Steelers Day 2 Mock Draft

Round 2, Pick 60

WR – James Washington – Oklahoma State

Washington was the Biletnikoff Award winner as the Nation’s top wide receiver. He finished the year with 1,549 yards and 13 touchdowns on 74 catches, for averages of 20.9 yards per catch and 119.2 per game. He finished his OSU career with 4,462 receiving yards, most in Cowboy history.

The Steelers should be in the hunt for a wide receiver early in the second day after trading Martavis Bryant to Oakland. Though he doesn’t have the size of Bryant, but averaged over 20 yards per catch during his last three years in college.

“I feel like I’m a perfectionist,” Washington said. “I always want the best from myself, no matter what it is. I’m always gonna push myself to be the best I can be.”

Strengths

Escapes press with good initial quickness

Vertical talent averaging just over 20 yards per catch over last three years

Awkward early steps into route develop into powerful, driving strides eight yards in

Surprises cornerbacks with build up speed and consistently gets by them

Accelerates from stems on post routes and creates open deep looks for quarterbacks

Tracks balls like a centerfielder racing for the warning track

Adjusts speed to match ball flight and keeps cornerbacks stacked

Able to go up and come down with the deep ball with the best of them

Deep speed creates cushion for comeback routes underneath

Flashes runaway speed after catch or will get physical to add critical yardage

Worked outside and from slot

Round 3, Pick 79 (from Oakland via Arizona)
Inside Linebacker – Jerome Baker – Ohio State

After missing out on Raashad Evans in the first round the Steelers get a middle backer. We all know Tomlin and Colbert love defensive players from Ohio State and they get one here.

Baker has drawn some comparison to Ryan Shazier when he came out of college. Just without the blazing 4.3 speed. With Jon Bostic being able to step in next to Vince Williams this season, Baker would be able to spend an entire season adding muscle to his frame to help defend the run better.

In 2017, Baker had 72 tackles, 8 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, 3 passes defended and 1 forced fumble. He played during all four years at Ohio State while starting his final two.

Strengths

Moves fluidly and fast
Has hip looseness and footwork to flow around the field
Has trigger burst to flash from backside and close down running lanes
Tremendously rangy as tackler
Change of direction comes easily
Capable of eluding blockers with quick lateral movement
Takes efficient paths to the ball
Sifts and works through traffic bouncing in and out of gaps
Has athletic ability to handle premium athletes in space
Shadowed Saquon Barkley for most of the game and helped keep him in check
Talented in space with footwork to match receivers in space and hands to take the ball
Can carry vertical receivers down the field
Able to outrun mistakes and slow diagnosis

Round 3, Pick 92

NT – Tim Settle – Virginia Tech

The Steelers go back to Virginia Tech for their second pick in the third round. While it isn’t a sexy choice, Settle would add great depth to the defensive line. Stopping the run has been an issue for the Steelers since Casey Hampton retired. Settle isn’t Hampton, no one will ever be, but he’s a big body that would require some double teams. He’s 6’3 329 pounds and can move.

He checks all the boxes that the Steelers look with a high energy motor, good character, and the ability to locate the football.

Strengths

Accepted his coaches challenge to lose weight and improve conditioning and has done just that
Thick and broad across lower body
Rare agility for a man his size
Plays with infectious energy
Built low to the ground
Blasts out of his stance to capture the neutral zone
Able to play under and through the edge of blockers
Can be destructive along the interior when he has his wind
Power in upper body for quick punch and shed at point of attack
Good pursuit motor around the field
Locates ball early in the snap and plays off blocks to make tackles
Pad level is good
Has ability to penetrate and two-gap
Arm over can get early wins
Legitimate pocket pusher who can force quarterback to throw from unbalanced platform

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