Steelers mock draft: Pittsburgh finds running back help early
By Tommy Jaggi
Round 6 (pick 209): Rachad Wildgoose, CB, Wisconsin
Now all we need is for ‘Duck’ Hodges to come back so we can start a whole flock of bird names in Pittsburgh. Though Rachad Wildgoose might sound like the name of a cartoon character that Elmer Fudd would unsuccessfully hunt, the Wisconsin cornerback is actually a pretty solid football player. Wildgoose only earned one interception in 24 games in college, but his 14 pass defenses, 3 forced fumbles, and 5.0 tackles for a loss show that he’s always around the ball. With the Steelers likely losing at least one cornerback this year, this pick makes sense.
Round 7 (pick 276): Forrest Merrill, DT, Arkansas State
Forrest Merrill is exactly what you would expect from a late-round defensive tackle of his size. At 6’1” and 320 pounds, Merrill is a run-stuffing nose tackle who doesn’t offer much in the way of rushing the passer. Still, he’s surprisingly nimble for a man his size. He may be able to stick around and work his way into the base 3-4 rotation eventually.
Round 7 (pick 249): Tuf Borland, LB, Ohio State
The Steelers missed their opportunity to grab Vince Williams’ eventual replacement earlier in the draft, but they still land a guy who can be a standout special teams player in the NFL. Tuf Borland lacks the speed and physical tools to be a starter at the next level, but he’s as tough as nails and has a ‘Dirty Red’ demeanor to his game. Perhaps he could be the next Tyler Matakevich for this team – a player who logs a ton of snaps on special teams and provides emergency depth at inside linebacker.
It’s hard to gauge exactly which positions the Steelers will target first, but with Roethlisberger returning, perhaps Pittsburgh isn’t going to trust a rookie offensive lineman to start right away. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @TommyJaggi and I will continue to provide up-to-date coverage of the Steelers and the NFL Draft.