All of us will be mocking, speculating, predicting or whichever verb you want to use all the way up until the draft happens in April.
Hitting in the first round is important; however, the Steelers need to come away with quality players all through this draft.
Here are 12 players who should be around on Day 2 of the draft, or Rounds 2 and 3, and may be on the Steelers radar.
John Cyprien has seen his stock go through the roof ever since his strong performance at the Senior Bowl and now he should be gone in Round 2.
Cyprien isn’t physically imposing; however, he plays with a physicality that Steelers fans love to see from their defenders.
The Steelers are going to take at least one safety in this draft, and there could be a few good ones available in the second and third rounds.
Shamarko Thomas was under the radar before the combine and now shouldn’t go any lower than Round 3.
Thomas hasn’t necessarily shown the ability to have high pick totals, but he is decent in coverage and knows how to hit people.
The only problem is that the tackle in this slide would be flagged for unnecessary roughness because of the helmets grazing each other.
Tavon Austin has gotten all of the publicity as a receiver from West Virginia in the draft, but Stedman Bailey is going to be a really good NFL receiver.
While Bailey isn’t the tall receiver that most fans have been seeking, the Steelers love to take smaller guys, and Bailey has very good hands.
Catching the ball consistently was a problem with Pittsburgh receivers last season, so I’ll take the guy I know can catch over the guy I hope can catch sometimes.
Quinton Patton had a very solid scouting combine and is another guy who has displayed good hands.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve grown tired of hoping the receivers catch the ball when Ben Roethlisberger throws it.
I still think there is a chance the Steelers wait a little later to grab a receiver in this draft, especially if they sign Steve Breaston, but Patton would be nice pick in either the second or third round.
Although some fans have been strongly against the team drafting another offensive lineman early, the Steelers still do not know who the starting LG is going to be in 2013.
Most people believe that Kelvin Beachum has already won the job. If the team doesn’t select a guard in the first couple of rounds, I may start to believe that myself.
Larry Warford has the mobility that the Steelers are now looking for in their offensive linemen, and he would compete and I believe win the starting LG spot as a rookie.
If the Steelers have already decided that Kelvin Beachum is the answer, then I agree with everyone that the team will not use a high pick on the offensive line.
Until I see anything pointing to that, I will continue to believe that the Steelers will strengthen a line they allowed to become the mess it was a couple of years ago.
Dallas Thomas not only brings mobility—he brings the ability to play both guard and tackle with almost not drop-off at either position.
I agree with most fans that if Arthur Brown is still around when the Steelers pick in the Round 2, they are going to take him.
The unfortunate injury to Sean Spence leaves the team with Larry Foote as the unquestioned starter right now. Even if they draft Brown, he probably won’t start as a rookie.
That being said, Brown could become the future for the Steelers at ILB. At worst, I see him starting in his second year.
I was very surprised that Vince Williams wasn’t invited to the scouting combine even with his strong performance at the Senior Bowl.
I’ve seen mocks with Williams going as late as Round 6; however, I don’t think he’ll get out of Round 3 at this point.
Williams is a little bigger than what the Steelers normally draft at ILB, but he would be able to learn behind Larry Foote for a year before being a major contributor.
If the Steelers don’t get one of the top pass-rushers in the first round, the earliest I think they’ll take an outside linebacker is the third round.
That’s about where I believe Brandon Jenkins is going to end up going, although the fourth round is a possibility, depending on how the draft goes.
The Steelers have not been able to rush the passer the past couple of seasons. Jenkins would be a nice player to develop behind James Harrison, if he’s still there, and LaMarr Woodley.
Sio Moore has seen his stock rise lately, and I believe the Steelers take him in the second round if they want him now.
Although Moore is listed as an OLB, I think the Steelers would be more inclined to try him out on the inside.
That would mean Moore would need time to adjust to another position; however, the team could end up with a starting-caliber ILB.
At this point, none of the running backs have really distinguished themselves, and you can pick and choose which guys are your favorites.
Montee Ball has a nice blend of size and speed and has also shown an ability to produce in the passing game.
It really will depend on whether or not the Steelers are looking for a starting-caliber back or one to complement Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman.
This is probably the most obvious pick since Le'veon Bell just looks like the type of back who would play for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Bell is a powerful runner and can contribute in the passing game, although he will have to get better at pass-blocking in the backfield.
I’m just not sure the Steelers will be willing to spend a second-round pick on a running back. Bell’s stock has risen, and he may not even be available at the 48th pick.