One of the tasks that we like to accomplish with this website is being a supplier of just about all possible relevant information or analysis pertaining to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and part of that task is relaying mock drafts at this time of year. Most of them come from national sources, but today we bring you one from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Ray Fittipaldo.
Generally the designated ‘actual football stuff’ guy rather than Ed Bouchette or Gerry Dulac, Fittipaldo tends to have more explicit analysis-based takes on things as opposed to what team sources have told him about this or that. And in this case he went with a full seven-round mock draft.
I say yet again only because it has become the most popular selection, but, yet again, he supplies us with another mock that has the Steelers taking Alabama linebacker Rashaan Evans in the first round. It may just be me but this appears to be the pick around which is being formed the closest thing to a consensus for Pittsburgh. We’ve talked about him enough that I don’t think we need to go into too much detail.
His second-round selection is Jessie Bates, the safety out of Wake Forest. The Steelers did make the trek out for Wake Forest’s Pro Day. He will play the entirety of his rookie season as a 21-year-old, so there is certainly room for growth there.
Fittipaldo has them going with Washington wide receiver Dante Pettis in the third round, pointing out that it has been the most popular spot for the team to look for wide receivers under Mike Tomlin. He is somebody that can also compete as a return man.
His selections in the fifth round are Sam Houston State’s P.J. Hall, a defensive tackle who could challenge for a spot at the bottom of the depth chart along the defensive line, perhaps something that would be beneficial; and Akrum Wadley, a running back out of Iowa. Fittipaldo’s interest in Wadley is for a player at the position that can add a splash-play dimension that the other backs on the roster lack.
The seventh round begins with a double dip at inside linebacker with Western Kentucky’s Joel Iyiegbuniwe. He notes that this was one of the more than half-dozen inside linebackers the team brought in for pre-draft visits, so it should be no surprise if they look to double dip.
Last in the mock is offensive lineman Jordan Mailata, a rugby player making the transition to football. He has the size of a tackle, to be sure, and the Steelers do have success converting players to offensive line, though they never did sign Alejandro Villanueva’s brother, who is also a rugby player.
What do you think of Fittipaldo’s final mock draft? Love it? Like it? Hate it? Is it realistic?