Armchair GM

Armchair GM – Final 2016 Mock Draft

April 25, 2016
15 minutes read
Armchair GM – Final 2016 Mock Draft

I’m happier with this Mock Draft than I’ve been in a few years and I anticipate the Steelers having a great Draft despite not having quality draft positions.

Coming down the Stretch

Steelers filled a roster spot with Ladarius Green. Green has been second fiddle to future Hall of Famer, Antonio Gates, for the last couple years. Green is a willing blocker and a very capable receiver. He will be a good on field replacement for Heath!!! (but nobody can replace Heath in our hearts… crying emoji)

Other than that the Steelers let a lot of players walk and replaced them with sub quality players and by ‘sub’ I mean ‘substitute’. Starters, DT Steve McClendon, OT Kelvin Beachum (I’ve been maintaining for some time Beachum was expendable and have taken crap for it, so consider this my victory lap), CB Antwan Blake (waste of roster spot) all were allowed to walk. Contributors ILB Sean Spence, CB Brandon Boykin (lost 5th rd pick) were also lost in free agency. The 26 Million Dollar Man, CB Cortez Allen (the most ridiculous and undeserved contract, ever) was cut outright.

Jarvis Jones, who never should have been drafted in my humble opinion, has proved to be a Mega-Bust, forcing the Steelers to beg the great James Harrison back after they let him go for their shiny object, LB pick. Jones failed to beat out Harrison and was near the bottom of the linebackers statistically. I’ve watched every play of Jones’ in slow motion (because I don’t have a life) I can tell you he’s got nothin’. He’s not strong enough, fast enough or cagey enough to challenge a mid-level NFL Left Tackle.

All of this informs the Draft. The Steelers have added a little extra drama by hinting that a developmental QB (Good bye, Landry Jones) and a Wide Receiver (maybe bye-bye for suspended for a year, Martavis Bryant, too) may be on their radar on the third day. The Steelers player visits show a great interest in Corner Back, Defensive Line, Safety, Edge Rusher, Quarterback, Wide Receiver, Offensive Tackle and a little teasing of Place Kickers. I think the PK’s will wait ’till free agency, though.

“Armchair GM: What Steelers’ Player Visits Tell Us.’

Steelers are drafting late at 25th, so all of the ‘Blue Chip’ players will be gone and it will be up to the Steelers scouting team to find value. That being said, this is a very deep draft in the Steelers positions of need and a deep draft for developmental QB’s

If Cornerback William Jackson III, is still available when the Steelers draft in the 1st Rd, it would be tough to pass him up but I’m guessing he won’t be there. After him all the talent at CB is of roughly equal value. There are a number of players who show starter potential and maybe more, who should be available in the 2nd Round.

The Draft

1st RdVernon Butler, DT/NT/DE – Louisiana Tech, 6′-4″ 325# – 5.33/40, 26 – 250# bench press. Butler was all-conference in 2014 (56 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss) and 1st team All-C-USA his senior year (50 tackles, 10 TFL, three sacks, eight quarterback hurries). All of the Butler is not a prototypical Nose Tackle but the Steelers are not necessarily a 3-4 defense, anymore. Butler is incredibly athletic. He is great at slipping blocks and watching both sides of his blocker to slip and tackle running backs. Vernon is not just a run stuffer either he has a nose for the QB and pushs the pile back into backfield very quickly. Was used in stunts coming from NT position to edge blitz. Always runs in the direction of play no matter how far he is from the action. He has great drive and relies on his athleticism a bit too much but only, I think, because he hasn’t been challenged at college level. With a little work on technique, the very versatile Butler, who has lined up at all positions along the front four is almost a sure first year, starter and have eventual All Pro potential. The Steelers interviewed Butler, so there is interest. If Butler is available at the 25th pick, the Steelers must pick him up.

2nd Rd – Kendall Fuller CB – Virginia Tech, 5′-11″ 190#, 4.48/40 (projected) – 35 passes defended and 8 interceptions over 28 career starts. Torn meniscus kept him out of the 2015 season after 3 games. Very quick feet. Sticks with receiver and waits to make the play at the right time. A ball hawk who reads the QB’s eyes and breaks on plays. Has a four brothers who have played in the NFL including Bear’s longtime starter, CB Kyle Fuller. Claims he is the most talented of the Fuller brothers and a lot of scouts agree with him. Has great outside corner starter potential and could develop into a quality #1 cover corner.

3rd Rd – Carl Nassib, OLB/DE – Penn St. – 6′-7″  277# 46 tackles, Nassib had a phenomenal year in 2015. 19.5 tackles for loss, 15.5 sacks (new school record) and six forced fumbles. A walk-on for the Nittany Lions, Nassib is very raw but a great edge rush prospect who projects as a situational pass rusher. He may have the ability to be an every down player at OLB if he can prove his worth in pass protection and run defense. He was injury prone in high school and only has one year of production due to being red-shirted. With the Steelers linebacker coaches he could become something special. All of the ‘elite’ pass rushers will be long gone by this pick but Nassib who is considered a project by scouts, should still be available.

4th Rd – Darian Thompson, Strong Safety – Boise St. 6′-2″, 212#, 4.69/40, 53 tackles with 4 passes broken up and 5 interceptions. a S-L-O-W 40 time will drop Thompson down in the Draft. Tall, hard hitter with coverage skills and enough speed to run with most of the NFL Tight Ends. Very good close to the line of scrimmage and has great potential for Safety blitz situations. May be a little over eager to load up for the big hit but a very coachable, talented and physically impressive prospect. At the very least, a strong, in the box, Safety candidate. I also like SS Miles Killebrew here, for many of the same reasons.

Note: The Steelers may go with a developmental QB here, but I think it’s a big mistake. There will still be quality Safeties and there will be at least a few later round to free agent QB’s this year that would be worth signing. If they do go for a QB in the 4th I would go with Stanford’s Kevin Hogan. He is expected to go third day because of his weird throwing mechanics but the ball gets where it’s going with some velocity and he’s a winner. He has good leadership skills and intangibles. More than one comparison to Brett Favre. Hogan was not one the QB’s the Steelers visited with.

5th Rd – For Brandon Boykin, who we never got to see, because Tomlin is a butt flange with an attitude. The thing that pisses me off is this should be a HIGHLIGHT of this year’s Draft. It’s not often you get a starting caliber player in the 5th Rd. The 5th Rd is my ‘snake bit’ round. I’ve had CB Joe ‘Bullet Chest’ Burnett and RB Frank ‘Who Tanked’ Summers both of whom the Steelers selected in the 5th Rd exactly as I did. So the snake keeps on biting.

6th Rd – Gone, Baby, Gone for Josh Scooby-Doo!!!

Oh… But wait a minute!!!

Note #Dos: If Kevin Hogan happens to be available the Steelers should take him but he won’t be.

6th Rd – (Compensatory Bryce McCain) Brandon Allen, QB, Arkansas – 6′-1″, 210#. Had 65.9% completions for 30 touchdowns with 8 Interceptions in 2015. Allen improved immensely over his college career. He has an NFL caliber arm with a quick release and no fear throwing into tight places. Played under center a good portion of his snaps for the Razorbacks. Team captain and displays on field leadership. Has nice zip on short and intermediate throws and very nice control and touch on long throws. Often hits his receivers in stride allowing them to gain extra yards. Has a tendency to look to the right but can and does deliver the football all over the field. Is considered ‘smallish’ by scouts and he is a victim of the hand size hysteria that currently ‘gripping’ (see what I did there?) NFL. Moves well in pocket but does a have a tendency to duck and run if he gets too much heat. Has a bad problem of staring down receivers which is a big NFL no-no. In other words, an ideal candidate for developmental QB as either a backup or bridge QB to a franchise player, maybe more.

7th Rd – (for Brad Wing) Ricardo Louis, WR, Auburn6′-2″ 215#, 4.39/40, Speedy, tall and contentious, Williams is also a very raw receiver with sometimes unreliable ball skills.  Willlams spent time behind Sammie Coates, before leading the team with 46 catches for 716 yards and three touchdowns over eight starts in 2015. Very much in the mold of Coates, he has a very good build and impressive straight line speed for his size. Can create separation. Runs tight routes with good snap to shake press and accelerate. Can stretch the field, forcing corners to commit. Thinks the ball is his when it’s up for grabs and knows how to sit in the zone. Catches ball in stride. Undependability has been a problem but he really hasn’t seen as much field time as he might have with another program. No invite to the NFL Combine. Kick return experience, averaging 20.9 yards per return.

The scouts don’t seem to like him but I think he’s a real diamond in the rough. Could become something special and fill the ‘big speedy target’ void left by Martavis Bryant. Watch the video, you’ll see what I mean.

(Crappy Rap music alert!)

7th Rd – Joe Haeg, OT, North Dakota State, 6′-6″, 304#, 5.15/40, 27-250# bench – Has played both Tackle positions. Good kick slide and feet to get to the second level. Needs to put on more bulk and be more aggressive at the point of attack on rushing plays. Very good in pass protection and has eventual starter potential in the NFL.


Cole Toner, OT, Harvard, 6′-5″, 306#, 5.32/40, 22-250# bench – Good kick slide and feet to get to the second level. Needs to put on more bulk and be more aggressive at the point of attack on rushing plays. Very good in pass protection and has eventual starter potential in the NFL.

Well that’s it! Can’t wait for the Draft! Coming up April 28th on the NFL Network!!!

Go Stillers!!!

Jeffrey Burton

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One Comment

  1. JB Steel

    Scooby, Scooby Doo!!! Nice Mock. Nassib’s a beast.