Draft week is finally here.
The staff here does such great work researching the draft trends of our Pittsburgh Steelers I used their information as guideline for making my selections. My selections are going to lean heavily for the most part toward the players I watched that I feel would be good fits for the team. I thought about putting a trade in there but decided against it. But if they are going to trade up, I would guess into the late second or late third if someone they really liked fell to those areas. I have a couple double dips and a whole lot of Love so let’s get to it.
1st Round – 20th pick overall: Clemson EDGE Clelin Ferrell
I believe both Devin’s will be gone in the top 11 picks and in order to get up to the #10 pick according to the trade chart they would have to give up their 1, 2 and original 3 pick. No thank you. And I’m not sold on any of the DB’s considered first rounders. With Bud Dupree in the last year of his rookie deal this would solidify the Edge position going forward. He’s a high character person with a great work ethic and by all accounts is a leader on and off the field. And he fits the criteria with Pro Day, underclassman, and productive Power 5 player.
Others considered: Maryland S Darnell Savage, Georgia DB Deandre Baker
2nd Round – 52nd pick overall: Notre Dame DB Julian Love
I had Love in my first mock at this pick and I’m sticking with it. The trends say another Power Five conference player and while technically Notre Dame isn’t Power Five they definitely are considered part of it. He’s got the experience, ball production and loves to jump the underneath passes. With 65% of passes in today’s game being between behind the LOS and 9 yards he fits nicely. GM Kevin Colbert and Defensive assistant Teryl Austin both attended his pro day and he has a SPARQ score of 120.1.
Others considered: Clemson DB Trayvon Mullen, South Carolina WR Deebo Samuel
3rd Round – 66th pick overall: Ohio State WR Terry McLaurin
McLaurin really caught my eye during the Senior Bowl practices which fits him into the college All-Star game trend. You know that weird reaction you have when you see something crazy that makes you laugh? That was me watching McLaurin running routes. He was making DB’s look so silly and was virtually un-coverable. He may not fit the traditional role of an X receiver but I want someone that knows how to get open. He’s got 4.35 speed, led Ohio State with 20 yards per reception and had 11 TD’s on only 35 receptions last season. His SPARQ score was 129.1.
Others considered: Texas DL Charles Omenihu, Iowa S Amani Hooker
3rd Round – 83rd pick overall: Central Florida DT Trysten Hill
This was one of my favorite players watched this year and I don’t think the Steelers have had any contact with him but I hope they took a look. He does fit the SPARQ qualifications with a 123.7 score and was at the Combine. He is very quick at the snap and has a relentless motor and has very good agility and athleticism. He played inside but has enough length to play DE as well. As a pass rusher, in my profile, I said, “I see a Tasmanian devil. Just a tornado of activity with appendages flying and leaving a trail of bodies behind him”.
Others considered: Memphis RB Darrell Henderson, Hawaii LB Jalani Tavai
4th Round – 122nd pick overall: San Jose State TE Josh Oliver
He may not make it to this pick but Oliver would be a nice compliment to Vance McDonald. He can come in as the number 2 or 3 TE to start and can be used as a move TE or on the line. He’s has good acceleration and good body control. Is a good route runner that can be used on all three levels. He’s a willing, aggressive blocker with room to improve. He has good blood lines with an uncle that played for the Steelers. He fits the All-Star game trend and was a pre-draft visitor with a SPARQ score of 115.5.
Other considered: Northern Illinois OT Max Scharping, Notre Dame LB Tevon Coney
5th Round – 141st pick overall: Stanford LB Bobby Okereke
A little late addressing ILB but after the Devins’s I think there is a big gap to the next group. I am probably higher on Okereke than others so I personally think he may go before this. While watching his film I saw a smart, competitive player who diagnoses well and is a good tackler. Some negatives included hesitating downhill, not always playing with physicality and doesn’t seem to play at his full athletic ability. These reminded me of someone from last year so I went back to my notes and they were very similar to those of Darius Leonard. I’m not saying Okereke will be the defensive ROY but it shows me that those limitations can be improved upon. He was a Senior Bowl participant and has a 125.0 SPARQ score.
Others considered: Oklahoma State RB Justice Hill, West Virginia WR David Sills
6th Round – 175th pick overall: Miami S Sheldrick Redwine
He’s got good speed and was another one who scored well in the SPARQ (129.6). Adding Redwine would give the Steelers a versatile defender who can play in different areas of the field who likes to hit. He has shown ball skills and the ability to play in the box. Initially you throw him on special teams and let him attack the ball and with some grooming he may be able to fight for a starting spot. DB coach Tom Bradley was present at the Miami Pro Day.
Other considered: Michigan State S Khari Willis, Buffalo WR Anthony Johnson
6th Round – 192nd pick overall: Stanford RB Bryce Love
I almost went with Benny Snell here as he fits the criteria for a Steelers RB but I decided on Love because of his big play ability. He’s coming off a torn ACL in his left knee and recent reports say he still has some stiffness in that knee that could cause him to fall. If he came out last year, I had him as a day 2 pick after a 2,118 yard season with 19 TDs. Twelve of those TD’s were of at least 50 yards. Splash plays. If he comes back healthy he can come in for 10-12 plays a game and with the Steelers offensive line he could make some more splashes. He has no testing scores due to the injury but fits the Power Five criteria.
Others considered: Kentucky RB Benny Snell, Ohio State IOL Michael Jordan
6th Round – 207th pick overall: TCU LB Ty Summers
I am double dipping at LB to add more athleticism to the LB group. A deficiency last year was not having enough linebackers that can cover and that is where Summers excels. He shows very good awareness in Zone and can cover RB’s and TE on all levels. He tested well at the Combine running a 4.51 40, hit 27 reps on the bench press and has a SPARQ score of 134.7. I think he can excel at special team while improving he mental processing in the run.
Others considered: Ohio State OT Isaiah Prince, Tulane DB Donnie Lewis, Jr.
7th Round – 219th pick overall: Toledo WR Cody Thompson
Toledo has a trio of WR’s in this draft and WR coach Darryl Drake was on hand for their pro day. Thompson was productive in college with 30 TD’s and over 18 yards per catch. He has good size and is a good route runner who may fit best in the slot. He performed well on special teams as well with 3 blocked punts and experience returning punts. He played in the East West Shrine game and had a solid SPARQ score of 121.9.
Other considered: Maryland DL Byron Cowart, Kentucky OL Bunchy Stallings