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2021 Hitman Mock 2.0

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Time for my thoughts heading into the 2021 NFL Selection Meeting aka the draft.  Hitman Mock 2.0.


Here is Mock 1.0 Based on the board that I used and some of my initial thoughts.

Steelers Free Agents Resigned: RT Zach Banner, CB Cam Sutton, WR Ju Ju Smith-Shuster, NG Tyson Alualu, WR Ray Ray McCloud, ILB Robert Spillane, OLB/Edge Cassius Marsh, SS/ST Jordan Dangerfield, FS/ST Sean Davis, ILB/S Marcus Allen, C J.C. Hassenauer, OLB Ola Adeniyi.


Steelers Free Agents Signing Elsewhere: OLB/Edge Bud Dupree, LT Alexandro Villanueva, RT Matt Feiler, Nickel CB Mike Hilton, RB James Connor, ILB Avery Williamson, OLB Jayrone Elliott, P Jordan Berry, DT/DE Chris Wormely, IOL Danny Isidora, RB Trey Edmunds, OT Jerald Hawkins, QB Joshua Dobbs.

Key Other Free Agents Signed by the Steelers: C BJ Finney, LT Kelvin Beachum,


Based on Hitman Mock 1.0 I didn't do too bad of a job predicting who they would or would not bring back.  I thought they would have signed Dangerfield earlier as the ST ace, but the signing of Mile Killebrew may have made him expendable. I have been a Sean Davis fan since his days at the U of MD. I thought he would have been a perfect back-up for Minkah and Edmonds. Ola never regained his early flash and fell by the wayside as Tupac Skipper did as well. I actually like them bringing Wormely back, as I thought he would have left for greener $$$ pastures. Jordan Berry did not do a bad job replacing Colquitt, but I have never been a fan of his inconsistent punting.  Like I have said before, at this point I would sign the kid from Deestroying Videos Youtube channel fame (and he is a kicker who can punt). 🤪  Missed on Beachum and hit on Finney who can be a C or play some utility IOL. Either way I like the fit here for both Finney and the Steelers.

Draft Needs: LT, C, RB, WR, ILB, OLB/Edge, NG, TE, CB, S, Franchise QB


My draft needs won't change that much ranking: 1. Center 2. LT 3. RB 4. ILB 5. OLB 6. TE 7. CB, 8. Safety. Despite the order of priority this doesn't mean that I would nor do I think the Steelers would be married to any order based on needs. I think they have positions that they want to improve and address, but would take the BPA regardless of position in most cases (especially early on). 

I am again using Draftek.com’s player rankings as of 04/07/21: https://www.drafttek.com/2021-NFL-Draft-Position-Rankings/Top-College-ILBs-2021-NFL-Draft.asp

I am not a fan of simulators for real mocks. While they are fun, they tend to be unrealistic in many cases. Not that all websites are accurate either. I like this one in that they have a lot of the names here. It is up to you to do some research and film study. I don' get to enjoy watching film and scouting players like I used to do for fun for so many years, but I still get excited about the NFL draft and players that you like and scout. Without further delay, Hitman Mock 2.0


Round One (1) pick #24 - - Trade pick to Philadelphia Eagles for 2nd and 3rd round picks. Last mock I took Najee Harris here.  That is pronounced (Nah-Gee). Many Steelers fans are naw gee (more like hell naw Hitman) 😁on drafting a RB in round one. My thoughts are not any different than before in taking the BPA based on your needs/wants/players ranked. However, this draft is heavily packed in the middle rounds. While the talent does not seem to be elite in some cases, there are a heck of a lot of good football players. A lot of players that I like are ranked between late first and the third round. If you can trade down and pick up an additional second and third or another fourth and fifth pick, why not? Steelers trade with the Philadelphia Eagles and give this pick to Philly. The Steelers pick up the Eagles 37th (2) and 84th (3rd). Trade value close as we get the extra 30 points on the value chart for the Eagles to move up.  

If the Steelers keep the pick I get to pick between: CB's Asante Samuel and Greg Newsome, RB's Travis Etienne and Najee Harris (ranked #44),  IOL Elijah Vera-Tucker and Alex Leatherwood and LB/SS Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.  I think Coach Tomlin would want Hybrid Owusu-Koramoah, OC Coach Klemm would want Vera-Tucker  and OC Canada would pound the table for Etienne.  This is why you trade down.😅😅😁If they keep the pick in this scenario, they would go Owusu-Koramoah based on talent value and athleticism. I like his talent, but we would have another undersized hybrid trying to play ILB. I love Zaven Collins here and would hate to see him teamed up on the Ravens with Patrick Queen. That would be a sick ILB duo for them as well.


Round Two (2) pick #37 (trade from Philly) - - I am going to assume the Ravens take Zalen Collins with their first round pick. That leaves ILB Nick Bolton, RB Najee Harris, OT's Tevin Jenkins and Jalen Mayfield, OG Tre Smith, or C Creed Humphrey.  They fly to the podium and grab RB Najee Harris here. I would be very tempted to take OG Tre Smith here personally. I think he could play C and he is an extremely underrated player. Our team would be being rebuilt from the trenches out. 


Round Two (2) pick #55 - - Last time I took PSU TE Freiemuth based on their board and he is still ranked here. However, I think he will go at least ten picks higher and probably in the late 30's very early 40's.  Choice between the O Center of choice here: Dickerson, Meinerz, or Myers, ILB Browning thee Ohio State. Hello BIg Sexy Q.   😍  We have our next great C. Dickerson would be the obvious pick, but I chose Quinn because of the medical concerns otherwise it would be Dickerson there (truthfully, if he has no medical he doesn't last this long).



Round Three (3) pick #85 (Trade from Eagles) - - Walker Little OT Stanford. Dillon Radnuz is long gone unfortunately.



Round Three Pick (#88) - - I jumped on the Tommie Tremble Train or bandwagon too. He's a throwback blocker and a better receiver than given credit for. Not a bad value pick here.  Although, I would prefer in the fourth, but wouldn't make it that far. The luxury of being able to trade down and add a pick. 



Midway update: Good news is the rushing attack and offense is much better.  The bad news is No depth at ILB, Edge, CB or safety.  

Round Four Pick (4) pick #129 - - Mr. Rooney should be pleased as i addressed RB and OL, as I am hoping to jump start the run game and stop the December/January losing streaks of the past few seasons dating back to 2018.   I will assume that ILB Browning is gone and there is a bit of a drop in terms of what the Steelers are looking for there from their ILB. The Steelers always select a WR. New toy for Matt Canada. A very fast one!  Rondale Moore WR Purdue. "How big is fast!" Don't let the lack of size fool you. This is not Dre Archer 2.0.  Couldn't resist the speed and return ability here. Small, but as Moore says, "How fast is too small!? Usually you find out when you get hit. This kid has swag and is tough. Not a Ju Ju replacement, but someone who can do what we want from Ray Ray. Maybe a bit more polished and consistent?


 Round Four  Pick #141 (Comp) - - They go with some help outside in a bit of an undersized Edge in ex Temple Owl and Miami Hurricane Quincy Roche'. Maybe a tad early, but I don't think he will be here in the fourth. I was tempted to take Pitt's Patrick Jones at pick #88, but I think Roche' is a more ready pass rusher despite his lack of ideal size and length for a 3-4 Edge. Better draft value here. Again, "How big is undersized?"  Other prospects, but I think this guy can get to the QB.


Round Six Pick #217 - - Derrick Barnes ILB Purdue - - Thumper for the run defense. Former RB who has more quickness than speed. This year's Dirty Red, but I think he can be Vince Williams Part Two. 


Seventh Round Pick #247 - - Take a flier on Pitt CB Jason Pinnock. 


Seventh Round Pick #256 (Comp) - -  Pressy Harvin III Punter.  Don't laugh at this big sexy punter. Check the Steelers visits as ST Coach Danny Smith was there to see him. Is it that apparent that I am not a fan of bringing back Jordan Berry? Realistically, he probably won't be drafted, but I think he is on the Steelers radar. At pick #256 though why not?


That is it. I did a mock with a trade that is hard to predict, but this is a mock. Regardless of scenario, the next two picks would be the same with the difference being adding the Hybrid athlete from ND in Jeremiah O-K. That would probably mean no TE Tremble and no ILB Barnes. If Little is not there I would take another OT before TE.


They run the ball well, pass more efficiently, and play smash-mouth football on offense and defense.  I have someone who can pin teams down "consistently" and I like this teams chances of being underdogs again.  They thrive playing up and when no one expects anything from them. If they go down, they at least go down swinging and swinging hard. replacing Dupree will be tough especially his run stuffing on the edge. 

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16 hours ago, MOSteelers56 said:

Derrick Barnes is intriguing. I think he's very underrated. I think if we get him there, it's a steal supreme. 

I think he would be a great replacement for Vince Williams. I think he is more athletic than he is given credit for being as he was a former RB who actually got some scholarship offers to play RB.  That tells me that he has decent footwork skills.  He is not a guy that people are buzzing about, but he can play, he will smack you and is a high character guy. I am honestly not sure where he will go, but with so many teams wanting ILB's who can move (coverage) more than the thumper type guys.  The thing is come December and play-off time, you have to be able to stop the run as well as the pass. I think Barnes is more balanced than he is given credit for being. 

He reminds me of Jon Bostic, but I think he can play in space and coverage a little better than Bostic and Vince. I am a Spillane fan. He has elevated his game, but I always have been a fan of his because he was an underdog and he busted his butt when he got an opportunity on ST or filling in on the defense. They need some bodies there. I have warmed tremendously to drafting a bigger ILB to team with Bush and Spillane who can move. Micah Parson's and Zaven Collins would be ideal. If Parsons falls to 24, I would make a mad dash to the podium to grab him. I might even rate Collins higher than RB's based on his value and tremendous upside teamed with Bush and Spillane. That is one heck of an ILB trio. I liked the drafting of Ulysses Gilbert, but he can't stay healthy. 

It is rumored by many draftnicks and insiders that the Steelers love ND's Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. He is a tremendous athlete and is more of 4-3 Derrick Brooks type of LB.  That is a great thing, but I am not so sure necessarily for this defense. Coach T seems to like the athletic strong safety/hybrid LB types: Edmunds, Allen, (kicking the tires on Karl Joseph). Versatility is always a plus, but sometimes I think you can try to put a square peg in a round hole so to speak. Maybe they have plans and a defensive vision beyond the immediate. I think this defense is pretty darn goo, it just needs some depth and tweaks here or there. 

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4 hours ago, jebrick said:

I would take JOK in a second if he is there but I think he will be long gone


Most are predicting him to be a top 15 pick. jebrick, you are typically pretty consistent on getting players by the numbers/ right body type/and fit to scheme. From what I have reviewed on him, he reminds me of an even faster combo of Darius Leonard/Derrick Brooks type but a smaller version of each. 

For the Steelers defense he is simply too small to play a traditional  LB role. But..... He fits what Coach T seems to love athletically and is actually a much better prospect/potential than Edmunds ever was as a first round draft choice.  Edmunds is an absolute freak athlete in his own right, but this kid has the natural football instincts that Edmunds lacked coming out of VA Tech. Where would JOK fit on the Steelers defense in your opinion?

I see him as a better Edmunds/Allen in specialty, but I cant really see him in that defense on first and second downs. We got killed by physical rushing teams especially later in the season. He is all of 215 and that is probably with two rolls of silver dollars in each pocket.  I know the injuries on the DL, Bush and Bud hurt as well, but he would be at a huge size disadvantage at LB. I could see him taking over Hilton's role as that old school Monster Back type, but I am honestly tired of seeing LB'ers on WR's in man coverage.  

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2 hours ago, warfelg said:

JOK would be such a luxury pick I wouldn’t consider him too much TBH. 

I would agree war. He's not somebody that I would consider as a need, but in the mock scenario he fell to us there and he was definitely the BPA. I didn't use a website simulator or necessarily my personal feelings/thoughts on how things would go. I used the listed website's rankings and how the mock fell with the rankings and felt to me to make it somewhat realistic.

I do think that they may well address ILB as one of the needs, but a lot of fans think that addressing a need has to be in order of priority rather than how the talent falls to you for those position. I think Center is at the top of the need board, but I don't see a first round talent center outside of a fully healthy Landon Dickerson. 

I believe that some players can be filled by getting the right talent in various rounds. This year OT is deep. This isn't the year of the great OT, but there are a lot of quality players who should be available in the middle rounds if you miss talent in round one and two where it is less risky to over-draft or pass on a player for need. Unless you are just head over heels over a player that won't be there later and you can't realistically trade down, I am usually against forcing a pick. I think more often than not you end up passing better players and talent based on need.  

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