Brand new Pittsburgh Steelers mock draft coming to ya! Now updated with the correct compensatory pick, I think it’s necessary to put out another mock draft before the 2017 NFL Combine. Again, I will be using Fanspeak, but this time I will be using Inside the Pylon’s draft board, since it is the most updated. If you don’t comment, you can’t be mad. Catch me on the Twittersphere: @Cnic__
R1 P30: Charles Harris, EDGE, Missouri
The Steelers number one need has been filled and it’s not a reach! I’m a huge Charles Harris fan and would be totally on board if this pick came true. According to scouts, Harris’ 2015 film should be his projection. This is due to Missouri using Harris in ways that weren’t in line with his strengths in 2016, but the Mizzou product still managed 9 sacks and 12 TFL.
Other players on the board who were considered: Carl Lawson, Budda Baker, Derek Rivers
R2 P62: Jourdan Lewis, (slot) CB, Michigan
The Lewis hype has died down, but I’m still really high on him. His play demonstrates aggression beyond his undersized frame and that is huge for slot play. He is not afraid to tackle or be a pass break-up machine after the ball is thrown (20 PBU in 2015, 9 in 2016). According to NFL.com, Lewis allowed just seven catches in 2016 for completion percentage against of 23.3. With Senquez Golson not being able to stay healthy and William Gay’s time in Pittsburgh dwindling, this is a great selection. Even though he may be limited to the slot, Lewis also has a ton of boundary corner experience. Lewis has kick return experience with an average of 25.2 yards per return in 2015.
Other players on the board considered: Chidobe Awuzie, Chris Wormley, Evan Engram
R3 P94: Lorenzo Jerome, FS, St. Francis (PA)
A small school guy again in the third round, and I think they struck gold again. (For all you Hargrave haters, yes, the Steelers struck GOLD with him in 2016.) Jerome remains under the radar in a deep defensive back class, especially with his small school status, but the St. Francis product forced a total of five turnovers in the East-West Shrine games and the Senior Bowl. That’s how you prove you belong. The Steelers could cut bait with Mike Mitchell for cap reasons after the 2017 season, and by that time, Jerome will be able to step in with confidence. The Steelers finally get a ball hawking free safety.
Other players considered on the board considered: Samaje Perine, Larry Ogunjobi, Dion Dawkins
R3 P105: Jake Butt, TE, Michigan
Even as an Ohio State fan, I’m thrilled with this pick. Butt did tear his ACL, but prior to that, he was flirting with round 2 status. He is an all-around tight end who can block, run routes, and has very natural hands. He’s a strong, athletic player who has a ton of passion for the game. I think he fits right in, and the Steelers wouldn’t need to rush him to play right away due to Ladarius Green and Jesse James’ play.
Other players considered: Ejuan Price, Joe Mathis, Dawuane Smoot
R4 P135: Tarell Basham, EDGE, Ohio
I would double dip into the edge position if I’m the Steelers. Basham has a high ceiling and is still a bit raw. Basham a very well built frame paired with long arms. Basham will play special teams and earn his spot in the rotation, following the path of Anthony Chickillo. He’ll need time to develop and hone his craft, but can end up a huge steal.
Other players on the board considered: Ryan Glasglow, Ahkello Witherspoon, Elijah Hood
R5 P173: James Connor, RB, Pittsburgh
Team captain and a resilience on and off the field. You all know his story. He’s a guy the Steelers don’t want, but need in the locker room. The Steelers front office should get a great look at him since he is a local product. He can assume the change of pace back role, 3rd downs, goal line, short yards, or sub in when Le’Veon Bell splits out wide. A match made in heaven when you combine his football ability and his intangibles.
Other players on the board considered: Jeremy Cutrer, Noah Brown, Jalen Reeves-Maybin
R6 P213: Jerod Evans, QB, Virginia Tech
The Steelers need to plan for the future and Evans would be QB3 for the 2017 season but would of course get work in training camp and pre-season. Evans is a developmental guy with a decently high ceiling.
Other players on the board considered: Travis Rudolph, Jordan Evans, Ricky Seals-Jones
R7 P248: Stevie Tu’ikolovatu, DT, USC
A very good run defender who will challenge Daniel McCullers for his role. The USC product is a space eater who can free up lanes for the linebackers. I wanted to go towards the five-tech position in this draft and didn’t come up with any picks of value.
Other players on the board considered: Speedy Noil, Steven Taylor, Javarius Leomon