2015 Steelers NFL Mock Draft: 7 Rounds v14.0

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Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

James Harrison and Arthur Moats might be back, but the Steelers are not exactly overflowing with talent at outside linebacker. Harrison and Moats are reliable stop-gaps, but whether or not they can take over games and contribute at high levels on a season-long basis is definitely up for debate. Behind those two and Jarvis Jones on the depth chart, inexperience and question marks reign supreme.

The Steelers need to find a future starter at strongside outside linebacker, and they have not found a long-term solution at the position through the draft since LaMarr Woodley was selected in 2007. One player who could interest Pittsburgh and represent tremendous value on the draft’s second day is Trey Flowers of Arkansas.

A consistent force off of the edge in Fayetteville, Flowers was a three-year starter for the Razorbacks. Overall, Flowers racked up 190 tackles, 37.5 TFLs and 18.0 sacks from his defensive end position and established himself as an under-the-radar force in a conference littered with terrific defensive linemen.

Despite his size (6’2″ 266 lbs.), Flowers has the deceptive quickness to execute speed rushes, spins and loops from the edge to make his bull rush even more potent. The former Razorback is also quite nasty in the trenches, and Flowers does an excellent job of setting the edge with his long arms and gap-shooting against the run when he maintains proper pad level and balance.

As far as negatives are concerned, Flowers is sometimes mechanical and slow when asked to execute inside rushes. In addition, as I mentioned previously, sometimes Flowers can get into trouble with his balance if his pad level and hand placement are not consistent. How well and how often Flowers will be able to contribute in pass-coverage will also be a pressing question too.

With his present skill-set, Flowers would be a solid and sensible choice for Pittsburgh’s front office to make on the draft’s second day. Woodley’s presumed successor, Jason Worilds, is retired, and one has to wonder how long Moats and Harrison can hold down the fort on the strongside.

Next: Round 4