Steelers 2013 Mock Draft: Predictions for Day 2 and Beyond
Now that the fanfare and glamor of the first round of the NFL draft is behind us, it's time to get down to the the real meat-and-bone picks.
The second and third days of the draft are where championship teams are created. At these picks, teams might not get the flashy big names we saw on Thursday night, but they still must find players who can contribute immediately and become solid starters.
Let's check out who the Steelers might have their eye on for the rest of the NFL draft.
Round 2 (48th Overall)
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The Pick: Robert Woods / WR / USC
Robert Woods was one of the hottest names in terms of wide receivers coming into the 2012 college football season, but he has seen his stock fall recently because of a drop-off in production.
But if you ask USC quarterback Matt Barkley, he felt Woods was sort of pushed out of the offense.
Either way, Woods needs to be involved in the offense to keep him focused and when he's involved, he can make a big impact. He is one of the best slot receivers in this draft and grades out favorably to a guy such as Reggie Wayne of the Colts.
Pittsburgh could stand to use someone bigger or faster guy after losing Mike Wallace, but Woods is the perfect type of receiver for the offense Todd Haley wants to run with the Steelers. Woods can easily become one of Ben Roethlisberger's favorite targets.
Previous Pick: Jamie Collins / OLB / Southern Miss
Round 3 (79th Overall)
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The Pick: Giovani Bernard / RB / North Carolina
It's no secret the Steelers had one of their worst rushing seasons in team history last season, and they could use help in the backfield.
At one point, Giovani Bernard was considered the top back in this year's draft and a lot of that had to do with his speed. He's fallen off recently, however, and should be available for the Steelers here.
Bernard would be a nice speed complement to the two power backs the Steelers have in Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman. He can hit the edges of the defense and would make a good addition to a relatively unexplosive offense.
Previous Pick: Da'Rick Rogers / WR / Tennessee Tech
Round 4 (115th Overall)
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The Pick: Tony Jefferson / S / Oklahoma
In 2012, the Steelers discovered the hard way that they have absolutely no depth behind starting safeties Ryan Clark and Troy Polamalu. That depth got worse this offseason as Will Allen and Ryan Mundy left the Steel City, leaving Pittsburgh desperate for secondary help.
Oklahoma safety Tony Jefferson has the talent to be a second-day pick in this draft, but his size (5'11") will surely push him down boards.
On the field, Jefferson plays a nice game and would be a great fit for the Steelers behind their two starters at safety. But he needs to be ready to fill in.
Previous Pick: Tony Jefferson / S / Oklahoma
Round 5 (150th Overall)
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The Pick: Khaled Holmes / C / USC
Khaled Holmes is listed as a center, but he's versatile enough to play center and guard at the next level. That's a position the Steelers will need to replace, especially as Doug Legursky remains a free agent.
Pittsburgh also lost Willie Colon this season and given the injury woes Maurkice Pouncey has gone through, it doesn't hurt to have somebody you can plug in and play behind your starters.
Holmes probably isn't going to come in and have an immediate impact for the Steelers, but he can be a good fill-in or rotational guy going forward. One day, there might be a starting role in his future.
Previous Pick: Kenjon Barner / RB / Oregon
Round 6 (186th Overall)
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The Pick: William Gholston / DE / Michigan State
Michigan State defensive end William Gholston has the name that many NFL fans know, and that means people are pushing him up boards. But in reality, Gholston has a ways to go before he's ready to be an impactful NFL player.
That's not to say Gholston isn't talented.
For a guy who comes in at 6'7", 280 pounds, Gholston has flashed a great combo of agility and power. And despite the fact that he tallied 10 sacks over three years with the Spartans, he raked in an impressive 30 tackles for loss, 29 coming in his last two seasons.
Gholston grades out best as a five-technique end in the NFL, and could be a good fit for the Steelers, who are lacking depth at that position. Ziggy Hood is in a contract year, Brett Keisel is aging and Cameron Heyward has yet to make an impact.
This would be a bit of a project for the Steelers and Gholston will have to add weight, but he could pay off in the future.
Previous Pick: William Gholston
Round 6 (206th Overall/Compensatory Pick)
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The Pick: Michael Mauti / ILB / Penn State
Despite the multiple ACL tears he's suffered, Michael Mauti carved out a nice career in Happy Valley. Last season, his first full campaign for Penn State, the inside linebacker recorded 96 total tackles, 2.5 sacks and three interceptions.
Pittsburgh would be taking a risk here much as Buffalo did with Paul Posluszny in 2007, and the Cowboys with Sean Lee in 2010. Both have put together nice careers and should continue playing for some time.
The Steelers could use the depth behind Larry Foote and Lawrence Timmons. Last year's third-round pick, Sean Spence, has yet to see the field, so it's hard to gauge what Pittsburgh has behind its starters.
Previous Pick: Michael Mauti
Round 7 (223rd Overall)
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The Pick: Marquess Wilson / WR / Washington State
In the seventh round, the Steelers can look to go for a guy with a big upside. Given the contract situations of Emmanuel Sanders and Plaxico Burress, they should target a wide receiver.
Marquess Wilson has decent upside and would provide height to a receiver corps that (outside of Burress) lacks that trait.
Wilson can get down the field, and he made big catches for the Cougars. But he also disappeared at times and had a disappointing final season. He could be a nice buy for the Steelers in the seventh round.
Previous Pick: Wes Horton / LB / USC