The Pittsburgh Steelers head into the new league year with a need to add fresh blood to the mix. Here is a mock draft (from Fanspeak) to think about who the Steelers could draft.
Round 1, Pick 28: Tremaine Edmunds, ILB, Virginia Tech
Edmunds would be an absolute steal here as he is probably the second best inside linebacker in the draft. He has the instincts and the speed the Steelers will covet in a linebacker. He could easily step into the MACK role and play for years to come. Edmunds is a young player and that is a draft trend of the Steelers. He is also from a power five conference which is another trend of the Steelers first-round picks.
Round 2, Pick 28: Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M
I wanted to go defense here, but the value of Christian Kirk was too good. He is one of the better athletes in this draft and probably the best slot receiver in the draft. He can return punts on day one and play right away. The Steelers probably won’t need to worry about getting Eli Rogers back if Kirk is drafted. They will also have a very solid third receiver going forward.
Round 3, Pick 28: Kerryon Johnson, RB, Auburn
Le’Veon Bell did not get a deal done before the franchise tag deadline and that could be a sign that he could be gone after playing on the franchise tag in 2018. The Steelers will want another three-down back and Johnson has the potential to be the Steelers #1 back going forward. He is that versatile pass-catching running back that the Steelers like. They also reportedly visited with him at the combine.
Round 5, Pick 11: Godwin Igwebulke, SS, Northwestern
The Steelers would probably like to get a safety earlier in the draft but will have to wait until day three to get one in this scenario. Igwebulke will be able to be a top contributor on special teams and the hope is that can buy him time to develop the skills to be a strong safety in the league.
He is already a downhill tackler and that is something the Steelers need to improve upon. He doesn’t have the coverage skills that the Steelers would need from their safety though.
The hope is that with his 4.44 40 time speed, that he can develop into a safety that can play in space.
Round 5, Pick 28: Javon Rolland-Jones, OLB, Arkansas State
Rolland-Jones has the pass rushing skills teams want and if they play him in the right situations, they can use him as a nickel pass rusher. Bud Dupree is a better run defender and has more athleticism to cover and that is why he would remain the main starter.
The Steelers need more bodies at outside linebacker and this pick would add to their totals. He may not be the heir at the position that they were looking for, but that is the problem you run into this deep in the draft.
Round 7, Pick 2: Mason Cole, C, Michigan
The Steelers really like these five position-flexible guys on the offensive line and that is what they will get in Mason Cole. He will add depth in the areas that Chris Hubbard is leaving open. You have to think Chris Hubbard will sign somewhere else for starting right-tackle money.
That leaves a role open for Cole to Step in. They get more depth on the interior and a possible replacement for BJ Finney when he moves into the left guard role after Ramon Foster decides to retire.
Round 7, Pick 28: Dalton Shultz, TE, Stanford
Now I don’t think he will be here in the actual draft, but for simulation purposes, this is the best pick I could find. Shultz is a potential starter and that would be a cheaper option compared to Vance McDonald.
More realistically, Shultz could be that blocking tight end that they had with Matt Spaeth and David Johnson.