CBS Sports draftniks Rob Rang and Dane Brugler released new versions of their mock drafts of the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft on Tuesday and both again have the Pittsburgh Steelers addressing key areas of need on the defensive side of the football.
Rang has had the Steelers selecting Michigan State cornerback Trae Waynes in his two previous mock drafts and he’s sticking with that selection again in his latest first round prediction. He does, however, offer up a new explanation of the pick this week.
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 possesses terrific length (6-1, 183 pounds), fluidity and ballskills.
As for Brugler, who had the Steelers taking Miami (Ohio) cornerback Quinten Rollins in his last mock draft, he has switched gears and now has them taking Kentucky defensive end/outside linebacker Alvin Dupree.
With Jason Worilds set to hit free agency and Jarvis Jones not living up to his first round draft slot, Dupree adds a much needed pass rush threat to the Steelers’ new-look defense.
In addition to Rang and Brugler, analyst Pat Kirwan has also now joined in on the mock drafting fun and he has the Steelers selecting Rollins with the 22nd overall selection.
The Steelers need help at the corner and Rollins was the most impressive corner at the Senior Bowl. The former college basketball player likes to hit and he has coverage skills.
In my opinion, Rang, Brugler and Kirwan are all at least on the right track as far as the Steelers needs go. Personally I like all three of the players that each chose for the Steelers, but it’s worth remembering that the team hasn’t selected a cornerback in the first round of a draft since they took Chad Scott in 1997. Scott was selected with the 24th overall selection that year and was the fifth cornerback taken in the first round.
I would also like to note that all three of these mocks now include Rollins in the first round. If you missed my breakdown of him you can read it here.