With the No. 22 pick in the DBN 2015 NFL Mock Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers select...
Landon Collins, SS, Alabama
The selection and write-up were made by Marquess of Rockingham:
If cornerbacks and safties were teeth, Pittsburgh's defensive backfield would be the meth mouth of the AFC North. The offseason retirements of aging but somewhat effective veterans in Troy Polamalu and Ike Taylor only further served to accelerate the decay among an already highly compromised group. The Steelers also face a critical situation at OLB, where the retirement of Jason Worldis will force the team to depend heavily on what remains in body and mind of James Harrison. While Harrison cycled undetectably played effectively last year at the ripe age of 36, adding a top pass rusher would bring some much needed meat to a unit that appears heavy on vegetables. Owamagbe Odighizuwa, the best remaining DE/OLB prospect, could thicken the yinzer gruel on third down, but he appears better suited to play in a 4-3 base and carries a fairly extensive injury dossier.
Nevertheless, with only one DB off the board, many toothsome talents remain available for the egesta and pitch, which selects Alabama strong safety Landon Collins with its twenty-second pick. At 6'0" and 228 lbs., Collins' most conspicuous physical tool is speed (4.53), which, combined with his relish for contact, superior tackling skills, and ability to diagnose, track, and maintain containment on running plays, will make him a force in an increasingly run-heavy AFC North. Whoever drafts Collins may ask him to shed some mass, however, as many observers felt his increased size diminished his quickness slightly in 2014. Although he reads QBs well, proves effective in zone coverage, and uses his strength and athleticism to great effect in denying the ball to or stripping it from potential pass catchers, scouts universally agree that Collins should not be asked to cover TEs and slot receivers one-on-one. Still, the scheme flexibility Ryan Shazier provides could mitigate concerns about Collins' play in the passing game, and it's easy to see Collins thriving in third down situations as a dime LB.
While the top remaining CBs were tempting, the draft is relatively stacked at the position. In any event, precious few CBs can be expected to play effectively over a significant number of snaps at the NFL level as a rookie. In contrast, Collins is the clear best player available at a position of need, one of the few NFL-ready safeties available in the draft, and his strengths and weaknesses mesh well with the roster as it stands. What's more, Collins is by all accounts a model teammate and gym rat, who lives, breathes, and bleeds the game, all of which are very important to the Steeler "brains trust." In short, Collins will add some much needed enamel to a defensive squad that has grown more than a bit long in what remains from among its proverbial teeth.
With the Steelers' defense undergoing big changes this offseason, both in talent and in coaching, going with a young safety seems like a good fit, and they just had him in for a visit a couple of days ago. It would be interesting to see if Pittsburgh toys with the idea of taking a wide receiver, considering the potential holdout for WR Antonio Brown.
The Detroit Lionsare up next, led by tmptplayer.
2015 DBN Community Mock Draft Results (so far)
|1||Jameis Winston||QB||Florida State||BuenosAires_Dawg|
|2||Tennessee Titans||Marcus Mariota
|3||Jacksonville Jaguars||Vic Beasley
||Ted Washington's Belly|
||Manly and Loving It|
|19||Cleveland Browns||Danny Shelton
||Marquess of Rockingham|
|28||Maverick Hunter X|
|31||New Orleans Saints||pt_999|