ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay held a head-to-head three-round mock draft Thursday evening and it included the two alternating picks.
With the 22nd overall selection in the first-round, Kiper drafted Connecticut cornerback Byron Jones for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
What’s interesting about Kiper’s selection is that Clemson edge-rusher Vic Beasley was still available, as was Missouri edge-rusher Shane Ray and Wake Forest cornerback Kevin Johnson. In case you’re curious, Beasley wasn’t selected until the second-round as he went 36th overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Ray and Johnson, however, were drafted later in the first round by the Baltimore Ravens and Indianapolis Colts respectively.
We’re looking pretty thin in the secondary and I get maybe the most versatile cornerback in the draft, a kid who can help in the slot or at safety early on if needed. And as we all know, he’s an absolute stud as an athlete.
In the second round, Kiper again picked for the Steelers and this time he selected UCLA edge-rusher Owamagbe Odighizuwa for them.
Sticking with the defense in Pittsburgh. He’s not a great pass-rusher, but he plays the run well and is a fantastic athlete they can develop.
In the third-round, it was McShay’s turn to pick for the Steelers and he drafted Virginia safety Anthony Harris for them with the 87th overall selection.
The Steelers really need to improve their secondary, and in first-round pick Byron Jones and Harris they’ll have added two talented coverage players.
I’ve seen worse mock drafts this offseason, but there are a ton of curious picks in this one. I’m not as high on Odighizuwa as most are and the same goes for Harris.
Let me know what you think about this mock in the comments below.