Open Rants by Steeler17

A Steelers 2018 Mock Draft
Published at 10/16/2017
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Even after an upset win over the Chiefs, it is still clear that the Steelers have plenty of holes that are going to be addressed this upcoming offseason. While still contending for a super bowl this year, ideally, the team will need to re-stock talent in hopes of maintaining their high level of success. On top of that, some tough decisions will have to be made this year concerning Le’Veon Bell, Mike Mitchells contract, if Joe Haden is worth it, trading Martavis Bryant, Deebo retiring, and most importantly, if Ben retires. For the sake of this Mock, Bell decides to chase the big money somewhere else, Mitchell is released so Haden can stay aboard for another year, Bryant is flipped for a fourth round pick to the Buffalo Bills, Deebo rides off into the sunset, and Ben gives the Steelers one more year in order to make a Super Bowl push. If the offseason played out like this, then I would have the Steelers top needs looking like S, QB, TE, RB, CB, WR, and ILB. Considering the Steelers record, I’ll slot them in as a mid-twenties pick, roughly around pick 25. Without further ado, Pittsburgh, you are on the clock.

Round 1: Luke Falk, QB, Washington State:

When it comes to drafting QB’s high, it is all about the numbers game. This draft, there are three set (seemingly) QB’s to go in the first round if they declare (Rosen, Darnold, Jackson) who the Steelers won’t have a shot at selecting without trading up. After those three, there are roughly four other QB’s that could go in the first round (Falk, Allen, Thorson, Rudolph). These are the guys the Steelers have a shot at. While Allen has shined in moments, he has struggled against good opponents this year. That being said, he would be my number two choice here. Falk stands above the rest though, as he has great stats to go along with sensational talent. While his numbers are inflated due to the system he is in, he is clearly a smart QB with great decision making. His biggest weakness is arm strength, but he has been trying to work on his deep ball as of late. With Brown and JuJu being able to work the intermediate game well, his arm strength won’t be entirely necessary. On top of that, he will have a year to sit behind Ben. Considering this draft is QB heavy, the Steelers should be getting a decent value pick with their QB of the future.

Round 2: Adonis Alexander, CB, Virginia Tech:

While CB isn’t an immediate need, Haden is only band aid on the position due to his age and cap charge. This would work well for Alexander, as he needs some time to develop. He is massive, stand around 6-3, and has amazing athleticism for his size. He excels in both man to man and cover schemes, making him versatile. He can easily take over for Haden in a few years while playing as the “4th CB” since he isn’t exactly built for the slot. With Gay likely gone next year, along with Sensabaugh not exactly contributing a whole lot, Alexander can have an easy path to become the starter. Artie Burns and Joe Haden man the outside, Cam Sutton and Mike Hilton work the slot, while Alexander and Allen develop as the backups. This will help keep our overachieving secondary strong.

Round 3: Jamar Summers, S, Connecticut:

Finally, the number one need is met. With Mitchell a possible cut this offseason due to his eight million dollar cap hit, a new safety is going to have to be brought in. Wilcox can be a transfer starter, next year with Davis while Summers serves as the third safety. Summers looks like the next potential laden Connecticut safety. While not as physically imposing as Obi or Byron Jones, he possesses the same ball hawking traits. Within a year or two, he could easily start next to Davis and should be a better coverage safety than the Steelers are used to.

Round 4 (from the Bills): Lowell Lotulelei, NT, Utah

Lotulelei is what he is, a big, run-stuffing NT. He won’t be anything like Hargrave is, that being a pass rushing threat as a NT, but he can play a decent role on this team. Dan McCullers has not panned out, and will likely leave this offseason. LT Walton slid over to NT, but he isn’t a good fit there. Lotulelei would provide a good run stuffing threat while Hargrave can stay in to rush the passer. After the struggles the Steelers have had against the run, getting a solid interior force on the inside could pay dividends for run defense and even goal line defense.

Round 5 (from the 49ers): Martez Carter, RB, Grambling:

Even though Bell leaves in the offseason, the Steelers don’t address a potential replacement until the 5th round. Even more so, Carter is nothing like Bell in terms of play style. That being said, Bell is somebody that will be nearly impossible to replace with just one player, but with Conner already proving to have some good burst, finding another running back to supplement him is key. Carter looks and plays like a slightly bigger Tarik Cohen, in the sense he is a great receiving back with good speed as a runner. While the Steelers haven’t exactly hit on backs like this (looking at you Dri Archer), Carter plays at 205 lbs, making his extreme athleticism all the more impressive. With Conners power running mixed with Carters change of pace ability, the Steelers can utilize both similarly to how Chicago have used Cohen and Howard this year. While it won’t be the same as Bell, it should greatly help soften the blow.

Round 5: Beau Benzschawel, OG, Wisconsin:

Offensive line is not a big need, but looking toward the future, depth and potential starters are going to be a necessity. Ramon Foster is a great guard, but is getting up there in age. Finney, a former undrafted guard, seems like the likely successor, a new swing OL will be needed. Benzschawel looks like another quality Wisconsin offensive lineman. He’s big and athletic and has a nasty mean streak. He even has some tackle experience. He should provide quality depth for the O-line.

Round 7 (from Giants): Davin Bellamy, OLB, Georgia:

The Steelers took a flyer on Keon Adams last year, and although he is currently on IR, he has a good shot of being a contributor next year. Deebo is more than likely retiring while Moats is going to be a FA next offseason and probably won’t be brought back. Bellamy isn’t a vicious pass rusher, but he has decent speed and could develop into a solid backup. He won’t sniff the starting rotation, but good depth is a must with Steelers OLB’s.

Round 7: Bryce Bobo, WR, Colorado:

Bobo will more than likely be a late riser, but as of now, he is a fringe draftable player. He isn’t a Bryant clone, as he stands 6’2 and has average speed. What he excels at is his quickness and hands. Honestly, he reminds me of Antonio Brown. He works hard, has a high motor, and could be a late round gem. He will have to fight Marcus Tucker for a roster spot, but with a few years to develop, he could be a stud.

            This kind of a draft would be huge for the Steelers, as it would really help secure depth and find starters for some of the older player on the team. Unlike the last two years, the top three picks wouldn’t be expected to come in and start right away. Falk isn’t playing until Ben retires, while Alexander would have at least a year behind Joe Haden before he would be expected to start. Summers would see decent work as the number three safety, similar to how Wilcox is this year, but again, he wouldn’t be needed to excel at such an early point in his career. The player who would get the most experience would probably be Carter, as he would see return work and some RB duties behind Conner. Give it a year or two, and these guys could be the next stars on this team.

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