Here we go….. with just a few days left before the draft there is anything but a consensus on who the Steelers will select in the first round. The uncertainty of this draft makes this an even more complicated task. We have an idea of what positions Pittsburgh may be targeting, but who will drop and rise in this draft remains a mystery. I’m giving myself five tries to sift through all the rumors, and try to get this right.
- Obi Melifonwu – S – Connecticut: There has been a lot of buzz about the Steelers interest in a hybrid safety type this year. Melifonwu checks a lot of boxes when it comes to that position. He killed the combine with an amazing 4.4/40 at 6’4″ and 225 lbs. With that kind of speed, some have speculated he could even play corner. The Steelers met Melifonwu at the combine, as well as having him in for one of their allotted visits.
- T. J. Watt – EDGE – Wisconsin: Watt has been showing up in more and more in the Steelers mocks lately. Here again Pittsburgh may be looking for a hybrid type player. They have shown interest in some bigger edge players such as him, Chris Wormley, Tanoh Kpassagnon among others. Watt is a raw talent, having played the position only one full season. His size and athletic ability show some promise for a potential break out once he’s had time to develop as a pass rusher. Watt did not come to Pittsburgh for a visit, but they were at his pro day and met at the combine.
- Takkarist McKinley – EDGE – UCLA: We all know the Steelers glaring need for a pass rusher so edge rusher is prominent in my 5 guesses. More then anything else, the seeming interest in this player is makes me think he could be the choice. McKinley came to Pittsburgh for a visit, met with the Steelers at his pro day and at the combine. All this attention could be due to Takk’s injury status. He was slated to have shoulder surgery sometime in the offseason. He’s a good athlete who needs work on his pass rushing moves as he is a bit raw in that area. As with most of these players, he may not make it all the way to 30.
- Pat Mahomes – QB – Texas Tech: The Steelers have certainly been doing their homework on quarterbacks heading into the 2017 draft. Whether this is a practice run for next years draft as some have speculated remains to be seen. Mahomes is thought by some to be the best quarterback in this draft. He’s a bit of a gunslinger in the Brett Farve mode, and can be inconsistent at times. Sitting for a year or two could really help his development in the NFL. Where quarterbacks go in this draft is anybody’s guess at this point. If Mahomes makes it to the Steelers, they will have quite a decision on their hands. Not only on if they should take a quarterback with all the needs on defense, but they should receive more then a few trade offers from teams behind them.
- Marlon Humphrey – CB – Alabama: I had Humphrey as the choice for the Steelers in my latest mock draft Steelers mock draft 3.0. He fits the mold of the tall, speed corner Pittsburgh seems to now prefer. Humphrey started at Alabama as a freshman, which is an accomplishment in itself. He still may be a little inexperienced having only two years of games under his belt. Humphrey was the only cornerback to come to Pittsburgh for a visit who could have a realistic chance to be drafted in the first round.