Pittsburgh Steelers 2012 Mock Draft: Buying or Selling Matt Miller's Latest
Matt Miller, one of Bleacher Report's NFL gurus, has put together this mock draft, a definitive, seven-round mock that covers every pick. It's a fine piece of work. I'm taking a look at it from the perspective of putting myself in the Pittsburgh Steelers' war room.
To be sure, there are picks that I agree with and picks that I don't. Here's a look at who I'm buying and who I'm selling.
Round 1: Peter Konz, C/G, Wisconsin
I’m on the fence. I love the idea of a guy like Konz, who is versatile and athletic. He plays a position that the Steelers need (guard) and has the experience at center (where he played at Wisconsin) to sub in there if the Steelers suffer another injury to Maurkice Pouncey.
It’s a shrewd move, and Matt could be right. The issue I have is that he left Fletcher Cox, a defensive tackle (and possibly from a bigger position of need), on the board. That’s a tough call, and I’m not entirely sure the Steelers, who’ve been retooling their defensive front in the draft lately, would pass.
Round 2: Mike Martin, DT, Michigan
I don’t like it. Martin is a good prospect and is a solid second-round guy. I just think there are bigger needs here. Corner comes to mind. I would say if the Steelers retain both William Gay and Keenan Lewis that this pick makes sense (provided they don’t go with Cox in the first).
Say Trumaine Johnson is available. I might take him at that spot. Stephon Gilmore is another option. I just don’t think that Martin is the fit at the nose that the Steelers need.
Round 3: Bernard Pierce, RB, Temple
Perfect pick position-wise. The Steelers need a running back to pair with Isaac Redman. The team seemed high on Baron Batch before his injury last year, but he figures as more of a Mewelde Moore contributor and not as a tandem back on first and second down.
Pierce is a good pairing with Redman and can give the offense a different look and dimension. I would say that if Pierce is drafted and if he performs well, the team will opt to get rid of Rashard Mendenhall, who seems to have fallen out of favor in some ways.
Round 4: James-Michael Johnson
I’m in favor of this. The Steelers don’t have to get big-school, top-tier guys at linebacker. Keith Butler and Dick LeBeau could build a Pro Bowler at that position in their garages with spare parts from a 1946 Ford. Johnson has a lot of raw talent.
He’s also an ideal guy to put in behind Stevenson Sylvester, who I’d project as the starter alongside Lawrence Timmons on the inside. I don’t think James Farrior will be back, and I don’t know about Larry Foote either. The team seems quite content with a youth movement that is sweeping.
Round 5: Janzen Jackson, FS, McNeese State
I like this. Ryan Mundy is a restricted free agent, and there’s no guarantee he’s going to get tendered or be brought back. Ryan Clark is getting older, and the hits he delivers have to take some toll on his body. Getting a Jackson, really a value here, could be a steal.
Jackson’s style and skill set fit the Pittsburgh system well, and he is a player that, while raw, can grow behind Clark for a few years and make contributions on special teams.
Round 6: B.J. Cunningham, WR, Michigan State
I simply can’t agree with Matt here. Cunningham is a fine wide receiver prospect with great upside potential, but he doesn’t fit in a Pittsburgh system that already has three top receivers and will likely be able to get a fourth possession receiver in free agency.
The Steelers have other needs. While the sixth round isn’t exactly a place where guaranteed contributors come from, it still makes sense to draft on the basis of need. Wide receiver isn’t even in that galaxy.
Round 7: D'Anton Lynn, SS, Penn State
Once you get to the last round, any pick really makes sense. Teams are taking whatever they can get. Plus, the Steelers project to have three picks in the final round, so taking Lynn, who is a nice project player with a vicious style, makes sense at one.
I would look for a kicker or back-up quarterback here, however. Blair Walsh is still on the board here. He’d be interesting competition for Shaun Suisham. Kellen Moore is also still on the board at this point. He could be a nice project as a back-up quarterback.
Consider those as possibilities for the two other picks, although I’d take either one before taking Lynn.