2013 Draft

2013 Steelers Mock Draft Version 5.0 – Final Edition

The 2013 NFL draft will get underway in New York City Thursday evening, so it is now time for my final Pittsburgh Steelers mock draft of the year.

Mock drafts are never satisfying to me as the odds of getting all of the picks correct really doesn\’t exist. The process, however, is satisfying, as I get a chance to watch a lot of tape and read a ton of material on several of the draft hopeful players.

You will notice at the bottom of every selection there are nine additional players listed that I considered in each and every round. In round six, however, I duplicated the nine as both picks existed in the same round. In total, I should have 71 players listed that I considered for this mock draft. My ultimate goal is to have all of the Steelers draft picks come out of that group of 71 players.

I tried to be as thorough with my explanation with each and every selection, and where applicable, explained my reasoning for the selection as far as positions go.

You will notice that I have been a lone wolf when it comes to taking a guard in the first round, but my reasoning is detailed. I am clearly well aware things could go a different direction if neither are on the board. I would not be surprised if the Steelers traded down in round one and it would not hurt my feelings one bit if they did as this draft is loaded with mid-round talent and the Steelers have more than there share of needs. In fact, I am praying that happens.

If you are going to comment below, please make sure you read the entire piece first. Also, if you oppose a selection, please explain why. Any comments that I deem to be non constructive or merely trolling will be deleted. Go play on one of the other sites that puts up with that nonsense.

If you missed my previous four mock drafts, you can read them at the links below.

I hope you have enjoyed the mocks and the discussion this offseason and I invite you to list your final mock in the comments.

2013 Steelers Mock Draft Version 1.0 – Post Senior Bowl
2013 Steelers Mock Draft Version 2.0 – Post NFL Combine
2013 Steelers Mock Draft Version 3.0 – Post Pro Days
2013 Steelers Mock Draft Version 4.0 – Post Pre Draft Visits

Round 1 – G Jonathan Cooper – North Carolina

Measurables: Height 6021…Weight 311…5.07 in the 40-yard dash…1.77 10-yard dash…2.91 20-yard dash…4.84 20-yard shuttle…7.78 three-cone drill…27-inch vertical jump…9’0” broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 35 times…33-inch arm length…10 ¼-inch hands…78 3/8-inch wingspan.

Where is the interior depth on the Steelers offensive line? In addition to that, the contract that they gave Ramon Foster earlier in the offseason was not earth shattering one bit. If you think that he can run the counter pike and the trap to the right, you must have missed a lot of games over the years. I don\’t hate Foster as I believe he has been the Steelers most consistent lineman the last two seasons, but he just doesn\’t fit what I believe the Steelers want to accomplish long-term in the running game. I do think that he serves a purpose as a solid swing guard and emergency right tackle.

So you want to sign back Doug Legursky, a guy who can only play center? Remember, after Willie Colon went down last year, center Maurkice Pouncey was forced to play left guard instead of Legursky. John Malecki? No, I don\’t think he is the answer either. Kelvin Beachum? He\’s a jack of all trades and a master of none of them.

As far as Cooper being the pick, I am betting that the 30 year trend of two guards not being selected in the first 16 picks stays in tact. I will state, however, if ever was there a year that the trend could be broken, this would be the year due to the lack of blue-chip prospects in the first round. I like Chance Warmack, who is a beast of a man at left guard, as well, but Cooper can play all three interior line positions and is much better on the move. Cooper can play at a heavier weight, and should he wind up being the pick, I suspect he will be asked to do just that.

My selection of Cooper, who I have broken down extensively over the last few months, is not about need, however, as much as it is him possibly being the best player available on the board when the Steelers pick rolls around. Many think that hate outside linebacker Jarvis Jones. I don\’t hate his college production as much as I hate the medical risk and lack of upside that he has at 23 years of age. His play against the run and inability to take on blockers consistently against the better running teams also scares me. I, unlike others, do not think that the Steelers have completely given up on Jason Worilds. Should he excel in his first year as a starter, it is hard to imagine that the Steelers would let him walk off via free agency. Should Worilds become a three starter, that would mean Jones sits on the sideline for at least two or three years the way Worilds did.

Safety Kenny Vaccaro? I considered him here as well, but this draft is deep enough at the safety position that I believe there is a good enough reason to wait until later in the draft to select one. Should Vaccaro wind up being the pick, it would be only the second time in the history of the Steelers that a true safety has been selected in the first round.

The ideal situation for the Steelers, in my opinion, would be to trade down a few spots in the first round to draft a wide receiver, but being as I refuse to predict trades, I will stay with what the current picks on the board.

Nine other players considered here in order: G Chance Warmack, OLB Jarvis Jones, SS Kenny Vaccaro, CB Xavier Rhodes, WR Tavon Austin, CB Dee Milliner, TE Tyler Eifert, RB Eddie Lacy, WR Cordarrelle Patterson

Round 2 – WR Robert Woods – USC

Measurables: Height 6003…Weight 190…4.43 in the 40-yard dash…1.52 10-yard dash…2.56 20-yard dash…4.23 20-yard shuttle…11.33 60-yard shuttle…7.08 three-cone drill…32-inch vertical jump…9’8” broad jump… Bench pressed 225 pounds 17 times…32 5/8-inch arm length…9 1/8-inch hands…76 ¼-inch wingspan.

When you look at the list of wide receivers, and you look at the teams that draft before the Steelers at the end of round one and the beginning of round two, you can\’t help but think that one or two of the top five or six receivers will fall to Steelers in the second round. I originally had DeAndre Hopkins penciled in for this spot, but I really get the feeling that he will be off the board to the St. Louis Rams or the Houston Texans. Justin Hunter is another kid that I do not believe will drop due to his size, speed and production minus the drops.

Being as four of the top six wide receivers will likely be off the board by the time that the Steelers pick in round two, I have Woods next in line. He is an incredible route runner that is not afraid to go across the middle to make the tough catch. He catches the ball away from his body most of the time and adequate after the catch. He is a more than willing stalk blocker in addition to everything else.

While not known as deep play-maker, Woods can get over the top occasional. He will struggle getting off of the line against press coverage, but I have seen this wart on all of the top receivers. Another flaw that Woods has is his body distribution at the top of his routes and the indicators that he displays. These, however, can be coached out of him. I like the way that he comes back to ball and the way that he makes use of his double moves.

Woods is a tough kid that will attempt to play through injuries and although not known for being great at it, Woods has experience returning punts.

Should the Steelers not come out of the first two rounds with a wide receiver, I could see them waiting until later in the draft unless Stedman Bailey, another receiver I really like, is available in the third round.

Nine other players considered here in order:  WR DeAndre Hopkins, WR Justin Hunter, ILB Arthur Brown, WR Keenan Allen, OLB Jamie Collins, SS Jonathan Cyprien, ILB Kevin Minter, OLB Damontre Moore, WR Terrance Williams

Receiving Rushing Scrimmage
Year Class Rec Yds Avg TD Att Yds Avg TD Plays Yds Avg TD
2010 FR 65 792 12.2 6 6 50 8.3 0 71 842 11.9 6
2011 SO 111 1292 11.6 15 7 16 2.3 0 118 1308 11.1 15
2012* JR 74 849 11.5 11 1 76 76.0 0 75 925 12.3 11
Career 250 2933 11.7 32 14 142 10.1 0 264 3075 11.6 32
Provided by Sports-Reference.com/CFB: View Original Table
Generated 4/24/2013.

Round 3 – RB Johnathan Franklin – UCLA

Measurables: Height 5100…Weight 201…4.40 in the 40-yard dash…1.53 10-yard dash…2.55 20-yard dash…4.16 20-yard shuttle…11.23 60-yard shuttle…6.79 three-cone drill…35-inch vertical jump…9’10” broad jump… Bench pressed 225 pounds 17 times…29 1/4-inch arm length…9 ½-inch hands…71 7/8-inch wingspan.

All offseason, Colbert has let us know how disappointed that he is in the Steelers running back situation, that now only consist of Jonathan Dwyer, Isaac Redman and Baron Batch. Heading into the draft, the Steelers have only brought in a handful of free agent running backs for a visits, just in case they don\’t come away from the draft with running back that they like.

As far as we know right now, the only running backs that have been brought in for pre draft visits thus far have been Lacy, Franklin and Christine Michael, although they also reportedly worked out Le\’Veon Bell privately.

While he has been slowly climbing up the draft boards, Franklin, in my opinion, is a third round running back due to the fact that he is not projected to be a guy that can carry the ball 25 times a game. I should note that I have seen him in some mock drafts as high as the first round and all over in rounds two and three. Many see him as a complimentary back, but in the right system, I do believe he that he can deliver as many as 20 touches a game either on the ground or through the air.

Franklin does his best running out in space and has a nice blend of short area quickness and quick cuts. He is patient back that reads his blocks well and just adequate enough to run between the tackles when his number is called. He is not lightening fast, but instead very slippery.

Despite his less than ideal size, Franklin has shown to be a capable pass protector and contributor on special teams. If the Steelers plan on using more zone blocking in 2013, Franklin could become a back capable of pressing the edge and delivering explosive running plays. He is not an old school smash mouth back, but I do not believe that the Steelers intend on using him as one.

Could the Steelers select him in round two just the same? I am not willing to rule that out as possibility, but I have a third round grade on him as previously stated.

Nine other players considered here in order: SS Phillip Thomas, RB Le\’Veon Bell, RB Christine Michael, G Brian Winters, OLB Corey Lemonier, WR Stedman Bailey, SS J.J. Wilcox, OLB Sio Moore, ILB Khaseem Greene

Rushing Receiving Scrimmage
Year Class Att Yds Avg TD Rec Yds Avg TD Plays Yds Avg TD
2009* FR 126 566 4.5 5 6 57 9.5 0 132 623 4.7 5
2010 SO 214 1127 5.3 8 10 63 6.3 0 224 1190 5.3 8
2011* JR 166 976 5.9 5 9 74 8.2 1 175 1050 6.0 6
2012* SR 282 1734 6.1 13 33 323 9.8 2 315 2057 6.5 15
Career 788 4403 5.6 31 58 517 8.9 3 846 4920 5.8 34
Provided by Sports-Reference.com/CFB: View Original Table
Generated 4/24/2013.

Round 4 – OLB John Simon – Ohio State

Measurables: Height 6014…Weight 256…4.76 in the 40-yard dash…1.70 10-yard dash…2.79 20-yard dash…4.56 20-yard shuttle…7.43 three-cone drill…32-inch vertical jump…9’3” broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 34 times…32 ¾-inch arm length…9 3/8-inch hands…78 ¾-inch wingspan.

The Steelers are needing an outside linebacker to develop just case the aforementioned Worilds winds up either not living up to his potential, or is allowed to leave via free agency.

Plain and simple, Simon is football player and below is what I wrote about him previously.

Simon doesn\’t have the classic build of a Steelers 3-4 outside linebacker, but he certainly has the production of one. His production as a defensive end at Ohio State was quite impressive, and it included 45 career tackles for losses and 20.5 sacks with 16 of them coming in the last two seasons. Simon has perhaps the best motor of any player in this draft, and his leadership qualities are off the chart.

While he is considered a workout warrior, he will more than likely have to drop about 10 pounds at the NFL level, which should help him become a bit more flexible. He has quick feet for a player of his size and is above average at setting and holding the edge against the run. His bend around the edge will need some improvement, and he will need to develop more counter moves, but he should be able to push the pocket consistently as an outside linebacker. While he will never be one that will be expected to follow a tight end across the field, his few drops into the flat seemed to be precise. He mostly played defensive end, so there will be an expected transition period to standing up as an outside linebacker. While he is not the quickest off the snap, he is measured, and has good read vision. Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau has a soft heart for Ohio State players and was present for his pro day in March. In addition to that, the Steelers liked him enough to bring in him for a pre draft visit.

When looking at his stats, keep in mind that Simon played all over the place while at Ohio State. His move to the LEO position was a good one, and with the proper coaching, I think that this natural born leader has the ability to become a solid 3-4 outside linebacker. He gives 100 percent on every play and I would hate to have to play against him. If the Steelers don\’t draft Simon, somebody else will and I will not be surprised to see him in the league eight years from now.

Nine other players considered here in order: SS T.J. McDonald, WR Ryan Swope, SS Shamarko Thomas, RB Mike Gillislee, RB Marcus Lattimore, RB Joseph Randle, DE Lavar Edwards, QB Tyler Bray, WR Kenny Stills

Tackles Def Int Fumbles
Year Class Solo Ast Tot Loss Sk Int Yds Avg TD PD FR Yds TD FF
2009* FR 6 10 16 3.0 1.5 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
2010* SO 22 19 41 8.5 3.0 0 0 0 2 1 30 1 0
2011* JR 31 22 53 16.0 7.0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0
2012 SR 22 22 44 14.5 9.0 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 1
Career 81 73 154 42.0 20.5 0 0 0 10 1 30 1 2
Provided by Sports-Reference.com/CFB: View Original Table
Generated 4/24/2013.

Round 5 – SS Shawn Williams – Georgia

Measurables: Height 5117…Weight 213…4.42 in the 40-yard dash…1.54 10-yard dash…2.50 20-yard dash…4.25 20-yard shuttle…11.23 60-yard shuttle…7.01 three-cone drill…36-inch vertical jump…10’0” broad jump… Bench pressed 225 pounds 25 times…30-inch arm length…8 ¼-inch hands…73 7/8-inch wingspan.

Should the Steelers not draft a safety in the first two rounds, I feel like they will probably wait until to the back end of the draft to do so. Assuming they view Robert Golden as their future free safety, they will need a strong safety type to groom to take over eventually for Troy Polamalu.

In my opinion, Williams is a very underrated safety and below is what I previously wrote about him.

Williams has been overshadowed by Jones, Alec Ogletree and Bacarri Rambo on defense while at Georgia, but he is a very underrated strong safety prospect that has played against elite competition in the SEC. He has a linebacker mentality and was even forced to play some linebacker while at Georgia due to injuries.

Williams is very physical in the box and a solid tackler that plays downhill against the run. He timed faster than most thought he would at the combine, but when you watch his tape you will see that he does cover quite a bit of ground. He understands angles, route progressions and back half responsibilities as well as any strong safety prospect in this draft, in my opinion.

Williams\’ play has been compared to Bernard Pollard only he is not a head case. He is regarded as a team leader with strong character and his experience on special teams will guarantee that he dresses every Sunday in the NFL until he is ready to start.

Nine other players considered here in order: SS Duke Williams, CB B.W. Webb, WR Tavarres King, WR Josh Boyce, DE Malliciah Goodman, CB Tharold Simon, RB Kenjon Barner, ILB Vince Williams, QB Zac Dysert

Tackles Def Int Fumbles
Year Class Solo Ast Tot Loss Sk Int Yds Avg TD PD FR Yds TD FF
2009* FR 3 2 5 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2010* SO 25 9 34 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
2011* JR 48 24 72 5.0 0.0 4 58 14.5 0 10 0 0 0 1
2012* SR 56 42 98 5.5 1.0 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 1
Career 132 77 209 10.5 1.0 4 58 14.5 0 15 0 0 0 2
Provided by Sports-Reference.com/CFB: View Original Table
Generated 4/24/2013.

Round 6 – DE Joe Kruger – Utah

Measurables: Height 6062…Weight 269…4.81 in the 40-yard dash…1.66 10-yard dash…2.66 20-yard dash…4.46 20-yard shuttle…7.17 three-cone drill…34-inch vertical jump…9’9” broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 24 times…34 3/8-inch arm length…10-inch hands…NA wingspan.

It is so hard to judge how long Kruger will remain on the board. He could go as early as the fourth or as late as the seventh. I will take my chances that he will be there for the Steelers in the sixth. If they took him higher, it wouldn\’t hurt my feelings as I really do think that he could become a solid 3-4 defensive end. Below is what I wrote about him previously.

Younger brother of Paul Kruger and has the perfect size and skill-set to become a starting 5 technique defensive end in a 3-4. Kruger needs to be broken down and built back up again as his technique needs a lot of work. He plays too light as he needs to fill out a little more and get stronger so that he can hold his ground and occupy more than one blocker when asked. He should be able to carry 15 more pounds with ease.

Kruger is not the most nimble guy, but neither were Aaron Smith and Brett Keisel. He will need to learn to be more effective at reading plays and get himself in passing lanes so that he can get those long arms in the vision of the quarterback in order to knock down some passes. Is he J.J. Watt? No, but he could turn into a seven year starter in the NFL.

The 3-4 defensive end class is thin this year and Colbert pointed that out in his pre draft press conference. The Steelers need depth behind their starters and I do not believe that Al Woods is the long-term solution. Should they not take a defensive end in this draft, they will have to load up on a few undrafted free agents in hopes of finding one that can stick.

Nine other players considered here in order: SS Rontez Miles, TE Zach Sudfeld, RB Michael Ford, WR Aaron Mellette, TE Michael Williams, G Josh Kline, DE Devin Taylor, WR Denard Robinson, OLB Ty Powell

Tackles Def Int Fumbles
Year Class Solo Ast Tot Loss Sk Int Yds Avg TD PD FR Yds TD FF
2010* FR 3 1 4 1.0 0.0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
2011* SO 17 18 35 5.0 3.0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
2012 JR 19 11 30 8.0 6.0 1 24 24.0 1 2 0 0 0 2
Career 39 30 69 14.0 9.0 1 24 24.0 1 4 0 0 0 3
Provided by Sports-Reference.com/CFB: View Original Table
Generated 4/24/2013.

Round 6 (COMP) – CB Will Davis – Utah State

Measurables: Height 5113…Weight 182…4.43 in the 40-yard dash…1.50 10-yard dash…2.51 20-yard dash…4.02 20-yard shuttle…6.52 three-cone drill…35 ½-inch vertical jump…10’7” broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 16 times…31 ¼-inch arm length…8 ¾-inch hands…74-inch wingspan.

Davis might just have the size and build to remain outside as boundary cornerback. He is a better than average tackler, a must trait for any Steelers cornerback, and possesses a nice change of direction and great leaping ability. He is not a very physical guy, but has shown the ability to be a ball hawk.

In the little bit of tape that I have watched of him, Davis seems to be very athletic, but raw. Although he has played press before, he is not overly great at it. His closing speed would make his transition to playing more zone an easy one and he is fairly good at protecting the chains when playing off.

Davis has, however, given up a few big plays and gets caught biting on double moves and peeking into the backfield. He is also known to be a grabber when beaten cleanly.

Steelers defensive backs coach Carnell Lake likes these kind of cornerbacks that are raw and not full of bad habits. If there was such a thing as a poor man\’s Cortez Allen, Davis would likely be it. The Steelers brought Davis in for a pre draft visit and appear to be serious about drafting a cornerback at some point.

While I have him in the sixth round, it would not be surprising to see him go a round earlier.

Nine other players considered here in order: SS Rontez Miles, TE Zach Sudfeld, RB Michael Ford, WR Aaron Mellette, TE Michael Williams, G Josh Kline, DE Devin Taylor, WR Denard Robinson, OLB Ty Powell

Tackles Def Int Fumbles
Year Class Solo Ast Tot Loss Sk Int Yds Avg TD PD FR Yds TD FF
2011* JR 21 14 35 3.5 0.0 0 0 0 6 0 0 0 0
2012* SR 46 18 64 4.5 0.0 5 100 20.0 1 22 0 0 0 0
Career 67 32 99 8.0 0.0 5 100 20.0 1 28 0 0 0 0
Provided by Sports-Reference.com/CFB: View Original Table
Generated 4/24/2013.

Round 7  – ILB Michael Mauti – Penn State

Measurables: Height 6017…Weight 243…Bench pressed 225 pounds 28 times…32 ½-inch arm length…10 ½-inch hands

I have already written quite a bit about Mauti in the past. If you have followed along with my mock drafts over the course of the offseason, you know that I am really rooting for this kid to overcome yet another serious knee injury.

In the Steelers 3-4, Mauti projects to be a BUCK inside linebacker that will need to show that he can execute while not being covered up all of the time. He is average at taking on blockers, but always seems to be around the football. He drops well and makes up for some of his weaknesses by reading and diagnosing quickly. He is a much better zone defender than man.

Obviously, Mauti has durability issues thanks to all of the knee injuries, but he is working like mad man to be ready come training camp time. He is a leader and looks and plays like a Steelers linebacker should.

Nine other players considered here in order: OLB Jayson DiManche, G Nik Embernate, SS Jonathan Meeks, QB Ryan Griffin, ILB Marvin Burdette, DE David Bass, CB Travis Howard, SS P.J. Smith, FS Daimion Stafford

Tackles Def Int Fumbles
Year Class Solo Ast Tot Loss Sk Int Yds Avg TD PD FR Yds TD FF
2010* JR 32 34 66 5.5 2.0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
2011* SR 10 11 21 3.0 0.0 1 0 0.0 0 4 0 0 0 0
2012 SR 49 47 96 4.0 2.5 3 125 41.7 0 5 0 0 0 3
Career 91 92 183 12.5 4.5 4 125 31.3 0 10 0 0 0 3
Provided by Sports-Reference.com/CFB: View Original Table
Generated 4/24/2013.
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