2015 Steelers NFL Mock Draft: 7 Rounds v14.0

6 of 9

Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

As many of you already know, I have often discussed how the Steelers could double-dip at cornerback during April’s draft. However, as I outlined in an article on Pro Football Spot, the Steelers could be in line to take two outside linebackers in April’s draft if the free agency period does not net the franchise any more experienced depth.

Finding some competition for guys like Lemon, “HoJo” and Nix will be essential if James Harrison is not re-signed. Moreover, this franchise has not had much in terms of success when it has come to drafting and developing outside linebackers since LaMarr Woodley was selected in 2007. Double-dipping could be an excellent strategy, and I can see Pittsburgh taking a chance on Davis Tull of Chattanooga next month.

An extremely productive pass rusher for the Mocs, Tull was a four-year starter and was one of the FCS’s best pocket-collapsing defensive ends during his career. Overall, Tull wreaked havoc at Chattanooga where he started 48 games, recorded 196 tackles, 60.0 TFLs, 37.0 sacks, 10 FFs, 4 FRs and 29 QB hurries.

Tull plays with a high motor, uses his extremely active hands well, can execute both speed and bull rushes, is adept at diagnosing screens, gap-shoot & inside swipes, can play run with proper pad level, good instincts & disciplined.

The parts of Tull’s game where I worry have to do with his shorter arms (31.25”), his overall strength and questions regarding how well he can anchor as a run defender at the professional level. Getting better bend on his speed rushes will also be necessary if he wishes to improve his pocket-collapsing skills.

With a similar frame as Jarvis Jones (6’2″ 246 lbs), and a bit less athletic, Tull is likely a special teams contributor and potential sub-package pass-rusher at this juncture of his career. In addition, how well Tull can transition to being an effective pass defender after spending his entire career as a defensive lineman in college will be a big question.

Issues aside, grabbing Tull in the mid-to-late rounds of the draft could be a savvy move for Pittsburgh’s front office. There is upside to his game, and improving the special teams coverage units is never a terrible thing either. The need for capable depth on this roster at outside linebacker is evident, and adding more bodies and competition to the mix should help to make that position better going forward.

Next: Round 6