Walsh, Micah Pellerin, Donte Paige-Moss, Johnnie Troutman, Corey Harkey, David Paulson, Kelvin Beachum, John Hughes, Nicolas Jean-Baptiste

Round 7 – Pick 246- DB Jeremy Jones – Wayne State

4.58 40-yard dash

1.56 10-yard dash

2.57 20-yard dash

4.19 20-yard shuttle

7.18 three-cone drill

31 1/2 inch vertical jump

9\’08” broad jump

Bench pressed 225 pounds 20 times

30 1/2 inch arm length

9 1/8 inch hands

72 1/2 inch wingspan

Yet another pre draft visitor that the Steelers seem to be intrigued with from a small school. Jones is another undersized cornerback like Tandy that makes plays. He measured in at the combine at 5094 and weighed 197 pounds. He put up an impressive 20 reps on the bench and that matches his physical playing nature on tape. He has great explosion and uses his hands well. Also like Tandy he is not afraid of contact.

Jones recorded a whopping 106 tackles in 2011 and nearly 300 for his career at Wayne State. In the 46 games he played in he totaled 17 interceptions to go along with 23 pass breakups. He\’s a tremendous competitor, a team player and fearless. In my opinion he could be a candidate to be a strong safety in the Steelers 3-4. He covers like safety and hits like a linebacker. Sound like another strong safety? The more you read about him and the more you watch of him on tape, you can tell he might be a small school steal. Keep your eye out for where he goes on draft day and I bet Carnell Lake would love to get his hands on him.

Players to be considered here: Blair Walsh, Micah Pellerin, Donte Paige-Moss, Johnnie Troutman, Corey Harkey, David Paulson, Kelvin Beachum, John Hughes, Nicolas Jean-Baptiste

Round 7 – Pick 248 – LB Jerrell Harris – Alabama

4.68 40-yard dash

1.63 10-yard dash

2.68 20-yard dash

4.51 20-yard shuttle

7.40 three-cone drill

34 inch vertical jump

9\’08” broad jump

Bench pressed 225 pounds N/A times

32 3/4 inch arm length

9 3/4 inch hands

80 5/8 inch wingspan

Harris played both inside and outside during his time at Alabama and likely projects as either a BUCK or MACK at the next level. He measured in at his pro day at 6022 and weighed 239 pounds. He ran a 4.68 40 time to go along with a short shuttle time of 4.51.

Harris is not overly quick, but runs with power and balance. He is not afraid of contact against the run, but he could use a bit more weight on his frame as all you see are limbs when he runs. He pass drops better than Hightower in my opinion in drills and in games and snaps his hips better in addition. That being said, he will never be a man coverage linebacker, but could do well in zone situations. He reads plays quickly and seems to know where he belongs on the field at all times.

Harris would likely be a great practice squad candidate depending on how things go. The Steelers were all over the Alabama pro days and Harris was a pre draft visitor in addition.

Players to be considered here: Blair Walsh, Micah Pellerin, Donte Paige-Moss, Johnnie Troutman, Corey Harkey, David Paulson, Kelvin Beachum, John Hughes, Nicolas Jean-Baptiste

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