Final Steelers mock draft: Pittsburgh gets their QB without a trade-up
By Scott Long
The NFL Draft is almost here, and with its arrival on the horizon, it’s time for one final mock draft for the Steelers.
With the NFL Draft being this week, all kinds of rumors are swirling around, and it’s becoming difficult to determine which rumors are real, and which are smokescreens. Teams and analysts will be spending the remaining moments leading up to the draft not only determining who they want to pick, but also whether other teams would be willing to pick the players they like.
These questions will be integral as they will help determine if a trade is made, or if the player each team likes will be there. There has been more movement in the draft than ever this year, with numerous trades involving first-round picks already occurring, and it’s likely that there is still at least one more to come. Now the latest rumors and my beliefs about what the team will do are shown in my last mock draft for the team this year.
The most difficult selection to peg for the Steelers may be in the first round. I am convinced that the team will select a quarterback in round one but the numerous rumors surrounding the quarterback class make this very difficult to peg. Many draft analysts including Todd McShay of ESPN, and Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Network believe that the Steelers at 20 will be the first team to select a quarterback in this year’s draft class.
Assuming this is the case, I believe that Malik Willis will be the selection for the Steelers. The Liberty quarterback is one of the most polarizing prospects in this year’s draft class, as he possesses easily the most gifted skill set of any quarterback in this year’s class, and thus has the highest ceiling, but he’s also a very raw prospect and has the highest bust potential.
The team has been linked to him throughout the draft process, and his personality and meetings with the team, have led many to speculate that the team likes him.
If he is there I believe he is the selection. This is a weak quarterback class this year, and thus it is more likely than ever that the Steelers can get the top quarterback to fall to them. The key here is the Carolina Panthers, as they are sitting at six and could select a quarterback.
If they select Kenny Pickett or Willis that may alter the chances of the Steelers getting one of those two, however, if they don’t then the Steelers could definitely see Willis fall to them, although it’s no guarantee.
As things currently stand Willis is the pick in this mock for the Steelers at 20, although I wouldn’t be surprised if he is not there and the Steelers wind up taking either Pickett or Desmond Ridder in round one. While the Steelers should consider other positions as well in the first round, I am convinced that the team will select a quarterback, due to their need at the position, and the extensive research they’ve done on this year’s class.