Rounding out our Senior Bowl coverage with a fun little exercise. Doing a Pittsburgh Steelers’ mock draft but only from those who attended Mobile this week. So keep that in mind. Senior Bowl only.
Round One – 30th Overall: Haason Reddick/OLB Temple
The pick I’ve talked about and mocked throughout the Senior Bowl week. Reddick would be in competition with Carl Lawson but Lawson wasn’t able to attend, making Reddick the pick. His size, 6’1 237, with average length, is the biggest drawback and has some people thinking he will play off ball at the next level. That could be the case the more we hear about his projection, which could change my pick, but I think he’s capable playing the edge.
Fantastic athlete who wins with his first step and ability to flatten and corner the edge. Good football IQ and sideline to sideline range. And of course, EDGE is the Steelers’ biggest need, even assuming James Harrison returns.
Others Considered: CB Tre White, OLB Derek Rivers, CB Jourdan Lewis
Round Two – 62nd Overall: Evan Engram/TE Ole Miss
The replacement for the now-hindsighted problems of signing Ladarius Green. Engram has similar tools though he’s shorter and doesn’t offer the same amount of length. Seam threat and an adequate blocker who plays with a respectable level of physicality. Jesse James made strides but it’s unlikely he ever becomes the pass catcher Green was supposed to be. Engram can do that.
Others Considered: CB/S Cameron Sutton, OLB Dawuane Smoot, WR Zay Jones
Round Three – 94th Overall: Damontae Kazee/CB San Diego State
Steelers get their nickel corner, an underrated area of need for the team. Kazee played outside at SDSU but his short-area quickness, lack of size (5’10 184), and physicality you don’t normally see for a guy of his size. William Gay should be around for at least one more season, allowing Kazee time to learn the position.
It goes back to what the Steelers looked for in cornerbacks two years ago – elite ball skills. Kazee picked off 15 total passes his junior and senior seasons.
Others Considered: RB Kareem Hunt, OLB Tarell Basham, OLB Tyus Bowser
Round Four – 124th Overall: Corey Clement/RB Wisconsin
One of the underrated backs in this year’s class with proper value. Clement, as I’ve mentioned several times, has great feet and had excellent tape before suffering a season-ending injury his junior season. No-nonsense runner with a mix of speed and power, even if neither are particularly dominant traits. At 5’10, 221 pounds, he fits the big back mold the Steelers covet (Le’Veon Bell, Jonathan Dwyer, Rashard Mendenhall).
If they want to target a back a round higher, go after Kareem Hunt, as I’ve noted.
Others Considered: CB Corn Elder, DE Chris Wormley, ILB Alex Anzalone
Round Five – 156th Overall: Carroll Phillips/OLB Illinois
Double-dipping at the position of biggest need for the team. Not a big fan of Phillips but the Steelers are interested in him. He’s already 24 and still seems raw but there is an athletic upside. Only one year of production but it was a good one – 19 TFL and 9 sacks his senior season.
Others Considered: S Nate Gerry, ILB Ben Boulware, QB Davis Webb
Round Six – 187th Overall: Chad Williams/WR Grambling
Wide receiver has a lot of bodies in it so it’s worth taking a high-upside flier. Someone you can throw on the practice squad without much hassle. Williams has a checkered off field history but he’s got major wheels and wins vertically with speed and ability to stack on top of the cornerback. He caught 96 passes and still averaged nearly 15 yards per catch last season and a high ranking Steelers’ scout was there for at least one game.
Others Considered: S Damarius Travis, WR Jamari Staples, ILB Ben Gedeon
Round Seven – 219th Overall: Isaac Rochell/DE Notre Dame
New name on the list we haven’t talked a lot about. Defensive line is low on needs but if Ricardo Mathews doesn’t return – or even if he does – it’s worth taking a filer on. Has five tech size, 6’4 282 with 33 1/4 arms and ten inch hands. Decent first step that creates power.
If you read my reports, he’s like a poor man’s Chris Wormley. First step like his but doesn’t have a go-to pass rush move. But he works his butt off and John Mitchell requires that from his guys. His value isn’t as strong as Wormley, making him a more realistic target for Pittsburgh. 7th round flier, perhaps. Similar to L.T. Walton, actually.
Others Considered: LS Colin Holba, CB Ezra Robinson, S Jordan Sterns