Is this perfection? Of course not. And even if it was, it's just a silly mock draft. Why even type out an introduction? Great question, feels kind of weird not to especially when Ray Fittipaldo types out a few paragraphs of nonsense before diving in.
In honor of Ray's usual useless gibberish, here's another paragraph as tribute because I genuinely believe he is an uneducated, poorly qualified spewer of nonsense. Honestly, you could leave a monkey from the Pittsburgh Zoo in a room long enough and they'd produce a better article that whatever draft drivel he puts out.
Anyway, I expect the Steelers to re-sign most of their cheaper free agents, Cam Sutton, Terrell Edmunds, Robert Spillane, and either Ogunjobi or a similar defensive lineman. At linebacker, I expect Myles Jack or a cut and upgrade kind of like they did last offseason with Schobert and Jack. Tremaine Edmunds makes sense and in a saturated market could be cheaper than you expect. As usual, the major roster holes are filled pre-draft.
As Ray would say with the enthusiasm of a sloth on day seven of a bender, Here is mock draft 1.0:
Round 1, pick 17: Bryan Bresee, DL, Clemson
Injuries and tragedy give the Steelers a rare opportunity to add a top tier talent that Tomlin would hope they're never bad enough to draft. I'm not going to get into all the details of the person that is Bryan Bresee, but I would not be surprised to see him among the 32 nominees for the Man of the Year award in the future.
Not only is he the type of person you want to have in the building, but he is a freakish athlete. Raw, yes, but I can't remember the last time I saw a 6'5, 300lb man move like this. No wonder many considered him the top recruit in the country three short years ago. If you twist my arm into a player comparison, I'd go with Chris Jones without the questions about maturity and passion. Or maybe King Kong. A true foundational piece on a roster.
Round 2, pick 32: John Michael Schmitz, iOL, Minnesota
And while we're talking foundational pieces, what better direction to go than John Michael Schmitz (JMS). A leader that will turn into the rock in the middle of an offensive line for the next decade. Not what you call a perfect prospect, but those flaws are hard to find and even harder after his impressive Senior Bowl performance.
Grades well, moves well, plays with power, only real knock is his age, but he is an instant impact player and the Steelers seem to have more confidence in Dan Moore than Dotson and I'm far from sold on Mason Cole as a long term solution. What better way to help Kenny learn and grow than give him a center that he can play his whole career with. And please don't underestimate the impact a smart center can have. I don't mean this as a one-to-one comparison, but in terms of size and unexpected impact, JMS is reminiscent of Travis Frederick.
Round 2, pick 49: DJ Turner, CB, Michigan
Probably a name that will surprise some people, especially those who have projected him as a third or fourth round pick. And to them, I say go watch the film, do your own research, and tell me this isn't one of the best corners in the draft.
A shade under 6' and a little light around 180, though unafraid of contact, Turner is going to set Indianapolis on fire after he tests. Agilities, jumps, and a low 4.3 40 will have people taking notice, but right now I see a guy on film who is stuck on every receiver he covers and will match up with anyone including the generational Marvin Harrison Jr. He might remind you of a Denzel Ward type player.
Round 3, pick 80: Dylan Horton, OLB, TCU
Combine Alex Highsmith on the verge of a massive payday and one of the strongest EDGE classes I can remember and value hits need here. Another freak athlete in the mold of Bud Dupree at 6'4, 265lbs, Horton is among the more overlooked players in the class. Pretty sure PFF has him as a 6th round pick and that's simply not the case.
So freak athlete, high character, team captain, who is among the highest effort players on film, what's wrong with him? Combine a need to develop and playing out of position as a true down lineman at TCU and you start to get overlooked. Still he'd be a perfect third OLB to develop no matter what the future holds with Highsmith.
Round 4, pick 121: Blake Freeland, OT, BYU
Not often does it feel like the Steelers catch falling prospects on day three, but a player like Freeland just makes too much sense. A little backstory: Freeland was a high school QB, All-State basketball player, and one of the best track and field athletes in the country. He showed up at BYU, skipped his mission trip, and went from wannabe tight end to massive left tackle.
Another guy that checks a ton of boxes, athlete and captain among them, but he struggled at the Senior Bowl. Simply put, the 6'8 305lb kid needs to get stronger and develop his technique. But if he does hit his ceiling, Freeland is a prospect that will remind people of Kolton Miller even if he is a multi-year project.
Round 7, pick 237: Isaiah Moore, LB, North Carolina State
On a defense that will have all three of their linebackers playing in the NFL, Moore stands out as the heart. A DMV kid, so you know Tomlin is already a fan, the best way to describe Moore is just solid. He checks the size box many look for, is a decent athlete, but has dealt with injuries throughout his career.
Has consistently been All-ACC Honorable Mention unable to take the next step due to these many setbacks. However, with the way the team reveres his play, his multiple team captaincies, and wearing the coveted number 1 jersey at NC State, I'd be more than willing to bet on him moving forward. His play might remind you of Ja'Whaun Bentley in New England.
Round 7, pick 244: Jacob Copeland, WR, Maryland
Few teams in the country waste talent quite like the Florida Gators and Copeland was far from immune. Most well known for his mom marching off the stage after he chose to be a Gator instead of attend Alabama or Tennessee, he stands out as a guy whose best ball is likely ahead of him.
After 4 years, 86 catches, and 1366 yards at Florida, Copeland had one more year of eligibility to really show of his talent. Instead he ended up at Maryland as the third or fourth option in a pretty mediocre passing attack. And yet the talent still shines through; he had a decent week at the NFLPA Bowl. You know that feeling when you watch someone like Antonio Brown or Kadarius Toney? They just move differently in and out of breaks, making people miss in space. At this point in the draft, why not?
And just like Fittipaldo, it just fades into nothingness.