By: Noah Russell
First off, I want to preface this by apologizing for how long it took me to make this. I’ve been extremely busy with school and Springball, so I haven’t really found the time and motivation for myself to finish this. Also, let me know if you would like to see a mock for different teams, Thanks again, Noah.
For this mock, I decided to change it up a little bit and go a different route than the previous one I did due to the new information that has surfaced in the past month with visits, etc.; link here: https://averagetakes.home.blog/2019/03/14/first-steelers-mock-3-14-19/. I got a lot of support on that one, and I greatly appreciate it more than you know, but for this one I figured better not be repetitive and do the exact same picks, even though I am a huge fan of the ones I made. This might get a little weird, but lets just remember, not everything always goes as planned come draft night.
1st Round Pick 20 – LB Devin Bush, Michigan
The exact same pick I mocked not too long ago, he’s exactly what the Steelers need since the loss of Ryan Shazier. It is very popular for him to be mocked here, and he would certainly have a strong impact from the start. The addition of Mark Barron via Free Agency brings a safety net in case Bush gets selected earlier, but it does not move the needle the same way that the signing of Steven Nelson did for the CB position. All in all, if Devin Bush is there come the time the Steelers’ pick rolls around, I fully expect him to be in the Black and Gold.
2nd Round Pick 52 – DB/DIME Darnell Savage, Maryland
PLAYMAKERS!! That’s what the Steelers need and that is what Darnell Savage is. Another returning player from my previous mock draft, but at a much higher pick. Savage has the ability to slot in anywhere on the defense. He can play both safety positions, slot cornerback, and his most likely destination would be at linebacker in Dime. With the release of Morgan Burnett, there became a bigger hole at this position. Burnett wasn’t amazing at this spot, but his departure leads there to be only two true safeties on this roster that had any sort of playing time, Sean Davis and last years first rounder, Terrell Edmunds. Savage is a stud, and was one of the few safeties brought in by Pittsburgh in the pre-daft process.
3rd Round Pick 66 (From Raiders) – WR Kelvin Harmon, NC State
Harmon is finally someone new brought to this mock. He has seemed to have fallen out of the conversation lately as a first round pick due to his average to below average speed testing at the combine (4.6 40-yard dash), but that shouldn’t make anyone shy away from him. He is the prototypical X-receiver. He has spectacular ball skills and a great combination of size and strength (6’3″, 220; 18 Bench Reps). Even without burning speed, he still has the ability to get open and make plays. He also possess some of the best release skills out of anyone in this class. I think with the combination of Big Ben’s ability to throw receivers open and Harmon’s elite catching radius/skills, he will help alleviate the loss of Antonio Brown a little bit.
3rd Round Pick 83 – RB Miles Sanders, Penn State
While some may argue how much of a need the RB position is for the Steelers, I would be perfectly fine with them waiting until Day 2 to select one. With Conner yet to prove his durability and Jaylen Samuels lacking strong traits, I don’t think there would be a better person to pick than Miles Sanders. A local guy from Woodland Hills would be a perfect fit in the Pittsburgh backfield. He is someone that people would argue as RB1 and possibly a first round candidate, but in this simulation he fell right into our laps at 83. Backing up Saquon Barkley for his first 2 years before becoming the starter last year has kept off some wear and tear on his body, but has also brought inexperience with only 276 career carries. All in all, he is a very talented RB that adds versatility all around in the offense and can make an impact Day 1.
4th Round Pick 122 – WR Mecole Hardman, Georgia
Hardman is FAST! He ran a 4.33 40 and is a heck of an athlete, but that’s not all when it comes to Hardman. Hardman had a limited route tree when he was at Georgia, but could be an all around playmaker in Pittsburgh’s offense. He has good route running skills and the RAC ability and IQ to take the ball to the house on almost every play. He is also a very capable returner, doing both kick and punt return at his time in Georgia. He does have some size concerns at 5’10” 185, but he will be an electric player for anyone that drafts him.
5th Round Pick 141 (From Raiders) – TE Foster Moreau, LSU
The need for a #2 TE is much bigger than it has been advertised recently. Foster Moreau turned some heads after running a 4.66 40 during the combine. At 6’4″ 255, Moreau has a lot to offer as a potential #2 TE. Used mainly as a blocker during his time at LSU, Moreau seems to have untapped athletic potential that didn’t seem to be utilized during his time with the Tigers. Should offer good and much needed competition with Xavier Grimble for the #2 spot.
6th Round Pick 175 (From Raiders) – CB Mark Fields, Clemson
Fields can be the hidden gem of this CB class. Not a lot of playing time on a very talented Clemson defense logging under 1000 snaps in his career could bring up some concern, but talent doesn’t seem to be the issue. Fields had arguably the best game of his career against one of the best receiving cores in the National Championship game versus Alabama. He has some really good speed and the ability to play well from both the slot and outside, but the curiosity on why he could never get real playing time will allow him to fall to this point.
6th Round Pick 192 – EDGE/LB Jordan Brailford, OK St.
Shrine Game MVP, Jordan Brailford has the opportunity to supply good depth and competition to the Steeler’s OLB group. Has special teams value, something Ola Adeniyi doesn’t have. Had 10 sacks in 2018 and could be good value at this point in the draft. He even got some off ball linebacker reps near the end of last season.
A 6th Round Pick 207 (From Cardinals) – K Matt Gay, Utah
To help avoid dealing with taking the leftovers in UDFA, the Steelers would be wise to select a kicker, especially with the struggles Boswell went through last season. There should be good competition this year between Boswell, McCrane, and whoever they draft/sign in free agency. Gay is someone that has good leg power and has experience in kicking in cold/bad weather so he would be a solid competition piece for the Steelers.
7th Round Pick 219 (From Buccaneers) – OG Garrett Brumfield, LSU
While the Steelers could certainly sign an UDFA for the offensive line, I think it would be better to draft one in the later rounds just so you can get your guy instead of having to fight the 31 other teams for them where they could go to a team with lesser talent and depth at the position than the Steelers do. OG isn’t a glaring need, but Ramon Foster is getting old and Finney only on a one year deal, it would be wise to invest for the future in the O-Line. Brumfield could use some time on the practice squad to develop, but with the success the Steelers have had with developing talent in this position, he could become a solid depth piece.
UNDRAFTED FREE AGENTS
CB Stephen Denmark, Valdosta (D2)
EDGE Andrew Van Ginkel, Wisconsin
S Dravon Askew-Henry, West Virginia
RB Ty Johnson, Maryland
RB Darrin Hall, Pittsburgh
S BJ Blunt, McNeese St.
LB Quincy Williams, Murray State
*First Mock Draft* – https://averagetakes.home.blog/2019/03/14/first-steelers-mock-3-14-19/