CBS Sports’ Dane Brugler came out with a new mock draft on Thursday and he had the Pittsburgh Steelers select a player we haven’t highlighted yet in a mock on this site. The Steelers took UCLA OLB Takkarist McKinley 30th overall.
“The Steelers have several question marks at pass rusher heading into next season and could look to address that need through the draft. McKinley is a tick undersized, but his athleticism and active hands allow him to penetrate the backfield.”
McKinley had a stellar 2016 season, recording 18 TFL and 10 sacks for UCLA. Our Daniel Valente broke him down for the site last week.
He praised McKinley for his size, speed move, and high motor, while looking for him to improve as a power rusher. Here’s how Valente summed him up.
“To wrap it all up, McKinley is very raw; relying on pure speed on most occasions, McKinley will have to improve his hand work and develop a secondary move. McKinley has all the measurables to succeed at the next level, with only a few coachable traits standing in his path. McKinley will likely find himself as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense. A risky pick for some, [he] is an interesting project for others.”
Outside linebacker is the biggest need for Pittsburgh but this draft is flush with depth at EDGE and is arguably the deepest position of them all. We’ve seen numerous outside linebackers linked to the Steelers already. Charles Harris, Haason Reddick, Tim Williams, Carl Lawson, and Ryan Anderson. They’re likely to take one within the first two picks. Second round options include Houston’s Tyus Bowser.
In Brugler’s mock, Lawson and Reddick were both off the board. Harris and Williams went with the next two picks to round out the first round, highlighting the options Pittsburgh should have at the back end of the first round.
I’ll have my first mock draft on the season posted Monday morning so be on the lookout for that.