CBS Sports draft analyst Rob Rang released a new mock draft on Sunday and he has a very familiar name going to the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 25th overall selection in the first round in Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple.
Rang writes of his selection of Apple by the Steelers:
Pittsburgh’s leaky secondary was a season-long issue with reinforcements almost surely coming in the offseason, whether via the draft, free agency or both. Apple has natural coverage skills, including the fluidity and quick hands to make plays on the ball. He was voted the Defensive MVP of the Buckeyes’ Fiesta Bowl win over Notre Dame.
We have discussed Apple quite a bit over the course of the last several months and in case you missed it, I did a full breakdown of his 2015 targets several weeks ago.
Being as the Steelers do have an affinity for Ohio State players, along with a need for another cornerback this year, it’s certainly understandable as to why Rang is mocking Apple to Pittsburgh this late in the process. With that said, the Steelers also have a long history of only drafting young cornerbacks who finished out their college careers as seniors. Will that change this year, and more importantly, will they finally draft a cornerback in the first round for the first time since 1997? We’ll find out the answer to those questions in less than two weeks.
Curiously enough, when you look at Rang’s entire mock this time around you’ll notice that he no longer has Clemson cornerback Mackensie Alexander being selected in the first round. Additionally, he has Houston cornerback William Jackson III going 28th overall to the Kansas City Chiefs in his latest offering.
As far as a few another player goes who has been linked to the Steelers quite a bit over the course of the pre-draft process, Baylor defensive tackle Andrew Billings, Rang now has him being selected 27th overall by the Green Bay Packers.
Rang also failed to include any true safeties in his latest mock draft.