With the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine now in the books, the CBSSports.com draftniks have all released new versions of first round mock drafts. When it comes to who the Pittsburgh Steelers will select, Rob Rang, Dane Brugler and Pat Kirwan all differ this time around.
Rang still has the Steelers drafting Michigan State cornerback Trae Waynes with the 22nd overall selection. He still has the same reasoning as to why as he did two weeks ago.
New defensive coordinator Keith Butler inherits a unit that finished 26th in the NFL against the pass, according to Pro Football Focus. None of the teams ranked worse made the playoffs. After heavy investments in the front seven over the past several years, the Steelers may turn to the secondary, especially if a talent like Waynes is still available. Waynes has the length, athleticism and ballskills teams are looking for, though his slim frame (6-0, 186) is a concern that could keep him out of the top 20.
As for Brugler, he has vaulted Virginia defensive end/outside linebacker prospect Eli Harold into round one after the combine and has the Steelers selecting him.
With Jason Worilds set to hit free agency and Jarvis Jones not living up to his first round draft slot, Harold would make sense. He’s still rough around the edges, but his raw pass rush ability has the NFL’s attention.
As for Kirwan, he has the Steelers taking Minnesota tight end Maxx Williams in the first round.
The Steelers need an outside linebacker but they will not reach for one at this point. Look for them to find someone in the second round like Nate Orchard or Markus Golden, but a TE like Williams could be a 60-catch player with Big Ben throwing the ball.
We still have a long wait until the 2015 NFL Draft gets here but as we sit here right now, Waynes looks like he will be a top-15 selection and top-20 at the worst.
What’s interesting is that Brandon Scherff is starting to lose first round stock and as I wrote in my latest mock, I expect that fall to continue now that we know for sure that he best fits as a guard at the NFL level.
Both Brugler and Kirwan have bumped Harold into round one after his strong combine showing and it will interesting to see how long they hold him there over the course of the coming months. Harold definitely fits what the Steelers are looking for.