NFL Draft

CBS Seven-Round Mock Draft Sees Steelers Add Plenty Of Size To Roster

Earlier this morning, Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports dropped his latest seven-round mock draft, as we’re now less than two weeks away from the event. Much has been made of the team’s affinity for the top quarterbacks in this year’s crop, with the team apparently enamored with Liberty’s Malik Willis. Is it a smoke and mirrors-type game that we routinely see from clubs this time of the year? We will soon find out, but in the first round, instead of mortgaging their future to trade up for a QB, he has the team sitting still and letting the draft come to them, which has been a calling card under GM Kevin Colbert.

At 20, fan favorite Jordan Davis is the selection. The monstrous defensive tackle out of Georgia is a run-stuffer extraordinaire, and planting him in the middle of the team’s defense would put up a “Road’s Closed” sign for opposing running games. At 6-foot-6 and 340 pounds, he has occasional leverage issues when getting under the opposition’s pads, but that’s to be expected from someone his height. What can’t be coaches is his freakish blend of size, raw power and quickness, as evidenced by his eye-popping 4.78 40 time at the combine. While in attendance along with Colbert at the Bulldogs’ Pro Day, head coach Mike Tomlin went on record saying he was a fan of Davis and that he’ll likely have hugged Commissioner Goodell by the team the team makes their pick. If Davis is available, the team would have a hard time passing him up.

He commands an instant double team, so that trickle-down effect on the rest of a defense featuring All-Pros like Cameron Heyward and T.J. Watt would provide winnable one on ones elsewhere. Also, the line overall is aging, so Davis would be one massive reinforcement.

Davis dropped some weight, showed up at the combine and at 6-foot-6, 341 pounds, ran the 40 in 4.78 seconds, had a 32-inch vertical, and a broad jump of 10 feet, 3 inches — and oh, by the way, he was a one-man wrecking crew in the SEC,” Wilson said. “It’s easy to say Davis is a two-down player but his obvious strength and surprising speed make a legit three-down threat who just needs to refine his pass-rush arsenal beyond the bull rush. The biggest question is if he can keep his weight down, which directly correlates to his stamina, and his ability to stay on the field.”

In Round 2, Wilson has the team adding what they hope to be their next franchise QB in the form of Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder. A four-year starter with the leadership, moxie and mobility desired of OC Matt Canada, this pick would seem to make a ton of sense. Accuracy issues aside, he wouldn’t need to be thrown into the fire immediately, as the team just signed Mitch Trubisky to a two-year deal. Also noteworthy is the fact that team brass attended his Pro Day, dined with him and also hosted him for a pre-draft visit recently.

Wilson now has the team using their third-round pick to add to their wide receiver room, which was pummeled by free agency. Calvin Austin III of Memphis is Wilson’s selection here, and is a bit of a head-scratching one. At only 5-foot-9 and 162 pounds, size concerns are an immediate concern, and he gives me vibes of team draft bust Dri Archer. Speed and explosion are qualities he’s certainly not lacking in, as evidenced by his 4.32 40 time and 39” vertical jump at the combine. A former All-American track star while at Memphis, Austin is coming off consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and what he lacks in size, he makes up for in heart as he plays fearlessly. Playing in the slot seems to be best suited for him at the next level.

In Round 4, cornerback Mario Goodrich of Clemson is the selection here. Less-heralded than his running mate Andrew Booth Jr., Goodrich plays a physical style of football on the outside, but he seems more equipped for a zone scheme due to his lack of top-flight speed. He doesn’t shy away from contact either, especially in run support, which shows his toughness.

With no Round 5 pick due to their trade involving Avery Williamson in 2020, the focus now shifts to Round 6; Wilson again has the team thinking secondary when he has them selecting Toledo safety Tycen Anderson. A larger safety at 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, Anderson made his hay in the box while at Toledo, showing a toughness and willingness to make tackles. He has tremendous length and also possesses a burst that belies his size, as evidenced by his 4.36 40 time at the combine.

The final round is now obviously the focus here, where with their first of two selections, Wilson has the team selecting offensive tackle Luke Tenuta from Virginia Tech. A massive tackle prospect at 6-foot-9 and 322 pounds, Tenuta is more of a developmental prospect who needs to get stronger, especially in his pass sets. Also at his height, leverage issues are a major concern. At this stage of the draft, one could do worse than selecting a player such as Tenuta with his physical gifts.

With their last selection, Wilson finally adds a backup running back to hopefully complement Najee Harris and minimize his wear and tear. North Carolina’s Ty Chandler is the pick here, and he had a banner season last fall for the Tar Heels, who were coming off losing both Javonte Williams and Michael Carter to the NFL. He performed admirably, running for 1,092 yards and 13 touchdowns, while boasting a nice 6.0 YPC average. At 6’0″ and 210 pounds with 4.38 speed, he runs with a Le’Veon Bell-like patience, as he is very adept at allowing his blocks to develop then firing out from behind them. He also boasts very soft hands, and this past season hauled in 15 grabs for 216 yards, and a 14.4 average. If something were to happen to Harris where he missed a game or two with injury, Chandler seems more than capable of handling early down duties.

Ryan Wilson Mock Draft

Round 1 – Jordan Davis/NT Georgia
Round 2 – Desmond Ridder/QB Cincinnati
Round 3 – Calvin Austin III/WR Memphis
Round 4 – Mario Goodrich/CB Clemson
Round 6 – Tycen Anderson/S Toledo
Round 7 – Luke Tenuta/OT Virginia Tech
Round 7 – Ty Chandler/RB North Carolina

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