After doing close to 100 mock drafts this season, scouting the players, and keeping an eye on pro day visits and pre-draft visits, I have finally come to a peace of mind and am able to complete my final mock draft for the season. Let’s just jump right in.
20. Devin Bush, LB - University of Michigan
I think it’s pretty clear at this point that Devin Bush is their guy. The only question is will he be available at pick 20? I debated hard on not even including him in my mock. Even told my colleagues he’s not my pick, for the simple fact that it’s too good to be true. But with all the information coming out about who other teams are looking at, it seems like Bush may actually fall. He doesn’t have to play immediately with the signing of Mark Barron, but he is a long-term solution at the ILB spot.
Other players considered: Clelin Ferrell, Chase Winovich, Greedy Williams, Noah Fant, Byron Murphy
52. Darnell Savage, S - Maryland
Safety may actually be a bigger need than we think. Sean Davis is in the last year of his contract and just signed Drew Rosenhaus as his agent. He’s become a solid tackler, even one of the best on the team. But the lack of turnovers from the safety position, specifically him, is concerning and may not make him with the second contract. Or dealing with Rosenhaus. Savage is an athletic, speedy centerfield type safety that put up 10 turnovers the last two seasons (8 INTs, 1 FF, 1 FR). He needs to work on his tackling, but he can do just that behind Sean Davis this season, playing mostly sub-package football.
Other players considered: Rock Ya-Sin, Parris Campbell, Lonnie Johnson, Deebo Samuel, Andy Isabella
66. Sean Bunting, CB - Central Michigan University
Stop me if you’ve heard this about a Cornerback the Steelers drafted: he has a high ceiling with great physical traits, but needs some work and development to reach his full potential. He is tall (6’0), fast (4.42), and very physical. With 9 career interceptions and 15 Pass Break Ups, he has the ball skills this Steelers secondary needs. He can sit behind Haden and Nelson to start his career and polish off his game, eventually sliding in as Haden's replacement.
Other players considered: Julian Love, Dax Raymond, Damien Harris, David Long, Jachai Polite
83. Damien Harris, RB - Alabama
The Steelers have shown a serious interest in the top running backs during the pre-draft process. I don’t think that’s a knock on Conner or Samuels, but a result of 2 things. First, they want to give Conner some snaps off and have a capable back in case he does go down. Second, they drafted Jaylen Samuels as a “weapon”. He had never played as a true RB in his career, and they still expected to have Bell and Conner at the time of the draft last season. Drafting a true RB allows Fichtner to use Samuels as a chess piece and maximize his skill set. And Harris is the guy to do it. He’s a big back that is used to running in a gap/power scheme. He has nimble feet for his size, but lacks the top end speed to be the top back. He’s a closer, plain and simple. He will tote the rock all fourth quarter and run the clock out.
Other players considered: Justice Hill, Joejuan Williams, Khalen Saunders, Dillon Mitchell, Oshane Ximinies
122. David Sills V, WR - West Virginia University
I do not necessarily think the Steelers NEED to take a receiver early. Nor do they need to double dip. Between JuJu, Washington, Moncrief, Switzer and Rogers, you have plenty of guys to spread the ball around to already. You don’t want to introduce another guy who will expect targets and have him eat off somebody else’s plate. You have to give Washington the chance to thrive, and he’s shown the potential. As well as Moncrief. With that being said, the team is rumored to love Sills, a bigger target for Ben that can get vertical and come down with a contested ball. He will never be a number one, more of a role-specific vertical threat, but he’s a talented guy nonetheless that will contribute early.
Other players considered: Miles Boykin, David Long (WVU), Alize Mack, Justin Hollins, Bobby Evans
141. Foster Moreau, TE - LSU
Foster Moreau is an excellent blocker at the line of scrimmage. Plus in pass protection and plus in run blocking. And for his size he has surprising athletic ability. He’s your Steelers prototypical number 2 tight end and a perfect replacement for Jesse James.
Other players considered: Sutton Smith, Zedrick Woods, Te’Veon Coney, Germaine Pratt, Emeke Egbule
175. Ben Burr-Kirven, LB - Washington
If the Steelers double dip at any position, it’ll be inside linebacker. They have numbers at the position, but only one proven starter in their system (Vince Williams). Burr-Kirven is undersized and struggles to work through traffic, but is an excellent cover linebacker with athleticism to spare. He will be a core special teams player in the NFL, but if e can’t improve his play in the trees he will never be a starting linebacker.
Other players considered: Gary Johnson, Isaiah Buggs, Hamp Cheevers, Michael Jordan, Marvell Tell
192. Garrett Brumfield, OG - LSU
Lose an offensive lineman, draft an offensive lineman. Behind DeCastro and Foster at guard you have only BJ Finney, who is best suited to play center. Matt Feiler may be best suited long term as a guard, but that depends on Okorafor winning the right tackle job. Brumfield is a grinder that holds his own at the point of attack, but doesn’t have the athleticism to pull like the Steelers ask their guards to do.
Other players considered: Armon Watts, Sheldrick Redwine, Brett Rypien, Malik Carney, Chris Slayton
207. Cole Tracy, K - LSU
Boswell struggled last season, and we still don’t know why. The team did say they would bring competition in for him this season, and even delayed his roster bonus. They have yet to bring in help via free agency, and Matt McCrane doesn’t have the strongest of legs. So it’s time to dip into the LSU pool for a third time this season and grab the drafts best kicker.
Other players considered: Jake Bailey, Mike Weber, Bryce Love, Gary Jennings Jr, Benny Snell
219. Shareef Miller, Edge - Penn State
I believe that edge rusher is a much higher need in this draft than most. The depth behind Watt and Dupree is uninspiring. Chickillo is solid but not great, Keion Adams can’t see the field, and Ola Adeniyi showed flashes but is still raw. I wanted to grab an edge guy earlier in the draft but the bird didn’t fall that way. We instead with our last pick pluck a guy from the backyard, Penn St. Miller is a pass rush specialist that can’t stack blocks or set the edge. His ceiling is as a depth guy/pass rush specialist.