The NFL Draft is less than a month away, and there are plenty of rumors about where the Steelers are going to go with their picks. In case you were wondering, the Steelers have the following picks for the 2009 NFL Draft:
1st Round: 32nd Pick
2nd Round: 32nd Pick (64th overall)
3rd Round: 32nd Pick (96th overall)
4th Round: 32nd Pick (132nd overall)
5th Round: 32nd Pick (168th overall)
5th Round: 33rd Pick (169th overall – Compensatory Pick)
6th Round: 32nd Pick (205th overall)
7th Round: 17th Pick (226th overall – from Tampa Bay)
7th Round: 32nd Pick (241st overall)
So with those picks in mind, here is our first Steelers Gab Mock draft for the Black and Gold:
1st Round: 32nd Pick – Alex Mack, OG/C, California
You have to love what you see out of Mack, and he fills a number of needs for the Steelers. He’s versatile, can play center or guard, and at 6-4, 311 pounds he’s the perfect fit for an O-line that needs to build and get better in 2009 and beyond. Arguments can be made form some other positions of need, but O-line is by far the number one need on the list.
2nd Round: 32nd Pick (64th overall) – Duke Robinson, OG, Oklahoma
Sorry, I’m all about building that O-line up in this draft, and if Robinson is available, I think the Steelers would be foolish to pass on a guy like him. 6-4, 335 pounds, and better at run blocking than pass protection, he’s the type of guy that could use a year of seasoning and learning on that O-line, then move right in and have a solid impact.
3rd Round: 32nd Pick (96th overall) – Dorrell Scott, DE, Clemson
A guy that fits nicely in the Steelers 3-4 defense. He’s 6-3, 312 pounds, and the Steelers are going to visit with him before draft day, so they must like what they have seen from him in workouts and at his Pro Day. Could take over in a season or two for Casey Hampton, and averaged 50 tackles and four sacks in his previous two seasons before suffering a strained knee that hampered him his senior year.
4th Round: 32nd Pick (132nd overall) – Kevin Barnes, CB, Maryland
We know that the Steelers could use an upgrade in the secondary, and Barnes can be a player that can help them at the corner spot. He’s tall, has long-arms, and is a decent hitter who can make a big hit when needed. He does need to add some weight, as he’s listed at 188, and going up against some bigger wide outs he’s going to be overmatched.
5th Round: 32nd Pick (168th overall) – Ramses Barden, WR, Cal Poly
Okay, maybe he doesn’t come from the biggest school or conference (Cal Poly plays in the Great West Conference), but is a huge target (6-6, 227), and has been getting better each season. Had an average combine, but worked out extremely well at his Pro Day, running an unofficial 4.4. Last season had 67 receptions, 1,257 yards and 18 touchdowns as a senior, and had at least 131 yards and a touchdown in every game. Could be a solid sleeper pick.
5th Round: 33rd Pick (169th overall – Compensatory Pick) – Augustus Parrish, OT, Kent State
Let’s go back to the O-line position, the Steelers use the “Alan Faneca” pick here for a big tackle from James Harrisons’ alma mater, Kent State University. The pick comes to the club after losing Faneca to the Jets. Many think it should have been higher, but oh well. Parrish is listed at 6-4, 303, and ran the 40-yard dash in 5.29 seconds and repped 225-pounds 21 times at the scouting combine. Another guy that could have an impact on the line with some seasoning.
6th Round: 32nd Pick (205th overall) – Brandon Underwood, FS, Cincinnati
Another player that could add some depth to the defensive backfield, Underwood could start by learning a lot from current free safety Ryan Clark and strong safety Troy Polamalu. Clark will be 30 in October, and the team could use a player to groom for that position. Underwood compiled 60 tackles, six passes broken up, 3.5 tackles for loss, three interceptions and one TD last season. Can also play corner.
7th Round: 17th Pick (226th overall – from Tampa Bay) – George Hypolite, DT, Colorado
The line gets another project, as Hypolite was named to the All-Big XII Second Team last year with 6.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. 6-1, 299, needs to add some size to have a shot. At Colorado’s recent Pro Day, ran the 40 in 5.05 and 5.04, had a 32-inch vertical jump, 8-foot, 10-inch long jump, ran 4.72 in the short shuttle, 7.66 in the three-cone drill and did 32 reps in the bench press.
7th Round: 32nd Pick (241st overall) – Brandon Ledbetter, TE, Western Michigan
The Steelers have Heath Miller and Matt Spaeth, but could use another TE for depth, and why not take a flier on Ledbetter, who had an impressive senior campaign, finishing with 45 receptions, 464 yards and six scores. Listed at 6-5, 230 pounds.
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