2018 NFL Mock Draft: How the first 32 picks effects the Pittsburgh Steelers

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 27: Commissioner of the National Football League Roger Goodell speaks during the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on April 27, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 27: Commissioner of the National Football League Roger Goodell speaks during the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on April 27, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images) /

Draft day is finally here, and we take a look at how the first-round is going to change the outcome of the Pittsburgh Steelers pick at No. 28.

This mock draft is based on my expectations of what will happen in the first round. I did not factor in what I want to happen.

1. Browns: QB Sam Darnold, USC

The Browns have been atrocious for years largely due to a lack of quality quarterback play. With all their draft capital all the Browns need to get on the right track is a player like Darnold. In my opinion, Darnold is the best prospect at the position. Like most prospects, he could use some time to develop, although not as much as Josh Allen, and I believe he has more upside than Josh Rosen. If it works out Darnold and the Browns could give the Steelers trouble in the future.

2. Giants: QB Josh Allen, Wyoming

I don’t buy the current thought that New York will take Barkley or trade down. They have the third best Quarterback from his class and have the perfect opportunity to find his successor. I think they will leave it wide open for Cleveland to take their choice of Barkley or Chubb

3. Jets: QB Josh Rosen, UCLA

4. Browns: RB Saquon Barkley, Penn. State

The main concern of all the ‘North draft picks for the Steelers would be Saquon Barkle. Arguably the best player in the draft, Saquon should make a lot of big plays next year. Assuming Cleveland picks him, Barkley is a player who will give Cleveland a chance to win games they shouldn’t.

5. Bills via Broncos: QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma

6. Colts: EDGE Bradley Chubb, N.C. State

7. Buccaneers: CB Denzel Ward, Ohio State

8. Bears: OL Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame

9. 49ers: S Derwin James, Florida State

10. Raiders: LB Roquan Smith, Georgia

11. Dolphins: LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech

12. Broncos via Bills: S Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama

13. Redskins: DT Vita Vea, Washington

14. Packers: EDGE Marcus Davenport, UTSA

15. Cardinals: QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville

Lamar Jackson falling to the Steelers would make me ecstatic. Unfortunately, if the Cardinals don’t take him, the Ravens likely will. Arizona has an injury waiting to happen at Quarterback and would probably like to find their guy of the future.

16. Ravens: OT Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame

The Ravens would probably take a quarterback if one of the top five was available. Fortunately for the Steelers and the rest of the division, they fail to find their franchise guy. They are forced to take McGlinchey who is a great fit for a team with Ronnie Stanley on the left. With this pick, the team would have bookend tackles to protect Joe Flacco or their quarterback of the future.

17. Chargers: OT Kolton Miller, UCLA

18. Seahawks: CB Jaire Alexander, Louisville

19. Cowboys: WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama

20. Lions: EDGE Harold Landry, Boston College

21. Bengals: C James Daniels, Iowa

Another division team that I don’t see making a flashy pick. The Bengals have interior line problems, particularly at center. In my opinion, Daniels is the best center in the class. He should be a plug and play guy who starts for a long time. I can see Cincinnati looking defense. Rahsaan Evans could be a possibility but O-Line is a bigger priority. If they don’t take care of guard and center, guys like Cam Hayward, Stephon Tuitt, and Javon Hargrave could all have a field day when Pittsburgh meets Cincinnati.

22. Broncos via Bills: OL Connor Williams, Texas

23. Patriots: LB Rashaan Evans, Alabama

The Steelers ideal situation would be Evans falling to twenty-eight. Unfortunately, the Patriots have injury prone linebackers and could use an upgrade anyway. New England needs to invest in its defense and the twenty-third pick is the place to start.

24. Panthers: S Ronnie Harrison, Alabama

Ronnie Harrison was an option for Pittsburgh before free agency. I don’t think the team would take him anyway but I don’t believe they will get the chance.

25. Titans: CB Mike Hughes, UCF

26. Falcons: DT Da’Ron Payne, Alabama

27. Saints: TE Hayden Hurst, South Carolina

Arguably the best tight end in the draft goes one pick before Pittsburgh gets a chance to consider him and the Saints finally replace Jimmy Graham.

28. Steelers: LB Leighton Vander-Esch, Boise State

In my opinion, Boise State Linebacker Leighton Vander-Esch is the most likely selection for the Steelers. The medical tests at the combine should ensure that he is available at twenty-eight. I am not comfortable with the team’s linebacker situation and the team has to address the position.

Talent wise I think Vander-Esch is easily the best guy still available at the position. My biggest concern is his health. He had injury issues in college and doesn’t strike me as durable even without combine reports of a neck issue. These reports were cleared, Thursday. 

Injuries are the biggest question with Vander-Esch. If the team is comfortable with his medicals I expect him to wear black and gold next year.

29. Jaguars: TE Mike Gesicki, SDSU

Another option for the Steelers, Gesicki seems like a no-brainer for Jacksonville.

30. Vikings: CB Josh Jackson, Iowa

31. Patriots: QB Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State

Mason Rudolph has been linked too the Steelers for a while. I don’t see it however. I like Rudolph a lot but I expect the front office to pick to win now. In my opinion if Pittsburgh doesn’t take him he won’t fall further than 31.

Next: Steelers Mock Draft 3.0

32. Eagles: RB Derrius Guice, LSU

Derrius Guice is another player commonly linked to the Steelers. If the team is comfortable with how they stand with Le’Veon Bell, Guice will likely be available at 32.