Curiosity is escalating as to which draft prospects will wear the black and gold for the Pittsburgh Steelers. While several players are considered and various factors come into play, it is important to know why some of them may be passed on in certain rounds even though they might be perceived as being good fits. These players are prospects that have a higher chance of calling a city other than Pittsburgh home in 2015, in my opinion.
I am doing something different here, it’s kind of an opposite big board. Below are some players for the first and second round and I will give my reasoning on why I do not think they will get drafted by the Steelers in the round they are listed in.
Arik Armstead: Armstead was recently slotted to the Steelers in the first round by draftnik Todd McShay. I don’t see the Steelers taking a player early in the draft that won’t see much or any of the field. Cameron Heyward and Stephon Tuitt will hopefully have both starting defensive end positions locked up for at least the next five years. The defensive line needs depth, but spending your first round pick on a depth player and not a soon to be starter is just silly.
2. Owamagbe Odighizuwa: Diggy possesses many traits that NFL teams strongly desire. His length, motor and athleticism are very exciting but I don’t see the Steelers going with him in the first round. He has had two hip surgeries and that probably contributes to him not having much or any bend. I see him more of a 4-3 end that can push the pocket inside.
3. Jalen Collins: Many mocks and people are slotting Collins to the Steelers in the first, even after the foot surgery. I don’t think the Steelers go with Collins at 22 for a couple of reasons. He only has 10 career starts and it’s very difficult to know what you’re exactly getting with him. Another reason is the foot surgery. The surgery isn’t hurting Collins’ stock much because he is “supposed” to be ready for camp. Mike Tomlin loves experienced players and I think the Steelers go a different direction than Collins.
4. Maxx Williams: I would not be upset if he ends up being the pick at 22. He will be a great starter and would solidify the tight end position for next decade. With the strong need at the cornerback and outside linebacker, I don’t see the Steelers going a different direction than either of those positions. Unless an elite offensive player slides to 22, I think it is going to be a defensive player.
5. Landon Collins: I’m seeing Collins’ name linked more and more often with the Steelers. I am not a fan of this pick at all. The Steelers traded up for Shamarko Thomas for one reason: to be Troy Polamalu’s heir. Tomlin is entertaining the thought of Mike Mitchell moving to strong safety but I don’t buy it. I don’t think Collins is meant to play the free safety spot either. To me, Collins is meant to play the strong safety spot and be in the box. I think the Steelers have their starters at safety with Mitchell and Thomas.
6. Eli Harold: I did a breakdown of Harold and I have a 2nd round grade on him. He has a great motor and is very quick and explosive. His build and run defense is worrisome. I think the Steelers are more inclined to draft a bigger edge rusher, like Alvin Dupree. I would like if Harold could be had in the 2nd round.
1. Lorenzo Mauldin: I am seeing Steelers fans loving Mauldin in the second round. My report on him shows that he is at best a 3rd round pick. He reminds me so much of Jarvis Jones, but is much better in coverage. The Steelers need an elite outside linebacker that can be a force in the run game along with being a force as a pass rusher. I don’t see Mauldin as that type of player.
2. P.J. Williams: Recently arrested for a DUI made me put him in the “second round” conversation. He has now bounced himself out of the first round. The Steelers may have taken him off of their board all together, but his talent cannot be ignored. He has a 2nd round grade from me. This is Williams’ second encounter with the law in a negative way and he hasn’t even been drafted yet. I think the Steelers go a different direction than Williams with this cornerback class as deep as it is.
3. Shaq Thompson: He is not a running back, he is not a safety, and he is not a 3-4 outside linebacker. Thompson is a 4-3 outside linebacker. He is a great player but he is not a fit for the Steelers.
4. Preston Smith: Another player who I don’t think is a scheme fit for the Steelers. Smith struggles with his bend coming around the edge and cannot win with a speed rush. Smith’s lack of bend may take him out of out of the conversation if you want an outside linebacker. If you want Smith to be a 3-4 end, he’ll have to add a lot of weight, which may be unreasonable. To me, he is a 4-3 defensive end, not a fit for the Steelers.
5. Trey Flowers: There aren’t many Flowers’ fans out there but there are a few of you. Alex Kozora did a great breakdown of Flowers which will back up my points. He lacks an explosive first step and is stiff around the edge. His poor 40 at the combine (4.93) is concerning along with his lack of experience dropping into coverage. Kozora has Flowers projected as a late 2nd to early 3rd, but I see Flowers at mid-3rd to 4th round. I firmly believe that the Steelers could do better than Flowers in the 2nd round.
Let me know in the comments if you like this idea or not, and if you agree or disagree with me. If you like this idea let me know and I will expand this to further rounds.