While Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell probably won’t be reading it, ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. released a new version of his mock draft Thursday and he still has Alabama safety Landon Collins going to the black and gold with the 22nd overall selection in the 2015 NFL Draft.
Kiper Jr. writes:
In my previous mock, I had Collins landing here as a player who can come in and contribute right away. Even if the Steelers decide Troy Polamalu is fine to come back for another year, they won’t expect him to play every down, and Collins would not only help right away but serve as a logical replacement. He’s a highly versatile safety who can make plays at the line of scrimmage and won’t look bad in coverage. He brings a ton of experience. I also think getting the top safety in the draft at No. 22 would be a solid value.
Interesting enough, Kiper Jr. has Virginia linebacker Eli Harold going off the board one pick ahead of the Steelers to the Cincinnati Bengals. In addition to that, the long-time major media draftnik also only has two cornerbacks off the board by pick No. 22 and they are Trae Waynes and Jalen Collins. He does, however, have cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Kevin Johnson being drafted later on in the round.
While Collins does present good positional value for the Steelers at 22, picking a safety seems a little like a luxury. Shamarko Thomas is expected to take over the strong spot if Troy Polamalu does indeed not return and Mike Mitchell looks like he will also be around at least a few more seasons.