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J_DUB724's Steelers Mock Draft 1.0

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On 4/18/2020 at 5:12 PM, kurgan said:

So, if you look at our past drafts, we take a RB every year.  Connors (3rd comp), Samuels (5th), Snell (5th).  I guess we can continue the trend, and take another late round back to jump in when Connors leaves next year.  But, if you look when we took Bell, we didn't take a back every year.  Maybe if we get a good one at 49, we won't have to take one next year??

I will say, I am not advocating picking an RB this year, I would rather avoid it completely. But I view the draft as a giant dart board that you take steps back from each pick, so everything past about the 3rd round is just hoping and praying. So if a guy like Malcolm Perry is available in the 6th and you want to take a chance on a play maker, I am all for it. 

(I have no clue if Malcolm Perry is a 6th round pick or will even get drafted, I dont dig into prospects but just using an example). 

On 4/18/2020 at 5:12 PM, kurgan said:

In my experience as a coach, it is not a good idea to flip flop BUT, you always want your best 5 to play.  However you grade the OL, the best 5 should play.  If someone goes down, #6 should be the next man in.  If I am coaching, and Wiz is #5, I am not holding him out and playing #6 because he is a tackle and I need Wiz to be my backup C.  My best guess is that Wiz is #6 at the moment, but he didn't come to Pitt to be a backup.  He could win the LG spot.  If he does, he is still our backup C.  If Pouncey goes down, he will still move over and #6 would come in.  In addition, lets say Cush is drafted... is he #6... #5??  For me, he would not be better than Wiz, at least not in week 1.

I definitely agree about the top 5 aspect, but my concern is building a 55 man roster that has both your C and your backup C starting along side each other. In that case, I am going to want a third regardless, so thats why I think we are still open for IOL for more flexibility to create the best 5. We also really need to start getting younger on the OL and with my thoughts on it probably taking 2-3 years for guys to hit their stride at that position now with limited practice, I think its imperative we take one (preferably high in the draft) this year to be ready for next year. 

On 4/18/2020 at 5:12 PM, kurgan said:

I don't know what we would trade.  We have 6 draft picks.  I am not down with trading 2021 picks (thanks Vannett).  Maybe I am in the minority, but there are some guys that I would put on him, or organize my defense so the guy I want (Minkah/Sutton) is on him.  Sure, it is not ideal but I don't know what option we have atm... 

I really didnt mean to imply they were covering Kelce, just using him as an example that I dont have much faith in a pick at 102 or later having major impact covering NFL vets this year if the off-season is shortened. 

I also have no problem trading 2021 picks for it. Should be getting some decent comp (for Hargraves at least). Again, I think this is super likely for us to make trade for veteran pieces late in the offseason as guys get kicked off rosters. I think vets are needed this year. Im not relying on young guys, personally, when we might not see them until August/September. 

Wont quote the next part to save (some) space but I think a guy like Marcus Allen (who I am not a fan of) has a much better shot at contributing than pick 102 (which, by math, is a 4th round pick). Its why I think we see a trade as well. Dime will be Sutton and Hilton and Nickle backer will be a mix of Williams, UG3, Allen/Vet, rookie. I think there is even a chance we see some Hilton as deep safety, Sutton as a slot corner and move Edmunds into that Nickelbacker role -- getting your best guys on the field. I think we have more options than suggested that dont include forcing a rookie into a key role. 

Again, I am certain that my issue lie with how I view value and the draft. I don't believe in rookies past the 3rd round really contributing -- and 102 is essentially a 4th. Not that they cant, but I am not relying on that. Either way -- good convo @kurgan

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45 minutes ago, Dcash4 said:

I also have no problem trading 2021 picks for it. Should be getting some decent comp (for Hargraves at least). Again, I think this is super likely for us to make trade for veteran pieces late in the offseason as guys get kicked off rosters. I think vets are needed this year. Im not relying on young guys, personally, when we might not see them until August/September. 

I do... next years draft will be very important since it will be 1)theoretically the last year of the SB window, and 2)we will have way more draft prep in that there will be visits, etc.  In addition, we have a lot of things to think about with Rudolph, the Oline, Bud, etc.  We have already traded our 5h (Wormley) but we will pick up some comp picks.

48 minutes ago, Dcash4 said:

But I think a guy like Marcus Allen (who I am not a fan of) has a much better shot at contributing than pick 102 (which, by math, is a 4th round pick)

I think we all know what Marcus Allen is at this point.  Hopefully I am wrong, but if he is in on defense, we are in trouble.  Honestly, I would take Brandon Jones, KVon Wallace or Winfield over him right now.

50 minutes ago, Dcash4 said:

Nickle backer will be a mix of Williams, UG3, Allen/Vet, rookie

Here is my biggest issue on D: Williams cannot play in coverage, UG3 played a half a season, Allen should not be on the field, and Edmunds is JUST getting comfortable and looks better playing with Minkah.  We play nickel 60% of the time.  We have a glaring hole there.

I agree... great convo... 

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Won’t quote it all but here’s my response @kurgan

I don’t view the draft as a same year supplement, specially once we move out of the first two rounds. Drafting players in 2021 isnt about 2021, it’s about 2022 and beyond. Any immediate help you get is icing on the cake. I’ve already used this line, but you will get more out of second and third year players that you will out of second and third round draft picks. Also why I am pro IOL, that probably starts next year which will help immensely.

The widow won’t be sustained by next years draft, it will be sustained by last year and this year.

My view on nickelbacker is that Williams, Allen, and UG3 should know the playbook and fully be incorporated into game speed. Knowing who to cover, when to be there, and how to get there are all just as important, if not more important than how fast you get there. That’s my biggest concern about a rookie, and more specifically a rookie without a potential offseason.  As a QB/playcaller I would test the hell out of your rookie if you rolled him out in nickel constantly, not physically, but mentally. I at least trust that with Vets I can access my whole playbook/checks. 

I just don’t view that nickelbacker as such an issue. Of that 60%, I trust Vince outside of late downs and under 4:00 and think the usages of Edmunds, UG3, Hilton/Sutton, and Allen can be usefully enough and allow enough options to handle the split based on opponent and situation  

I just have a very hard time believing that pick 102 or later significantly impacts the defense or that any rookie is ready for that role mentally, especially with no offseason. If we do draft a dude that ends up heavily contributing, that’s great. I’m just not banking on it. But I think this could be a year the Steelers change their ways about underclassman. Not saying it will, but experience and more tape could far outweigh talent this year  

 

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I guess this is where we differ.  I see 1-3 as helping right away (in certain spots), 4-7 should help on special teams.  I just have to believe that of our 6 draftees, they have to be better than 6 of the guys we already have.

I think the rookie sitting deal was true 5-10 years ago, but modern CFB is so different.  I mean, you could take a defender from Alabama, a WR/DB from Clemson or a Lineman from UGA and they are plug and play.  These are examples, but you get what I mean.  Brent Venables at Clemson, Nick Saban at Alabama and Kirby Smart at UGA have all spent time in the league, and have coaches on their roster that coached.  I am a huge UGA fan, and the OC right now is Todd Monken, former NFL OC.  Those kids will be ready to jump.

Nickelbacker is a niche role, and we saw how hard it was with Barron last year.  My contention is that WIlliams can't play in nickel, UG3 played 6 games and not 1 defensive snap in a game, and Allen is Allen.  You can't just put a guy in there that does not have the skills to succeed.  It is a star/$backer role, and there is a specific skill set involved.  To be clear, I am not saying that a rookie should be the nickelbacker... I am saying that 1 should be part of the solution.  I used the example of Wallace since he was our pick in FFMD.  He has skills and talents that the other guys do not possess... 

While I agree that we cannot count on any of them playing, I just do not see an option in nickel.  Maybe you could talk me into Sutton.  He is criminally underrated and can be a part of the solution as well.  Hilton is an excellent blizting corner.  If Allen is converting to S, that is a better deal for him, but I cannot see him being anything other than a FS-centerfield guy.  That would allow us to be multiple with Edmunds/Minkah, but again.... what has he done in 4 years?

1 hour ago, Dcash4 said:

But I think this could be a year the Steelers change their ways about underclassman.

This is an interesting part that I have not thought about.  We have a type, and that is underclassman, but this might change with the lack of visits.  IDK, I haven't really thought that much about it, but that would be a hot take.

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26 minutes ago, kurgan said:

I see 1-3 as helping right away (in certain spots), 4-7 should help on special teams. 

This is probably where our disconnect is on the matter, because, by and large I agree with everything you say. 

But I only see us with 1 pick in the top 3 rounds this year. We have a third by name, not number. 102 is technically the 6th pick in the 4th round and is a long way from known contributor status and closer to hope and a prayer IMO. 

30 minutes ago, kurgan said:

To be clear, I am not saying that a rookie should be the nickelbacker... I am saying that 1 should be part of the solution.

This I entirely agree with, I think they can become part of the solution, but if we take a safety at 102 I’m not gonna stand up and say there’s the guy. We will use a mix to fill that role, and hopefully the guy we take is full time option in 2021. 

Its just kinda funny why a number will do to the though process in the draft. If you tell me we take a safety with our 2nd rounder, I’ll lean towards a heavy contributor. Once you make it 102? I’m pretty out on it. 

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4 minutes ago, Dcash4 said:

This is probably where our disconnect is on the matter, because, by and large I agree with everything you say. 

But I only see us with 1 pick in the top 3 rounds this year. We have a third by name, not number. 102 is technically the 6th pick in the 4th round and is a long way from known contributor status and closer to hope and a prayer IMO. 

This I entirely agree with, I think they can become part of the solution, but if we take a safety at 102 I’m not gonna stand up and say there’s the guy. We will use a mix to fill that role, and hopefully the guy we take is full time option in 2021. 

Its just kinda funny why a number will do to the though process in the draft. If you tell me we take a safety with our 2nd rounder, I’ll lean towards a heavy contributor. Once you make it 102? I’m pretty out on it. 

Yea... I am more confident in modern CFB to a degree, and you are more skeptical.  Maybe I am just hoping more guys come through that are ready to play.  I mean, DJ was a 3rd last year, Snell was a 5th... they both played.  UG3 was a ST standout, until he got hurt.  Even Buggs played 75 snaps.  So, there is a chance.

I agree.  I would be pissed if they took a S at 102 and said he was a starter, even in subpacakge.  But, STeelers make guys earn it anyway.

Yea, but to me it is more complicated... like, for example, I feel there are 15-20 WR that can play right away in the NFL, to some degree.  So, if we end up taking, say Donovan Peoples-JOnes at 102 for some reason, he could play right away in 4 WR sets.  He would have to beat out Deon Cain, but he should be able to get 15-20 snaps a game.  Same with the Safties I mentioned.  RB too... their conversion is usually a bit easier.  And, a NG taken there would have to play.  But OL, LB, Edge?  No bueno...  

But, on the flip side, I would see NO QB that would be taken in any part of the draft playing for us in week 1.  Let's say Ben retired and we had our pick at #18... or even higher.  I am not ready to play a rookie QB in week 1, especially with no offseason.  Regardless of who it is, even Burrow.  So, to me, it is not about draft slot, but player/position.

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I am with DCash4 on this.  It is a rare draft choice that can contribute on an experienced team.  It is generally an IOL or IDL. Those positions are just easier either because you have help or or choices are limited ( which gap to hit).  99% of the WR coming out need to learn to run routes.  99% of the CBs need to learn their technique.  Most of the time we hope a draft pick can start taking meaningful snaps after 6 games.

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That would be a great draft class considering the picks we have to work with

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It was a round early but I got the Alex Highsmith pick right. Cushenberry, Edwards and Vaughn all went in the 3rd too.

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On 4/20/2020 at 12:56 PM, kurgan said:

I guess this is where we differ.  I see 1-3 as helping right away (in certain spots), 4-7 should help on special teams.  I just have to believe that of our 6 draftees, they have to be better than 6 of the guys we already have.

I think the rookie sitting deal was true 5-10 years ago, but modern CFB is so different.  I mean, you could take a defender from Alabama, a WR/DB from Clemson or a Lineman from UGA and they are plug and play.  These are examples, but you get what I mean.  Brent Venables at Clemson, Nick Saban at Alabama and Kirby Smart at UGA have all spent time in the league, and have coaches on their roster that coached.  I am a huge UGA fan, and the OC right now is Todd Monken, former NFL OC.  Those kids will be ready to jump.

Nickelbacker is a niche role, and we saw how hard it was with Barron last year.  My contention is that WIlliams can't play in nickel, UG3 played 6 games and not 1 defensive snap in a game, and Allen is Allen.  You can't just put a guy in there that does not have the skills to succeed.  It is a star/$backer role, and there is a specific skill set involved.  To be clear, I am not saying that a rookie should be the nickelbacker... I am saying that 1 should be part of the solution.  I used the example of Wallace since he was our pick in FFMD.  He has skills and talents that the other guys do not possess... 

While I agree that we cannot count on any of them playing, I just do not see an option in nickel.  Maybe you could talk me into Sutton.  He is criminally underrated and can be a part of the solution as well.  Hilton is an excellent blizting corner.  If Allen is converting to S, that is a better deal for him, but I cannot see him being anything other than a FS-centerfield guy.  That would allow us to be multiple with Edmunds/Minkah, but again.... what has he done in 4 years?

This is an interesting part that I have not thought about.  We have a type, and that is underclassman, but this might change with the lack of visits.  IDK, I haven't really thought that much about it, but that would be a hot take.

There is way too much grey area and variables to consider to say 1st through 3rd round rookies should be able to help right away.  

Depends on both the player and the team.  I agree rookies dont HAVE to sit, but again, its a case by case basis.   

We usually dont go into drafts with glaring needs, because our front office doesnt want to be forced into relying on a rookie.  And we usually arent picking high enough to get elite, pro ready prospects.  

This discussion could go on and on....but the bottom line is there are just too many factors to consider to make a broad statement that 1st through 3rd rounders should help immediately.   

I think both of ours will this year...but I think Highsmith will be brought along slowly.

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I think Highsmith will knock Ola off the team. I see him as a ST guy and a designated pass rusher that starts getting snaps on defense by the middle of the year. I think he rotates with Watt a little to keep him fresh. I also don't think this is the final nail in Bud's coffin. I could see Watt, Dupree, and Highsmith on the same defense long term. 

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On 4/25/2020 at 10:56 AM, MOSteelers56 said:

I think Highsmith will knock Ola off the team. I see him as a ST guy and a designated pass rusher that starts getting snaps on defense by the middle of the year. I think he rotates with Watt a little to keep him fresh. I also don't think this is the final nail in Bud's coffin. I could see Watt, Dupree, and Highsmith on the same defense long term. 

I think he moves Skipper off the team Ola is the only one to show anything in a real game.

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5 minutes ago, jebrick said:

I think he moves Skipper off the team Ola is the only one to show anything in a real game.

Why does anyone have to go?  He replaces Chick. 

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5 hours ago, jebrick said:

I think he moves Skipper off the team Ola is the only one to show anything in a real game.

Remember with the new CBA that the roster size is 55 now. They could all make the team. If they do cut one, I agree it would be Skipper.

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