Pittsburgh Steelers Mock Draft: Trading up for a linebacker, predictions for every pick
The Steelers should think about making a move up if a key linebacker gets in range of their pick
The Steelers could definitely use help at inside linebacker in this draft after the brutal injury to Ryan Shazier last season. But there's no guarantee any of the top four linebackers will be available.
Roquan Smith and Tremaine Edmunds are expected to go in the first 12 picks, and no one expects them to be available in the second half of Round 1. Leighton Vander Esch should come off the board in the 17-23 range, and Rashaan Evans could also be gone during that window or within the next few picks.
If he somehow makes it past Tennessee to No. 26, the Steelers should capitalize by hopping over New Orleans and guaranteeing they get their guy.
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|1||26||Rashaan Evans, ILB, Alabama||from ATL|
|1||28||Traded to Atlanta|| |
|2||60||Traded to Miami|| |
|3||73||Derrick Nnadi, DE/DT, Florida State||from MIA|
|3||92||M.J. Stewart, CB, North Carolina|| |
|4||123||Armani Watts, S, Texas A&M||from MIA/CLE/CAR|
|5||148||Traded to Atlanta||from SF|
|5||165||Marcus Allen, SS, Penn State|| |
|7||220||Trevon Young, OLB, Louisville||from NYG|
|7||246||Richie James, WR, Middle Tennessee State|| |
If Evans makes it to No. 27, the Steelers will have to worry about the Saints swiping him. It's worth giving up a fifth-round pick to jump a couple spots and land the much-needed inside linebacker.
In the second, they make up for sacrificing one pick and trading back 13 spots before taking Nnadi, a sack machine in college who can compete for snaps on the defensive line. Stewart is a versatile defensive back who should quickly develop into a starter somewhere.
The Steelers keep attacking the defense on Day 3, picking up two safety prospects in Watts and Allen for depth and special teams potential. Watts could end up developing into the best option at free safety. Young provides some depth at rush linebacker. The team's first and only offensive pick ends up being James, a small slot option who could be dangerous with the ball in space.
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