2012 NFL Mock Draft: 4 Pittsburgh Steelers Mock Drafts
One of the reasons that it is near impossible for anyone to predict a mock draft is that it is impossible to know not only WHO your favorite team is going to take, who is going to be selected before them.
As you go into later rounds, it makes it even less likely because of the way players fall in the draft due to need, or attitude issues, or things like that.
Then, when your team has selected someone, it eliminates them from selecting that same position (normally) for a few rounds, if at all.
Now, when you are a fan of a certain team, like the Pittsburgh Steelers, and you know that they select the best available player when they draft, it makes it even harder.
What I have done in this here article, is basically a collection of mock drafts, based on who the Steelers select in each round.
Yes, odds are, like every mock draft, that these will all be wrong, but only time will tell.
Scenario 1 has the Steelers selecting the player that I believe they are going to select, or at least the one I think they should select.
Round 1: Dontari Poe (NT), Memphis. The Steelers need a big body in the middle of the defensive line if they are going to be successful at running the 3-4 defense. Casey Hampton, at his age, offseason conditioning and ACL injury is no longer the cog in the middle he once was.
Steve McLendon is a good back up, but has not shown that he has the girth to fill those shoes on a regular basis.
Round 2: Mitchell Schwartz (OT), California. After last year's second round selection, Marcus Gilbert, and the previous year's selection of Maurkice Pouncey, the Steelers add another piece to the offensive line puzzle that is so desperately needed.
With Max Starks suffering an ACL injury, and not under contract for 2012, the Steelers could move Gilbert to the left side, and start Schwartz at right tackle immediately. He is big, strong and agile for a man his size, and is exactly what the Steelers look for in an offensive lineman.
Round 3: Markelle Martin (FS), Oklahoma State. The Steelers need to draft a safety for development once either Ryan Clark or Troy Polamalu retires or is injured again. Martin has great size and is one of the fastest safetys in the draft.
Round 4: Brandon Brooks (OG), Ohio State. The Steelers need interior linemen, and Brooks is the type that the Steelers need if they really want to improve their run game. At 6"4, 353 pounds, Brooks is a mauler. He probably won't be ready to move into the starting lineup on day one, but he could become a solid starter once he gets better with his hands.
Round 5: Gerelle Robinson (WR), Arizona State. Todd Haley likes having big receivers, and Ben Roethlisberger has been begging for one since Plaxico Burress left after his rookie season. This common ground will be something that the Steelers will address in the draft, and Robinson (6'4") fits the mold.
Round 6: Antoine McClain (OG), Clemson. As such a need, the Steelers will address the offensive line three times in this draft, and if they can get two contributors, they will be happy. Just like they did with Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown, they will select the same position and let them battle for playing time, which should make both players better.
Round 7: Blair Walsh (K), Georgia. The Steelers need to bring in someone to compete with Shawn Suisam, and Walsh could be that guy.
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Scenario 2. If the Steelers don't believe that Dontari Poe is the best available when they select, they may choose to address the next most glaring weakness, offensive line.
At this point, the Steelers MAY trade down, based on how many linemen are taken prior to their selection, but only time will tell.
Round 1: Mike Adams (OT), Ohio State. The Steelers love Ohio State guys, and if Adams is on the board when the Steelers select, don't be shocked if Adams is called. He is big (6'7", 320 pounds), and the Steelers love size. Though he has to learn technique, he has the potential to be a starting left tackle in the NFL for years to come.
Round 2: Kelechi Osemele (OG), Iowa State. Though some people may be shocked at the Steelers taking two offensive linemen with their first two picks, Art Rooney has made it clear that Ben Roethlisberger take less sacks, and what better way to do so than giving him an offensive line that can block?
Round 3: Alameda Ta'Amu (DT), Washington. The Steelers must address the defensive line following the injury to Casey Hampton. Ta'amu is similar in size to Hampton. His weakness is pass rush, while his specialty is eating up blockers. Ta'amu will fit the role Casey Hampton has played if he is given the chance to learn.
Round 4: Jeff Fuller (WR), Texas A&M. As stated before, Todd Hailey and Ben Roethlisberger both like big receivers, and the Steelers are going to need another receiver is they are unable to bring back Jericho Cotchery and Hines Ward. Fuller could be that player.
Round 5: Jerry Franklin (ILB), Arkansas. Though Stevenson Sylvester has the potential to be the starting replacement for James Farrior if/when he is released, there is still a need for young depth. Franklin has had an impressive career for the Razorbacks, and he could end up in black and gold.
Round 6: Sean Cattouse (SS), California. The Steelers are not pressed with the need today to go out and get a safety. They still have Ryan Mundy, who is decent, but he's not the long term solution. Cattouse is a playmaker with potential, and he could be groomed to eventually replace Troy Polamalu.
Round 7: Adonis Thomas (RB), Toledo. Don't rule out the Steelers taking a running back, but don't count on it happening early. With injuries to Rashard Mendenhall and Baron Batch, the Steelers could use depth, if nothing else. I also don't think they go after a big back, with four of them on the roster already.
Though this would not be considered a pretty draft, it would fill a lot of holes with players of need and value.
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If the Steelers don't believe they can get the value on either of the lines at their pick, don't be shocked if they take a player that would address a future need.
Round 1: Mark Barron (SS), Alabama. Though safety is not the ideal pick for the Steelers in the first round, having someone that could back up both Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark is an ideal situation. He would also be able to contribute in nickel and dime packages, and allow the Steelers to use Polamalu more in pass rushing, and not leave the secondary exposed.
Round 2: Brandon Washington (OG), Maimi (FL). Not sure who would be on the board, but the odds of the Steelers not taking a lineman, either offensive or defensive in the first two rounds would be shocking.
Poe MAY still be on the board—and if he was, the Steelers would certainly pick him—but to not address the offensive line with no players on the defensive line worthy of this pick would be foolish.
Round 3: Alameda Ta'Amu (DT), Washington. As stated before, the Steelers MUST address the defensive line with the injury to Casey Hampton. Ta'amu is similar in size to Hampton, and his weakness is pass rush, while his specialty is eating up blockers. Ta'amu will fit the role of Casey Hampton IF he is given the chance to learn.
Round 4: Lucas Nix (OG), Pittsburgh. Though the Steelers have drafted one already, they are in need of two. Nix could develop into a solid player, and give depth at one of the weakest positions on the Steelers.
Round 5: Ryan Miller, (OG), Colorado. Another big interior lineman, with decent hands and speed.
Round 6: BJ Cunningham (WR), Michigan State. Ben Roethlisberger and Todd Haley get their big wide out
Round 7: Brad Smelley (FB), Alabama. The Steelers finally bring someone to the backfield who is more interested in blocking than having the ball. Now that Bruce Arians is finally gone, there is no reason to think the Steelers won't draft one.
There is always the possibility of the Steelers trading down, and even out of the first round, if the offer was good enough. In this scenario, the Steelers trade out of the first, with a team picking in the top 10 of the second round, and get a second and third round selection in this draft.
Round 2: Vontaze Burfict (ILB), Arizona State. Though many people are sure Burfict is going to be selected in the first round, there is a good chance that he may fall to the second round. And even though I am a HUGE fan of Stevenson Sylvester, if the Steelers have the chance to grab Burfict here, they would be foolish to not take him.
Round 2: Zebrie Sanders (OT), Florida State. Very versatile on the offensive line, especially being able to play both tackle positions. Depending on Marcus Gilbert, could be either the left or right in his rookie season.
Round 3: George Iloka (FS), Boise State. Big and strong, Iloka would be the eventual replacement for Ryan Clark.
Round 3: Brandon Mosley (OT), Auburn. He can play both left and right Tackle, but would have to start on the right side.
Round 4: Marvin McNutt (WR), Iowa. McNutt is not like the blazing fast players the Steelers have now. He is better at route running, and would be perfect in the slot, especially since the intermediate zones are going to be busy with Wallace, Brown and Sanders. Could be a great possession receiver, and has decent size.
Round 5: Duke Ihenacho (SS), San Jose State. The Steelers like to take players from small schools and turn them into studs. Ihenacho would have years to learn behind Troy Polamalu, and could become a starter. Besides, I can hear everyone saying "Bless You" every time they say his name for making a tackle.
Round 6: James Brooks (OG), Virginia Tech. Though Brooks would not be called on to start, but could develop into a solid player.
Round 7: Drew Butler (P), Georgia. After suffering his third torn ACL, Daniel Sepulveda may not be able to make the team, so why not bring in someone to compete for the job?