3 Steelers’ Mock Drafts, Some With Trades

Feel free to add your thoughts, mocks and critiques. But these mocks try to address Pittsburgh’s major, long-term and depth-chart needs, while taking advantage of the draft’s strengths at various rounds for specific positions.

DRAFT 1

Staying Put (Steelers do not make any trades).

1. OLB Jarvis Jones, 6-2, 245, Georgia

2. WR DeAndre Hopkins, 6-1, 214, Clemson

3. RB Jonathan Franklin, 5-10, 205, UCLA

4. S T.J. McDonald, 6-2, 219, USC

5. ILB A.J. Klein, 6-1, 250, Iowa State

6. OT Emmett Cleary, 6-7, 316, Boston College

6b. DE Joe Kruger, 6-6, 269, Utah

7. CB Josh Johnson, 5-10, 199, Purdue

 

DRAFT 2

Trade Down

Atlanta wants to move up for a cover corner like Xavier Rhodes. Pittsburgh should try to move down if Jarvis Jones is off the board, although they will probably not get equal return on the trade-value chart due to more teams looking to move back. Steelers trade 1(17) worth 950 pts. to Atlanta for 1(30) 600 pts., 2(60) 300 pts and 7(236) 2 pts.

1 (30). RB Eddie Lacy, 5-11, 231, Alabama

2. DE/NT Jesse Williams, 6-3, 323, Alabama

2 (60). WR Quinton Patton, 6-0, 204, La. Tech

3. S Phillip Thomas, 6-1, 208, Fresno State

4. OLB John Simon, 6-2, 257, Ohio State

5. OT Ricky Wagner, 6-6, 308, Wisconsin

6. QB Sean Renfree, 6-3, 219, Duke

6b. CB Johnny Adams, 5-10, 185, Michigan State

7a. RB Jawan Jamison, 5-8, 203, Rutgers

7b. ILB Michael Mauti, 6-2, 243, Penn State

 

DRAFT 3

Stockpiling Picks

Super Bowl contender San Francisco has 13 picks. But with one of the deepest rosters in the NFL, the 49ers have nowhere near that many rosters spots and need impact players. The Steelers, in contrast, need as many picks as possible this week, and general manager Kevin Colbert bluntly told the press he would love to trade out of the first round for more picks.

Steelers trade 1(17) worth 950 pts. to San Francisco for 2(34) 560 pts., 3(74) 220 pts., 3(93) 128 pts. and 6(180) 19.4 pts..

2 (34) SS Matt Elam, 5-10, 208, Florida

2. OLB Sio Moore, 6-1, 245, UCONN

3 (74). RB Montee Ball, 5-11, 214, Wisconsin

3 (79). WR Stedman Bailey, 5-10, 193, West Virginia

3 (93). ILB Jon Bostic, 6-1, 245, Florida

4b. OT/G David Quessenberry, 6-5, 302, San Jose State

5. WR Josh Boyce, 5-11, 206, TCU

6a. RB Kenjon Barner, 5-9, 196, Oregon

6b. TE Nick Kasa, 6-6, 269, Colorado

6c. FS Rontez Miles, 6-0, 203, California (PA)

7. QB Jordan Rodgers, 6-1, 212, Vanderbilt

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  • Cols714

    First draft please.

    • Canadian Steeler

      Yep. Even if Hopkins doesn’t fall to the second, there should be a damn good receiver there.

    • Ted

      Even though I want extra picks, scenario No. 1 is my preference as well. I am convinced a very good WR will be available at round No. 2 (Woods, Hopkins, etc.). If Jones is gone, Pittsburgh should try to trade down. But there may be no market to do so if SF and Atl already moved up. Assuming Austin and Mingo are taken in the top 16, I guess my preference would be Eifert among the remaining realistic candidates. He’s a safer pick, even though this team has greater needs.

  • djanyreason

    Just for reference sake, given the trade-down premia Ted is hypothesizing, Steelers could trade up to 8 for 1st&2nd, 12 for 1st&3rd, 15 for 1st&4th. I don’t think the first option is worth doing, but the 2nd or 3rd could be if it meant getting the right player.

    • Intropy

      But for whom? The only player who I think could be worth trading up for and also could fall to striking distance is Lotulelei. Where do the teams immediately above the Steelers fall in terms of NT/DT need?

      • djanyreason

        I dunno, if its the difference between Jones and nobody worthwhile, I might trade the 3rd or 4th to move up.

  • Intropy

    I like the stockpile draft best. I think instead of the 2 through 3 you could fill the same positions with better talent with ILB Teo, OLB Collins, WR Swipe, and RB Bell. I think I’d also try to get an earlier second safety.

  • Cols714

    The more I read about Jonathon Franklin, the more I hope the Steelers take him sometime in the draft.

  • http://www.facebook.com/randy.steele.583 Randy Steele

    Jarvis Jones? Really? His measurables are gruesome.

    I know. I know. Look at his tape. But I can’t get past his numbers, and those numbers do count for something, and they sure don’t add up to an R1 pick to me.

    • http://www.facebook.com/randy.steele.583 Randy Steele

      I’m glad the Steelers’ front office is smarter than I am.

  • Intropy

    Dear St. Louis,
    Trading way up and then reaching way down is not good planning.

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    I’m just glad OT isn’t one of our top needs this year.

  • Intropy

    Did the Jets even notice that Lotulelei and Floyd were still on the board?

  • djanyreason

    This draft couldn’t be going better for the Steelers. Its like last year all over again.

    Were I in the Steelers draft room, I’d really be seeing if could find a reasonable way to move up for a 2nd 1st round pick, if I could get Jones and Lotulelei

  • djanyreason

    Well, probably could’ve had a trade with the Jets if we really wanted Lotulelei. I’d say that shows we didn’t, but Tomlin has never traded in either direction in the 1st, so I’m not sure that proves anything other than a continued lack of creativity (as compared to Cowher’s record)

  • Intropy

    Jones or trade now.

    • Intropy

      And of course I mean Landry Jones.

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    So, we know that a trade down was possible, as the Niners swapped firsts with the Cowboys’ pick one after ours and also gave a third rounder. Hope Jones plays like he did in college. Kiper said on a leadership scale of 1-10, he’s a 15. I guess he can heal the sick or something.

    When Chucky said we might take the Honey Badger at that pick, you could see a fog of incredulous steam rising from Kiper’s face.

    • ted

      Have to watch NFL Network if not on commercial. Deion is annoying, but nowhere near as bad as Gruden and Berman. Kiper is great; Mayock is better. Love this pick so much.

  • Intropy

    Who do we like in the 2nd? I like Elam or Teo.

    • ted

      Imagine both of those guys would be gone, although I would jump on Elam in a second. Te’o is a 4-3 mike, who would not be an everydown player for us. My guess is we take the best WR on the board, although there should be good value at safety as well. Lacy would almost certainly be the pick if he is still available, but like Elam, he should go top 40 at the worst.

      • Intropy

        And there goes Elam.

  • Rob D

    OK..liking the pass rusher at 17..there’s downsides to every player in this draft but I think we got a pretty darn good one there. HOpe we find a WR,S, and RB in this draft at some point. Should be able to…NE trades out and gets 4 picks from Minny.REally? 4 picks in a draft with very few sure things..not sure how they get away with that..lol…but it must suck to be a Pats fans sometimes.They never seem to get much from all the wheeling and dealing somehow. EVery recent Pats team seems to be super weak at CB WR and S..and yet they can’t find either seemingly..O well…onwards and upwards..should be an interesting few days..

    • Cols714

      Yeah. I don’t know what the Pats are doing. They should be trying to win now but instead they let Welker go over pennies and then make this trade. The pundits love the Pats drafts because they trade a lot, but you still have to pick good players. They seem to be missing that part.

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    I know very little about Jones (mainly a few scouting reports, highlights and BTSC commenters), but I’m nervously optimistic about him. The consensus seems to be that he won’t set the edge and be a great run supporter like Harrison. So most of his value will be as an edge rusher, and he doesn’t have elite speed or Harrison’s leverage or strength. The optimism comes from people who have seen him play. And from trusting our FO.

    • Canadian Steeler

      Steelers Depot has 4 of his games on his post. He’s clearly got a great first step and (right now) most of his sacks and pressure are due to speed. NFL.com compares him to Bruce Irvin, and it’s easy to see that speed comparison. Worilds can hold up against the run well enough, so the idea of Jones having an Irvin impact as a sub package edge rusher in year one is exciting.

      Don’t all outside linebackers have to be taught how to properly set the run in the Steelers’ system? That, and more pass rush moves, should come with time, IMO.

      • Cols714

        Yep. He looks fantastic when I watch him. Wexell hates the pick, but he hated Timmons as well and that turned out great for the Steelers. Considering he was dominant in the best conference in college, I think he’s going to be pretty good. I wish he was younger, but we should be able to get 2 contracts out of him.

        • Canadian Steeler

          I think Wexell is just being contrarian. I don’t understand the “no upside” argument. He beat SEC tackles. So what he was the centrepiece of the Georgia defence. He was fantastic doing so. OLB are probably the centrepiece of the Steelers’ system too.

          Sometimes it feels like Wex would prefer late round players solely because they’re late round players. A couple weeks ago, Lance Zierlein told him about Leventee McCray out of Florida. A half hour later, Wex said McCray should be the guy at 17. He just wants to be different.

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    Anyone know what makes people think Jones is a great leader?

    • Intropy

      His mother was Sandra Bullock.

  • Cols714

    Since the talent is going to be about the same, do the Steelers go RB or WR with their 2nd round pick?

    • Rob D

      I”d be happy with either one but lean a little more towards WR if there is one there that they like. I am hoping that we end up signing Bradshaw, providing he checks out medically. He’s a better fit for us,I think, than most if not any RB in the current draft.I’ve always really liked him, so I am a bit prejudiced. I hope whomever they pick has tape that justifies the pick. I think they JJ because he produced against superior competition.

      • Intropy

        f those are my choices then WR. But I think there’s going to be better value for WR and RB later with S (Cyprien I hope) or more likely ILB (Teo, Brown, Minter

        • Cols714

          I really doubt they are going to draft a TE or an ILB in the 2nd round. I think it’s either WR or RB, or if Cyprien is there maybe him.

          • Intropy

            Well there goes Cyprien right away.

          • Intropy

            And Ertz too.

          • Intropy

            And Teo. All the good targets are falling away. Now I’m worried they really will take a WR or RB in the 2nd.

          • Canadian Steeler

            Really? I’m pretty happy Teo’s gone. I like Minter and Arthur Brown more.

          • Intropy

            I like Teo of the three, though Arthur Brown I think the the Steelers best choice left. Hope he lasts. I’d also consider a trade down here.

          • Canadian Steeler

            There goes Minter too. I’d be happy with Brown, Lacy or Keenan Allen.

  • Gus

    I am so happy to see this blog alive and breathing again. When its going, its my favorite! Thanks for the insights and quality writing.

  • Eric

    Steelers agreed to terms on 1yr deal with RB LaRod Stephens-Howling— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) April 26, 2013

    Interesting timing…. Assuming LRSH is intended to fill Rainey’s role.

    • Cols714

      Yuck. He’s pretty terrible.

      • Ted

        He’s a heck of a lot better than Baron Batch and we did not have luxury of using a 4th-5th-rounder on a second back in this draft to serve the scatback role.

        • Intropy

          I hope there was nothing guaranteed considering.

  • Intropy

    A while back I liked Hunter in the 3rd. But the more I read up, the more I see Limas Sweed.

  • Canadian Steeler

    Not happy with Bell. Especially with Lacy on the board.

    • Intropy

      No RB in the draft was worth that second round pick. Bell would have been nice in the 4th. What on Earth were they thinking?

      • Canadian Steeler

        Is there any real difference between Bell and what we already have? Legitimately asking. If you’re concerned with Lacy’s medical, take Franklin out of UCLA.

        • Ted

          Agree, I would have preferred Lacy or Franklin over Bell. But the counter is that Lacy looked better than what he is due to that line and Franklin lacks size. However, I did not like the Bell pick, but hopefully we can 2-3 years.

          • Canadian Steeler

            Feel a bit better about the pick after reading the article that Ryan tweeted. Also, his 3-cone drill was 6.75, in the same league as Kendall Hunter and Jahvid Best.

            http://www.nfl.com/draft/story/0ap1000000146225/article/leveon-bell-emerging-as-best-running-back-in-2013-nfl-draft

          • EasyLikeSundayMorning

            Haley’s had some success in evaluating RBs.

          • Cols714

            Great read. Thanks! I feel much better about this pick now. Plus Wheaton in the 3rd seems like an excellent pick.

          • EasyLikeSundayMorning

            Read a few things on Bell and like what was said (other than 382 carries last year). Anyone have good film on him (and our other picks)?

    • http://www.facebook.com/randy.steele.583 Randy Steele

      The Steelers had both Bell and Lacy in Pittsburgh for pre-draft interviews, so I’m confident they got who they think is the better player. (I wanted Lacy, too, but who am I to argue?) And Wheaton seems like a solid pick.

      But I think what’s bothering me about this draft so far is that it’s based completely on need, almost desperately so. They don’t seem to be building a team for the future, just patching holes with suspect filler. That’s not what the Steelers traditionally do, and it smacks of weakness.

      At least we’re not the Jets…

      • Canadian Steeler

        That’s definitely a concern, but the prospects mostly fit the range which they were drafted. Mostly everyone had Jones as a first rounder, and some had Wheaton as a second. I definitely didn’t like Bell, but Lacy certainly fit the range there and they liked Bell more.

        I’d definitely be concerned if the reason the Steelers keep passing on Jesse Williams is because we have Hood, Heyward and Ta’amu, but that everyone else is passing as well suggests there’s more to it than that.

        I’m also talking myself into this Bell pick more and more. Greg Cosell gave him the ultimate comparison when he said he had elements the Bus as a big man with quick feet.

        https://twitter.com/gregcosell/status/328146667796852736

  • Cols714

    It sounds like Bell was one of those guys that front offices liked much better than the so called draft experts.

  • Intropy

    I like Shamarko Thomas and Landry Jones as picks, but I think Jones is another who could have gone later. That matters less at this stage though.

    • Cols714

      Thomas seems like a keeper. If nothing else he will help in run support when Troy goes out. I don’t like the Jones pick. I just don’t understand picking a QB.

      • Intropy

        I get it. I think it was a round or two early, but I get it.

        1. Ben gets hurt. QB is so important that upgrading one who plays twice a year is worthwhile. Maybe a good backup means one less game with a clearly lame Roethlisberger under center.

        2. I think Landry is a pretty good prospect who should have been rated better than he was. I think it’s a reach only relative to how scouts seem to see him. I think it’ll end up being a value with respect to talent.

        3. Ben is expensive. If a player can play as well much cheaper that money can be spent to help your team elsewhere. I admit the likelihood is slim of that.

        4.QBs are in high demand. Think play on par with Kolb or the current incarnation of Palmer in a couple years in reasonable? I do. Look at what those trades got.

      • http://www.facebook.com/randy.steele.583 Randy Steele

        I agree, Cols. I’d rather have Charlie Batch for another year.

        • Cols714

          I don’t even care if it’s Batch. Sign a castoff from somewhere else. I feel like a QB is a waste of a pick.

  • Cols714

    Steelers message boarders seem upset that the Steelers didn’t take Arthur Brown? Why? We don’t really have a need at ILB for this year at least and have a backup in Stevenson and maybe Spence.

    • Rob D

      I think many believe Spence is not coming back. I have no idea but that was one of the more gruesome knee injuries you’ll ever see. Brown seems to be a favourite of MB”ers. I am always skeptical because every year there are 3 or 4 guys those boards love who end up doing nothing at the NFL level.The problem is they are often wrong about players, just like many NFL war rooms are.

    • http://www.facebook.com/randy.steele.583 Randy Steele

      I don’t know anymore than anybody else, but I wouldn’t count on Spence making it back from that truly gruesome knee injury. And Stevenson? The Steelers only re-signed him because the cupboard was bare.

      • ted

        Keith Butler essentially confirmed that Spence has almost no chance of playing in 2013 and that it would be a “miracle” if he ever plays again.

  • Intropy

    Seahawks just got Luke Willson. That’s a tremendous pick. He has excellent range and solid production with highlights like The Royal Tennenbaums, Old School, and Idiocracy.

    • Rob D

      Clint Eastwood was still available though…bad pick, man! :)

  • Intropy

    Boo. Pitt West got Swope.

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    It seems like almost every pick was a team captain, MVP or considered a great leader.

    • Eric

      They saw how well it’s working for the Penguins and wanted to give it a try…

  • http://www.facebook.com/randy.steele.583 Randy Steele

    So, Mr. Kian, are you happy with the Steelers’ draft? Your thoughts, please.

    • ted

      Love the Jones pick. Bell better work out, because many analysts said Pittsburgh drafted him too early and the Big Ten (esp. Mich. State) has a horrible track record for their big backs excelling at the next level.

      Really liked the Wheaton pick. He is solid. Warmed up big-time to the Thomas pick the more I read about him, although his height and concussions are concerns.

      Did not like using a 4th-round pick on a QB with little upside when the Steelers had so many other needs. But Jones was good value and this could be a steal if he ends up a starter in Pittsburgh, which is not an impossible scenario.

      Hawthorne is intriguing, but his senior season does not engender confidence. Several much better CB prospects were available in the fourth round and there was a decent chance Landry Jones would have lasted till the fifth.

      Hated the Brown pick. This guy wasn’t rated as a draftable prospect by any service. Don’t you think he would have been available in the 7th or at least at the end of the sixth? More than likely, he could have been signed as UDFA.

      This team really needed a developmental prospect and depth at MLB. Williams has potential, but under-achieved at FSU. 7th-rounder and Brown are likely practice-squad bound.

      Pittsburgh has 7 varsity OL (including Malecki) under contract, so not taking any was a shocking disappointment. Could have logically taken Fragel instead of Brown, IMHO, although the position probably should have been addressed in first five rounds.

      • http://www.facebook.com/randy.steele.583 Randy Steele

        They did sign several o-linemen as UDFAs, including Nik Embernate, whom they had in Pittsburgh for a pre-draft interview. I had expected them to draft him. And I’m sure you know they also picked up OT Mike Golic, Jr., although I have no idea how good he is.

        I feel the same as you about Bell and Landry Jones, and I didn’t understand the Justin Brown pick either. Truly baffling.

        Meh… I don’t know.

        One thing: I’m not feeling as dour as I had been about the Jarvis Jones’ selection. I’m beginning to convince myself that he’s a football player, not a track-and-field guy.

      • EasyLikeSundayMorning

        Starks, Essex and Legursky are still available.

  • Intropy

    Now that the draft is over, how about a little thought experiment (which sounds better than calling it a game)?

    You’re the GM, and you get to make all of the selections for the Steelers. Who did you draft? Ground rules:

    1. No trades.
    2. Well except this one trade. Assume you get the extra pick this year that the Steelers really did trade to get.

    3. Only pick players that were available as of that selection in the real draft.
    4. Well, okay, another exception. If the player wasn’t available, but only because the Steelers selected him, then you can take him later, but make it reasonable that he could be available there. No Jarvis Jones in the seventh.
    5. No future knowledge. If you really like Leon Sandcastle and would have picked him in the 2nd, then put him there. Don’t spot him in the 4th.

    • Intropy

      Obviously I wanted to do one. One bit on philosophy. I like to pick players I think the Steelers like in addition to ones I like. Making picks beforehand that means loking at things like comments, visits, and interviews. Now I know who they actually took. I’ll use that as a signal of who they like.

      1 (17): Jarvis Jones.
      I thought he was BPA and a good value.

      2 (48): Arthur Brown.
      Foote isn’t going to last forever, and Spence is a huge question mark. Arthur Brown was arguably BPA and fits.

      3 (79): Stedman Bailey.
      I think Wheaton was a fine pick, but I like Bailey more as a prospect. Same position, so fits the same need.

      4 (111): Le’Veon Bell.
      I like Bell and obviously I know the Steelers do too. They needed an RB, and Bell fits nicely. I actually think he would have been there at 115, but if I were running their draft then I feel more confident that one of Shamarko or Phillip Thomas will be there at 115 than that Bell will be.

      4 (115): Shamarko Thomas.
      I probably would have gone Phillip, but it was pretty close to me. I know which the STeelers picked, so I’ll say my scouts convinced me too.

      5 (150): Ryan Swope.
      I would have taken him in round 4, but since I already got a WR I prioritized RB and SS higher. I’m pretty surprised he’s still available. Obviously since he’s white and a WR he is identical to Wes Welker.

      6 (186): Landry Jones
      I actually like him as a prospect. I like him better than any other QB in the draft. I was hoping they’d take him late, and I think they probably could have. Here feels about right. Of course he’s not Matt Saracen.

      6 (206): Joe Kruger
      Tough choice here. I kind of want to say Mauti, but that’s sentimentalist, and he’ll probably be available as a UDFA (I know he wasn’t in the real draft). Kruger, Lester, and Otten are on my Radar. Scouts seem to like Kruger the most, so I figure he’s least likely to be available as a UDFA.

      7 (223): Robert Lester
      Doubling up on the safeties. Hey, nobody is guaranteed to pan out, and we may need two soon anyway. If I recall, Lester was much more highly regarded last season than this season. Let’s see if we can hit that ceiling again.

      • Cols714

        Bell would not have lasted until the 4th round.

        • Intropy

          Maybe, maybe not. scouts had him as the 6th best RB and whomever nfl.com uses had him as the 9th. 6 backs other than Bell were taken before 111. I would have been comfortable taking that chance, and if I missed I could grab the next guy down the line. I may even have waited longer were he gone. Like I said, I like Bell. But, well, fungible.

          • Cols714

            I agree about RBs in general. But he was the Steelers guy. They obviously had him much higher than any other RB. I think other teams did as well.

            The key is he sounds like a perfect fit for the offense.

      • ted

        I like your draft more. Bell would have gone, but they could have had J. Franklin in that spot. L. Jones may have gone as well, but the Duke QB has better upside. Only negative of your picks is that Bailey – while a great possession WR – does not stretch the field like Wheaton, which was sorely needed in this WR corps.

  • GlennW

    I think some people are misreading the Landry Jones pick. Sure, he’s only a backup QB in the shortterm, but I think the Steelers are also looking at him as their potential “QB of the future” if Ben’s injury history persists or suddenly blows up (something none of us want to think about, but which we probably should). It was no sure thing that Jones was going to be there in the 6th round, and in fact I don’t think he would have been.
    As an Oklahoma fan, I’ve seen a lot of Jones over the last four years. I’ve described him in the past as the “Tony Romo of college football” for his propensity for making the big mistake at the worst time. I know, ugh. But I’m not sure he can’t be a different player if he’s not operating in Bob Stoops’ insane “let’s the throw the ball on every down (with the occasional draw play thrown in)” offense. Not a huge arm, but the tools are all there, including accuracy. The rest is all mental, and avoiding the mistakes.

  • Rob D

    This may have been the worst NFL draft for top level talent in many years, or its just that commentators are trying to outdo each othey finding flaws in these hopefuls..lol…But it definately lacked star power at the top and I was falling asleep during the 5th round. I think I’d make a lousy personnel guy. NO doubt about it! It’s a beautiful day here in Canada and I think spring has actually arrived. TIme to enjoy some warmer weather. Hope you are all having a great offseason.

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    I wonder if one of the reasons the felt ok to trade next year’s 3rd rounder is that they expect to get a bunch of comp picks in the 2014 draft.

    • Intropy

      I hope they just plan for it to be the 32nd pick.

    • ted

      Yes, without question. If any team is awarded a 3rd-rounder, it should be the Steelers for Wallace. At worst, they are awarded a 4th. Plus, the loss of Lewis will probably result in a 5th as well.