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Steelers mock draft 4.0: The Tackle Theory

Here in our latest Steelers mock draft, we take a glance at what it would look at if the team took an offensive tackle at pick 49.  It makes sense when you look of the current state of that position on the team.  Left tackle Alejandro Villanueva will turn 32 shortly after this season, along with his contract being up.  Right tackle Matt Feiler is also due to be a free agent after 2020, and maybe better suited as a guard.  The jury is still out on former third round pick Chuks Okorafor.  He was unable to beat out Feiler for the job in his second season with the team, leaving some doubt on the team’s confidence in him.  With all this in mind, let’s look at how the draft may shake out with Pittsburgh selecting a tackle with their first pick in the NFL draft:

Round 2: Isaiah Wilson – Tackle – Georgia

The Numbers:

6’6” – 350lbs

35” arms

5.32 – 40 yard dash

29” broad – 110” vertical

26 reps on bench

110.3 – SPARQ score (8th at OL)

The Skinny:

As you can see, Isaiah Wilson is a very large man.  He fits the profile of a Steelers offensive lineman with his large frame and long arms.  In previous mocks we have had the team going guard in the draft to begin rebuilding the offensive line.  As it turns out though, tackle may be the more pressing need.  Matt Feiler will be the easier of the two current tackles to resign, and he’s probably the perfect solution at guard to replace Ramon Foster.  With so many other free agents to deal with in 2021, it makes more sense to draft a tackle now, and not have to worry about that position next season. Disaster could be looming for the Steelers in 2021

Isaiah Wilson has gotten lots of buzz lately as a big riser in this year’s draft. Some have him as a early to mid-second round pick.  The Steelers will be crossing their fingers Wilson will still be available when its their turn to select.  https://247sports.com/college/georgia/Article/2020-NFL-Mock-Draft-Georgia-Bulldogs-Football-school-record-nine-picks-Jake-Fromm-DAndre-Swift-Andrew-Thomas-146006111/

 

Round 3:  Antonio Gibson – RB – Memphis

The Numbers:

6’0” – 228lbs

4.39 – 40 yard dash

35” vertical – 118” broad

126.8 – SPARQ score (8th at WR)

The Skinny:

Need an explosive running back?  Antonio Gibson can do that.  Need a speedy receiver?  He can do that too.  Need a kick returner who can take it to the house?  Oh ya Gibson has you covered.  Antonio Gibson is listed as a running back on most draft publications, but he projects as a wide receiver in the NFL.  His 4.39 speed means he will be a real problem for defenses in the NFL wherever he plays.  This is a versatile weapon who could produce big plays for an offense that desperately needs it.

Round 4a: Darrell Taylor – EDGE – Tennessee

The Numbers:

6’4” – 267lbs

33” inch arms

The Skinny:

Darrell Taylor developed into one of the premier pass rushers in the SEC over the last few seasons.  The University of Tennessee player amassed 16.5 sacks in his last 24 games.  Taylor played almost his entire senior season with a stress fracture in his left shin, so toughness is not an issue with here.

Taylor needed surgery after the season which caused him to skip any athletic testing at the combine.  That fact really hurt his draft stock given that teams can’t do medical checks due to their Covid-19 issues. Taylor also had some character red flags while in school which will push him further down some draft boards.  https://www.knoxnews.com/story/sports/college/university-of-tennessee/football/2017/10/09/report-vols-darrell-taylor-suspended-indefinitely-after-altercation-teammate/745805001/

These factors will allow the Steelers to get themselves a real pass-rushing prospect on day three of the draft.  Darrell Taylor would give the team a quality rotation piece at outside linebacker. This could turn out to be the steal of the draft for Pittsburgh. 

Round 4b: AJ Dillon – RB – Boston College

The Numbers:

6’0” – 247lbs

4.53 – 40 yard dash

41” broad – 131” vertical

23 reps on bench

144 SPARQ score (1st at RB)

The Skinny:

We have been of the belief all along the Steelers number one priority in this draft is to fix the running game.  Step one would be to draft Isaiah Wilson, and kick Matt Feiler inside to guard.  Step two is to draft a monster at running back.  The athletic numbers Dillon put up while weighing 247 pounds are simply ridiculous.  Pittsburgh could have their own version of Derrick Henry with this selection.

Round 6 – Josh Metellus – S – Michigan

The Numbers:

5’11” – 209lbs

4.55 – 40 yard dash

36.5” broad – 124” vertical

122.6 – SPARQ score (9th at safety)

The Skinny:

Josh Metellus is a new face on our Steelers mock drafts.  He scored well on the SPARQ score, and was a very productive safety with 74 tackles in 2019.  Metellus being a University of Michigan product doesn’t hurt his draft chances with the Steelers either.  Pittsburgh is in dire need of some depth at safety, and they find a quality one here in the sixth round.

Round 7:  Dezmon Patmon – WR – Washington St.

The Numbers:

6’4” – 225lbs

4.48 – 40 yard dash

36” broad – 132” vertical

127.7 SPARQ score (10th at WR)

The Skinny:

The Steelers wide receiver room is missing a big target for Ben Roehtlisberger.  In Dezmon Patton they get that, and an athletic freak to go along with it.  There are questions about his assertiveness, and overall toughness on the football field.  In round seven however, Patmon is a good gamble on the athletic ability alone.

 

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