NFL Mock Draft: Predicting Round 1 surprises for Pittsburgh Steelers

Steelers, Will McDonald
Steelers, Will McDonald / Zach Boyden-Holmes/The Register / USA
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4. Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia

With the success of undersized edge defenders like Micah Parsons and Haason Reddick in recent years, NFL teams could be jumping on the bandwagon to find their version of these players. When it comes to supreme athletic traits, Nolan Smith fits the bill perfectly.

Though he measured in at just 6'2 1/8'' and 238 pounds with 32 5/8'' arms, Smith ran an official 4.39 at the NFL Combine while pairing his speed with remarkable explosion (41 1/2'' vertical and 10'8'' broad jump), via These traits absolutely pop on film, and it's easy to project him as a speed rusher off the edge in the NFL.

For the same reasons listed with McDonald, the Steelers clearly need more depth at the position. However, Smith also has some experience playing off-the-ball and his elite athletic traits would allow Pittsburgh to line him up basically anywhere in the box as a blitzer.

Smith is talented enough to be selected ahead of the Steelers at pick 17, and if the board gets wiped of offensive tackle and cornerback talent, this is a possible surprise selection we can't rule out as Pittsburgh had the whole crew on hand for Georgia's Pro Day.