Momma’s Mock Draft, Rounds 2 and 3
We are getting down to the wire here, and it’s time to make some choices. I gave four for my first round, but this was in large part because I had to cover the two ILBs, which I hadn’t done before. There will be two choices per round for 2 and 3.
In some ways they are interchangeable. There are usually more bargains to be found in the 2nd and 3rd rounds, and naturally if any of the first-round choices were to fall to the second round it would be shocking if the Steelers didn’t snap them up, even in the case of the tight end. Another sort of wild card is that Kevin Colbert just stated in the last few days that they aren’t ruling out drafting a quarterback, even with their first pick.
As Dale Lolley reported on DK Pittsburgh Sports (I would give the link but it’s behind a paywall), Colbert also commented on the fact that despite being allowed 30 prospect visits, they have only used 23 of them. His rationale was this—meeting with prospects takes time, time they could be spending in their own meetings. I thought this was very striking, and perhaps puts additional emphasis on the guys they did choose to spend time with.
And of those guys they chose to spend time with (via prospect visits,) the only QB they invited to the ‘Burgh was Brogan Roback, a small-school projects, basically. Which is interesting on a number of levels. The other two they looked at were Lamar Jackson and Mason Rudolph, and in both cases both Tomlin and Colbert were at their Pro Day. It seems entirely unlikely either will fall to the Steelers’ spot in the first round, but anything can happen. If said QB was available as well as one of the ILBs they fancy, it might take longer than usual for their little card to make its way to Roger Goodell. And from a BLA standpoint, Rudolph is definitely my man. I also think his style fits the Steelers offense better, unless the Steelers are thinking of lining Jackson up opposite Bell and getting cute.
As for Roback, I already eliminated him in an earlier post, mainly for bad hair decisions, which is pretty shallow of me. But honestly, I wonder why the Steelers would want yet another project QB when they have Josh Dobbs. It’s not inconceivable a 5th round quarterback would eventually achieve franchise status, but it’s certainly rare. Tom Brady is a once-in-a-lifetime combination of the right guy, the right coach, and the right circumstances, IMO. For what that’s worth.
And to return once more to Colbert’s recent statements, he also noted that while this class is lacking in star power it’s very deep in talent, and that the Steelers feel they have about 125 guys to choose from, rather than the usual 90 or so. Interesting.
But to return to the business at hand, nobody knows what the Steelers are thinking. But here’s what I think. (As we progress through the draft I’m using the assumption that the Steelers drafted my BLA pick in the previous round, and that none of my other picks for that round are still available. I’m also giving a nod to needs—since my 1st round BLA pick was a safety, I will be looking to other positions of need for the 2nd round, and so on until we get to Round 5.)
ILB Fred Warner
Warner sort of comes out of left field, as I haven’t covered him yet, but he’s a really interesting prospect. And check out those arms!
From the scouting profilehe actually sounds a bit like a slower Shazier-type player—as Zierlein says “he moves around like a big safety.” He’s a team captain and “plays with plus instincts.” He’s also a self-described “mama’s boy,” which I like as you all know, and is described by his teammates as a “quiet leader.” He would be a bargain at the end of the third round, but I don’t think he will make it that far, and assuming that all of their higher-rated ILBs are gone, Warner might just get the call in Round 2.
DE Sam Hubbard
I had plenty to say about Hubbard in my previous post, so I’ll just note that nothing I’ve seen in the interim makes me want to move on from him as my Round 2 BLA pick.
Insofar as I know, the Steelers have shown no interest in Hubbard. Hopefully they will take a closer look at him in the next few days after reading my post. (I’m quite sure they have this blog on Notifications during draft season.) Get with the program, guys!!! And yes, I realize he will have to be an OLB in the NFL, at least in the Steelers’ scheme, but that’s okay. You can never have too many OLBs, particularly ones that look like this…
Well, we’ve got a safety and an OLB. Is it time to look at a WR? Or a TE? Perhaps. My previous Round 3 suggestions were S Tarvarius Moore, who becomes surplus to requirements because of the pick of Justin Reid, and TE Troy Fumigalli. While the latter is a possibility, there’s a decent chance the Steelers could get him in the top of the 5th round. So for the nonce let’s look again at the remaining ILBs and WRs and see what we can come up with.
WR Equanimeous St. Brown
I just couldn’t pass up the name, although I tried. (His full name is even better—Equanimeous Tristan Imhotep J. St. Brown. Now there’s a mouthful.) He’s also a very interesting guy who Walterfootballdeclares “a sleeper prospect who could be a steal.”
He has one of the more interesting stories in the draft. His father was a two-time Mr. Universe and three-time Mr. World, and he planned to raise his three children to be sports stars. His wife, a German native, planned that her children would be fluent in multiple languages, and all three boys took the SATs in three languages—English, German, and French.
From a footbally perspective, St. Brown is a BIG target (6’5″) who ran a 4.48 40 at the Combine. Zierlein says he is “much faster than he looks.” He has had very few drops, and is a polished route-runner. On special teams his first season at Notre Dame, he blocked a punt. Sounds like an all-round player, and a good successor to Martavis Bryant.
ILB Darius Leonard
Not sure why I missed Leonard the first time around. I’m liking what I see. Here’s what Zierlein has to say:
Long and twitchy with athletic ability and straight-line speed
Excellent reactive athleticism
Played with desired discipline and gap integrity in holding 2016 MEAC Offensive Player of the year and current Chicago Bear, Tarik Cohen, to his worst performance
Gosh, we could have used that last fall. Anyhow, while his 40 time was not particularly impressive, he appears to play faster than he is, including having “blazing closing speed and outstanding sideline-to-sideline range.” Sound a bit like what the Steelers are missing. He is reportedly highly regarded for his character and work ethic, and is a “patient” tackler who consistently gets his man down. He’s likely somewhat of a project but would be expected to contribute immediately on special teams. Walter Football has him as their fourth-ranked ILB. He also gets my vote!
That will do it for today. Tomorrow should be Round 5, and if I don’t collapse from the stress of it, Round 7 will be on Thursday.
I can see the Steelers taking a close look at a project QB they want to bring in as an UFA camp body/practice squad stash. If they do go with Jackson/Rudolph (I think they take the latter if he’s available at 28, if only because a QB with a round 1 grade is so rarely available when they pick), it’ll be an interesting competition between LJ and Dobbs to see who stays.