2015 Steelers NFL Mock Draft: 7 Rounds v19.0

3 of 9

Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh needs to find upgrades at outside linebacker through the upcoming draft, and that is a sentiment which nobody in this fanbase should be able to disagree with right now. Currently, Jarvis Jones, James Harrison and Arthur Moats are the top three names on the depth chart.

If that group doesn’t scream for future and present personnel improvements, I don’t know what will. The Steelers can ill afford to neglect that positional unit during the early stages of the selection process, and Lorenzo Mauldin of Louisville could be a player who they target in the second or third rounds.

Mauldin was a productive player during his first three seasons with the Cardinals as a defensive end and a linebacker (2011-2013: 15.0 sacks, 20.0 TFLs, 4 FFs, 4 PDs). Last fall, he stepped out of Marcus Smith’s shadow and enjoyed a solid senior campaign (2014: 51 tackles, 13.0 TFLs, 6.5 sacks, 3 PDs).

A big-framed player (6’4″ 259 lbs.) with long arms (33″) and the strength to disengage from opposing blockers, Mauldin can attack quarterbacks through gap-shooting as well as provide adequate heat from the outside. Mauldin at times has active hands, can turn speed to power on his pass rushers, executes a decent swim move, shows good instincts versus screens and clogs up passing lanes with his arms.

In terms of his current deficiencies, Mauldin must improve his consistency when it comes to wrapping up as a tackler, keeping his legs pumping while he is setting the edge and engaged, overrunning/over-pursuing plays on the ground, and using his hands quicker as a pass rusher. Mauldin is also a bit stiff at times when setting up his pass rushing moves, and it would not hurt if he played with more consistent pad level.

Next: Round 3