Like it or not, you still have almost three full weeks of mock drafts to endure and on Wednesday, ESPN draft analysts Mel Kiper Jr.and Todd McShay released dueling two-round mocks and they both have the Pittsburgh Steelers selecting defensive players with their first two picks.
Kiper’s two mock picks for the Steelers include Michigan linebacker Devin Bush being selected in the first-round and Notre Dame cornerback Julian Love being the team’s second-round selection and below is what he had to say about both picks.
Pittsburgh brought in Mark Barron in free agency, but he shouldn’t be a lock to start. Bush is a playmaker and every-down linebacker.
If the Steelers don’t add a corner in Round 1, they’ll monitor the position on Day 2. There’s a need even after signing Steven Nelson in free agency.
As for Bush, most Steelers fans should already be aware of who he is by now. The underclassman measured in at this year’s scouting combine at 5110, 234-pounds. He ran his 40-yard-dash in Indianapolis in 4.43-seconds and posted a 40.5-inch vertical jump. He is regarded as one of the top inside linebackers in this year’s draft class. with three weeks remaining until the draft takes place, several draftniks believe Bush will be taken before the Steelers scheduled first-round pick rolls around.
As for Love, who measured in at the combine at 5106, 195-pounds, he recorded 176 total tackles of which 6 resulted in lost yardage in his three seasons at Notre Dame. He also registered 5 interceptions and 39 total defensed passes during his college career.
McShay went a similar route with his two mocked selections for the Steelers as he has them taking LSU cornerback Greedy Williams in the first-round and Old Dominion edge Oshane Ximines in the second with the 52nd overall selection. Below is what he had to say about those two selections.
The Steelers would love an edge rusher or a guy like Bush here, but there just aren’t solid options at No. 20. Williams’ length and speed ought to help him overcome his lower-end tackling skills.
Pittsburgh tied for the league high in sacks in 2018 (52), but a good chunk of that came from the linebacking group. Ximines’ quick first step would give Mike Tomlin another pass-rushing weapon.
As for Williams, who measured in at the combine at 6017, 185-pounds, he only played two seasons at LSU and declared for this year’s draft as an underclassman, In those two seasons at LSU, williams recorded 8 interceptions, 20 total pass breakups and 71 total tackles. At this year’s combine, Williams ran his 40-yard-dash in 4.37-seconds. He is regarded by many draftniks as being the best or second-best cornerback in this year’s draft class.
Most Steelers fans probably still don’t know much about Ximines, who measured in at this year’s scouting combine at 6034, 253-pounds with 33-inch arms and 9 7/8-inch hands. In his four seasons at Old Dominion, Ximines registered 176 total tackles of which 51.5 resulted in lost yardage. He had 33 sacks during his college career to go along with 11 forced fumbles, an interception and 12 total passes defensed. At the combine, Ximines ran his 40-yard-dash in 4.78-seconds and did 24 reps on the bench in addition to posting a vertical jump of 34-inches and a broad jump of 9’10”. His short shuttle time at the combine was 4.57-seconds and his 3-cone time was 7.13-seconds.
Of these two mocks, Kiper’s is probably the most realistic and that’s only if Bush falls to the Steelers in the first round. Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert was present for both the Michigan and Notre Dame pro days this year as well. while McShay’s selection of Williams by the Steelers in the first-round is fathomable if the first 19 picks break a certain way, his selection of Ximines by the Steelers in the second-round really seems to be a stretch.
in case you’re curious Kiper and McShay both have LSU linebacker Devin White going fifth-overall to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Both also have Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson being selected within the first 10 picks of the draft.