Steelers NPC Mock Draft 5.0 (FA Edition, 3 Full Rounds, Steelers Picks in Rounds 4-7)
64. Indianapolis Colts: Marvin Jones WR (California)
Like many teams which draft a “franchise” QB #1 overall, the Colts will be looking to add some playmakers to the Offensive side of the ball. An area of need for them is obviously at the WR position, and what better way to benefit Andrew Luck than giving him a fantastic pass-catching target to pair with Reggie Wayne over the next few seasons. The 6’2″ 199 lb. Jones had an under-the-radar yet solid career at California. And despite the issues that the Golden Bears had at the QB position during his tenure, Jones still produced at a high level and made 155 Catches for 2,270 Yards and 13 TD’s in his three years as a starter.
(Previous Selection: Brandon Boykin, CB/KR, Georgia)
65. St. Louis Rams: Mitchell Schwartz OT (California)
St. Louis needs help along their Offensive Line, and it wouldn’t hurt if they acquired a Tackle in the middle Rounds of the Draft this year. The experienced and heady Mitchell Schwartz might be a guy worth drafting in the 3rd Round. Schwartz started 51 games at Cal at Left (35) and Right (16) Tackle, and earned 1st Team All-Pac 12 Honors in 2011. While he won’t wow anybody with his athleticism, the 6’5” 318 lb. Schwartz is a steady player that has versatility which many teams covet. Like Zebrie Sanders, Schwartz could “Swing Tackle” on game-days in Years 1-2, and eventually find a spot starting at Right Tackle by year 2-3.
66. Minnesota Vikings: Brian Quick WR (Appalachian State)
Helping Christian Ponder and finding him some Offensive weapons will be the most important thing for the Vikings to accomplish next month. Minnesota could opt to select the raw, but amazingly talented and athletic Brian Quick of Appalachian State to help their anemic passing attack. Quick was a basketball player in High School until he chose to play football in his Senior year, and the 6’4″ 220 lb. Wide Receiver has terrific body control and could become a Quarterback’s best friend in the Red Zone. While Quick is still learning the nuances of the position (he didn’t start playing football until his Senior year in High School), his skill set is fantastic and with a bit of seasoning could develop into a matchup nightmare for opponents.
(Previous Selection: Mike Martin, NT, Michigan)
67. Cleveland Browns: Brandon Weeden QB (Oklahoma State)
Cleveland missed out on the “RGIII” Sweepstakes, but it still could not hurt them to select another QB prospect later on next month. In spite of his age (29 this October), Weeden (6’4” 219 lbs.) has a skill set that can transfer well to what the Browns want to do on Offense . Weeden has a strong arm, quick release, and displays solid decision making that are good skills to have in a West Coast system. His footwork may need some tweaking as he played in mostly Shotgun formations in college, but Weeden is a mature player that could unseat Colt McCoy and Seneca Wallace this Preseason or later on in 2012.
(Previous Selection: JonathanMassaquoi, DE/OLB, Troy)
68. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Lavonte David OLB (Nebraska)
David’s size is probably the biggest thing keeping him out of the 1st Round, because as a Cornhusker he proved himself to be quite the Linebacker in spite of his 6′ 225 lbs. frame. His toughness was on display week in and week out as he amassed almost 300 Tackles (285) in the last two seasons according to a CBS.Sportsline report from the Senior Bowl. Known for taking smaller LB’s that fit their system, Tampa Bay is a logical choice here. The Buccaneers had the N.F.L.’s worst Run Defense in terms of Yards Per Game in 2011, and gave up 5.0 YPC to boot. It couldn’t hurt the Buccaneers to upgrade the LB position, and a Tackling machine that mixes it up like David could be just what they need to set forth on their task of improving their Run Defense in 2012.
69. Washington Redskins LaMichael James RB (Oregon)
LaMichael James could be just the runner that the Redskins are looking for at the beginning of Round 3, and just the kind of weapon to help “RGIII” as he starts his career. James is a shifty and explosive runner that is a threat to score every time he touches the ball and works well in Zone-Blocking schemes. James’ size, 5’8” 194 lbs., might scare some teams into drafting him as an every-down Back, but as a 10-15 Touch per game guy, James could be quite the weapon for a team like the Redskins which will try and take as much pressure off of “RGIII” as possible and get some big plays in the process.
70. Jacksonville Jaguars: Josh Norman CB (Coastal Carolina)
Jacksonville could be looking for some upgrades in their Secondary in the middle Rounds of this draft. No Cornerback on Jacksonville’s roster Intercepted more than 2 passes last season, and the team as a whole only picked off 17. Luckily, one player in particular they could select is the developmental prospect Josh Norman. While big CB at 6’0 197 lbs., Norman is still a bit raw technique-wise after playing at Coastal Carolina for college. Still, Norman did a terrific job at The East-West Game and could really be a sleeper pick for any team that considers him in the 3rd or 4th Rounds this season.
(Previous Selection: Casey Hayward, CB, Vanderbilt)
71. Buffalo Bills: Orson Charles TE (Georgia)
If the Bills want Ryan Fitzpatrick to be anything more than a mediocre signal-caller, they might want to look into finding him more weapons on Offense. With Scott Chandler heading into Free Agency, the Bills might want to find a better option for Fitzpatrick at Tight End. While Orson Charles (6’2″ 251 lbs.) might not be a threat to block, his athleticism and pass catching skills make him a valuable weapon for Ryan Fitzpatrick in the seam. Adding Charles to the mix of Stevie Johnson and the rest of Buffalo’s young WR’s could really take their Offense to the next level.
72. Miami Dolphins: Amini Silatolu OG/OT (Midwestern State)
As I stated previously, Miami could use help at the Guard position over the next couple of seasons. Silatolu has been giving scouts much to talk about this offseason, as an under-the-radar prospect coming out of the Division II ranks. While the 6’4″ 311 lb. Silatolu played Tackle during his collegiate career, Silatolu is projected as a Guard and has the size and raw athleticism to build a nice career for himself at that position. While he might not be a guy that can start Day 1 and will also have to adjust to the speed of the professional game, Silatolu displayed enough athleticism and upside on tape for scouts and at The Combine for him to warrant a late 2nd to 3rd Round selection.
(Previous Selection: Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State)
73. Miami Dolphins: Tommy Streeter WR (Miami FL)
Tommy Streeter could provide an awesome deep threat for a team in need of Offensive weapons. At 6’5″ 219 lbs. and possessing 4.4 speed, Streeter could be a game-changer for the Dolphins if given time to develop. He could be like Mike Wallace if Miami uses him as a deep threat early in his career while developing the rest of his game. Streeter should also be a force in the Red Zone and also allow Davonne Bess to have acres of room underneath after Streeter stretches the Defense vertically.
74. Kansas City Chiefs: Michael Brewster, C/OG, Ohio State
Casey Wiegmann is pushing 40, and the rest of the Chiefs Offensive Line is not getting any better. For Matt Cassel’s or whichever QB is taking the snaps in Kansas City’s sake, the Chiefs must upgrade the interior of the Offensive Line. A 4 year stater at Ohio State, Michael Brewster could be a solid value pickup in Round 3. At 6’2″ 312 lbs., the All-American Brewster started 49 games during his collegiate career, and did it all against some top competition in The Big Ten. While Brewster may not possess the athleticism, raw strength, or trapping ability of his predecessor Nick Mangold, he is a smart player that with some development could develop into a starter in year 2-3 of his career.
75. Seattle Seahawks: Chase Minnifield CB (Virginia)
Chase Minnifield, whose Dad was Pro Bowler Frank Minnifield from the Browns of the late 80’s and early 90’s, had a stellar career at the University of Virginia and played with two other 2nd Round CB’s in the form of Ras-I Dowling (Patriots) and Chris Cook (Vikings). At 6′ 185 lbs., Minnifield is a solid all-around Corner who does not have many issues when it comes to bringing down a ball carrier either. A 2-Time All-ACC performer, Minnifield could help Seattle’s Secondary because they released veteran Marcus Trufant not too long ago.
(Previous Selection: Tyrone Crawford, DE/DT, Boise State)
76. Houston Texans: Josh Chapman NT (Alabama)
Houston lost DeMeco Ryans recently, and they could opt to select the talented but troubled Vontaze Burfict here. If they decide Burfict is too much of a risk, I could see them trying to find their Nose Tackle of the future in Round 3. The 6’1″ 316 lb. Chapman would give Wade Phillips a 3-4 scheme experienced Nose Tackle to insert into the Defense recently installed. Chapman is a good player that uses his leverage well, and talent-wise should be rated much higher than he is. The big reason I have Chapman falling this far is that he is coming off of recent ACL surgery, and he could potentially be an injury risk. Still, experience in a 3-4 system and in the S.E.C., plus a clean bill of health could push Chapman higher up the draft boards in the next month.
77. New York Jets: Janzen Jackson S (McNeese State)
I don’t mean to be mean, but Eric Smith should be playing in the Arena League, and Jim Leonhard always seems to be on the sidelines with some sort of injury come January. If the Jets wish to compete against the cream of the A.F.C.’s passing crop, they had better find some answers to the questions which surround the back-end of their Secondary. The troubled Janzen Jackson (5’11” 188 lbs.) is just what the Jets would need on their team to stop a team like the Patriots. Jackson is physical enough to jam and disrupt possession WR’s like Welker and Branch, and he is athletic enough that he can probably cover Hernandez or Gronkowski as they head up the seam. Had Jackson kept himself out of trouble off of the field, he likely could have landed in Round 2 or higher, but at this point, a team like New York in need of a Safety will have to roll the dice and hope he pans out for them.
(Previous Selection: Markelle Martin, S, Oklahoma State)
78. San Diego Chargers: DaJohn Harris DE/DT (Southern Cal)
After the release Luis Castillo, San Diego will likely be in the market for a 5-Technique Defensive End this offseason. One guy which San Diego could target is Southern Cal’s DaJohn Harris. While Harris played DT in a 4-3 system at Southern Cal under Monte Kiffin, there could be many teams like the Chargers coveting Harris because of his 6’3″ 306 lb. frame to play DE in a 3-4 set. It might take a year or two for him to develop into a 3-4 DE, but he is definitely worth a 3rd Round investment for a Chargers team in need of Defensive Linemen to add to their roster now.
79. Chicago Bears: Chris Givens WR (Wake Forest)
Even though they acquired Brandon Marshall, with Johnny Knox likely sidelined, Chicago might consider drafting more than one WR next month. Chris Givens would be a welcome addition to the Bears’ WR corps if he is selected. The 5’11” 198 lb. Givens is a speedy WR (4.41 40 time at Combine) that had an effective college career at Wake Forest, and last season put up 83 Catches for 1330 Yards and 9 TD’s. Giving Jay Cutler all the means as humanly possible to succeed is a must this off-season for the Bears, and selecting a guy like Givens would be a step in the right direction.
(Previous Selection: Amini Silatolu, OG/OT, Midwestern State)