The 2019 NFL Draft is less than a week away, and we here at Steel City Blitz simply can not wait. With that in mind, it’s time to stir up some controversy, and what better way to do so than by my fabulously horrific mock draft.
[ Round 1, Pick 20 ]
Byron Murphy, Cornerback, Washington Huskies
Byron Murphy is my pick for the top cornerback in the 2019 NFL Draft. Of course, the general consensus is that Greedy Williams possesses a greater upside, but limitations he currently beholds are ones that I don’t trust our cornerback coaches to rectify, judging by our recent history with that positional group especially.
Instead, I’d like the Steelers to select Murphy at #20 given the fact that he has already met with the Steelers, which shows our interest. Moreover, for me, he is the most pro ready cornerback in his class.
Statistically speaking, Murphy dominated in his two years as a Husky. Most impressively, he was a constant ball-hawk, as he compiled 7 interceptions through just 20 games. In addition, he notched 27 pass deflections, whilst he produced 2 game-changing fumbles. Ultimately, if Murphy is on the board at #20 then this choice is a no-brainer.
[ Round 2, Pick 52 ]
N’Keal Harry, Wide Receiver, Arizona State Sun Devils
The exit of Antonio Brown from the ‘Burgh will be a sore one in terms of production. However, I don’t think our locker room has ever been more healthy than it is right now, which can only be a good thing.
So, who could replace Antonio Brown with a second round selection? Well, no-one, let’s be honest. That said, N’Keal Harry is a prospect who I think can be a viable replacement as the “X” receiver for the future.
The 6’2”, 228lb wide receiver boasts a terrific catch radius, whilst his frame does not limit his blistering pace and acceleration. Last season alone he amassed 73 receptions for 1088 yards and 9 touchdowns. Aside from his production, Harry’s route tree is incredibly diverse and he can be a monster in YAC opportunities. For me, if he is on the board at #52, the Steelers will be getting a steal.
[ Round 3, Pick 66 – from OAK]
Mike Edwards, Safety, Kentucky Wildcats
Wait, why has there not been an inside linebacker selected thus far?!
Well, unfortunately this inside linebacker draft class just isn’t all that great. We know for almost fact that both Devin’s will be off the board by #20, which means I’d like either Mack Wilson or Blake Cashman selected next. However, Wilson would be off the board by #52. In terms of Cashman, no representative of the Steelers attended his Pro Day, nor has he had a formal meeting, which means the likelihood of landing him are incredibly slim.
So, that leaves me with a chance to select one of my favorite talents in the draft – Mike Edwards. The talented DB can be utilized as both free and strong safety for starters. To add to his versatility, Edwards creates game-altering plays, having notched 2 INT’s, 1 TD, 9.5 TFL, 1 FF & 1 FR last year alone. Lastly, he’s a fantastic tackler and natural born leader, being that he was a 2018 captain for the Wildcats.
[ Round 3, Pick 83 ]
Foster Moreau, Tight End, LSU Tigers
Moreau was one of the first prospects I profiled for the site a couple months ago, but his ability left a lasting impression with me.
He’s a fantastic blocker, who excelled on film last season in pass/run protection. His 6’6” frame is impressive considering his athleticism, though I’d like him to see the ball more in black & gold, given that he only caught 22 receptions last season for 272 yards and 2 touchdowns.
After a brilliant week at the 2019 Senior Bowl, Moreau met with the Steelers, which increases the chances of his arrival in the Steel City to a certain degree.
Round 4, Pick 122
Vosean Joseph, Linebacker, Florida Gator
Florida Gators’ Vosean Joseph could be a sleeper in the 2019 NFL Draft.
He isn’t the polished prospect as a true ‘mack’ linebacker, but he’s got desirable qualities that the Steelers would love. He’s got a fantastic motor, who consistently makes plays, as evidenced by his 93 combined tackles, 9 TFL and 4 sacks. Besides those qualities, Joseph is frighteningly quick, something he put to good use as a blitzer either at the LOS or through the gap. Most importantly however, he was relatively under-utilized at the collegiate level, which means his longevity will benefit greatly from this lack of experience.
I don’t think he will be an immediate solution to our catastrophic situation at inside linebacker, but he could become a perennial starter later on down the line for sure.
Round 5, Pick 141 [from OAK]
Mike Weber, Running Back, Ohio State Buckeyes
Mike Weber isn’t someone who “wow”s you physically or athletically. On top of that, he could certainly improve elements of his game, most integrally his production and size.
That said, he is entering the NFL with a solid skill-set, good speed and the ability to block, all of which are admirable attributes. His production, as Buckeye, reflected these talents, as he rushed for 954 yards and 5 touchdowns on just 172 rushing attempts. As a result of his production and ability, the Steelers met with Weber prior to the Draft, so the connection is already there.
[ Round 6, Pick 175 – from OAK]
Michael Dogbe, Defensive Tackle/Defensive End, Temple Owls
If you don’t know about Mr. Dogbe then don’t learn. Let’s keep his talents our secret because if he falls to the sixth round, the Steelers will be getting an absolute STEAL.
At 6’3”, 284 lbs, Dogbe is a physical specimen, who has yet to define his true position. Last season as an Owl, Dogbe started as both a DT and DE, where he racked up 72 combined tackles, 7 sacks, 12.5 TFL and 3 forced fumbles.
His small school status and question marks surrounding his effectiveness due to his size, means that he could be around in the sixth round of the Draft. That said, his potential upside and skill set are deserving of a much higher selection in my opinion. But shhh, keep that to yourself.
[ Round 6, Pick 192 ]
Jack Fox, Punter, Rice Owls
In fellow SCBlitz alumni Chris’ latest mock draft, he had selected Rice University’s punter Jack Fox at pick 207. That, for me, will be too late in honesty, as I feel Fox will already have been taken off the board by then. Therefore, I’ve decided to slot him in at pick 192, and here’s exactly why:
Fox had an incredible Senior year in 2018 which saw him punt 80 times for 3636 yards. Over the course of the year he averaged 45.5 yards per punt, adding 31 punts inside the 20-yard marker. Additionally, he also displayed his phenomenal leg power as he booted 26 punts of 50+ yards. As a result of his production, he is undoubtedly the #1 special teams prospect in the 2019 NFL Draft and is therefore deserving of our second sixth round selection.
[ Round 6, Pick 207 – from AZ ]
Matthew Gay, Kicker, Utah Utes
Whilst this selection seems incredibly unlikely because of Chris Boswell’s enormous contract and the organization’s loyalty to their talent, I would love for competition to be brought in to challenge for next year’s starting spot. Sure, I’d love it if Bozzy can retain the same form which gained him a Pro Bowl nomination in 2017, but if that doesn’t happen we would be left stranded at the kicking position.
This is where Matthew could be of use. Gay’s a Lou Groza Award winner – given annually to the best placekicker in collegiate football. Furthermore, he boasts an exquisite leg, and has pinpoint accuracy. In his two years as a Ute, Gay produced an 86.2% field goal conversion rate, whilst he never missed a PAT attempt in his 85 tries. On top of his statistical production, Gay’s mentality is perfect for the Steelers and the league as a whole, something I’ve witnessed first hand in an interview I conducted with him previously.
[ Round 7, Pick 219 – from TB ]
Andrew Van Ginkel, EDGE, Wisconsin Badgers
Former Badger Andrew Van Ginkel was one of the last names added to the Steelers’ list of pre-draft visitors, but he’s certainly not the least.
He registered a productive year last season, having recorded 59 combined tackles, 9.5 TFL and 5.5 sacks. His ability to perform in pass coverage as an OLB is his most impressive attribute, as evidenced by his 2 interceptions in his first season with the Badgers in 2017. What’s most impressive about his production is the fact that the majority of it came off the bench, given that he only started 10 of 27 collegiate games.
Sure, AVG is far from the finished project, but what seventh round selection is? I’m confident that he could be helpful on special teams, whilst some experience of NFL coaching could help mold him into a true solid coverage linebacker, something he has showed the potential to eventually become.
Love it? Hate it? In the middle? Let me know over on Twitter (@red_scox), and I will deal with it the best way I can. No tears, I promise.
Credits: sports-reference.com, riceowls.com, gohuskies.com, ohiostatebuckeyes.com, uwbadgers.com, owlsports.com.