Curiosity begins to escalate as to which prospects will wear black and gold for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Every player is considered and various factors come into play but it is important to know why some players may be passed on. These players are prospects that in 2015 have a higher chance of calling a city other than Pittsburgh home.
I am doing something different here, kind of an opposite big board. Here are some players for the first and second round. I will give my reasoning on why I do not think these players get drafted by the Steelers in the round provided.
1 – 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 – 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.
3 – 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.
4 – 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.
*5 – Eddie Goldman: I don’t see Goldman as the pick at 22. He was not very productive throughout his years at Florida State. Only 19 tackles, 4 sacks and 1 pass defended in 2014. Not productive enough for me to pick at a position where need is not present. I don’t see the value.
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 – 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.
*5 – Sammie Coates: Looks like he was built in a laboratory. Fast player who can stretch the field. Disastrous route running and is an unreliable target due to focus drops. His drop rate was 19.1%. A player who the Steelers are better off going elsewhere than taking a chance on. Better in 2013 than 2014. The Steelers brought him in for a visit but I can’t see him being chosen in the 2nd round.
*6 – Markus Golden: Will probably never become a dominant edge rusher. Will need to work on his run defense. Only a one year starter and rarely dropped into coverage. I see him more of a third round pick than a second.
*7 – Danielle Hunter: Is more suited to be a 4-3 defensive end. Quite raw and looks completely lost sometimes. In 2014, played 80% of the snaps at LSU and only registered 1.5 sacks and 30 tackles. Again, not enough pass rushing production to have me pulling the trigger in the 2nd round.
1 – Gerod Holliman: Was in the first round of everyone’s mock draft a few months ago because of his 14 interceptions in 2014. Once everyone dove into Holliman’s tape, they discovered that he is a horrible run defender and an even worse overall tackler. Has limited starting experience and some injury concerns. I don’t think the Steelers will be drafting a poor tackler who is a liability to give up explosive plays in any round, but the 3rd seems like his place.
2 – Blake Bell: Mayock’s newly ranked tight end at the number 3 spot. Only one year at the tight end position, and it shows in his route running. Only 16 receptions in 2014, although 4 of those went for touchdowns. I see his value at best in the 5th round, so the 3rd round is far too generous.
3 – Running Backs: Any running back not named Todd Gurley or Melvin Gordon: With DeAngelo Williams being signed, I don’t see a running back being drafted before the 5th round.
4 – Nick O’Leary: Not a very athletic guy. Very slow 40 time at 4.93. Won’t be a vertical threat, best suited as an H back. Steelers more inclined to draft a move-tight end that is a receiving threat rather than an H back.
Changes made as follows:
-Added Third round
-Added players denoted with a *
-Removed Owamagbe Odighizuwa from the Round 1 list
-Removed Preston Smith from the Round 2 list
-Removed Landon Collins from Round 1 list
I removed Odighizuwa for a few reasons. After the first post, readers were angry at the gesture of passing on him so I re-visited the tape. I could see him succeeding as a 3-4 OLB. Extremely athletic, lengthy kid. I think he could do just about anything he is asked at a pretty high level. Hip injuries still scare me a tad bit.
I removed Smith for similar reasons. He does have some bend and I think that he could improve on that. 9 sacks and 15 tackles for loss last season are pretty good numbers. I think that he would need to play special teams and go through a similar process that Stephon Tuitt went through concerning his playing time and working in.
I really dove into Collins’ tape and watched a few games over and over again because of the potential of him being the pick at 22. With Shamarko Thomas being such a huge question mark, I can’t have him on this list. Unknowing how the teams views Thomas at this point really made me kick him off this list. Aside from the Steeler’s in-house situation, he could really play. The tape really shows why he should be selected in the first round. The strong safety spot is his best spot and that really is the biggest unknown on this defense.
Let me know in the comments if you agree or disagree with me on any players. I am simply stating that these players should not be drafted in the selected round pertained to them, not that they shouldn’t be drafted by the Steelers at all.