Armchair GM

Steelers 2020 Mock Draft – 4.0 – Post Combine – All Rounds with Video!

March 2, 2020
12 minutes read
Steelers 2020 Mock Draft – 4.0 – Post Combine – All Rounds with Video!

Steelers Need to Do For Offense in 2020 What They Did for Defense in 2019

The Steelers management definitely overestimated the quality of their offensive skill position players going into 2019. No Running Back on the roster broke 500 yards. As a team they the had only 1,447 yards for a pitiful 90.5 yards a game, placing them at 29th in the NFL. James Conner is a good RB when he’s healthy but he’s missed 13 games in 3 years. It’s time to go to Running Back by committee and the team clearly lacks a breakaway threat in the backfield.

The receiving corps was no better with NONE of the Steelers Wide Receivers breaking 800 yards and NO, it wasn’t all Mason Rudolph’s and Duck Hodges fault. It’s a bad sign when your #1 wideout is a rookie who only had 59 catches and also led the team in dropped passes. Speaking of dropped passes, the Steelers were 4th ranked in that stat with 32. The way I see it they need to add two WRs this season, one to replace mega-bust free agent signing, Donte Moncrief, and the other to get rid of the worthless Ryan Switzer. The Tight End position also stunk up the joint with ‘starter’ Vance McDonald, who was supposed to be our young QB’s security blanket, coming up with a pathetic 273 receiving yards. The Steelers also need to add some interior O-Line depth.

The Drew Rosenhaus Factor

Nose Tackle,  Javon Hargrave, signed with Drew Rosenhaus which means big money on the open market. The Grave Digger is gone. Outside Linebacker Bud Dupree left CAA Sports and I thought he was Rosenhaus bound but he changed his mind and re-signed with CAA. I think that means he wants to remain a Steeler. Tuzar Skipper, who the Steelers finally signed to a two year contract and Ola Adeniyi will be given a chance to prove they can be good OLB subs. On a side note, 1st Round bust, Artie Burns, also signed with Drew Rosenhaus. (Who knew there was such big money in the XFL and CFL???)

If Dupree stays the only real needs on Defense are to find a new starting Nose Tackle and to get better depth at Safety. The Nose Tackle in the Steelers defensive scheme is only on field about one third of the time, so it’s not as big a deal as in years past. The good news is this season has a TON of Free Agent Defensive Tackles and Safeties along a wide talent and price range.

The 2020 Mock Draft 4.0

2nd Rd. – WR/KR/PR – Brandon Aiyuk – Arizona St. – 6’-1”, 208# – 4.50/40 – Aiyuk came from a junior college. He was WR3 in his Junior year behind N’Keal Harry in 2018. Has only one year of good production but that year was very good. Good route runner. Varies speed to catch DBs flatfooted. Plays faster than his recorded 40 time and is very fast when he opens it up. Can make really difficult catches but does have some concentration drops. He’s good now but could be great with a little development. This pick would also get rid of the useless Ryan Switzer. Aiyuk is a quality return man on both punts and kickoffs. Was one of the top Combine performers in both the vertical (40.0”) and broad (10’-8”) jumps showing his explosiveness.

In 2019 Aiyuk had 65 catches for 1192 yards at 18.3 ypc and 8 TDs. On his career he had 29 kickoff returns for 785 yards at a 27.1 yard average and 25 punt returns for 293 yards for a very good 11.7 yard average and 1 TD.

3rd Rd – Running Back – Cam Akers – Florida St. – 5’- 10”, 217# – 4.47/40 – The Steelers need to add speed at all the skill positions. Akers is a fast and fluid Running Back. He has breakaway speed if he gets in the open field. Runs hard when tacklers close in on him. Very good receiving option coming out of the backfield. Showed good technique and pop when called upon to block. He’s a converted high school Quarterback and can run the Wildcat very effectively. Impressed everybody at the Combine while doing the on field drills.

Akers ran behind bad blocking most of his time with the Seminoles and had a down year as a sophomore. He bounced back as a Junior and put up his best season in 2019 with 231 yards for 1144 yards at 5.0 yards per and 14 TDs. He caught 30 passes for 225 yards, 7.5 yards per and 4 TDs. Akers showed his triple threat value by throwing 13 passes on his career for a 62.5% completion rate, 97 yards at 12.1 yards per attempt, zero interceptions for an impressive 164.4 QB rating.

4th Rd – Tight End – Thaddeus Moss – LSU – 6’-3”, 248# – 4.65/40 – The Son of Randy is, of course, a good receiver. Was used both split and inline. Shows good hands and runs hard after the catch. Ran simple routes in LSU’s offense but he did a good job with them. Has the speed to rip it up the seam. His chip blocks are more chunks, where he gets a good pop and knocks his guy off balance before releasing. He’s a bit undersized for taking on DLs and LBs but is scrappy and doesn’t give ground without a fight. In the run game he was trusted with key blocks on both off tackle and traps. The bonus with him is maybe Papa Moss will come around and give our guys some tips.

Has only one season of good production and would probably have gone a lot higher with two seasons behind him in 2021. In 2019 Moss had 47 catches, 570 yards 12.1 YPC and 4 TDs. He was the star of the National Championship catching five passes and scoring two touchdowns.

4th Rd –Offensive Guard/C – Jonah Jackson – Ohio State – 6’-3”, 310# – 5.23/40 – Jackson played out his eligibility at Rutgers and joined the Buckeyes for the 2019 season. Played Right Guard and Center for the Scarlet Knights and Left Guard at Ohio State. Looks good in both pulling and trap blocking. Clears a path in run blocking. Looks solid in pass protection. He latches on to his assignment and doesn’t let them get around or through him. Looks for work if there’s no one in his zone but doesn’t abandon his post until he knows it’s safe. Has the versatility the Steelers like from their reserve O-Lineman and has starter potential at all of his interior line positions.  Voted team captain at Rutgers in 2017. Academic All-Big 10. Jackson is #73 at Left Guard in the video below:

6th Rd – Free Safety/SS – J.R. Reed – Georgia – 6’-1”, 208# – 4.54/40 – The Steelers need better depth at both Safety positions. Reed is a swing Safety who may be able to do both jobs. He’s played Free Safety but in Georgia’s scheme they move him from high Safety to the line of scrimmage, in run support, a good bit. Diagnoses and moves to the action very well. Sure tackler and consistently takes good angles. Not much film on him in pass coverage but he can cover TEs and bigger slot receivers. Ran faster than expected at the Combine and has good range at Deep Safety. Reed isn’t showy so he’s been dropping in Mocks but he’s a solid football player. He had 66 tackles, 2 for a loss, 1 sack, 2 pass deflections and 2 interceptions in 2018. In 2019 Reed had 54 tackles, 2.0 for a loss, 0.5 sacks, 7 pass deflections and 1 interception. Son of former NFL Wide Receiver, the talented Jake Reed.

7th Rd – Nose Tackle – Bravvion Roy – Baylor – 6’-1”, 333# – 5.25/40 – This squat Nose Tackle is a sleeper. He has been passed over on most Draft sites and didn’t get a Combine invitation because he is almost as wide as he is tall. The Baylor Bronco is a player, though. He routinely drew double teams from programs the caliber of Oklahoma and Georgia. He’s very good at taking away lanes and clogging up the middle but he’s not just a run stuffer. If he gets a step or some leverage he can get QB hits, sacks and TFLs. Has a habit of getting into too much hand fighting instead of ripping or swimming to disengage but that can be coached out of him. Should be able to take Dan McCullers’ roster spot and may develop into a starter. This is a tough and gritty player who will be a fan favorite for his playing style.

A three year starter who improved each year. Roy had 31 tackles, 3.0 for a loss and  0.5 sacks in 2017. The next season he had 34 tackles, 3.0 for a loss and 1.5 sacks. In 2019 Roy had an outstanding season with 61 tackles, 13.0 for a loss and 5.5 sacks.

That’s the Post Combine Mock. Free Agency begins on March 15th and the Steelers figure to be players, there. Not counting Donte Moncrief, Kevin Colbert did a great job last year.

What do think of this Mock? Any prospects you like better? Do you think the positions targeted are the right ones?

Go Steelers!!!

Jeffrey Burton

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