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A Steelers’ 7-Round Mock Draft with an Early 2nd Rounder

At this point an Antonio Brown trade doesn’t just seem likely, it seems to be a 100% guarantee. According to multiple reports, the compensation the Steelers will receive will range from a late-1st to an early-2nd. In this mock draft, I gave the Steelers an early 2nd to try and figure out what the team will do in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Round 1: Byron Murphy (CB) – I’ve stuck by Murphy in the first, and I will continue to do so. He’s smaller, but he embodies everything a Steelers defensive player should. He’s tough, gritty, and physical, but also very talented. He’s a good fit for the Steelers’ scheme and could be a steal at 20th overall. He wasn’t great at the combine, so he could definitely fall to 20, but he didn’t underperform to the point where the Steelers should be worried.

Round 2 (early, acquired from AB trade): Hakeem Butler (WR) – Butler is 6’5” 227 pounds and runs a 4.48. He’s an athletic freak who offers almost unlimited upside. But he’s undeveloped and he has struggled with drops. The Steelers have done a good job drafting and developing WRs in recent years, and Ben Roethlisberger loves bigger receivers, so Butler is a perfect fit.

Round 2: Christian Miller/Chase Winovich (EDGE) – This one might be a little unrealistic. The Steelers seem to be content with their EDGE situation and could be looking for depth rather than a future starter. But Miller and Winovich are good value in the late second and offer a long-term solution to their pash-rush problem. Miller is a long, versatile pass rusher who would flourish in the Steelers’ 3-4 scheme. Winovich is built for a 4-3, but his excellent testing in speed/agility drills in the combine could hint at coverage skills that have not been exhibited yet.

Round 3: Blake Cashman (ILB) – My favorite pick in this mock draft. He came out of nowhere and ran a solid 4.5 at the combine. His film is outstanding, but few people know his name. Even as a 3rd round player, he could be plug-and-play from Day 1 and a long-term replacement for Ryan Shazier.

Round 4: Alex Bars (OL)Ramon Foster and Maurkice Pouncey are aging. Bars is a versatile interior offensive lineman who has rotated spots along Notre Dame’s offensive line. If Foster leaves, B.J. Finney or Matt Feiler could be the starter, but Bars will be the eventual successor.

Round 6: Isaac Nauta (TE) – Nauta had a horrendous combine. A 4.99 40 yard dash was the worst of all TEs in the class, by a significant amount. But his tape shows that he can be a true receiving threat for an offense. He does not play at 4.99 speed, and if Jesse James leaves in Free Agency, Nauta is the perfect replacement at exceptional value in the 6th round. He’s a 3rd round talent who could easily drop to the 6th after his combine performance.

Round 6: Jah’Shawn Johnson (S) – Johnson is a smaller, but scary fast safety who could be perfect fro special teams and safety depth. He’s fast enough to be more than sufficient in a deep zone and his ball skills are above-average. With Sean Davis’s inconsistencies and Terrell Edmunds being better suited to play in the box, safety is a significant need. Johnson immediately fills this spot and could even see some starting time in Year 1.

Round 7: Wes Hills (RB) – I’ve been a huge fan of Wes Hills for a while now. A local kid from Slippery Rock, Hills is a bigger back who dominated in college, even it was against poor competition. He played well in the Senior Bowl, before he received a minor injury. Stevan Ridley has been a mess, and Hills is the perfect No. 3 RB for the future.

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