While most expect the Pittsburgh Steelers to address their leaky defense in the first round of this upcoming draft, the latest mock from NFL.com has them going in a different direction. In Chad Reuter’s new three round mock, he has the organization selecting Oklahoma wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown with the 20th selection.
He briefly writes:
“If Antonio Brown ultimately does not return to the Steelers in 2019, “Hollywood” Brown’s similar skill set will be needed in Pittsburgh.”
Brown is one of the fastest players in the draft and a dynamic player for the Sooners. He averaged more than 18 yards per reception the last two years with 17 touchdowns. He’s also AB’s cousin. As an underclassmen from a Power 5 school, he fits the profile of who the team leans toward in the first round. The last senior drafted in Round One was Bud Dupree in 2015; the last non-Power 5 player was Ben Roethlisberger in 2004.
In the second round, he has Pittsburgh going a bit more conventionally, selecting Alabama ILB Mack Wilson at #52.
“Wilson’s a good find for the middle of the Steelers‘ defense.”
Inside linebacker is one of the team’s top needs, still looking to replace Ryan Shazier. Jon Bostic clearly didn’t work out while the team hasn’t trusted L.J. Fort or Vince Williams to be their permanent, three down linebacker. One concern is Wilson’s relatively light production, a career totaling just 113 tackles (seven for loss), six interceptions, and one sack.
Finally, in the third round, Reuter has them addressing cornerback, taking USC’s Iman Marshall.
“Coty Sensabaugh is ticketed for free agency and a rejuvenated Joe Haden is in the last year of his deal. It’s a good time to pick a corner.”
Marshall had a good week at the Senior Bowl, displaying a combination of size, fluidity, and ball skills. After recording six interceptions his first two years at USC, teams stopped throwing at him, and he failed to pick off a pass his junior and senior years.
If you’re curious, four of the top five picks in his mock are on the defensive side, led by Ohio State’s Nick Bosa going 1st overall to Arizona. Quinnen Williams is second followed by Josh Allen, Rashan Gary, and the lone offensive player, running back Josh Jacobs taken with the fifth pick by Tampa Bay.