NFL Pittsburgh Steelers

2014 Pittsburgh Steelers Mock Draft: Post-Free Agency Edition

Post Free-Agency 2014 Pittsburgh Steelers Mock Draft

troy polamalu Pittsburgh Steelers
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During the first few days of free agency, the Steelers have seen a lot of action on the defensive side of the ball, placing the transition tag on standout linebacker Jason Worilds, while losing defensive ends Ziggy Hood to the Jacksonville Jaguars and Al Woods to the Tennessee Titans. The Steelers will also likely lose defensive end Brett Keisel to free agency. The Steelers will need to address both sides of the ball in the upcoming NFL Draft.

Round 1 - Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

mike evans Texas A&M
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Round 1 - Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

mike evans Texas A&M
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The Steelers do not have a true No. 1 wide receiver on their team and the loss of Mike Wallace from free agency a year ago was noticeable in 2013. Mike Evans is a large target at 6-foot-5, 225 pounds and dominated at times in the SEC this past season, including a seven-catch, 279-yard performance against Alabama and an 11-catch, 287-yard performance against Auburn.

Round 2 – Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota

Ra’Shede Hageman combine
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Round 2 – Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota

Ra’Shede Hageman combine
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Hageman projects as both a nose tackle and a defensive end in a 3-4 scheme with his massive size at 6-foot-6, 318 pounds. Hageman looked good at the senior bowl and finished 2013 with 13 tackles for loss, seven pass breakups and two sacks. The Steelers can use Hageman’s versatility to add much-needed depth to the defensive line.

Round 3 - Dion Bailey, S, USC

Dion Bailey USC v California
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Round 3 - Dion Bailey, S, USC

Dion Bailey USC v California
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The Steelers do not have a third-round pick but if they did, they may use it on a safety such as Dion Bailey. At 6-foot, 201 pounds, Bailey moved from outside linebacker to safety in 2013 and showed playmaking ability with 6.5 tackles for loss and six pass breakups.

Round 4 - Jaylen Watkins, CB, Florida

Jaylen Watkins Tennessee v Florida
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Round 4 - Jaylen Watkins, CB, Florida

Jaylen Watkins Tennessee v Florida
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Jaylen Watkins is a sleeper prospect in the middle rounds and had an impressive combine with a 4.41 second 40-yard dash and 22 reps on the bench press. Watkins did not start for Florida but still managed 54 tackles with seven pass breakups in 2013.

Round 5 – Kenny Ladler, S, Vanderbilt

Kenny Ladler Vanderbilt
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Round 5 – Kenny Ladler, S, Vanderbilt

Kenny Ladler Vanderbilt
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Kenny Ladler is an underrated safety who played well against SEC competition in 2013, recording 91 tackles with five forced fumbles, five interceptions and four pass breakups. Ladler has good size at 6-foot, 207 pounds and would provide the Steelers with a possible starting safety in the later rounds of the draft.

Round 6 – Prince Shembo, OLB, Notre Dame

Prince Shembo notre dame
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Round 6 – Prince Shembo, OLB, Notre Dame

Prince Shembo Notre Dame
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Prince Shembo had a productive season for the Irish in 2013 with 48 tackles and 5.5 sacks but was not a consistent performer throughout the season. At 6-foot-1, 258 pounds, Shembo projects as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 system and would provide the Steelers with necessary depth at that position.

Round 7 – Seantrel Henderson, OT, Miami

Seantrel Henderson 2014 NFL Combine
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Round 7 – Seantrel Henderson, OT, Miami

Seantrel Henderson 2014 NFL Combine
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Seantrel Henderson is massive at 6-foot-8, 336 pounds and shows incredible athleticism for someone his size. He did not begin the year as a starter but impressed when he was given a chance to play and has significant upside if he receives the proper coaching. Pittsburgh is seemingly always in need of offensive linemen and may have a diamond in the rough with Henderson.