Pittsburgh Steelers Mock Draft 2.0
The 2011 NFL season has finally come to an end, and now it is time to really start looking forward to next seaon.
The Pittsburgh Steelers had a disappointing end to the 2011-12 season. However, they will be back and will be better in 2012-13.
Here is my second full mock draft for the Steelers. I have also indicated changes since my last version.
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Mark Barron, S, Alabama
Previous Pick: Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
The Steelers have a great safety tandem with Ryan Clark and Troy Polamalu. However, both are now over 30 and Ryan Mundy is not the future at the position.
In my previous mock draft, I had the Steelers taking Dontari Poe because he fits a need and I thought that there was no shot that Mark Barron would fall this far.
Safety may not be the biggest need on the team, but Barron would definitely be the best player available and the Steelers need to start grooming a replacement for both Clark and Polamalu.
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images
Brandon Washington, OG, Miami
Previous Pick: Ryan Miller, OG, Colorado
The Steelers need to upgrade the guard spots on the offensive line and prevent Ben Roethlisberger from getting killed.
I still like Ryan Miller, although I think Brandon Washington would be a better pick here for the Steelers in the second round.
Washington has experience playing tackle and would have a shot to compete for either of the starting guard positions.
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Audie Cole, ILB, North Carolina State
Previous Pick: Trent Robinson, S, Michigan State
There is a possibility that the Steelers could cut both James Farrior and Larry Foote, which would leave them with only Lawrence Timmons and Stevenson Sylvester as realistic replacements.
I am a huge Sylvester fan and I hope he gets a shot to show what he can do this season, but the team still needs depth at the position.
With the Steelers taking Mark Barron in my current mock, they do not need to go for Trent Robinson here. And, Audie Cole is a great tackler.
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Joe Adams, WR, Arkansas
Previous Pick: Joe Adams, WR, Arkansas
Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders are a great set of receivers. However, there is really nothing behind them right now on the roster.
Jerricho Cotchery may not come back, Arnaz Battle will be cut and they do not use Hines Ward for his offense anymore.
I really think they should use Ward more in the passing game, but they still need another receiver anyways.
Joe Adams would be a great addition to the special teams, if nothing else immediatly.
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
Don Barclay, OT, West Virginia
Previous Pick: Bryce Harris, OT, Fresno State
Marcus Gilbert is going to be moved to left tackle and Willie Colon will be the right tackle, and, as of right now, there is nothing behind those two.
Max Starks tore his ACL in the playoff loss, Trai Essex is a free agent and Jonathan Scott is going to be cut this offseason.
Don Barclay is an interesting prospect to me, and I really think he could turn into a solid backup or even a starter at RT in a few years.
Karl Walter/Getty Images
Akiem Hicks, DT, Regina
Previous Pick: Kentrell Lockett, OLB, Ole Miss
This may seem too low for the Steelers to go after a defensive tackle. However, if they do not go for Dontari Poe in the first round, I could see them waiting for a guy like Akiem Hicks.
The team will either cut and resign Hampton or just restructure his contract, but Casey Hampton will be back for at least one more year with the Steelers.
Hicks would be a great pick for the Steelers in the sixth round, and he could develop for a year behind Casey Hampton and Steve McLendon.
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Brandon Hardin CB, Oregon State
Previous Pick: Brandon Hardin CB, Oregon State
Although the Steelers’ secondary got shredded by Tim Tebow, Ike Taylor is still a solid No. 1 cornerback and Keenan Lewis had a very good year.
The Steelers suffered on both defense and special teams when they lost Curtis Brown and Cortez Allen to injury last season.
Brandon Hardin, if nothing else, could become a great special teams player and give some depth in case of injury.