The NFL Playoffs are off and running, and it is dissapointing to see the Pittsburgh Steelers sitting at home watching and watching them with the rest of us.
It is that time of the year for all of us not in the running for the Super Bowl to look ahead towards the upcoming NFL draft.
Here is a full seven-round mock draft for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
Troy Polamalu had another injury riddled season for the Steelers, and both he and Ryan Clark are not getting any younger.
Will Allen played admirably this season, but both he and Ryan Mundy are unrestricted free agents and neither are guaranteed to be back with the team.
Kenny Vaccaro has all the tools to be a starting safety and he wouldn’t be asked to come in and start right away for the Steelers.
Alex Okafor, OLB, Texas
Alex Okafor’s draft stock could rise and he may not be available when the Steelers pick in the second round. However, if he’s there then he would be a great fit.
The Steelers have dealt with a lot of injuries to the OLB position, and Okafor would bring the versatility to put his hand in the ground or drop into coverage.
Nico Johnson, ILB, Alabama
Lawrence Timmons had a great season but, besides that fact, Larry Foote could be gone, Stevenson Sylvester has proven to be nothing more than a special teams guy and Sean Spence is coming off a major knee injury.
Nico Johnson isn’t the fastest linebacker, but neither is Larry Foote, and the defense was still ranked No. 1 in the league this season.
Michael Williams, TE, Alabama
It looks kind of strange to see two straight picks from Texas and then two straight picks from Alabama, but I think these picks would be great for the Steelers.
Heath Miller blew out his knee in the Week 16 loss to the Bengals, which leaves only David Paulson and Leonard Pope on the roster at tight end.
Michael Williams would bre a huge target for Ben Roethlisberger, and he is also an above-average blocker that could help out the oft struggling offensive line.
Alex Carder, QB, Western Michigan
Ben Roethlisberger is one of the best quarterbacks in the league, but his style of play exposes him to the potential of injuries every year.
Whether the team decides to bring back Byron Leftwich or Charlie Batch to backup Big Ben, the Steelers need to start grooming a young guy on the roster.
Unless an emergency occurred, Alex Carder wouldn’t be asked to do anything but sit, watch and someday compete for the No. 2 job behind Roethlisberger.
Dann O’Neill, OT, Michigan
I guess I have a teammate theme in my mock draft (I promise I didn’t do it on purpose), but anyway, the Steelers would be smart to continue to stock pile talent on the offensive line.
Four out of the five projected starters on the offensive line for next season are coming off injured reserve and Dann O’Neill would compete to be the backup tackle.
Michael Shanahan, WR, Pittsburgh
The Steelers could lose Mike Wallace, Plaxico Burress and then decide to cut Jerricho Cotchery this offseason.
Even if one of those guys is brought back, the Steelers would still need to bring in some competition at the receiver position. Michael Shanahan would bring good size.