Since we lean on Draft Analyst quite a bit to get us through the Pro Day circuit, it’s fair to give them a shout when Tony Pauline rolled out his three round mock draft yesterday. He gives explanations for each pick in the first round though kept things brief for Pittsburgh.
In the first round, he has the Steelers selecting UCLA OLB Takkarist McKinley at 30.
“The Steelers have had a lot of success with this type of pass rusher.”
It’s not really clear what he means by “this type,” though McKinley is generally regarded as a power guy, which I guess would be a similar mold to James Harrison or LaMarr Woodley.
Admittedly, McKinley hasn’t gotten enough buzz from us on this site. I think several of us are “down,” on him but team is bringing him in for a pre-draft visit, putting him into the convo with Carl Lawson and TJ Watt. The Steelers, however, weren’t at his Pro Day, which as we’ve told you, is a bad sign for him being the pick.
If you’re wondering, Haason Reddick, Kevin King, and Patrick Mahomes were all off the board by the time the Steelers were on the Pauline clock.
Pittsburgh surprised in the second round by taking Tennessee running back Alvin Kamara. He’s a bigger back at 214 pounds who runs with good pad level and showed explosion at the Combine but a back feels a round too early knowing Le’Veon Bell still isn’t coming off the field very often.
In the third, Pauline has the Steelers taking DL Demarcus Walker with the 94th pick. A tweener who isn’t a great fit in the Steelers’ scheme, he’ll likely play with his hand down and be apart of the crowded defensive line. He weighed in at 6’3/5 280 at the Combine. He did have a sensational 2016 season, recording 21.5 TFL and 16 sacks while being named ACC Defensive Player of the Year. Good player, questionable fit.
And at 105, the Steelers go with a WR, Eastern Washington’s Cooper Kupp. Kupp was dominant at the FCS level and possesses good size but there are question marks about his ability to separate at the next level.
The secondary isn’t addressed within the first four picks, which would be a surprise – and disappointment – for Pittsburgh. Again, check out the whole mock, which we’ll link again here.