Steelers Make Surprising Selection In Latest FanSided 2015 Mock Draft


The Steelers will select a cornerback in the first round this year. Or is it a linebacker? Or a quarterback?

Nothing is more hotly contested than a team’s first round draft pick when it comes to the NFL. For the Steelers, as of lately, it seems that the team goes and does the completely opposite of what everyone else thinks is best or speculates what the team will actually do in that first round.

The Steelers are in great need of help in the secondary.  They’ve been that way for years, and Steelers fans have clamored for a first or second round corner every draft since 2011 – perhaps secretly even sooner.

The Steelers have a habit of going with the BPA – Best Player Available – left on the board rather than fill a need with a player with a lower Madden score yet fills a need.

Yet all of us “experts” can’t help but insist that Steelers GM Kevin Colbert and head coach Mike Tomlin fill the gaping holes in the roster. So, the mocks should all follow suit, right? Wrong.

The latest mock coming from editor Josh Sanchez from is in.  With their first selection in the 2015 NFL draft, the Steelers select:

This pick surprises me as it should surprise the rest of you.  Here’s what Sanchez had to say about the pick:

"Pittsburgh has been working to rebuild their defensive line for the past few years, but they have yet to find a nose tackle capable of filling in the giant shoes left from the departure of Casey Hampton. Shelton is an impressive run-stuffer, but he also brings some versatility that would allow Dick LeBeau to find a way to incorporate his youth and athleticism into the mix. That is inarguably something the once proud Steelers defense could benefit from."

Let’s put the Dick LeBeau part off to the side.  We all know that LeBeau is gone and that Keith Butler is now the defensive coordinator. So why the pick at defensive tackle? And, why Shelton?

The Steelers already have a “Danny” at the nose tackle position – Daniel McCullers. McCullers is a beast of a young man. At 6’7″ and 348 lbs., McCullers towers over the offensive linemen opposite of him. While still raw, McCullers physical prowess and talent are a season or two of grooming to turn into the next “Casey Hampton.” Hell, I would say better than Casey Hampton.

McCullers is big enough and agile enough (for his size) to be a good run stuffer. He literally pushes back guards and centers, and can be used to quickly collapse a pocket in pass rush.

That said, Shelton becomes even more confusing when you figure in Keith Butler. The Steelers are going to stick with the 3-4 as was told to the media by Art Rooney II himself a week ago. Were the Steelers to move to a 4-3 base, then adding in another DT makes sense. This pick doesn’t hold much water for me, and I fail to see any great improvement over what McCullers could provide in a few years and what DT Steve McLendon does already.

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If anything, the Steelers would go after another defensive end to improve edge rushing that needs some added depth behind second year starter Stephon Tuitt and veteran beast Cameron Heyward.  That doesn’t need a first round pick. That kind of depth can be found in the third round or later.

I get where Sanchez is going and what his thinking is behind the Shelton pick, but the team would be better served going after other more immediate needs in the first and second rounds. Get the depth later in the draft.

Next: Super Bowl 2015: Two Polarizing Teams