4 Different 2014 Pittsburgh Steelers Mock Drafts

Below are four potential Steeler mock drafts that take into account the needs I detailed in Tuesday’s article.

Two of these mocks have hypothetical trade scenarios. The trade-value chart was consulted, but not perfectly followed, because more teams are moving away from that formula and later picks will be valued more than usual throughout this draft due its depth in all rounds at many positions.

Any of these players may be gone by the round they are slotted below, but all have been listed as available in that spot through multiple mock drafts or scouting rankings from outlets such as ESPN, CBS Sports, etc. Moreover, different names were added for all picks in each mock draft to provide a variety of possibilities.

Remember that compensatory picks rewarded cannot be traded. Thus, the Steelers enter this draft with the following nine selections: 1(15), 2(46), 3(97 C), 4(118), 5(157), 5(173 C), 6(192), 6 (215 C), 7 (230).

 

THE LOGICAL DRAFT

Through these selections, the Steelers mostly follow the best player available (BPA) strategy, while also addressing their needs at the most opportune times in relation to the overall draft board at each position. Dennard plays immediately and becomes a legit No. 1 corner by 2015. Matthews offers immediate production and size at receiver. Bradford will see significant snaps as a rookie pass rusher, offering needed depth. Hart and Hurst could be potential steals at these spots, but the bigger Coleman and run-stuffing Williamson might be more physically ready to contribute as rookies.

1. CB Darqueze Dennard, 5-11, 199, Michigan State

2. WR Jordan Matthews, 6-3, 212, Vanderbilt

3. OLB Carl Bradford, 6-1, 250, Arizona State

4. DE Taylor Hart, 6-6, 281, Oregon

5. OT James Hurst, 6-5, 295, North Carolina

5. DE Deandre Coleman, 6-5, 315, Cal

6. ILB Avery Williamson, 6-1, 246, Kentucky

6. RB Isaiah Crowell, 5-11, 224, Alabama State

7. TE/FB Reggie Jordan, 6-3, 240 Missouri Western State

 

THE OPPORTUNIST

Offensive tackle is not a primary need for the Steelers. But do they believe the 6-2 Kevin Beachum is a long-term answer at left tackle? Beachum is best served as a guard, right tackle or versatile sixth man. Fourth-year player Marcus Gilbert has not improved since a decent rookie season and is seemingly always banged up. The verdict is not yet in on 2012 third-rounder Mike Adams, but it is clear he cannot pass-protect well enough to play LT in the NFL. Although unlikely, Lewan just might fall to No. 15 overall, because of how deep this draft is across the board. Lewan has some off-the-field issues, but the Steelers have become more open to players with such resumes in recent years, and have always drafted/signed more players with anger issues on the offensive line (e.g. Brenden Stai, Chris Kemoteau, Justin Strzelczyk, etc.). This pick would make great sense if the Steelers’ top corner(s) is off the board and their braintrust is convinced Lewan can be an above-average NFL left tackle. Adams is a pass-catching machine, who led all NCAA receivers with 131 receptions in 2013. Virginia’s Brent Urban would be preferred over Quarles, but the thinking is he will be unavailable at No. 97 overall. Cockrell is a Steelers-type corner. Bullough could immediately battle Vince Williams for a starting job as a 1- or 2-down plugger next to three-down ILB Lawrence Timmons.

1. OT Taylor Lewan, 6-7, 309, Michigan

2. WR Davante Adams, 6-1, 212, Fresno State

3. DE Kelcy Quarles, 6-4, 297, South Carolina

4. CB Ross Cockrell, 6-0, 191, Duke

5. RB Jerick McKinnon, 5-9, 209, Georgia Southern

5. ILB Max Bullough, 6-4, 249, Michigan State

6. OLB Prince Shembo, 6-2, 253, Notre Dame

6. CB Shaquille Richardson, 6-0, 194, Arizona

7. NT Ryan Carreathers, 6-1, 337, Arkansas State

 

THE MOST LIKELY TRADES

Trade 1(15) and 7(230) (1052 total points) to Arizona for 1(20) and 3(84) (1020 total points);

Trade 3(84), 4(118) and 5(157) (255 total points) to NE for 2(62) (284 total points)

The Steelers work out a deal with frequent trading partner Arizona to move down slightly in the 1st round, take a stereotypical Steelers corner in Fuller and pick up a 3rd-rounder in the process. The addition of Nix allows the Steelers to experiment more with Steve McLendon at DE. They then package three picks to move up toward the end of the 2nd round to get a third defensive stalwart in Van Noy, who could compete for a starting ILB job now, or be the No. 3 OLB in 2014 and a possible starter at that spot in 2015. Landry would be a steal late in the 3rd round at No. 97 overall, but some good receivers are going to fall on the second day due to the depth at wide-out in this draft, and he is rated as the No. 115 player overall by CBS Sports.

1. CB Kyle Fuller, 6-0, 190, Virginia Tech

2. NT Louis Nix, 6-2, 331, Notre Dame

2. OLB/ILB Kyle Van Noy, 6-3, 243, BYU

3. WR Jarvis Landry, 6-0, 205, LSU

5. OT/OG Charles Leno, 6-4, 303, Boise State

6. RB James White, 5-9, 204, Wisconsin

6. ILB Andrew Jackson, 6-1, 254, Western Kentucky

 

THE DREAM TRADE-DOWN; THEN TRADE A LOT TO REPLENISH THE DEFENSE

Trade 1(15), 5(157) and 6(192) (1093 total points) to SF for 1(30), 2(56) and RB LaMichael James (960 total points, plus a player);

Trade 2(30) (620 points) to Jax for 2(39) and 4 (105) (594 total points);

Trade 2(46) (440 points) to Cle for 3(71) and 3(83) (410 total points);

Trade 4(118) and 5(157) (87 total points) to Wash for 4(102) (92 points)

The 49ers have an abundance of picks and look to move up. Although later denied by the San Francisco brass, it has been reported that James is on the trading block and he is definitely skipping the team’s offseason workouts.

A former 2nd-round pick out of Oregon in 2012, James is not an everydown NFL player and is in danger of falling further down the 49ers’ crowded depth chart after Marcus Lattimore returns this fall. However, he would be a perfect No. 3, change-of-pace back in Pittsburgh to complement bruisers Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount. With late 2nd-rounder Moncrief adding the big, physical receiver the Steelers desperately need opposite of Antonio Brown, they use five picks in the first four rounds to restock the defense, focusing two of those on thinnest position group on the team – the defensive line.

2. DE Stephon Tuitt, 6-5, 304, Notre Dame

2. WR Donte Moncrief, 6-3, 221, Ole Miss

3. NT Daquan Jones, 6-4, 322, Penn State

3. CB Phillip Gaines, 6-0, 193, Rice

3. OLB Jackson Jeffcoat, 6-3, 247, Texas

4. OT Billy Turner, 6-5, 315, North Dakota State

4. ILB Preston Brown, 6-1, 251, Louisville

6. TE Marcel Jensen, 6-6, 259, Fresno State

7. CB Dexter McDougle, 5-10, 196, Maryland

This entry was posted in AFC North, Analysis, Cool Stuff, Defensive Line, Draft, Free Agency, Front Office, Offensive Line, Offseason, Wide Recievers and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • Rob D

    I really like the dream trade down, TEd. Getting both Tuitt and Moncrief would be great. I really like Cortez Allen and belive he can man one of the corner spots this year. We just have to hope Ike has one more decent year left. I think he bounces back..So that draft scenario, where we dont’ get one of Dennard, Gilbert or Fuller would be OK..Not sold on either D or G ..there’s lots of question marks about both and Fuller seems like a ‘good all around but lacks that one element that can make the difference” type.

  • Randy Steele

    After discovering that Mike Adams had a blood alcohol above .18 at the time of his attack, the Steelers might be more leery of players with a history of poor character issues; hence, I can’t see a scenario in which they pick Lewan.

    As you noted, Mr. Kian, nearly every team in the NFL would like to trade down in this year, which will create a buyer’s market for teams that want to trade up. As a consequence, I doubt the conventional trading formulas will apply this year, and teams looking to trade down will get much less that they hoped. It’s difficult for me to see the Steelers getting enough in return to drop down in the draft, but time will tell, of course.

    That’s why something akin to your “logical draft” is the most logical for me.

    • Ted

      Excellent points, Randy. Lewan, though, is a superior player than Adams and his problems have been off-the-field. Adams had more problems both on- and off-the-field at Ohio State. Still, I doubt he is on the board at No. 15, but he would be worthy of consideration if he is available, especially if Dennard falls earlier. I would rather roll the dice with Lewan than reach for Beckham, especially when considering the value at WR later in this draft and how much tougher it is – in general – to fill needs at tackle with later picks than WRs.

      You are right about trading down in this draft. Colbert and others have mentioned that many teams will be looking to do so due to the overall depth of the draft, which is why I noted the same early in this article before the mocks.

      Moreover, this is why every hypothetical trade-down I listed in these mocks returned fewer tradedown-value points than the total points for the pick/picks given up. Similarly, in the two hypothetical trade-ups by the Steelers I listed above, the Steelers gave up less aggregate trade-value points to move up than the value of the pick they received. There will be trades by teams throughout this draft, but expect those moving down to generally receive less than the trade-value chart, especially in the first 2-3 rounds.

      That said, Colbert does not trade often in drafts, and thus the Steelers will more likely stay put. They will not give up a pick to move down in return for very poor trade value. But I would do so in the first round if your very top prospects are unavailable even if you get considerably less than the trade-value chart. For example, I would take No. 30, and two third-round picks (77) and (94) from the 49ers to move down as well even though that would return 949 points for the 1,050 that No. 15 is charted at for value.

      The Steelers could then use some of their then-11 picks to move back into the later part of the 2nd round or early 3rd round if they are worried about losing a player they really like.

      Colbert’s FA signees this offseason, coupled with the three awarded compensatory picks, mean the Steelers do not need more than the nine picks they currently have in this draft. But they would be better served getting more second-day picks (rounds 2 and 3) if possible from moving down and then potentially moving back up than staying put if the opportunity presents and they do not believe they would get great value with the No. 15 pick overall. In my opinion, only Dennard and Lewan would offer that value among the realistic possibilities to still be available.

    • David

      But I can see a situation where a player, such as Bortles or Mosley or someone who should have been drafted 1-10, is surprisingly available and we get a gift trade down with another team. To swap spots.

      OK, more or less dreaming, but it could happen. Hell, the Ain’ts traded their entire draft to the Cryboys once.

      • Randy Steele

        That’s true, David, but why would these team trade with the Steelers? They could probably get their quarterback using something other than 1.15. They will shop around for the best deal, and they’ll get a good one because nearly everyone will want to move down to get more picks.

  • Cols714

    Give me draft #1. I do not want an OT in the first round. OT has become the most over valued position in the NFL. That the Rams are going to draft one of these turkeys over Watkins or Clowney seems so so dumb.

    • David

      Agreed. And didn’t overall #1 pick Fisher move to guard last year for the Chefs?
      Another reason not to draft OT in R1.

      But call me crazy, b/c last year and during this season, I was thinking there’s no way we DON’T draft another O-lineman this year. But it became apparent we need lots of help on D. I think we draft D in R1 (corner) and R2 (mack ILB).

  • Cols714

    Three cheers for Ted!!!!!!!!

    • Rob D

      Hip hip….Hooray…

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    Ted, lots of strong content within a few days. Thanks for all of this. I don’t know enough about college players these days to comment, but I like the positions in the first mock you did.

    I find myself having a split personality when it comes to the draft. My brain keeps screaming defense (or as REM sang, defensedefensedefensedefense) but then I get distracted by the shiny toys at WR and TE. I hope defense wins out, as we have more young talent on offense.

    Most of us seem to prefer the trade down scenario. On other hand… there is a guy every few years who was expected to go much higher and falls. Some of them stink (eg, Quinn, Leinart) but some of them are Pro Bowlers (eg, Ben, Rodgers, Sapp, Moss, Marino, etc.). So here’s my QOTD for Ted and everyone: Who, if they fell from the top of R1, would you be willing to trade up from 1.15 to get?

    • Cols714

      Watkins or Evans.

      • Rob D

        Yep…those are the two who are worth the gamble, IMO.

  • Cols714

    1. Watkins
    2. Evans
    3. Dennard or Fuller
    4. Beckham

    How’s that?

    • Rob D

      Looks very good Cols..I’ve gone back and forth on a few of those guys but …I think I’d take Beckham over Marqise Lee now. The first two are run to the podium and take out anyone who tries to stop you with a Jim Brown-like stiff arm that leaves them bruised and dazed on the floor..lol..Game on! Dennard I like better than Gilbert…Fuller just looks like a guy you can plug in for 7 years and not worry about.

    • Randy Steele

      Looks great, Cols, but highly unlikely. Watkins probably won’t make it out of the top 5. Evans will be gone a few picks later. That most likely leaves Dennard or Fuller. Can’t say either excites me, but it’s what the Steelers need, and I don’t kid myself anymore about the team choosing a BPA.

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    Jim Wexell has a good article about the odds of the Steelers selecting different players: http://pit.scout.com/2/1399610.html

    Ted, I’d be interested in how you’d grade the picks if they selected each of these guys (in Wexell’s order of likelihood): Dennard, Beckham, Fuller, Mosley, Benjamin, Ebron, Gilbert, Shazier, Prior, Cooks, Barr, Hageman, Tuitt, Nix.

    • Cols714

      That was a fun piece, thanks!

    • David

      Great find.

      OK, I’m sold: we’re going to draft Fuller in R1, then trade up to get Mosley in R1.

      I wish. But I still think we get Fuller now.

  • Cols714

    Who are guys you don’t want them to draft?
    For me,
    1. Benjamin – please no
    2. Ebron – again, no
    3. Gilbert – May not actually be a bad pick, just doesn’t seem like a Steelers CB

    • Rob D

      1. Benjamin (Please, PLEASE, no!) Good player..late first rounder ..not 1-15.
      2. Gilbert (doesn’t tackle? Doesn’t sound like a Steeler CB , do he? )
      3. Louis Nix (There’s a part of me scared as heck that they might do this..lol)
      4. Given up on a trade down..everybody wants to do that this year, seemingly so it’s unlikely. We need a starting CB to take over from Ike and that’s what we will have the best chance of finding where we pick. Massive need..I hope Dennard or Fuller is the pick.

      • Eric

        Ok Rob, come thursday are you watching the draft or Les Habitants?

        • Rob D

          Hee hee,,I always try to keep a low profile with my Habs affiliation, since a lot of Pens fans hate me JUST for being a Habs fan, even though I did zero trash talk after that playoff win. I will have to PVR the game, be about an hour behind and frantically try to be live with the draft. I need to be live for that event…it’s my custom..must see it as it happens! History shall be made etc.(Habs/Bruins..intense but not as intense as last time..still pretty awesome hockey, Pens are hitting their stride as well, it looks like to me)

          • Eric

            I’ll forgive you for 2010 if the Habs take out the Bruins…

          • Rob D

            Will do our best on that front..

    • EasyLikeSundayMorning

      I really don’t know much about college players, so I’m saying this based on little (positions and draft profiles). My list is similar to Cols’ and Rob’s with the exception perhaps of Gilbert.

      I hope they don’t draft a receiver in round 1 unless they are very confident he’s a stud. I especially don’t like the idea of a WR with questionable hands, as catching the ball seems like an important part of the position. It sounds like there is a ton of depth at WR this year, with better players in R2-4 than in past years. Colbert has been very good at identifying WRs in mid-to-late rounds, so I hope he does it again. The idea of having two Antonio Browns on the field at the same time does sound awesome, though.

      If the FO thought Ebron were Heath 2.0, I’d be ok with a TE, but he is supposedly immature and not a good blocker. Sounds more like Heath 0.2.

      I’m ok with a CB who is only an ok tackler if he can play on an island; I think LeBeau could have figured out how to modify the defense to take advantage of the talents of Deion Sanders who wasn’t as good a tackler as my 2-year old daughter (I’m not sure that this is an exaggeration, btw).

      Casey Hampton wasn’t drafted at 1.15 and that was when the running game was more important. So it seems unlikely that Nix is worth that pick in 2014.

      I had a dream that we drafted Shazier, but I think that’s just because of his weird name.

      • Rob D

        Shazier..if he did turn out to be a great player, his name would inspire a line of clothing, a car dealership tie-in and a specialty martini prepared with Shazier Vermouth. Best name in the draft,,,bar none!

        • Randy Steele

          How about Shazier’s Pork Sausages?

  • bonairsfavoriteson

    that third trade and draft will keep us at the bottom of the division for 10 years.