Steelers Mock Draft adds a QB, RB despite going DB in 1st
With Ben Roethlisberger playing clean and efficient football, the idea of drafting his successor goes down the drain as the team will try to retool their team to keep competing with their starting quarterback. That said, Mason Rudolph will be entering the final year of his rookie deal meaning the Steelers could be without a backup quarterback after next year. Given the plethora of mid to late-round options in this draft, the Steelers would be wise to throw a dart at the wall.
While this could be a wide variety of quarterbacks, Feleipe Franks has one of the best arms of the late-round options. While his accuracy can be suspect at times, his ability to throw the ball deep would be welcomed in this offense. He would be the favorite to be the third-string option next year and taking over as the primary backup the year after. While it would be a surprise for him (or any) late-round quarterback to become a starter, if he turns into a solid backup, he would be well worth the investment.
The Steelers need to fill out their linebacker depth chart, as options like Vince Williams and Avery Williamson may not be around next season. Taking a shot at an intriguing player like Purdue’s Derrick Barnes would make sense this late, as he has a unique skill set for a late-round player. He plays big at 6’1, 245 lbs, which has led to athleticism questions but a ferocious pass rush ability. He tallied 7.5 sacks last season as a hybrid edge/off-ball linebacker.
Given his skill set and inconsistencies as a rusher, he seems destined to play inside at the next level. That pass rush ability could be big though, as the Steelers have used Williams to rush up the middle effectively. If Barnes can transition there, he could end up being a solid two-down linebacker. While it would certainly take some time, Barned could carve out a role similar to that of Williams in future seasons.
While the Steelers’ sole focus right now is winning this season, keeping your eye out of future prospects is never a bad idea. As the mock draft season comes ever closer, keep these players in mind as potential fits with the Steelers.