I’m not sure why anyone would even attempt to put together a complete four-round mock draft, but Chad Reuter of NFL.com certainly seems to enjoy doing just that. On Monday, Reuter released version 3.0 of his way-too-long mock draft and the four players he chose for the Pittsburgh Steelers are quite interesting to say the least.
In the first round, Reuter selected Stanford guard Joshua Garnett at 25th overall. That’s not really that outlandish of a selection even though several analysts have him going in the second round. Personally, I think Garnett is the best guard in this year’s class and the Steelers might very well need one should Ramon Foster leave via free agency.
In the second round, Reuter has the Steelers selecting USC LB/S Su’a Cravens with the 58th overall pick of the draft. Cravens certainly is an interesting player to discuss as he spent most of his college career playing inside the box and covering in the slot. Can he play deep as a safety, or his he just a linebacker? The Steelers met with Cravens at the annual scouting combine in Indianapolis so at least there is seemingly some interest on the surface.
In the third round, Reuter has the Steelers selecting Nebraska defensive tackle Maliek Collins. Collins is best suited to play inside at the next level at that would obviously mean nose tackle if he were to be drafted by the Steelers. Personally, I would have gone with a longer defensive lineman here who would fit as a defensive end in the Steelers 3-4 front. With that said, I understand Reuter’s selection of Collins and especially if Pittsburgh winds up losing nose tackle Steve McLendon during free agency.
In the fourth and final round of Reuter’s mock draft, he has the Steelers selecting North Carolina Central cornerback Ryan Smith with the 124th overall pick. I’ve yet to watch any tape on Smith, but did see him go through drills at this year’s combine where he measured in at 5’11”, 189-pounds. Smith, who ran a 4.47-second 40-yard dash in Indianapolis, ranked third in the MEAC last season with a team-best 11 passes defended (two interceptions and nine pass break-ups), while adding 52 tackles (38 solo – second on team) with 1.5 stops for a loss. He also led the conference and ranked 10th in the nation with an average of 28.1 yards per kickoff return.
Three of Reuter’s four selections for the Steelers addressed defensive needs so props to him for that. All in all, I suppose this mock is not awful and I suppose that’s all you can hope for when you take on such a task.