Mocking the Draft: Day Three Offense
It’s time to look at some offensive players. As usual this will be a combination of players suggested for the Steelers after my original Rounds 1-3 posts were written, along with Day 3 prospects mocked to the Steelers.
After, naturally, they have been subjected to my usual winnowing process. I know you only want to see the best of the best!
As it happened, there were no Rounds 1-3 offensive players in the later mocks. Here are the various suggestions for the later rounds:
- Miles Killebrew, S; Tom Hackett, P; Keith Marshall, RB; Roger Lewis, WR (Dan Brugler, Charles Campbell)
- Jatavis Brown, S; Kevin Peterson, CB; Giorgio Newberry, DT; Joe Schmidt, ILB (draftek)
- Joshua Perry, OLB; Brandon Allen, QB; Derek Alexander, DE; DeAndre Elliot, CB (big jay71)
- Javon Hargrave, DT; Morgan Burns, CB; Jared Norris, ILB; Alex Redmond, G (nfl spinzone)
- Pharoh Cooper, WR; Cory James, LB; Tavon Young, CB; Caleb Benenoch, OL (bleacher report)
- Dak Prescott, QB; Temarrick Hemingway, TE; De’Runnya Wilson, WR; Bralon Addison, WR/RB (fansided)
- Brandon Allen, QB; Shawn Oakman, DE; Drew Kaser, P; Josh Forrest, LB (The Point of Pittsburgh)
- Bryce Williams, TE; Tyler Marz, OT (Invictus XI)
- Avery Young, OT/OG; A.J. Stamps, S; Drew Kaser, P; Cayleb Jones, WR (nfl draft geek)
- Paul Perkins, RB (Brown)
- Hunter Sharp, WR (Reuter)
These are the 123rd, 220th, 229th, and 240th guys on the draftek big board, regardless of position or team:
- Adam Gotsis, DE; Devon Johnson, RB; Storm Barr-Woods, RB/FB; Jacob Coker, QB
There are a lot of quarterbacks in there, relatively speaking, as well as some receivers, and interestingly, two punters. It seems unlikely the Steelers will draft a punter, but apparently people think we need one, and I have to admit the punter situation has scarcely been ideal in recent years, or at since Daniel Sepulveda (which the Steelers drafted, in the fourth round IIRC) had to retire because of an excess of injuries. He also had an excess of handsomeness, and was a great loss in my opinion. But at any rate if the suggested punters looks good enough we’ll look at them. I don’t know whether a punter would be considered an offensive or defensive player, but since his job is to move the ball down the field I’m going to consider him with the offense.
There are a lot of suggestions, and we already have a lot of offense, so the vetting process was going to be even more thorough than usual. In the end I didn’t take a quarterback. Dak Prescott would have made the cut, except for the DUI. And I just wasn’t feeling Coker or Allen. Sorry, guys… I would personally prefer the Steelers sign Brian Hoyer, but understand he may not want to sit behind Ben again.
He’s yet another Aussie, and my goodness does he pass the handsomeness test! Let’s see what else he has going for him, as the picture makes it clear what I find attractive about him!
A Parks, Recreation, and Tourism major (one which makes a lot of sense in Utah,) Hackett played Australian rules football in the equivalent of high school, but lived various places growing up, including in Tokyo. He explained, in an interview after winning the Ray Guy award last season, that the reason he switched to American football is that “deep down, I’m fat. I don’t like running very far, so running 20-odd yards off, 20-odd yards on is about all I’ve got for you.” He won the award again for the 2015 season, so I guess it’s working out for him. At Utah’s Pro Day he explained not doing any of the non-punting drills thusly: “I didn’t want to pull a hamstring. Plus I run like a penguin, everyone knows it.”
As Salt Lake Tribune writer Kurt Kragthorpe wrote last December:
The performance of Utah’s offense in 2015 has been unsatisfying to many observers. Personally, I wanted more punts.
Statistics aside, no punter ever has been more fun to watch than Utah senior Tom Hackett, who will conclude his college career in Saturday’s Las Vegas Bowl vs. BYU. Fourth down will never be the same at Rice-Eccles Stadium, without Utah’s consensus All-American, two-time Ray Guy Award winner and the punter of the Pac-12’s All-Century Team.
And that’s not even factoring in the Australian’s interesting interviews.
Hackett has made punting part of the entertainment value of Utah football. I enjoyed watching Texas A&M’s Shane Lechler in the 1990s, and he has produced a long, successful NFL career. Yet Hackett’s rugby-style technique…and his knack for pinning the ball along the sideline have elevated the art for me.
He has made fourth down fun, that’s for sure. After a season opener when Utah State and Southern Utah punted a combined 29 times, I said I would have loved to watch that game — but only if Hackett had punted for both teams. So my biggest complaint about Utah’s 2015 showing is a lack of punting. Hackett has punted 55 times through 12 games this season; he had 80 punts in 13 games last year.
If these pieces of evidence haven’t already made it clear that Hackett would greatly enliven the team using only all-legal substances, there is a seriously hilarious ESPN article about the theft and subsequent recovery of Hackett’s beat-up Subaru, which you can read here. Don’t miss it!
Below is a highlight reel for him, if you need it. I certainly don’t. Draft him, Steelers!!! Do it now!!! It will probably take a 4th round pick, but you can’t put a price on handsomeness and entertainment value. Not to mention good field position…
Bralon Addison, WR/RB
With Addison you get positional flexibility, which as we know Mike Tomlin loves. Admittedly the last flex WR/RB they took, Dri Archer, was cute as can be but didn’t scare anybody on the field. Let’s see if Addison has the chance to do better for us.
He was a Sociology major at Oregon State, but won’t graduate as he declared early for the draft. Here is his statement when he announced this:
First and foremost, I would like to thank God for allowing me to make the right decision and come to The University of Oregon family. Secondly, I would like to thank my father and mother, Coach Kelly, Coach Helfrich, Coach Lubick and Coach Osborne, Coach Radcliffe, Coach Pellum, Coach Chinander, Coach Horace, Hawk, all of our graduate assistants, student coaches, Chief, Ms. Kim, Steph, Trav, Anna Poponyak, everyone at the Jaqua center, our treatment staff and all of my friends and teammates for being great influences during my time here at Oregon. I came here as a kid who wanted nothing more than to play football at a high level. In the process, so much more has happened. I think I have become more mature, a better person and a better Christian and most importantly a better man. I just wanted nothing more than to thank everyone that has been a positive influence in my life academically and athletically during my time here at Oregon: my professors, this entire staff, the fans and everyone else involved. With that being said, today I am happy to announce that I will be forgoing my senior year to enter the 2016 NFL draft. This is a decision I have prayed about and I feel as though God has given me the understanding, confidence and assurance to move forward. I thank you all very much! Go Ducks!!! Win The Play!
He’s clearly a thoughtful and thankful young man.
He was a punt returner, returning three of them for touchdowns. He also threw for another touchdown—he was an option QB in high school, so he has even more position flexibility! He actually considered staying at Oregon to have a shot at the QB job.
In one of those nice convergences of interest, if you will, I found an article in which Addison comments on punter Tom Hackett:
Hackett is only half of the reason to perk up, rather than head for the concessions, when the punt team emerges this week. The man he’ll often kick to is Addison, the slippery receiver whose three punt returns for touchdowns are one off tying a UO career record shared by Keenan Howry and Cliff Harris.
The difficulty of defending Hackett comes in his variability. The Australian is comfortable kicking on the run rugby style, holding onto the ball a few precious seconds longer to allow the No. 18 Utes’ (3-0) coverage team a few more yards downfield.
“It’s difficult to get a jump on where he’s going to put the ball,” Addison said. “As a unit, we have to put some pressure on that to make sure he gets it off in a normal time and not let him hold the ball.”
Addison is itching for his chance to hold the ball himself after Georgia State never kicked to him last week during a 61-28 victory. Few would blame the Panthers after seeing Addison return a punt 81 yards for a touchdown Sept. 12 at Michigan State.
“We see on film that (the Utes) kick it deep and kick it to the guy,” Addison said. “But we never really know until we get out there on game day.”
The result? A blowout for Utah, although Addison caught a pass and ran it in for a touchdown early in the game. After that it was all Utah…
NFL.com rates him at 5.09 and says:
Has the juice to be exciting after the catch. Averaged 6.1 yards after catch in 2015. Has potential run value on pitch plays and jet sweeps. Low center of gravity with smooth hip movement that makes change of direction subtle and simple for him. Plus acceleration from his stems and breaks to create workable separation window for quarterbacks. Steady hands with instant punt return value for NFL teams. Like many skill position players coming out of Oregon, Addison won’t fit nicely into a positional box so there will be teams who pass him over regardless of how he performs at the combine. Addison does provide instant competition as a punt returner and a difficult cover for slot corners thanks to his ability to separate. Addison should be more confident with his knee next season and could end up outperforming his draft slot as a pro if he finds the right fit.