You won’t find many mock drafts more off the beaten trail than this one from CBS Sports. Author Chris Trapasso makes some, shall we say, curious decisions for the Pittsburgh Steelers in his latest, two-round edition.
At #24 overall, he has the Steelers taking Northwestern CB Greg Newsome. In explaining the selection, he writes:
“Newsome is a lengthy, loose-hipped outside corner who’d instantly boost Pittsburgh’s secondary.”
Newsome is considered one of the better corners in this class, but a name who’s consistently flown under the radar throughout the draft process. Standing in at 6002, 192 pounds, Newsome recorded 20 pass deflections and one career interception with the Wildcats. Leaving school a year early, he played in just three games in 2020. But Newsome broke up seven passes and recorded his lone career pick. He tested off the charts at his Pro Day, running a 4.39, jumping 40 inches in the vert, and posting 10’3″ in the broad jump.
In our scouting report, here’s how we profiled Newsome.
“Overall, Newsome is a fringe first rounder if he tests well at his Pro Day. With how well he defends, moves his hips and feet in coverage, you’re getting a toolsy corner who will only get better… His aggressive style of play will likely draw some flags, especially in his rookie season, and he has some tackling effort issues to clean up, but if taken at the right value, he could be the steal of the draft.”
But Newsome is a bit of an unlikely choice for the Steelers. There hasn’t been much dot-connecting in projecting him to Pittsburgh. And the team seems to be confident in Cam Sutton as an outside corner. A defensive player or even a cornerback can’t be entirely ruled out at #24, but Newsome probably isn’t that guy. Especially given the fact Mike Tomlin nor Kevin Colbert were at his Pro Day.
Trapasso continues with his defensive march in the second round, mocking Wake Forest DL/EDGE Carlos Basham at #55. He doesn’t provide an explanation for that selection or any Round 2 players. Weighing in at 6032, 274 pounds with nearly 33-inch arms, Basham Jr. recorded five sacks in six games for the Demon Deacons in 2020. He finished his college career with 19.5 sacks, including a single-season high of 10 in 2019. He also had 18.5 tackles for loss that season.
This was our take in our scouting report of his game.
“Regardless, Basham may not be a yearly double-digit sack producer at the next level, but he has a high floor as a disruptive force on the edge and would be a safe pick in a draft full of unknowns this season.”
Basham Jr. isn’t a bad choice for the Steelers, and EDGE is clearly a need for the team. It’s likely the first defensive position they will address is outside linebacker. But going defense with back-to-back picks feels unfathomable at this point, given their offensive needs and mandate from Art Rooney II to fix the running game. It’s difficult to see running back and center not being addressed until Round 3 and Round 4.
In this mock, points for originality. But a big deduction on the “likeliness” scale.