Written By: Roy Countryman @PreacherBoyRoy
Free agency is mere moments away, and there is a vast amount of players still in limbo on the Steelers roster with having such little cap space there could be some very painful decisions made. With that said as it stands now, here is the Steelers mock to fill all the needs prior to the start of the free agency frenzy.
2nd Round: Traded Back with Houston Texans: Adam Trautman: TE, Dayton
Trade Details: Texans get: 2nd Round #49
Steelers get: 2nd Round #57, 4th Round Pick (f/MIA)
With the top RBs dropping down into the early portion of Round 2, the Texans get aggressive and jump up to get a feature back to take some pressure off of Deshaun Watson. The Steelers are happy to oblige as they drop down a few picks and pick up some needed draft capital, and they are still able to secure their target as well in Adam Trautman. He is one of the best TEs in this year’s class and with the uncertainty if Vance McDonald or Nick Vannett will be retained they jump at the opportunity to acquire this former QB who has the pass-catching prowess and blocking tenacity that made fans love Heath Miller.
3nd Round (Compensatory): Lloyd Cushenberry: C, LSU
Cushenberry comes off a season where he was the pivot man for a Heisman Trophy winner and National Championship, now he gets the opportunity to come in and learn behind one of the best centers in the NFL in Maurkice Pouncey. He has great length and good athleticism to be able to reach the second level on blocks, but he needs a good deal of technical refinement which he can get while being a key reserve for the first few seasons.
4th Round (f/Hou thru MIA): Sewo Olonilua: RB, TCU
If you haven’t heard Sewo Olonilua is the player I am pounding the table for in this year’s draft class. His skill set was vastly underutilized while at TCU because of their insistence to use an RB committee. He has all the tools you want for in a featured back and has the pass-catching prowess to be a quality contributor on all three downs. Every time I watch him I am more and more convinced he is a similar player to Le’Veon Bell when he was coming out of Michigan State.
4th Round: Brandon Jones: S, Texas
Jones was a high-quality contributor on the backend of Texas’s secondary for the last few years. He is an incredibly smart and assignment sound safety who has the athleticism to be able to maintain quality coverage over the top or fill downhill hard in run support. He is a sure tackler who doesn’t allow a lot of broken tackles. He would be a much-needed addition to the depth chart that doesn’t have much depth outside of Terrell Edmunds and Minkah Fitzpatrick.
4th Round (f/ MIA thru TEN): Donovan Peoples-Jones: WR, Michigan
Getting Peoples-Jones at this point would be a steal. He has great athleticism and was one of the biggest playmakers for Jim Harbaugh’s wolverine offense. He flashes the ability on vertical routes and has the size that is lacking amongst our WR corp. Adding his talent to the burgeoning stars of JuJu Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson, and James Washington would be ideal.
6th Round: Josh Metellus: S/LB, Michigan
After checking off the boxes early in this draft for obvious needs the Steelers go back to Michigan to add a former teammate of Devin Bush to add as a subpackage player and special teams contributor. Metellus is a high-quality downhill player in the same mold as Mark Barron who more than likely is a cap casualty due to the small-cap space the Steelers have. One way that Metellus differs from Barron is his ability to transition in coverage and stick with his assignment which would be why they pluck him here to directly contribute in that manner.
7th Round: Michael Turk: P, Arizona State
If the name Turk rings a bell for Punters it should. His uncle, Matt punted for 19 years in the NFL, and he is staking his claim to be in the NFL for the next decade. He has a cannon of a right leg, as evidenced by breaking the NCAA record for punting average in his first game at Arizona State with a whopping 63 yard per punt average! He will remind you of another former Steelers’ Punter in Daniel Sepulveda with his build because he possesses a thick and sturdy frame with excellent upper body strength that he showcased at the NFL Combine by out bench pressing some OL. With the way, the end of the season was a disaster for Jordan Berry the Kevin Colbert and company need to add competition this offseason to an aspect that has been lacking on the roster for years.