There is perhaps nothing that football fans like to do more than read through and post mock drafts, outside of, perhaps, second-guessing the draft when it actually happens. The earlier the better. There are mock re-draft exercises done as soon as a draft is completed. Recently, ESPN published one upon the completion of rookies’ first regular season.
In this re-draft exercise, there are no trades allowed, so the Pittsburgh Steelers will not be trading up from 20th to 10th to nab Devin Bush this time around. In the two-round draft, however, they also means that they have two selections instead of one, since in reality, they gave up their second-round pick as part of the Bush trade.
Holding the 20th-overall pick, then, the article has the Steelers drafting Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman, who is the fourth receiver off the board this time. A.J. Brown goes ninth, then DK Metcalf at 12, with Marquise Brown right before Pittsburgh.
Hardman, who in reality was drafted 56th overall, saw his playing time decrease as the season progressed, only seeing higher than 40 percent a once after Week Seven. That was because of Tyreek Hill missing time of course. He still managed to catch 26 passes for 538 yards and six touchdowns, posting 20.7 yards per reception. The Steelers could have definitely used a more established deep threat.
In the re-draft exercise, Pittsburgh wouldn’t have even had much of a shot at Bush, because instead of sliding to 10, he got taken at seven. And they also would fail to address the inside linebacker position in the second round. ESPN has them drafting running back Devin Singletary, who would be taken about 10 picks into the third round.
Singletary played a lot of snaps as a rookie, functioning as the primary ball carrier for the Buffalo Bills. He recorded 151 rushes for 775 yards with two touchdowns, but also chipped in 29 receptions for 194 yards and two more scores. He did fumble four times—including twice in reality against the Steelers.
Surprisingly, in my opinion, Diontae Johnson did not end up being selected in the first two rounds in the re-draft exercise. This is in spite of the fact that he was drafted just two picks into the third round and had a strong actual rookie season in Pittsburgh.
The Steelers did draft a wide receiver in the third round, as mentioned, and a running back in the fourth, taking Benny Snell. Without Bush, Mark Barron and Vince Williams would have started all season at inside linebacker, of course. It would have been interesting to see whom they would have the team taking in the third round.