The QB rankings are all shaken up since we posted last. But it's moot for us, doubt the Steelers look at them anyway.
Re-reading Manimal's comment, if we could trade Pouncey for a R2, I'd do it, and sign Velasco and Wallace back. Pouncey has not lived up to the hype IMO, and the recent Jonathan Martin texts WRT to doing drugs with Mike Pouncey (not to mention the Hernandez connection) point to trouble ahead - maybe. Something smells foul. Trade him to Arizona and let Arians have him.
TONS of value in R2-3, too.
OK, new quickie mock.
1. WR Mike Evans
, Texas A&M, 6'5", 225#, 4.58 (est.). Ranked 13th by NFLDS; player comparison Vincent Jackson, but also an even better version of Alshon Jeffrey.
Some fears he's another lumbering Mike Williams type; I don't see it, but his combine will be telling. Big WR, H-back/hybrid, who cares: he adds a dose of big and nasty to the offense, and nasty is the theme of this mock. Also worth noting
: good YAC, comeback ability, low drop rate, good distribution of passes (screens, shorts, medium, longs). Also: he's young, which is a factor (20; will be 21 in August): still developing, and definitely would be a long-term prospect. Alternate: TE Eric Ebron, #14.
2. S Deone Bucannon
, Washington St., 6'1", 216#, 4.57 (est.), #65. Shamarko Thomas has shown, in limited play, the ability to play S or nickel, and nice hitting ability. I think he will continue to improve, and despite his height limitations, don't forget he's got 4.37 straight line speed and a 40+" VJ. He looks like a Bob Sanders type SS, but could have the range and cover skills to play centerfield. Adding another S with some pop and ball skills would complete the secondary transformation, and while there are several safeties I like in this class, Bucannon is widely known as the hardest hitting.
He played FS at WSU and reeled in 15 INTs, but most analysts have him penciled in as a SS; I think he and Shark could play either spot, and even switch up assignments. The theme of nasty would certainly come to play here and receivers and even TEs would hear footsteps with Bucannon and Shark roaming the waters. Alternate: S Jimmie Ward, #81.
3 (comp). CB Terrance Mitchell, Oregon
, 6'0, 190#, 4.57 (est.), #83. Mitchell racked up some good stats playing across from the more highly heralded Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, whom offenses avoided, and some questioned whether it was wise for Mitchell to declare this year. He has inconsistencies to his game, but with some coaching he could wind up being a nice value here. I've been penciling in Lindenwood's Pierre Desir here, with Nebraska's Stanley Jean-Baptiste as the alternate, and those two have been generating some buzz as athletic, good-sized developmental types. But I keep coming back to Mitchell and his stats,
and even though he has his negatives (choppy pedal, so-so straight line speed, grabby hands), get him some time with Carnell Lake and I think he'll fit right into a nasty new secondary. Alternate: CB Pierre Desir, #76.
4. NT Justin Ellis, Louisiana Tech
, 6'2", 342#, #140. Classic NT frame, need to see him put up the bar 30 times at the combo, but passes the eye test. Showed well at the Shrine and Senior bowl, and for a R4 pick I don't see how there's much separation between Ellis and R1 projection Louis Nix; in fact, Ellis's speed off the snap
might put him higher than Nix. This would allow the Steelers to develop a NT behind Mac, or to move Mac to end. I'm in favor of retaining Al Woods, and Ziggy if on the cheap. Ellis at this spot would give the DL plenty of options. (Had previously ranked Wisconsin's Beau Allen highly, but late season games he didn't seem to factor much; did well enough at the Shrine, but looks like a R7/FA prospect in retrospect, sort of a Hokie prospect if we want a priority FA). Alternate: DT Daniel McCullers, #99.
5. OT/OG/C Wesley Johnson, Vanderbilt
, 6'5", 290#, 5.12 (est.), #191. I skipped past Johnson several times in the OL prospects, notably because he seems a bit small to play OT. But here's the thing. The Steelers like versatility, and Johnson (first-team All-SEC 2013) can and has played every OL position. Smaller than optimal for an OT, but so is Beachum; he'll need to add strength and bulk, but his foot speed leads me to think he could be a zippier version of Beachum. In any event, Beachum's play has pushed OT down the needs list, and getting a guy like Johnson, who practiced well at the Senior Bowl
, could be an outstanding value. Once he's up to 310# or so, he could be a candidate for LT. Only allowed 1 sack every 171 snaps... in the SEC. Alternate: OT James Hurst (broken leg), #128.
5 (comp). CB/S Antone Exum, Virginia Tech
, 6'0", 220#, 4.55 (est.), #166. Exum and Kyle Fuller are VT's hard-hitting CB tandem, but Exum's 2013 season was sidelined by injury. Had an outstanding 2012 season, and will need to see if he runs well in workouts. Has the size to inspire fear in receivers, and the versatility to slide to safety. Can bring the nasty, and could be a nice value if he's on the road to recovery. If not for the ACL, he'd be a R2 prospect, with 40 time the only question. Bring him in, put him on a longer time-frame for development, see where he fits. I think he'd do well on the outside a la Xavier Rhodes, obliterating the sun, but only if his wheels are there. Alternate: CB Aaron Colvin, another injury value, #222.
6. ILB Andrew Jackson, Western Kentucky
, 6'1", 259#, 4.82 (est.), #237. Speaking of nasty... plays with a ton of mean, would drive the LB competition. Straight-line speed needs proven, but is a tackling machine (95, 122, and 109 over the past 3 years). Note to NFLDS: he's not white, you have the wrong damned picture up, idiots. Was getting a lot of attention as a small-school prospect for the 2014 draft, but seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle. LOC is an issue, as is speed, but reminds me in some ways of a less out-of-control Vontaze Burfict. Could be coached up into a legit force inside. Alternate: ILB Xavius Boyd, also of WKU, played OLB, #325.
7. TE Jordan Najvar
, Baylor, 6'6", 262#, 4.88 (est.), #243. Don't look for stats, this Stanford transfer to Baylor doesn't have 'em. What he has is upside, and I think he can build on some nice Shrine practices and be a late round sleeper. Has the size to be an in-line blocker, and could develop into a decent enough #2. Showed nice hands in the West practices. Would certainly be a load over the middle. Alternate: WR/ATH Kain Kolter (Former Northwestern QB, could be an Edelman-style WR, possibly some trick plays) #308.