2015 Steelers NFL Mock Draft: 7 Rounds v16.0

5 of 9

Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers are not only thin in terms of depth at the cornerback position; they also sorely lack depth at safety. Troy Polamalu is likely finished in Pittsburgh, Will Allen is still unsigned, and Mike Mitchell is back for at least another season. Combine that with the fact that Shamarko Thomas and Robert Golden have almost zero experience between them, and one has to worry about the safety position for the Steelers.

As many of you have noticed, I have been projected many defensive backs with both safety and cornerback experience to the Steelers in my mocks like Josh Shaw, Eric Rowe, Byron Jones, etc.. Another player who could bring a similar set of skills to the Steelers’ beleaguered secondary is Adrian Amos of Penn State.

A three-year starter for the Nittany Lions, Amos saw extensive time during his career at both safety and cornerback during his collegiate career. Amos was productive from both positions in Penn State’s secondary, and he proved to be a tremendous asset for the defense against both the run and pass.

While Amos could take poor angles at times versus the run, his closing speed and an ability to line up as an extra linebacker to support opposing ground attacks was a huge help (2011-2014: 157 tackles and 9.0 TFLs). Amos at times tries to make a big hit as opposed to simply wrapping up a ball-carrier. However, his willingness to play within the box, make the big hit and shed blocks are definite assets for a defensive back.

As a pass defender, Amos was no slouch either. With a big frame, straight-line speed and size to play press-man (6′ 218 lbs. and 32.25″ arms), the former Nittany Lion showed plenty of ability when it came to covering opposing receivers outside the numbers and in the slot.

For a taller cornerback, Amos has decent agility and illustrated some good ball-skills (2011-2014: 7 INTs and 26 PDs). In zone coverage and as a safety, I did notice that Amos was sometimes late reacting to balls. In addition, he looked like he had issues changing directions and peeking in the backfield in those types of situations.

Although a prospect like Amos will likely not be picked until early on the third day of the draft, he possesses an intriguing skill-set which could do wonders for Pittsburgh’s secondary. There are plenty of holes on the back-eight of the Steelers’ defense, and Amos could fill numbers of different roles for defensive backs coach Carnell Lake.

Next: Round 5