Who will the Pittsburgh Steelers pick in the fifth round of the NFL Draft?
In our last mock draft, I had the Steelers selecting Alabama running back Kenyan Drake in Round 4. Drake was the first offensive player to be chosen in my Steelers mock draft, but it will not be the last.
The Steelers need to add depth along the offensive line, especially at tackle. Left tackle Kelvin Beachum left the Steel City for the Jaguars. He is still recovery from a torn ACL he suffered vs the Cardinal. Alejandro Villanueva filled in for the injured Beachum, playing well enough to earn the job at left tackle. This allowed the Black & Gold to let Beachum leave via free agency.
So far this offseason, the Steelers have not signed any offensive linemen. The draft may be the place where the team looks for depth. Western Michigan’s Willie Beavers could be the pick for the Steelers in the fifth round.
A mainstay for the Broncos at left tackle, Beavers started 40 games over his collegiate career. Over the past 2 seasons, he earned 1st team All-Mac in 2015 and 2nd team All-MAC in 2014. Even though he played in the MAC, Beavers has faced some tough competition, including Michigan State and Ohio State, holding his own against both Big Ten powers.
Standing 6’4 and weighing 324, Beavers is a fluid athlete with quick feet and agility. This shows up in his run blocking, where he is great in space and climbing to the second level. In pass protection, Beavers is athletic enough to react to the twists and blitzes of defenders, neutralizing them with his 34 inch arms.
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One of the knocks on Beavers is his lack of upper body and core strength, meaning that he will need to put in extra time in the weight room. He must also learn to be more in control when blocking, mainly with his hand placement. Beaver’s is known for over-setting in pass protection, allowing defenders to get the edge on him.
The Steelers have not selected an offensive lineman in the last 3 rounds of the draft since 2012 when Beachum was selected out of SMU in the 7th round. If the Steelers decide to break that trend this year, Beavers could be their man.