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Ask Alex: Steelers Mailbag

Welcome to the final mailbag before we finally get to the good stuff. The 2019 NFL Draft is just hours away and by tonight, we’ll know who the Pittsburgh Steelers are selecting at #20.

Like always, we’re here for the next hour to answer your last minute draft thoughts or whatever else is on your mind.

To your questions!

Brian Tollini: I apologize if you already answered this in the podcast, but is my man Mike Edwards from Kentucky not getting enough love in this awesome safety class? Physicality, versatility, and interception numbers. His fit @ dimebacker for us

Alex: We touched on it during today’s podcast but I know that just came out and you probably haven’t gotten to listen to it yet. I liked Edwards. He’s versatile, takes good angles, definitely physical. He fits. Kentucky has so many prospects this year, especially on defense. It’s pretty crazy. And Teryl Austin went down there to see them at their Pro Day. So it’s possible. Middle round safeties who get jumbled up. They may look for a more “SPARQ” friendly safety though.

SteelSonofFarmer: 

Hi Alex,

Today is the draft day are you excited? LOL

I have mocked a draft and want to ask your opinion for it, DO you think all of them are in expected round? And do you like it or not?

Mock Draft 2019
• 1:20 Devin Bush ILB – Michigan
• 2:52 Hakeem Butler WR – Iowa St
• 3:66 Jaylon Ferguson OLB – Louisiana Tech
• 3:83 Amani Hooker S – Iowa
• 4:122 Josh Oliver TE – San Jose St
• 5:141 Isiah Johnson CB – Houston
• 6:175 Mike Webber RB – Ohio St
• 6:192 Khalil Hodge LB – Buffalo
• 6:207 Sutton Smith LB – Northern Illinois
• 7:219 Diontae Johnson WR – Toledo

Alex: Hey man! Very excited. What a fun day it’s going to be.

The only spot I would disagree is Isaiah Johnson. 5th is too low. When you’re 6’2, 205 and run 4.4 as a corner, you’re going pretty high unless your tape is awful or you just didn’t see the field. Maybe he slips early 4th round but I think he’s a Day Two corner.

Beyond that, looking at where these players will be slotted generally, I think you’re solid. Love the Hooker pick!

renoir: Please tell me we will not remake our mistake of last draft and not move up for the ILB of the future that we covet…And why are people mocking 2 WR’S to us with no P or K when we have a sub par P and a K with the yips…, do not get it,Munchak 2020

Alex: We’ll see. No secret they want a top LB. But no secret they can’t sit there and expect those names to just plop in their lap at #20. So you gotta move up. Let’s see if a deal happens.

Steelers double-dipping at WR is common. Punter and kickers are tricky. Only a 1-3 of each get drafted. So I get it. But I think a kicker is still totally possible given Rooney’s mandate to figure out the kicking game.

Dan: Another trade up question due to Schefters report: What are you comfortable giving up to move into the top ten, and how far up do you think the Steelers could move?

Alex: Here’s the framework of a deal to #8 and Detroit, the most likely trade partner.

Detroit sends: #8
Pittsburgh: #20, #52, #83 + probably something else (perhaps next year’s fourth?)

Am I comfortable with that? Well, that’s what the math says so that’s the cost of doing business. Would I give up that second? Man, it’s tough. But from their perspective, if that’s their “guy,” then you do it. And I’ll totally understand that.

jger15: Do you deem Bush/White worth all of your 2nd, 3rd and a late rounder picks?

Alex: Not all my Day Two picks. I need to keep at least one. Probably will be #66.

NickSteelerFan: Today is the day!!! Thank you and everyone from the site for the incredible work you’ve put in this offseason!
Given the current depth of the WR room, would you rather draft someone smaller and quicker like Dionte Johnson or Andy Isabella, or someone bigger like David Sills or Myles Boykin? Can one of the smaller guys also fill the X receiver roll? Thanks!

Alex: Thanks for following along! I would like Boykin of that group but if you’re asking generally, I’m not about having a certain “type.” I would take Boykin to play the X. I would take Deebo Samuel to play the X. Two pretty different guys. Just looking for players who can make big plays, separate, and beat press. Comfortable with being “the guy” and players capable of getting vertical, making the safety roll over and bracket to open up everyone else.

Reader783 (Good Juju!): 

Any chance we draft Cashman after showing almost zero interest in him? No pro day, no pre-draft visit, no combine or senior bowl…nothing.

Is there any precedent that we could draft a guy in Rd 3, let’s say, that we showed almost no interest at all in? I’m most worried about the fact that we supposedly didn’t even have a scout at the Minnesota Pro Day, but is it possible they just weren’t seen?

Alex: Doesn’t look good on Cashman. Think his lack of length and not playing in any of the major draft bowl games (he only played in College Gridiron) hurts him a lot in their eyes.

Sure, they could draft a Wildcard. But I think the list of players drafted without even being at their Pro Day is very small. Definitely hasn’t happened the last two years.

DoctorNoah: How surprised are you going to be if we trade up to 8 and get Devin WHITE

Alex: Only surprised that White fell past Tampa at 5. Either Devin works for me.

CP72: Alex,
Do you really need a true three down linebacker if you get a good dime backer/safety?

Alex: Sure you do. It’s not like you have both linebackers come off. Your 2-3-6 still has an off-ball linebacker. Always going to need one, unless you’re running a 2-2-7 dollar but don’t count on that a whole lot.

Chris Carey: What happened to the early buzz about the Steelers considering Butler as a WR option? You didn’t mention him as someone under consideration in your recent mocks after mentioning him frequently earlier.

Alex: No visit, no Pro Day. Unless he falls to round three (possible), hard to imagine it. Guys we like and guys they like can be different. That’s why we stopped talking about him.

JamesinNYC: Think that people always forget that there are 32 teams with different needs and rankings. Kudos to SD but I think you guys influence readers too much. Do you see that happening even between colleagues there?

Alex: Sure, I bet we do. That’s sorta the point. If we’re not informing and influencing our readers, then why should people come here? I think we give an array of options and names. Look at our mock drafts. Four different names we picked for #20. It’s not a hive-mind mentality where all we’re doing is focusing on one name for three months. Everyone charts their own path.

Marcel Chris Chauvet: Alex, is Rock Ya-sin significantly better than Iman Marshall in your mind? Cuz if he is, I’m not seeing it.

Alex: Lot better athlete. Marshall might have to play safety. And speed – which I still question with Ya-Sin – is critical in the Steelers man-heavy scheme.


Thanks everyone. Enjoy the draft!

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