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Monday, April 23, 2012

Last 17 picks of the mock draft, more news

Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said today that he feels there are only seven to 10 sure things in this year's draft, fewer than normal.

To me, that says the Steelers will be working hard to trade back in the first round - or up if one of the players they feel is a difference maker falls within their range.

With that in mind, here are the final 17 picks - I goofed and only picked 15 in the first part - of my mock draft, though I think this draft could have more movement than any in recent memory.

It's without a doubt one of the most unsettled in my mind in recent memory.

16. N.Y. Jets, Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis - This is a Rex Ryan kind of pick. Lots of flash, but possibly little action. Poe could be great. But he might have the biggest bust potential of any pick. Ryan will take him thinking he's getting the next Haloti Ngata. Maybe.

17. Cincinnati, Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois - The Bengals would have loved for CB Stephen Gilmore to drop to this spot, but take the best pass rusher available instead. He could play end or linebacker.

18. San Diego, Reilly Reiff, OT, Iowa - The Chargers found out in 2011 what happens if you don't protect Philip Rivers well. He turns into Bernie Kosar at the end of his career. Ugly. Then again, Bernie was ugly early in his career, as well. But at least he could play.

19. Chicago, Cordy Glenn, OT/G, Georgia - The Bears have to do a better job of protecting the quarterback than they have. Glenn is solid in pass protection, but not as strong in the running game. He's big, though, and should get better in that aspect.

20. Tennessee, Michael Brockers, DT, LSU - I wouldn't be surprised if Brockers goes much earlier than this. But he won't fall any farther. Philadelphia is a strong possibility at 15.

21. Cincinnati, Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama - The Bengals continue to improve their defense after having a strong offensive draft in 2011.

22. Clevleand, Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford - The Browns need an upgrade at right tackle. Martin should be OK there, certainly better than what they've had. A receiver such as Baylor's Kendall Wright would also make a lot of sense, but this draft is deep in receivers.

23. Detroit, Courtney Upshaw, DE/LB, Alabama - Upshaw would give the Lions a versatile defender who can line up at end or linebacker and get after the passer.

24. Pittsburgh, Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama - This would be ideal for the Steelers. Hightower could push Larry Foote for a starting spot right away. If he's not available, Jerel Worthy or Kevin Zeitler could be the pick - with a move down a possibility.

25. Denver, Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State - The Broncos need to get better up front.

26. Houston, Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor - Wright gets to stay in Houston and line up opposite Andre Johnson.

27. New England, Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse - Jones is athletic and can get after the passer.

28. Green Bay, Shea McClellin, OLB, Boise State - A high-motor outside linebacker to line up opposite Clay Matthews

29. Baltimore, Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin - Konz is the best of a weak center group. He can start for a year at guard before taking over in 2013.

30. San Francisco, Kevin Zeitler, G, Wisconsin - The 49ers are building around their defense and running game. As we saw when they played the Ravens on Thanksgiving, their line could use some work, particularly at right guard.

31. New England, Devon Still, DT, Penn State - Another big ugly for Belichick up front.

32. N.Y. Giants, Harrison Smith, S, Notre Dame - The addition of Smith would help on the back side as well as stopping the run.


Tim said...

What would the Steelers do with Worthy? There's no way on any planet they get a DE in the first round. Do you see him as a NT?

Pistol said...

I would love to see them trade back and end up w/ Zeitler. Then they would have a starter on the o-line and still be able to get one of the better Defensive Tackles.

Dale Lolley said...

Yes, I think Worthy could play the nose.

Dale Lolley said...

That said, I think that's kind of last resort.
I think they would prefer to take one of the linebackers or a guard and get a nose tackle later.

Dale Lolley said...

Looking at things, I think Green Bay is a natural trade partner. The Packers are rumored to be hot for McClellin. But, in all honesty, I could see him as a Belichick kind of guy rather than Jones.
The Pack might want to jump ahead of NE to get him.

datruth4life said...

Dale, I think the pick at no. 24 could be DE/OLB Nick Perry from USC over Hightower. Perry would be the heir apparent to Deebo and be a 3-down player. When Woodley and Deebo were hurt last year, the Steelers had nothing on the pass rush. I think Perry would get some time this year even if Deebo is healthy because you don't have a 34-year-old coming off of two back surgeries and a fractured orbital bone playing every snap of every game. Hightower is a good fall back choice if he is there at 24, but I still have questions if he is a 3-down LB. Some might say that Perry is too much of a luxury pick, but I'd rather have Deebo's replacement on board and in the system rather than trying to find him in the next draft. Bottom line, like Charlie Casserly said, who do you think will go to the most Pro Bowls and who would you rather take up to M&T Stadium to win a game that you need to win in December? I'd take Perry and then use my other 9 draft picks for need. I think you can get an ILB in the 3rd or 4th round. You can never have enough pass rushers, OL, DL or CBs.

Tim said...

Couldn't Green Bay just stay where they are and wait for New England to jump behind them? It'd be a lot cheaper.

I'm really hoping for Josh Chapman, wherever we can get him. I think he's the best option to replace Casey.

joe said...

i too would be happy with zeitler from wisconsin.

worilds, sylvester, carter....couldn't one of these three play inside ?
o-line in round one this year....i hope

Pistol said...

I just want them to draft SMART lineman for once. They keep taking the measurable guys that are dunces and lazy then wonder why. Zeitler would be able to play right away.

Patrick said...

Legursky is as smart as they come but that doesn't completely make up for his lack of talent at g

Pistol said...

Legursky is at a huge disadvantage compared to 90% of the guys in the NFl but it is his smarts and technique that have made him a player in the NFL.

Anonymous said...

Agree, Pistol. Zeitler is a bigger, stronger, more athletic Legursky... and I like Legursky.

MIke said...

Can someone explain why the concensus is Hightower? Aren't there fears about the quality of talent he played around?

I saw a graphic the other day comparing him to our recent LB picks, and he compared more to A. Jackson and B. Davis than any of our top picks.

I'm worried he's not that athletic or strong (only 19 reps on the bench and he's 260+). I'd just like to know our top pick has more going for him than leadership and the team he played on.

Mike said...

To clarify, I mean the quality of talent around the Alabama players will help cover up certain deficiencies in their players...

Anonymous Brian said...

Some team should do an experiment where, instead of drafting off their scouting and draft board, they just pick the names out of a hat of similarly "rated" players.

Throw in some wild cards, too, like a fourth-round talent into the second-round hat. Do that for three years and try to figure out if there's any difference.

I don't know anything about college football so I can't assess "value" vs. round but just off the top of my head Rob Gronkowski, Mike Wallace, Bob Sanders, and Ray Rice would have been first-round "reaches," right? Duane Brown would have been a "reach" after the run on left tackles in 2008 but he is a very good left tackle. (Not that Mendenhall hasn't been a good player, not comparing the two, just making the halfway serious point that, Like, Reach, Whatever, Man.)

I'm available to help in the Steelers draft room if Colbert needs me :)

I wouldn't be unhappy if we took an OLB if he's the BPA / playmaker they have at 24. Harrison's not getting any younger and the 2007-2010 dominance will probably not come back. (I don't buy the less wear-and-tear theory. 34 is 34. He could just be nicked up all the time and gradually diminishing until he retires or gets thrown out of the league for being a big meanie.)

Can never have enough pass rushers. The Giants took some criticism for drafting JPP when they were already loaded up front.

I also think safety is a much more pressing need than most people do.

Then again part of me thinks we should draft OL with the first five picks.

Joe Jones said...

Hightower would be ideal for us because he is a fast linebacker who can cover and can also good at hunting down blitz gaps.

Taking Hightower next to Timmons gives us middle-linebacker locked down for many seasons. Our depth at ILB is terrible and Foote isn't the best option as a starter.

We already have Worilds as the heir apparent
to Harrison. And Chris Carter will have another chance to prove himself.

Trading back and taking Zeitler is nice too, yet Hightower would make the Steel Curtain and Steelers linebacker corps that much more deadly.

Joe Jones said...

Also, about his weight compared to only 19 bench reps, if you've ever seen Hightower, his strength is in his legs which leads to powerful hits on ball carriers.

Joe Jones said...

Hey Dale how do you feel Vontaze Burfict round 4?

He brings a Harrison-esque bad boy attitude that can be controlled in a steelers environment. It also would allow us to pass on Hightower and take Zeitler in rnd 1, which allows us to land our playmaker LaMichael James in rnd 2.

IMO Hightower goes to Baltimore if we dont take him. Burfict goes to Baltimore when we take Hightower.

Pistol said...


Please tell me they arent really considering Adams. I keep seeing that on Twitter.

It only takes 1-2 D-Bags to ruin an entire locker guys dont forget that.

Pistol said...

Locker Room sp

datruth4life said...

Dale, here is your trade thoughts in action:

The Steelers trade picks no. 24 (first) & no. 231 (7th, their own) to the Green Bay Packers for picks no. 28 (1st), no. 90 (3rd) and no. 197 (6th).

1 – ILB Dont’a Hightower, Alabama
2 – G Brandon Brooks, Miami of Ohio
3 - G/T Kelechi Osemele, Iowa State
3 - RB Isaiah Pead, Cincinnati
4 – NT, Josh Chapman, Alabama
5 - FS Trent Robinson, Michigan State
6 – CB Keith Tandy, West Virginia
6 – DT/DE Akiem Hicks, Regina
7 – K Carson Wiggs, Purdue
7 – WR K. Martin, Michigan State
7 – OT, Jeff Adams, Columbia

kelly said...

Joe Jones....

Hightower is fast and can cover?? Everything I've seen and read about him say those are his weaknesses.

Joe Jones said...

He did very well in a 3-4 defense. Not acceptional in coverage but can deffinately keep up.

TarheelFlyer said...

I have heard rumors recently that the one guy who might be slipping in the draft is Luke Kuechly. If that happens it is a no-brainer...right?

The other thing I keep hearing about is the 7-10 solid first round picks comment by Colbert. We have no idea if one of those 10 is part of the group we are looking at cause others are overlooking them. It is something to consider.

Pistol said...

I would do back flips if they had the chance to trade up and get him!! He is the only player i would think they would possibly move up to get. IMO

For the record i've never attempted a back flip.

Anonymous said...


Joe Jones said...

Is Dontari Poe back in the discussion?, as it looks like he's going to fall around our pick.

Dale Lolley said...

A huge no on Burfict. Let the Ravens draft him. He's an idiot.

If Kuechly falls, that is a no-brainer.

Joe Jones said...

Not slipping.

Joe Jones said...

Poe, Hightower, and Cordy Glenn are on the board. Who you takin Dale?


Dale Lolley said...

Of those three, Hightower

marc said...

are you choosing hightower there based on need or best player?

Anonymous said...

Oh. That makes more sense. I thought you guys were playing Kill, Marry, Lay.

datruth4life said...


After debating, I am going with Nick Perry over Hightower if both are still there at no. 24. Perry is bigger, faster, stronger, more explosive, has never had a major injury and plays the most important position in the 3-4. I believe it is easier to find ILBs in the 3-4 than it is pure pass rushers. So in my final mock with no trades:

1 – OLB/DE Nick Perry, USC
2 – G Brandon Brooks, Miami of Ohio
3 - NT Josh Chapman, Alabama
4 – OT Brandon Mosley, Auburn
5 - FS Trent Robinson, Michigan State
6 – CB Keith Tandy, WVU
7 – DT/DE Akiem Hicks, Regina
7 – K Carson Wiggs, Purdue
7 – ILB Jerrell Harris, Alabama
7 – WR, K. Martin, Michigan State

Pistol said...


Do think Reiff has a chance to fall in the draft??? He would be another guy i would trade up for.

Joe Jones said...

Trading back seems very likely now. There is no difference in talent after the top 20 picks up until half-way through the 3rd round.

I'd be fine with two 2nd rnd picks. Mike Adams, Devon Still.