2014 NFL Draft: Pittsburgh Steelers 7-Round Mock 1.0
2014 Pittsburgh Steelers NFL Mock Draft 1.0
The upcoming 2014 NFL Draft has been deemed by Pittsburgh Steelers GM Kevin Colbert as "...deep as any he has ever seen." That is good news for a team with a lot of question marks heading into the offseason looking for answers.
The Steelers are a team that is left with an aged defense with gaping holes in it, so it shouldn't come as a shock to anyone that they should be looking for defense within the draft.
That isn't to say that the offense won't be able to add some weapons to their arsenal when the draft invades Radio City Music Hall.
The Steelers' draft needs stretch from cornerback and safety all the way to depth along the offensive line. When veterans like Ryan Clark and LaMarr Woodley are among those who could be given their pink slips this offseason, there needs to be a core of young talent ready to step in. Plain and simple, the Steelers are looking for NFL ready talent this draft and not the usual "projects" that often times don't pan out.
There is talent from Rounds 1-7 this year, and the Steelers need to take advantage of every pick and fill holes. You take the best player on the board, but you have to understand where players are needed the most.
Here is my Steelers Mock Draft 1.0. Look for my Mock Draft 2.0 sometime next week.
Jeff Hartman covers the Pittsburgh Steelers for RantSports.com and also contributes for the Penguins and Pirates. Follow him on Twitter @BnGBlitz and add him on Google+
Round 1. CB - Darqueze Dennard - Michigan State
Many Pittsburgh Steelers fans want the team to select a wide receiver with the No. 15 overall pick, but I don't see the premier receivers being available at No. 15 overall. Rather, I think the Steelers look at cornerback, and Darqueze Dennard should be a player the Steelers take. Dennard is a player who is often compared to Keenan Lewis, a former Steelers player, and shows the athleticism to be able to step in and play his rookie season -- something the Steelers desperately need.
Round 2. WR - Jordan Matthews - Vanderbilt
Steelers fans are too familiar with taking a wide receiver in the second round, but even after the Limas Sweed fiasco, Jordan Matthews should be a target for Pittsburgh in the second round. Matthews doesn't scream of first round talent, but he could be a receiver that could fit into the Steelers' scheme. At 6-foot-3 and 212-pounds, Matthews would be the sizable target that Ben Roethlisberger has been requesting for years. With a 4.46 40-yard dash at the combine, he has the speed to boot. Matthews would be a welcome addition to the Steelers offense.
Round 3. NO PICK - Traded To Cleveland Browns
There are rumors that the Steelers will be awarded a compensatory pick for Mike Wallace's free agent departure in the third round, so the Steelers could have a selection after all. However, as we stand currently, the Steelers don't have a third-round pick after trading it to the Cleveland Browns last season to move up and select safety Shamarko Thomas out of Syracuse University.
Round 4. FS - Dion Bailey - USC
There are other needs that the Steelers should target, and one is at safety. A position that doesn't need to be selected in the first round, the Steelers should look at Dion Bailey out of USC. Bailey is a versatile player who was given all-conference honors at two positions while at Southern California. He played some linebacker as well as safety. His body build is more suited for safety in the NFL, but his instincts and overall ability prove that the Steelers could use his versatility even as a rookie on special teams and in sub packages. Bailey should be on the Steelers' board in Round 4.
Round 5. ILB - Lamin Barrow - LSU
Since Sean Spence's freak knee injury two years ago, the Steelers have been unbelievably thin at inside linebacker. Rookies Vince Williams and Terrence Garvin helped lock down the inside linebacker position alongside Lawrence Timmons when Larry Foote went down with a torn biceps that landed him on IR. Lamin Barrow of LSU could help to add depth to a weak interior linebacker corps. Barrow is athletic and versatile, and he could be a player who is groomed to learn both inside linebacker positions.
Round 6. OT - Michael Schofield - Michigan
Although the Steelers' offensive tackle has been considered to be "okay", their tackle position is one that leaves a lot to be desired. Marcus Glibert and Mike Adams are not the second round gems they once were. That is evident by Kelvin Beachum stealing the left tackle job last season. Michael Schofield from Michigan would help at least add depth to the position that not only lacks depth but skill. Schofield has experience playing on the big stage, and that could help his case in cracking the Steelers' lineup.
Round 7. RB - De'Anthony Thomas - Oregon
Since the Steelers brought in Todd Haley to be the offensive coordinator, he has been looking for that elusive scatback to complement the bigger running back like Le'Veon Bell. Chris Rainey had his shot at the job, as did Larod Stephens-Howling. Rainey couldn't stay clean off the field, and Stephens-Howling couldn't stay healthy on the field. The Steelers will again be looking for the speedy running back that can also return kicks, and De'Anthony Thomas is their man. Possibly the most electric player in the draft, Thomas has been compared to Tavon Austin of the St. Louis Rams. The Steelers could use the explosion out of the backfield to complement Bell in the running and passing games.