There’s always a flood of mock drafts on draft day, the most notable writers waiting until the last second to publish their picks in order to gather as much information as possible and see what the latest trends and rumors are. And while the Pittsburgh Steelers’ pick at #17 has been a bit all over the map, at least one prominent draft analyst believes the team will take Maryland CB Deonte Banks.
Thar includes NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein, who in his final mock, gives the Steelers Banks at #17. He writes:
“Rumors are swirling that the Steelers may have their eyes on a potential trade-up, but it is difficult to pinpoint whom they might be targeting. We know they need cornerback help, and Banks has become the favorite among my league sources to be the third cornerback selected.”
It doesn’t sound like the world’s most confident selection but a logical one, especially considering the “big three” at tackle – Paris Johnson, Darnell Wright, and Broderick Jones – are all gone by the Steelers’ pick at #17. Should that be the case, then Banks would appear to be the favorite to be the guy, though he’d be battling Penn State’s Joey Porter Jr. for that spot.
There isn’t much more to say on Banks that hasn’t already been said so go check out our scouting report on him at the link below.
Banks was brought in for a pre-draft visit and there’s connections to him. Though most cite his relationship with Mike Tomlin’s son Dino Tomlin, who for a time were teammates at Maryland, the more notable connection is the friendship Mike Tomlin has with Maryland head coach Mike Locksley. The two are close and Tomlin sits on the board of the organization Locksley founded to support minority coaches. When Brian Flores first spoke to Tomlin last year, Locksley’s group is what Tomlin recommended.
In Zierlein’s mock, Paris Johnson is off the board all the way at #3 to the Arizona Cardinals, a fit that’s been rumored this week. Darnell Wright also goes top ten, #9 to Chicago, while Broderick Jones is off the board at #13 to the Green Bay Packers.
Three quarterbacks go ahead of the Steelers pick with Florida’s Anthony Richardson – in another running theme of mock drafts – falling down to #22 and going to the Baltimore Ravens. What a story that would be.
Notable first round selections that may surprise some include Wisconsin center Joe Tippmann, Michigan NT Mazi Smith, Iowa LB Jack Campbell, Syracuse OL Matthew Bergeron, and WR Jalin Hyatt.
At this point, I think you and I are all mock’d out. Let’s get the draft underway.