Pittsburgh Steelers 2013 NFL Mock Draft, Week 4: Seven Rounds
The NFL draft is getting close and for the Pittsburgh Steelers their draft board is likely coming into focus. But for this latest update of the Steelers NFL mock draft we are going to go back in time. Sort of.
Looking back at previous Steelers drafts, there have been some definite ups and downs. But if there is one draft in particular the Steelers and their fans can point to as one to forget it’s 2008. As of this season the Steelers have none of the 7 players left on the roster from that group. These players should be in the primes of their careers and having a serious impact for the Steelers, but instead they are all gone, either on other teams or out of the league. So for this latest mock draft update, I am going to mimic the positions taken in that draft using the current draft class. Those picks in 2008 were as follows.
First Round-running back Rashard Mendenhall
Second Round-wide receiver Limas Sweed
Third Round-outside linebacker Bruce Davis
Fourth Round-tackle Tony Hillis
Fifth Round-quarterback Dennis Dixon
Sixth Round-linebacker Mike Humpal
Sixth Round-safety Ryan Mundy
Of that list Mendenhall was the only player who saw any significant playing time of this group with Sweed and Davis both coming in with great fanfare but were unable to ever have any impact on the roster. Mundy served as a solid backup, but chose to sign elsewhere in the offseason as a free agent, and with that the 2008 draft class was in the wind.
So, let’s take a look at a 2008 re-draft with the 2013 draft class and see if this time around the picks can work out a little better than those 6 seasons ago.
First Round-Eddie Lacy, RB Alabama
The Steelers score a big, punishing and athletic back with Lacy. He's the top back in this class, but does have some injury concerns that could worry teams. But if he's healthy he's a steamroller with shocking speed and sneaky agility.
Second Round-Quinton Patton, WR La. Tech
The Steelers can certainly use a player like Patton to bolster their passing game. Patton is an excellent all around player with solid fundamentals, active hands, and deceptive speed. He'd be competing for a starting spot very early on.
Third Round-Quanterus Smith, DE/LB Western Kentucky
With the loss of linebacker James Harrison the Steelers need a new rush outside linebacker. Smith is coming off a knee injury which pushes him down some, but at 100% he's one of the top all around pass rushers in the entire draft.
Fourth Round-Xavier Nixon, OT Florida
Depth at offensive line is a definite need and Nixon is a seriously underrated player, particularly as a run blocker. He's a big athletic kid who can get outside and does a nice job finishing blocks. The Steelers appear to have their starters in place, but Nixon would be a quality backup.
Fifth Round-Brad Sorensen, QB Southern Utah
Sorensen is an interesting prospect because he does everything very well, but has done it against lower level competition. But in the 5th round, and as a developmental prospect his arm and great running ability would make for a very low risk/high reward type of selection.
Sixth Round-AJ Klein, LB Iowa State
Getting a player like Klein this late would be a real bargain. He's not the most athletic linebacker in the draft, but he's an excellent football player. And better still he can play multiple spots in a 3-4 defense, but he would likely be a key backup to both middle linebacker spots. But with linebacker Larry Foote playing on a 1 year contract, Klein could be a starter sooner rather than later.
Sixth Round-Javon Harris, S Oklahoma
The Steelers have lost a huge chunk of their depth at safety this offseason. Harris needs time to learn to play with better discipline and play better assignment football, but he's got nice size and solid athletic ability. He'd be an excellent depth player and fill in at either safety spot.