Walk the Mock: 2017 Steelers edition

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    • When putting together your mocks, bear in mind what Kevin Colbert said at the combine regarding edge rushers / OLBs.

      "The outside linebacker in our defense is probably the most difficult (to find), because 80-90 percent of them don’t play on their feet in college. And we have to try to project whether a guy can stand up and do the extra things beyond pass rushing that he’s going to be required to do in our defense. So the potential for error at the outside linebacker position is really greater than any other position, because most of the time it is a projection. So you’re looking for someone who can rush the passer, can play on a tight end or a tackle and can drop into coverage on occasion. The drop-in-coverage part, a lot of times we won’t see that until—actually when we get in here for the initial workouts, and then follow it up with some pro day advancements, as well."

      On whether this year's class is deep:

      "It is. But off the top of my head, 85-90 percent of them are the defensive ends that we’re going to have to project up. So again, as we go through this, we’ll probably lose three, four, or five guys who we’ll just say are probably 4-3 defensive ends instead of 3-4 linebackers."

      How he determines if they can drop into coverage:


      "You just watch their feet, their hips, their hands, and their awareness when they drop. You’re really not going to get into whether they understand it and know what they’re doing. You’re really just looking at the physical ability to do it. You can transfer—most of them – if they have the athleticism to do it. It’s just a matter of knowledge beyond that repetition."

      Based on these remarks, and based on their experience with selecting Jarvis Jones, I think the Steelers will select someone they believe can cover as well as rush, which is ironic because the defense doesn't do either against dink & dunk offenses. So, as good as they might be, many of the top edge rushers are probably off the Steelers board. When I re-read the scouting reports on these guys, I see many of them who are described as pass rush specialists. If Colbert stays true to his word, I don't think the Steelers will pick any of them. I still like T. J. Watt, as I believe he is a good pass rusher, pretty good against the run, and athletic enough to cover. He has room to grow & develop as well. Whether the Steelers grade him as a first rounder is another story. Maybe we see a wild card in round 1, like a receiver, with an OLB taken in the later rounds, like Alex Anzalone in the 3rd or 4th. He would be a developmental guy that would learn behind James Harrison.
      "In short, in life, as in a football game, the principle to follow is: Hit the line hard; don't foul and don't shirk, but hit the line hard!"
      Theodore Roosevelt, The Strenuous Life (1900)
    • that being said Watt does not have great hips ....not a great first step guy . lack elite athleticism .... sounds an awful like Jarvis Jones ...on top of all that 1 year worth of playing the pos.... so if we go Back to what Colbert said he almost has to come off the board
      "They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
      Ben Franklin
    • I don't Watt's video looks anything like that of J. Jones. Compared to his linebacker peers, Watt ranked first in broad jump (128 in.), second in high jump (37 in.), and first in both the 20-yard shuttle (4.13 sec.) and 60-yard shuttle (11.2 sec).

      Watt didn't drop into coverage a lot, but I think he can learn. He's a developmental project as far as the Steelers go, but who isn't? Based on the criteria Colbert talks about, I'm not sure which of the top rated guys fit the description. College football just doesn't produce 3-4 OLBs that can be plugged directly into the Steeler system.

      Maybe the time has come to adapt the system a little, and employ situational pass rushers and hybrid LB/S types in the nickel and dime. Roster spots are precious, but if they could put a fresh Myles Garrett in the game for 15 snaps, and just ask him to get to the QB, he'd be worth the roster spot and the money. Asking a guy like Watt to rush, set the edge against the run and drop into coverage may be too much to ask, and he doesn't have elite pass rush skills. Too often he was schemed to be unblocked, which is where the Jarvis Jones comparisons come in to play.

      I'm left with having thoughts about Jabrill Peppers as an OLB. He is a terrific tackler, and he sure can cover. He would be a liability against the run, but when its 3rd and long (or nearly every other down and distance situation in today's NFL) what would it matter? Peppers may be the Swiss Army knife type of guy that can produce sacks. Can't believe I just wrote that.
      "In short, in life, as in a football game, the principle to follow is: Hit the line hard; don't foul and don't shirk, but hit the line hard!"
      Theodore Roosevelt, The Strenuous Life (1900)
    • New

      My latest mock from walkthemock.com for PIT via Default ranking


      1:30 - EDGE Charles Harris, Missouri
      2:30 - CB Cordrea Tankersley, Clemson
      3:30 - LB Duke Riley, Louisiana St.
      3:41 - RB Samaje Perine, Oklahoma
      4:28 - EDGE Trey Hendrickson, Florida Atl.
      5:29 - TE Jeremy Sprinkle, Arkansas
      6:29 - LB Ben Boulware, Clemson
      7:30 - DE Isaac Rochell, Notre Dame
      "They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
      Ben Franklin
    • New

      Where does the whole TJ Watt is not athletic thing come from? Here are his measurables - mockdraftable.com/player/tj-watt

      How is that really that different from Lawson - mockdraftable.com/player/carl-lawson

      Or even Khalil Mack - mockdraftable.com/player/khalil-mack


      I think he will be fine. Watt's real issue will be whether or not he can add muscle/weight in an NFL strength program and still be as quick as he is at the college level.
    • New

      mojouw wrote:

      Where does the whole TJ Watt is not athletic thing come from? Here are his measurables - mockdraftable.com/player/tj-watt

      How is that really that different from Lawson - mockdraftable.com/player/carl-lawson

      Or even Khalil Mack - mockdraftable.com/player/khalil-mack


      I think he will be fine. Watt's real issue will be whether or not he can add muscle/weight in an NFL strength program and still be as quick as he is at the college level.
      I think it is more in the not strong enough and stiff hips so unable to bend the edge like a James Harrison can , couple that with limited play time at the position I think many fear he will struggle ( at least early on ) vs NFL lineman , that being said most rookie pass rushers struggle early on
      "They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
      Ben Franklin
    • New

      Dwinsgames wrote:

      mojouw wrote:

      Where does the whole TJ Watt is not athletic thing come from? Here are his measurables - mockdraftable.com/player/tj-watt

      How is that really that different from Lawson - mockdraftable.com/player/carl-lawson

      Or even Khalil Mack - mockdraftable.com/player/khalil-mack


      I think he will be fine. Watt's real issue will be whether or not he can add muscle/weight in an NFL strength program and still be as quick as he is at the college level.
      I think it is more in the not strong enough and stiff hips so unable to bend the edge like a James Harrison can , couple that with limited play time at the position I think many fear he will struggle ( at least early on ) vs NFL lineman , that being said most rookie pass rushers struggle early on
      I can see that. He certainly isn't going to come in and impact like Bosa did. But almost all rookie pass rushers are not capable of that. Also, I understand what your point is about the bend, but no one can do it like Harrison, dude comes around basically parallel to the ground. Its insane. But you're right,Watt is a bit of stiff player. While this is likely not fair, similar things were said about his brother.I realize that is more likely that all they share is a last name but there are HOPEFUL parallels:

      1. Made transition from TE to pass rusher with limited college experience
      2. Questions about athleticism and how much of college production was "motor" versus physical ability
      3. JJ Watt had only 5.5 sacks his rookie year. Then he figured it out and goodness gracious.

      Can TJ take a similar path? No Idea. I really don't. I was anti-JJ Watt coming out of school. Thought NFL OL would man-handle him. I was clearly wrong about that so it is far more likely that I am wrong about TJ.
    • New

      My latest mock from walkthemock.com for PIT via Default ranking


      1:30 - QB Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech
      2:30 - S Josh Jones, North Carolina St.
      3:30 - CB Jourdan Lewis, Michigan
      3:41 - DE Tanoh Kpassagnon, Villanova
      4:28 - EDGE Trey Hendrickson, Florida Atl.
      5:29 - EDGE Ejuan Price, Pittsburgh
      6:29 - WR Kenny Golladay, Northern Illinois
      7:30 - RB Aaron Jones, UTEP

      My latest mock from walkthemock.com for PIT via Default ranking


      1:30 - QB Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech
      2:30 - S Josh Jones, North Carolina St.
      3:30 - CB Jourdan Lewis, Michigan
      3:41 - EDGE Carroll Phillips, Illinois
      4:28 - EDGE Trey Hendrickson, Florida Atl.
      5:29 - WR Taywan Taylor, Western Kentucky
      6:29 - DE Isaac Rochell, Notre Dame
      7:30 - RB Aaron Jones, UTEP
      "They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
      Ben Franklin
    • New

      My latest mock from walkthemock.com for PIT via Default ranking
      1:30 - CB Marlon Humphrey, Alabama
      2:30 - EDGE Tyus Bowser, Houston
      3:30 - WR Chad Hansen, California
      3:41 - DE Tanoh Kpassagnon, Villanova
      4:28 - RB Wayne Gallman, Clemson
      5:29 - S John Johnson, Boston College
      6:29 - EDGE Samson Ebukam, Eastern Washington
      7:30 - OT Jon Heck, North Carolina
      "In short, in life, as in a football game, the principle to follow is: Hit the line hard; don't foul and don't shirk, but hit the line hard!"
      Theodore Roosevelt, The Strenuous Life (1900)