With the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine now behind us and the start of free agency just a few weeks away, it is now time for my second 2015 Pittsburgh Steelers mock draft of the offseason, or as I like to call them, educated guesses to inspire good draft talk about players.
As you know, I usually do about 5 or 6 mocks prior to the actual NFL draft taking place and you can find the links to all of those from last year in this final mock draft post from 2014. Also, here is my second mock after the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine from last offseason for you to look at and surprisingly I had one player included in that who wound up being drafted by the Steelers.
If you missed my first mock draft from a few weeks ago, you can find that here.
The Steelers will likely receive a few compensatory draft picks this year but I will not include any in my mocks until we know exactly how many and where they are.
After trying out the mock draft simulator that Fanspeak.com has created in my first mock draft of 2015, I have decided to go back to doing my own mocks without it like I usually do.
************** If you are going to comment in this post please add value to the discussion. The rounds here are not important and you are not helping the discussion exercise by saying “Player X” will not last that long or is being drafted too soon. Please add what you like and dislike about a certain player and feel free to add your own mock as well. Remember, the discussion should be centered around the players, not the rounds they are drafted. Mock drafts are never perfect, but the value of them is in the discussion about the players. If I feel you are not adding value with your comments I will simply delete them. Go elsewhere if you want to be a nuisance or a troll. **************
Round 1 Pick 22 – Brandon Scherff – G – Iowa
This selection is sure to anger most of you, but hear out the reasoning behind it. For starters, like or not, Scherff is not going to be a left tackle at the NFL level due to him measuring in at the combine at 6045 with 33 3/8 inch arms. It’s also highly unlikely that he will be able to play right tackle in addition. Because of that, Scherff is best suited to play left guard and I think you will soon see his first-round draft stock start to fall. At this point, I can’t see him being selected in the top-10, so there’s a good chance he falls even further and is still on the board when the Steelers pick. Remember, outside of two years ago, guards normally get the shaft in the first round and I think that’s going to happen this year with Scherff. Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert loves value and being as left guard Ramon Foster is entering the final year of his contract, it will be hard to pass on Scherff, who might could even start right away. This isn’t a sexy need pick, but I certainly can see it playing out this way. Scherff played left guard as a freshman and his position flexibility will also be enticing to the Steelers. Remember when most of us thought that there was no way that David DeCastro would fall several years ago? I do.
Other players considered that could still be on the board: P.J. Williams, Alvin Dupree, Maxx Williams
Mock draft notes: Now that the combine is over I don’t see any of the premier outside linebackers or cornerbacks falling to the Steelers in the first round. It’s all about value here and finding special players and I believe Scherff fits that criteria in addition to being somewhat of a need.
Round 2 Pick 24 – Eli Harold – OLB – Virginia
Did you listen to Harold talk at the combine? This kid has a great back story and being as he hails from Virginia Beach, Virginia, I’m willing to bet that head coach Mike Tomlin already knew quite a bit about him prior to last weekend. Harold had a great combine but it’s important that we don’t count that twice. i see several draftniks trying to push him into the first round after his performance in Indianapolis but his tape says he’s a second-round player. Harold fits as a strongside outside linebacker in the Steelers 3-4 as he has the ideal height, weight, reach and get-off. He finished his career with 141 tackles 17.5 sacks and two interceptions. He was a two-year starter and came out early.
Other players considered that could still be on the board: Nate Orchard, Arik Armstead, Jesse James
Mock draft notes: If the Steelers fail to grab an outside linebacker in the first two rounds I think they might have to wait until the fourth to find value.
Round 3 Pick 23 – Alex Carter – CB – Stanford
I think the buzz about Carter has worn off now that the combine is over. He certainly isn’t going to be able to play in a press or man heavy system at the next level and I think he showed that in Indianapolis. Carter is best suited to play off and in zone and thus he will certainly fit the Steelers needs. It might be hard to believe, but Cortez Allen had a better combine than Carter did. Carter plays the run well and that will be a plus. I think he has third round written all over him as their are at least seven or eight better cornerbacks that will likely be drafted ahead of him.
Other players considered that could still be on the board: David Cobb, Quinten Rollins, David Johnson
Mock draft notes: This round really is a wild card but it makes a lot of sense to draft the best cornerback still on the board. Rollins probably wouldn’t be a bad consolation prize.
Round 4 Pick 22 – Jeremy Langford – RB – Michigan State
I’m probably a little bit higher than most on Langford but I’m fine with that. While Langford certainly doesn’t have the agility that Steelers starter Le’Veon Bell does, he probably has the better long speed. Bell and Langford would make a great one, two punch in Pittsburgh and both came out of the same school so and style of offense. He really is fun to watch on tape.
Other players considered that could still be on the board: Steven Nelson, Henry Anderson, Doran Grant
Mock draft notes: The Steelers need to draft a running back in this draft and there ought to be plenty to choose from in the third and fourth rounds as this appears to be a talented class when it comes to that position.
Round 5 Pick 24 – Eric Rowe – FS/CB – Utah
Is Rowe a cornerback or a safety at the NFL level. While he played both positions in college, I’m willing to bet that despite his cornerback measurables, he will be best suited to play free safety. 261 total tackles in college as he’s not afraid to help in run support. Being as he did play cornerback his senior season, he can cover in the slot should he be asked to it as a free safety. His great combine might improve his stock some so keep your fingers crossed he last until the fifth round.
Other players considered that could still be on the board: Craig Mager, Nick Boyle, Byron Jones
Mock draft notes: It will be interesting to see if the Steelers get awarded a compensatory pick in this round. It would be nice as there could still be some value and talent still on the board in this round.
Round 6 Pick 23 – Blake Bell – TE – Oklahoma
I picked a great time to profile Bell as he really had a strong showing at the combine just a few days later. For a kid that played tight end position only one year after moving from quarterback, he did a great job. He certainly has the measurables and skillset to play the position at the next level and now he just needs to get a lot stronger. Don’t sleep on this kid’s potential and he did meet with the Steelers while in Indianapolis.
Other players considered that could still be on the board: Tyler Varga, Derrick Lott, Bobby McCain
Mock draft notes: If the Steelers get a few sixth round compensatory picks, I would spend one on Lott if still on the board.
Round 7 Pick 22 – Justin Coleman – CB – Tennessee
Coleman helped himself this past weekend but how much? He had a strong showing at the East-West Shrine Game as well but still projects as a slot cornerback at the NFL level. He very well might go earlier than round seven and as previously mentioned, if the Steelers have a compensatory pick in round six, that might be the perfect spot to take the Tennessee product. His 10-yard spilt was insane as was his 20-yard shuttle.
Other players considered that could still be on the board: Deon Simon, Jermauria Rasco, Justin Cox
Mock draft notes: The Steelers are likely to get a seventh-round compensatory pick and I wouldn’t mind seeing them spend it on Simon.
Final Notes: I enjoy doing my mocks this way as opposed to using a simulator. While I think it’s a novel idea, I also think it needs fine tuning as I often see players being drafted by teams that don’t fit the system.
What a difference two weeks makes as I have been able to watch a ton of film on players since my last mock and learned even more about several others during the combine.
I hope this mock inspires good discussion about the players I selected as well as the others I considered. Once again, if you are judging these picks by whether or not they will still be on the board where they were selected, you’re probably not going to help the discussion much.
My next mock will be released a few weeks after free agency has started and after the compensatory picks have been awarded.