NFL Draft

2018 NFL Mock Draft: Steelers Address ILB And FS Spots With Familiar Names

Still doesn’t seem like a lot of mock drafts that make much sense for the Pittsburgh Steelers these days. Too many in the media have the team going in directions that are almost impossible. Look around and you’ll see RB Derrius Guice linked to them; another has Lamar Jackson going 28th.

But this mock from NJ.com is pretty reasonable, though pretty vanilla. In their two-round, league-wide mock they posted yesterday, they have the Steelers taking Alabama ILB Rashaan Evans 28th overall. In a brief statement, they write.

“Really impressive 2017 season for him, with 13 tackles for loss, as he helped Alabama win the national title.”

Pittsburgh has an obvious need at ILB, heightened by not signing anyone in free agency. The team sent ILB coach Jerry Olsavsky to Alabama’s Pro Day, though a hamstring injury has still limited Evans. He’ll run his 40 yard dash on the 28th at the Crimson’s Tide second Pro Day.

At 60, their mock turns to a name who has picked up plenty of steam over the past two weeks. They mock Wake Forest FS Jessie Bates to the Steelers, saying:

“Nobody is saying he’s going to be the next Troy Polamalu, but he has a bunch of potential.”

Bates is working his way into the first round conversation after a solid Combine and Pro Day workouts. As a redshirt sophomore, he hasn’t gotten much exposure in the pre-draft process until recently, causing him to shoot up draft boards. At this point, it’s a stretch to think he’ll last all the way to pick 60 but if he does, that’s a great pick for Pittsburgh.

If you’re curious, they have UCLA QB Josh Rosen going to the Cleveland Browns at #1. The Browns also took Saquon Barkley at four.

Read our reports on Evans and Bates below.

2018 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Alabama ILB Rashaan Evans

2018 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Wake Forest FS Jessie Bates

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