The Pittsburgh Steelers have been going through a lot of changes in the last couple weeks and it’s time to look at who will actually be on the roster next season and not who is gone.
This is going to be an extremely important draft for the Steelers to reload instead of having to rebuild after cutting so many veterans.
Here is my 3rd installment to a full seven-round mock draft for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Kelechi Osemele, OT/G, Iowa State
Previous Pick: Mark Barron, S, Alabama
After his performance at the combine, Dontari Poe would definitely be my pick for the Steelers in the first round.
The only problem with that is that Poe is probably going to go in the Top 10 and won’t be a Steeler unless the team decides to somehow trade up.
Kelechi Osemele would instantly be inserted into one of the starting guard spots and even has the ability to play tackle if the Steelers needed him to.
Previous Pick: Brandon Washington, G, Miami
I was tempted to change this pick with the Steelers taking Osemele in the first round. However, I think they will opt to completely sure up the offensive line.
Brandon Washington is another guy that has the ability to play tackle if needed and would compete for the last open spot on the offensive line.
With Washington, the starting line could be Marcus Gilbert LT, Kelechi Osemele G, Maurkice Pouncey C, Brandon Washington G, Willie Colon RT.
Nick Jean-Baptiste, DT, Baylor
Previous Pick: Audie Cole, ILB, NC State
Casey Hampton is probably not going to be ready to start the season and Chris Hoke retired, leaving only Steve McLendon to play nose tackle.
The Steelers have talked about playing Ziggy Hood at times at nose this season and I do not doubt that he could do a decent job. However, the team needs to finally address this position in the draft.
They have been putting off taking the heir to Casey Hampton for years and Nick Jean-Baptiste would be a great pick in the 3rd round, a player that I think could contribute his rookie season.
Tank Carder, ILB, TCU
Previous Pick: Joe Adams, WR, Arkansas
I really do not think the Steelers are going to take an inside linebacker in the first round unless they decide to look past all of the baggage that comes with Vontaze Burfict.
The team has much more pressing needs on the offensive and defensive lines and if Stevenson Sylvester falters, they have Larry Foote as a backup.
I have faith in Sylvester at this point so I do not think anyone they take is going to see the field much in their first season. Tank Carder, however, would make a great addition to the special teams unit.
Don Barclay, OT, West Virginia
Previous Pick: Don Barclay, OT, West Virginia
I am sticking with Don Barclay as my pick in the 5th round because I really think he could be a steal in this draft and develop into a starting right tackle.
At worst, Barclay can provide depth at a tackle position that is basically Marcus Gilbert and Willie Colon or bust for the team.
If either of those two guys was injured or ineffective, the Steelers best option would be Jonathan Scott until Max Starks recovers from his injury.
Rishard Matthews, WR, Nevada
Previous Pick: Akiem Hicks, DT, Regina
If the Steelers somehow lost Mike Wallace, then receiver would claim the number one spot on my top priorities list for the team. At this point though, I think they will re-sign both Wallace and Jerricho Cotchery.
The team has already said that Emmanuel Sanders is going to replace Antonio Brown returning kicks so that Brown can focus more on the offensive side of the ball.
Rashard Matthews not only has decent size at about 6’0, 217-pounds, but he can return kicks and would be a good backup plan in case Emmanuel Sanders has more injury problems going forward.
Charles Mitchell, S, Mississippi State
Previous Pick: Brandon Hardin, CB, Oregon State
Although I think the Steelers are in good shape in the secondary with a mix of veterans and good young players, I also think they will bring in another safety or corner late in the draft.
I do not think that Charles Mitchell is going to be the future at the safety position but he would at least compete in camp and, if he made the team, help out on special teams.