NFL.com’s Chad Reuter rolled out a four round mock draft a few days ago. We’re circling back to it for some Sunday reading that might give you a chance to get through Sunday brunch with the in-laws. Feel free to check out Reuter’s full mock draft here but we’ll go through the Pittsburgh Steelers’ five selections.
He has the team taking OLB Takk McKinley in the first round. Out of UCLA, McKinley had a productive final season but questions about bend and his health – he underwent surgery to fix a torn labrum earlier this month – have many Steelers’ fans opting for other pass rushers.
Here is Reuter’s succinct explanation.
“James Harrison can’t play forever, and Jarvis Jones is a free agent.”
Good enough rationale for me on the position but the player isn’t my favorite. Carl Lawson and Charles Harris didn’t go off the board until mid-way through the second round and are better choices, though it is worth pointing out Harris’ poor Combine puts him in play for a team like the Steelers at 30.
The rest of the picks are just a list, no explanation, so we’ll expound on them.
In the second, Reuter selects Baylor WR KD Cannon. A shifty slot receiver, I can dig the idea of looking for an upgrade over the serviceable Eli Rogers, but the position is now squarely a want after an inactive free agency period that leaves the Steelers with a host of other needs.
In the third round with the 94th pick, the Steelers go with CB Sidney Jones. Jones suffered a torn Achilles in his Washington Pro Day workout and is almost certain to miss his entire rookie season. That creates value there, Jones was expected to be a first rounder otherwise, but it’s a pick a team like the Steelers can probably only justify if they’ve taken players who can contribute right away, allowing them to stash a guy like Jones (or TE Jake Butt, whose name has been tossed around). With McKinley already injured and Cannon entering a crowded room, it’s a tough sell.
With their third round comp pick, Reuter selects Michigan DE Chris Wormley. Wormley is a good player who can play three or five tech, though it would be tough for him to see the field in Year One, barring injury. But talent and scheme fit, the pick makes a lot of sense.
Finally, he has Pittsburgh taking ILB Kendell Beckwith in the fourth round. Beckwith is another guy with a lot of talent but is dealing with a serious injury of his own, tearing his ACL in mid-November. It feels like this rookie class would literally be limping their way into 2017 and to take three players who won’t be available Week One simply doesn’t add up for a Steelers’ team on the cusp of making a Super Bowl run. I don’t think Reuter considered the picks in together and realized the MASH unit he created.
To be fair, big mock drafts league-wide are difficult and I’ll do a complete, seven round mock for other people to make fun of shortly before draft day.
Again, check out the whole mock here. Unsurprisingly, Myles Garrett goes with the #1 overall pick.