A few of the Pittsburgh Steelers beat writers are beginning to get into mock drafting mode as Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has now released his initial seven-round educated guess of the offseason.
Kaboly has the Steelers selecting Kentucky outside linebacker Alvin “Bud” Dupree in the first round with the 22nd overall pick and he writes:
Big and powerful defensive end who would be converted to outside linebacker. Dropped some in college making the transition to OLB much easier.
Dupree has been a popular first-round selection for the Steelers in several major media mock drafts so far during the offseason and should he wind up being the pick, it will be the first time that the team has not drafted an underclassman in the first round since defensive end Cameron Heyward was drafted with the 31st overall selection in 2011.
The Steelers were present for Dupree’s March Pro Day and it will be interesting to see if they bring the 6’4″, 269 pounder, who served as a team captain last season, in for a visit. Dupree finished his senior season with 7.5 sacks and 23.5 for his college career, which was the most by any active SEC player, according to NFL.com.
Kaboly then has the Steelers addressing their need at the corneback position with their next two picks as he has them taking Stanford’s Alex Carter and Florida Atlantic’s D’Joun Smith. He follows those two picks up with Fresno State safety Derron Smith and Penn State tight end Jesse James in rounds four and five respectively.
You can view the rest of Kaboly’s eight selections for the Steelers along with his commentary for each pick right here.