Posted April 18, 2014

Pittsburgh Steelers Mock Draft Tracker

NFL Draft, NFL draft 2014, Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers 2014 NFL Mock Draft Tracker: Louis Nix III, Notre Dame

Louis Nix III, Notre Dame (Carlos Osorio/AP)

What will the Pittsburgh Steelers do in the 2014 NFL draft? Keep track of all the predictions made in our mock drafts leading up to Round 1 on May 8.

April 17, 2014 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 7.0 (Chris Burke)

Round 1, pick 19 (via Miami): Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU

We said: Beckham could wind up much closer to the top 10 before all is said and done. He falls into the Steelers’ laps in this mock, after a trade down from the No. 15 spot. Pittsburgh has issues to address elsewhere, including along both lines. This pick would more than ease the pain of losing Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery to free agency.

April 10, 2014  2014 NFL Mock Draft 3.0 (Don Banks)

Round 1, pick 15: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State

We said: The needs are plentiful in Pittsburgh, but I’m sticking with the Steelers getting an infusion of talent at cornerback, where they’ve made due with chicken salad-type ingredients for a while now. Gilbert is a potential lockdown cover man joining a division that features the proven pass-catching abilities of A.J. Green, Marvin JonesSteve SmithTorrey Smith and Josh Gordon.

April 1, 2014 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 3.0 (Doug Farrar)

Round 1, pick 15: Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame

We said: The Steelers’ draft mistakes over the last few years leave the team in need at several spots, but there’s one clear thing Dick LeBeau’s defense needs to make it go, and that’s the kind of nose tackle who can soak up double teams, provide agility to cover in certain packages and get penetration when single-teamed. Nix is primarily a stomper at the point of attack, but he’s very agile for a bigger man, and if the Steelers can help him keep his weight under control, the sky’s the limit.

March 25, 2014 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 6.0 (Chris Burke)

Round 1, pick 15: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State

We said: Staying put and having their pick of every cornerback in this draft would be a dream scenario for the Steelers, who must get younger and more physical in the secondary. (In that vein, a safety — Calvin Pryor or Jimmie Ward — could be in play here, too.) Gilbert has excelled in both zone and man coverages, the former being a favorite of Pittsburgh’s.

March 18, 2014 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 2.0 (Don Banks)

Round 1, pick 15: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State

We said: The Mike Mitchell signing in free agency seems to eliminate safety as a first-round option, but the Steelers would still be wise to get younger in the secondary, where there’s a little too much experience on hand. Dennard is a pro-ready prospect and Pittsburgh could use more defensive backs who give Dick LeBeau’s defense a fighting chance against the likes of AFC North receivers A.J. Green, Marvin Jones, Torrey Smith, Steve Smith and Josh Gordon.

March 5, 2014 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 2.0 (Doug Farrar)

Round 1, pick 15: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State

We said: After a few rocky drafts, Steelers GM Kevin Colbert has a plethora of positional holes to consider. A primary issue is at cornerback, where William Gay was the only pass defender to log an opponent passer rating under 88.1 — Ike Taylor, who had the most passing snaps of any Steelers’ cornerback, allowed a 110.6 passer rating and six touchdowns with no picks. Dennard may have a few holes in his game, but he’s got the athleticism and ball skills to be a considerable improvement right off the bat.

Feb. 26, 2014 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 5.0 (Chris Burke)

Round 1, pick 15: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State

We said: Gilbert’s combine showing — a sub-4.4 40, among other things — could force some team’s hand in the top 10 (Detroit?) Or it could force Pittsburgh, Dallas or others to consider trading up for him. Pittsburgh has to get better at the CB spot given Ike Taylor’s descent into mediocrity. Gilbert could be a shutdown guy at the next level.

Round 2, pick 46: Deone Bucannon, S, Washington State

We said: Bucannon would make Pittsburgh feel better about losing Ryan Clark and potentially Troy Polamalu.

Feb. 19, 2014  – 2014 NFL Mock Draft 1.0 (Don Banks)

Round 1, pick 15: Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame

We said: The late-season knee injury Nix suffered could serve to drop him out of the first round’s first half, but, at 6-3, 345 pounds, he certainly looks like the next run-stuffing Steelers nose tackle. Despite his massive girth, Nix moves pretty well, and he’s cut from the same cloth as the gap-eating former Steeler Casey Hampton. Cornerback, safety and offensive tackle are other needs that fit Pittsburgh’s mid-first-round draft slot, but given what Dick LeBeau’s defense lacked last season, Nix seems like a prospect who’s destined to be a Steeler.

Feb. 6, 2014 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 1.0 (Doug Farrar)

Round 1, pick 15: Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame

We said: Yes, cornerback is a sure need, and this team always seems to require more help on the offensive line. But Dick LeBeau’s defenses are built on a root hog up the middle who can soak up double teams and let everyone else fly around. Not only can Nix do that at 6-2 and 345 pounds, but also he can bull through those schemes arrayed against him to add to any team’s pressure concepts. Conditioning is a slight concern, but Nix would be around veterans who understand what it takes.

Jan. 9, 2014 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 4.0 (Chris Burke)

Round 1, pick 15: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State

We said: Imagine Troy Polamalu as a cornerback. That’s not an across-the-board comparison, but Dennard brings a lot of those Polamalu traits to the field. Namely, he plays with an edge, a trait highlighted in how aggressively he dives down to pitch in against the run. Pittsburgh’s corners were putrid at times in 2013, so the value of finding Dennard all the way down at 15 would be a godsend.

Dec. 5, 2013 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 3.1 (Chris Burke)

Round 1, pick 10: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

We said: It’s not too much of a stretch to see Pittsburgh addressing its aging defensive line or secondary early in the 2014 draft. This pairing, however, makes too much sense. If you watched Lewan against Ohio State, you saw a lineman who can win at the point of attack or get out into the open field. With what an OL-starved Pittsburgh team wants to do on offense, he’s an ideal fit.

Sept. 24, 2013 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 2.0 (Chris Burke) 

Round 1, pick 7: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

We said: Anyone who’s watched the Steelers this season (or for the past couple seasons) knows that their offensive line is in shambles. Since neither 2012 second-rounder Mike Adams nor 2011 second-rounder Marcus Gilbert really has settled in, maybe Lewan could. Bonus: He’s blocked for Denard Robinson and Devin Gardner, so adjusting to Ben Roethlisberger’s movement in the pocket would be old hat.

April 30, 2013 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 1.0 (Chris Burke)

Round 1, pick 15: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington

We said: Seferian-Jenkins’ situation bears monitoring — he’s currently suspended from Washington for an offseason DUI arrest. If he gets things in order, the rising junior is a definite Round 1 pick. Think Tyler Eifert with even more athleticism.

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