Steelers mock draft: Rare trade-back still lands an impressive center

Oregon Ducks offensive lineman Jackson Powers-Johnson (58)
Oregon Ducks offensive lineman Jackson Powers-Johnson (58) / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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Edgerrin Cooper. Texas A&M. 535. Edgerrin Cooper. . LB. Edgerrin Cooper. player. . 2

Steelers mock draft round two: Edgerrin Cooper, LB, Texas A&M

On the surface, a linebacker isn’t one of the biggest needs for this team. Assuming Cole Holcomb is healed from his injury, both he and Elandon Roberts should return as the starters for this team. Both played extremely well last season and while neither are elite, they aren’t liabilities either.

This team is still lacking dynamic play out of the position though, and that is something that Edgerrin Cooper can provide. He is the prototype of a modern NFL linebacker. While a little small, he should test out as a great athlete. This allows him to fly around the field and make an impact in the passing and running game.

He also shows a knack for making good plays in coverage. He isn’t just an athlete like Devin Bush was coming out of Michigan, he can diagnose plays well and can hold his own in man coverage. He isn’t a slouch against the run either, as he is quick to diagnose a play and get into the backfield to disrupt.

Taking a linebacker in the second round seems a little rich, but I have a feeling that the Steelers are going to be doing their homework on this second wave of options. Cooper has all the traits to become a great linebacker, and while he will have to share snaps as a rookie, he could provide this team with a long-term starter.