Remember going outside? Remember sunshine? Remember mock drafts? All things that have seemed to go away these last two weeks.
I can’t provide the first two for you but here is CBS’ latest NFL Mock draft, created with a clearer lens a week into free agency. They have the Pittsburgh Steelers going with back-to-back LSU products with their first two selections.
At #49, they have the tea taking LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire. In making the pick, author Ryan Wilson notes:
“James Conner has had his moments for Pittsburgh, but more talent needs to be added moving forward. Edwards-Helaire is a well-rounded player who can serve as a feature back long-term.”
Edwards-Helaire lacks game-breaking speed and is built in a Devin Singletary/Lesean McCoy mold. Shifty, elusive, if a little undersized (especially for Pittsburgh) at 5’7, 207. He had a highly productive junior season at LSU, part of that great National Championship squad, carrying the ball 215 times for 1414 yards and 16 touchdowns while chipping in another 55 receptions. As we wrote about this morning, it will be tough for most rookies to make an impact right away in 2020 given the certainty of offseason programs cancelled and training camp possibly disrupted, but a running back would have the easiest learning curve. Is that enough to justify making this kind of long-term investment? Something for the Steelers to decide.
In the second round, they follow things up with Edwards-Helaire’s teammate, offensive linemen Saahdiq Charles. Wilson writes:
“The Steelers are strong up front, even after the retirement of Ramon Foster, but their depth has to be improved.”
You’ll get no argument from me about the Steelers adding to the offensive line. Signing Stefen Wisniewski was an important first step but far from the only one Pittsburgh must take. Selecting Charles seems a little unlikely. There’s reports of off-field concerns with him, including a six game suspension in 2019. Since Mike Adams and Martavis Bryant, the front office has focused on players with squeaky clean records, Kevin Colbert’s “hearts and smarts” approach, making Charles a tough sell.
Check out his entire three round mock here.