NFL Draft

Latest NFL.Com Five-Round Mock Draft Has Steelers Selecting 4 Defensive Players

It’s very rare to see a major media website attack a multi-round mock draft but that’s exactly what Chad Reuter on NFL.com has preferred to do now for several years. This past week, in fact, Reuter released a five-round mock draft and it includes some interesting selections for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

In the first-round of his latest mock draft, Reuter has the Steelers selecting former Stanford safety Justin Reid and he writes of the 28th overall pick:

Reid is a hard-hitting defender for the back end and will fill in quite well in Pittsburgh’s defense.

Reid is certainly an easy draft prospect to connect to the Steelers in the first round as not only is he a very versatile defensive back, he’s also a very athletic one as well and has an NFL bloodline to boot as his older brother is safety Eric Reid, a former first-round selection of the San Francisco 49ers who is currently an unrestricted free agent.

Should the Steelers ultimately select Reid in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, it will mark the first time they’ve made a safety their first overall pick since 2003 when they traded up to get Troy Polamalu. Overall, the Steelers don’t have much of a history when it comes to drafting safeties in the first round so it would indeed be somewhat monumental should Reid, or any other safety for that matter, be their first selection this year.

While Reid is currently scheduled for an April pre-draft visit with the Steelers, general manager Kevin Colbert and head coach Mike Tomlin both chose not to attend the Stanford safety’s pro day this past week. That could wind up being a telling sign as at the very least, the last eight Steelers first-round selections have had their pro days attended by at least Colbert.

In the second-round of his mock, Reuter has the Steelers selecting former Texas linebacker Malik Jefferson with the 60th overall selection. Jefferson, who measured in at this year’s scouting combine at 6022, 236-pounds, registered 231 total tackles in his three seasons at Texas with 26 of those resulting in losses. He also had 13 sacks during his college career and 2 forced fumbles. The Texas pro day will take place next week and it will be interesting to see if he does a few of the timed drills he chose to skip while at the combine. Additionally, it will be interesting to see if Colbert or Tomlin show up to watch him go through the paces and if, like Reid, he’s ultimately brought in for an April pre-draft visit.

After selecting a safety and an inside linebacker for the Steelers, Reuter has Pittsburgh taking cornerback Davontae Harris of Illinois State in the third-round with the 92nd overall selection in the draft. Harris, who measured in at 5113, 205-pounds at the combine several weeks ago, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.43 seconds. In the 34 games that Harris played at Illinois State he registered 190 total tackles, 37 passes defensed, 3 interceptions and 1 forced fumble. In all honesty, Harris being mocked in the third-round to the Steelers by Reuter feels a little bit like a reach.

In the fifth-round of his most-recent mega-mock, Reuter has the Steelers selecting guard Skyler Phillips of Idaho State with the 148th overall selection and defensive tackle Poona Ford of Texas later in the round with the 165th overall pick in the draft.

At the combine, Phillips, who was a four-year starter at Idaho State, measured in at 6023, 318-pounds. He reportedly played all five offensive line positions during his college career but will obviously be considered a guard or center at the NFL level and a bit of an under-sized one at that. He’s expected to be a day-three selection.

As for Ford, who was perceived to be one of a few combine snubs this year, he registered 133 total tackles and 4 sacks in his four seasons at Texas. He’s expected to weigh in at his pro day at around 6-0, 306-pounds.

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