Steelers Post-Senior Bowl Mock

FF663860-0421-4D66-909D-2935C96D7785_w640_r1_s_cx0_cy5_cw0I’ll admit that I get pretty into draft talk starting around this time of the year. I personally enjoy reading and making mock drafts.

That being said, I know a lot of people don’t see the point and seem to hate them. I expect to be wrong 95% of the time.

An expression about opinions seems to apply to mock drafts as well… Everyone has one, and they all stink.

Last season I hit the first round pick (Jarvis Jones), and thought I had the second rounder with Eddie Lacy on the board but they went with Bell instead. After that, it fell apart.

All that being said, I enjoy it, and it’s a talking point so here’s my first edition of my Steelers mock for the year. I expect the Steelers to grab a couple of compensatory picks, but I won’t include that until we know what round they’re in.

Also, remember that the Steelers don’t currently have a 3rd round pick, because it was traded to Cleveland.

1. Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State
I see there being bigger needs on the defense, but think that Benjamin is just too good to pass up. I could definitely see myself needing to change this pick closer to the draft if his stock shoots up. Benjamin is a one year wonder, which is why he’s not being talked about as a top 10 pick (yet).

Benjamin needs to work on things like his route running ¬†and not using his body to catch the ball as much, but from a physical standpoint he’s impressive. Benjamin has the tools to be an A.J. Green, Julio Jones, Dez Bryant, type of impact receiver. Hey may take a little longer to figure things out than Mike Evans or Marqise Lee would, but he should be an immediate weapon in the red-zone.

2. Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB, Nebraska
If you’ve read up on the senior bowl at all you’re aware of the rise of Jean-Baptiste. He’s similar to Benjamin in that he’s a late bloomer, and his physical traits are starting to translate to production on the field. It’s a copycat league, and SJB looks like he could fit right in with Seattle’s Legion of Boom.

SJB is fluid in his backpedal and what I like about him is he’s shown he can play off the line of scrimmage (but he also has a good jam when playing in tight), which the Steelers do a lot of. His straight line speed is a question mark, and his 40 time will really determine how high he climbs during the draft process. Some have said he could also be a FS in the NFL. Personally I’m not sure he’s a a good enough tackler for that, but if so, that’s not a bad thing considering it’s also a position of need.

4. Ben Gardner, DE, Stanford
Gardner is a guy that’s dropping because injury issues, but prior to a torn pectoral muscle Gardner looked like a second round pick to me. As a Cincinnati alum, I was a big fan of Derek Wolfe a couple years ago, and Gardner reminds me of him.

Gardner was used all over the line at Stanford, and could probably fit in a lot of different schemes, but looks like a 3-4 DE for the Steelers. He’s very well rounded could set the edge, as well as provide some pass rush for the Steelers. Gardner’s also a very smart player and future team captain type of player.

5. Aaron Lynch, OLB, USF
Lynch is a guy I’m having a hard time figuring out where he goes. He started his career at ND and looked like he’d be a top 10 pick in the future. He ended up transferring to USF and sitting out a year. Some say he was home sick, and other say he had an attitude problem.

Lynch played DE for USF and didn’t look nearly as good as his freshman season. He came on strong near the end of the season though. He’d be a project for the Steelers, and there are rumors of effort concerns, but he could be a steal if he regains any of his form from his freshman season.

6. De’Anthony Thomas, RB, Oregon
I’ve seen thomas projected as a first rounder, and a 7th rounder depending on what website you look at. The consensus is that he should have returned to school for his senior season because he had a down year.

I don’t like the idea of taking 175 lb. RB’s early in the draft, but at this point it’d be ok. The Steelers need depth at the position, and need a return man. Haley has shown that he loves backs like Thomas. Chris Rainey didn’t work out, but Thomas may prove to be a dangerous return man, and change of pace back.

7. Andrew Jackson, ILB, Western Kentucky
I wanted Vontaze Burfict in the 7th round so bad in the 2012 draft, and he’s now a pro bowler.

Jackson reminds me of Burfict. He’s a fiery, hard hitting, tackling machine. He toes, and probably crosses the line as far as intensity goes. He was suspended his senior season for unknown team rules violations.

I’ll admit Jackson’s game is a mess in a lot of areas. He has speed, but often gets out of position because he’s too aggressive both in the run game and in pass coverage. He punishes runs up the middle though, and at worst could be a special teams standout, with the potential to contribute down the road if coaches can control his aggressiveness. It’s worth a shot this late.

 

Be Sociable, Share!

21 comments on “Steelers Post-Senior Bowl Mock

    • There’s a lot of holes on this roster Rob. We’re not going to fill them all via the draft. The way things shaked out, I didn’t see a good spot for a safety.

      I’d expect to see a mid-level free agent signing somewhere, and safety is one possibility.

      That being said, I expect we’ll pick up a 3rd or 4th for Mike wallace and maybe a 4th or 5th for Keenan Lewis. So I will most likely have a safety in a future update.

  1. With Benjamin it’s not just route running. It’s his level of motivation or lack there of for this guy. Before the title game he looked unstoppable but when the title game was going you could see that he is not ready for the NFL. According to sources they felt he needed to come back another year. Lee or Evans are stronger options and even Watkins would be better. The rest of the picks are what they are I can’t find any reason to agree or disagree about the other picks. I focus on the 1st round more than anything else. Steelbydesgin is one of the few people out there that mock WR to the Steelers in the 1st round. If they ignore that position like they always do then Wheaton will have to play at Antonio Brown’s level to be there NO.2 WR. I know that Colbert likes the small guys but unless he is like DeSean Jackson then your looking for a 3rd or 4th option. Still early but all in all I can’t much fault with this mock draft.

    • The kid scored 10 touchdowns in his last 6 college games. If that’s what he does when he’s not motivated I’d be even more excited to see what he can do when he is.

      Do you have any examples of this “lack of motivation” you mentioned? I haven’t seen any concerns about his character anywhere.

      Watkins is better, but he’ll be a top 8 pick. Evans is comparable in my opinion, but I think Evans is potentially a Vincent Jackson where Benjamin is potentially an AJ Green… Which one would you rather have?

      Marqise Lee just doesn’t excite me, and I want a redzone threat for Ben.

  2. Well from what I’ve read from fox sports and SI they both feel that he should have stayed another year. Before the title game not one person argued but once they saw the title game it was clear that Benjamin may be a year early for the pros. Like everybody else they saw how auburns defense basically held in check Benjamin for the most part until the last TD of the game. Lee and Evans should both be there and with Watkins it’s possible he could be gone before then but ya never know what could happen. After all this is the NFL. Evans is that Big Bodied guy that Ben likes and Lee look he is a homerun threat. AB is good but is he someone that you could say lets throw it deep and he will make that catch. AB is a guy who take 10yrd pass and turn into a 20yrd+ gain. Colbert needs to stop looking for 3rd and 4th WR’s in the mid rounds and find guys in the 1st that start opposite of AB. Do you people really feel that Wheaton is this answer opposite of Brown? Like I said before WR is a 1st round need. You can mention all the holes on D all you want but unless there starting there rookie year then it’s pointless to try to justify Defense in the 1st round.

  3. Love every single pick from beginning to end finally a mock draft that addresses needs and position fills I mean the two things missing is another ot and a dt to provide depth and competition but thats what those comp picks are for im excited for next season if those end up being our picks I mean I dont understand why steeler fan wouldnt want benjamin yes he needs some coaching but no one coming out of college is perfect right off the bat its all about your upside ceiling and the kind of mismatch you’ll create and kelvin Benjamin fits the bill hes and instant boost to our offense, can start, and take pressure off ab and bell perfect fit for the steelers this guy will carry our offense if we give him the chance

    • Thank you. I’m sure it’ll change a lot, but we’ll see once we know comp. picks.

      As far as OT and DT though, I’m not sure. I wouldn’t grab a NT unless it’s Nix in the first to upgrade starting position… Otherwise depth is decent with Woods and Fangupo.

      OT we’ve got Beachum, Adams, and Gilbert. Despite not living up to their potential on the last 2, we’re stuck with them. We maybe add 1 more but personally I’d like to see a veteran added… Maybe Munchak’s former OT David Stewart.

      • I think Chris has put together a very solid mock here. I think Lynch will go sooner but I like the pick. He could be an absolute beast and he has some attitude as well. The only issue I see is the lack of a safety but if there isn’t a guy he likes here then don’t pick one just to ‘pick one.’

        • It’s typical for draft stock to change DRASTICALLY between now and April. Lynch may be a 2nd rounder once it’s all said and done (his combine interviews will be big). Ziggy Ansah(5th pick), Dontari Poe(11th), Tyson Jackson(3rd) are guys I originally mocked to us early in the process in the past.

          I’ll admit safety is a position I haven’t looked at much yet, and the ones I have seen some of, I didn’t see a good fit, and I knew I’d make changes once we have more picks.

          I’m curious about Gardner throughout the process. He’ll probably stay in my future mocks, he’s one of my favorite prospects.

      • Yea but I mean using a first round pick what we probably wouldnt use right away would be a waste I mean look at our previous 1 round d line draft picks didnt see much of them til last season all im saying is if we pick someone in the first round shouldnt we use them that same year? To me I believe benjamin would transform our offense from a good offense to an elite one and I dont see any other pick we could make that could stop benjamin if he were lined up opposite of our defense and everyone talks about how he disappeared during the bcs championship game but he showed up when it counted the most and I can’t help but imagine if we had benjamin 3 years ago in the super bowl and on the last play when ben threw the ball to wallace and the ball sailed over his head and ended our hopes of achieving a 7th ring that if we had benjamin that drive would of continued and we might be sitting with our 7th ring

    • Yeah Benjamin does good but I’m still sticking with Lee, Evans and Watkins until proven otherwise. See steelbydesign has the right idea when it comes to the draft. Everybody wants NIx and I don’t see why. Yeah he is what you call a prototypical NT but the dude has weight issues and when he faced a mediocre OL of Pitt he was made to look like a fool but nobody wants to say that. They wish to call it a aberration. He will not turn out to be good. Notre Dame prospects are really not that good. If I’m wrong then I’m wrong but I stand by that statement. Colbert needs to give Ben Weapons on the outside that he desperately needs. Other than AB who else you got at WR that plays as a top 2 WR that you trust?

  4. Yea but I mean using a first round pick what we probably wouldnt use right away would be a waste I mean look at our previous 1 round d line draft picks didnt see much of them til last season all im saying is if we pick someone in the first round shouldnt we use them that same year? To me I believe benjamin would transform our offense from a good offense to an elite one and I dont see any other pick we could make that could stop benjamin if he were lined up opposite of our defense and everyone talks about how he disappeared during the bcs championship game but he showed up when it counted the most and I can’t help but imagine if we had benjamin 3 years ago in the super bowl and on the last play when ben threw the ball to wallace and the ball sailed over his head and ended our hopes of achieving a 7th ring that if we had benjamin that drive would of continued and we might be sitting with our 7th ring

  5. I still would rather 1 of 3 guys I mentioned than Benjamin and here is why: Benjamin is still a raw route runner and does not use hand well enough according to sources such as fox sports. Benjamin is like Patterson of last year. Both guys are raw and to my knowledge the Vikings Patterson was non existent in the passing game. Yeah he had 4TD’s but he was mostly there special teams playmaker. The top 3 are what I feel the best options at this point. That 7th ring is still to far away. I will give Wheaton this season but if he fails then it proves he was a wasted pick. Just having 1 of those 3 top WR’s alongside AB with Miller going down the middle it would be more difficult to stop the Steelers offense. Defensive rookies rally don’t have success just ask last years 1st round pick Jarvis Jones. LeBeau gets criticized for not using the rookies well look at the 2 LB’s he did use as rookies and you tell me what exactly did they do. Worilds is starting to show what he is made of but he would only come back if he is guaranteed the starting job.

    • Well here is why im sold in benjamin 1. hes a red zone threat no one on our starting wr core last year stood over 6’1 2. This guy is a jump ball terror there is no corner or safety that could or would win a jump ball situation against him I seldom saw jump ball situations with the other top wr in this draft class 3. Even though he was the number 2 reciever at flordia state ( which what he’ll be with the steelers because of ab) he still put up great numbers for being a number 2 I think he would be the best first round pick we could make because like you said rookies dont thrive in coach lebeau’s system just like jarvis jones and vince Williams so defense shiuld be round 2 and on

  6. It’s not me who is concerned. I want to hear guys like Kiper, McShay and Mayock give there thoughts on this guy. I don’t doubt his height or his ability it’s the concern of the fact he is still raw and does not always use his physical ability to drag the ball into his hands. I keep telling people that just because you think that a certain Defensive prospect is good does not mean he will start. I want to see more out of jones this year. His rookie year was not great but what did people expect he would do? To ask a rookie of his caliber top play from the start without time to study the playbook or have much competition is pretty tough. Look at some of the best OLB”s to come through and what exactly did they do there rookie year. Can you make the case and say that 15 you would pick him over someone like Evans who is just as strong as Benjamin. Look I’ll male it simple for everyone: Give Ben the weapons he needs and let him run the show on offense and things will get better. The defense is what it is. NT is a key but a guy like Nix is not the answer. He has weight issues and he will be told about that problem by a number of teams and scouts and really do you really think he can succeed? I like Hageman just based on his strength alone but even if he is picked with there 2nd round pick he would not start. LeBeau is not an idiot despite what some people say. People say look at what SF and Seattle did with there young guys. Apples to Oranges is what I say. Both teams defenses are not that hard to understand where as with LeBeau his style is tougher to master than it is with other teams Defenses.

  7. No wait let us look what the 49ers and seahawks did they drafted top pick for a very long time because how many years were they out the playoffs which almost gave them top player choices out of the draft so yea if you wonder why they are good all of a sudden its no mystery they got top prospects for years and years and the fact that they got years to develop those players and finally get a coach who knows how to control the locker room its no wonder they are good and as for our defensive needs yea we’re old but just ask Stephen hill how it felt to be hit by a “old” troy polamalu our guys are still good and injuries and rookies starting is what really hurt us last year and im with you on nix I wasnt impressed at all on him and the fact that if the opposing offense goes no huddle he would be neutralized and drafting him as high as 15 I think would be a waste the only picks I would be good with in the first round is a tall wr hard hitting safety and maybe an athletic te maybe….. cb we can get in the later rounds same as the other needs on defensive and by needs I mean dt, de, olb, we dont need a complete over haul and the old age factor was because of poor drafting in terms of not looking far enough into the future I mean if you ask me we should of drafted eric reid last year instead of jarvis jones but hey we got what we got but I think the steelers need to draft a bit smarter this year and grab needs for the future not when we have two 8 and 8 seasons

  8. Pingback: Steelers Defense Could Learn from Mel Blount » Steel City Blitz

  9. Pingback: Steel City Blitz Mock Draft 1.0 - Pre-Combine Edition - Steel City Blitz

Leave a Reply