Who will the Pittsburgh Steelers select in the Round 7 of the NFL Draft?
When teams reach the end of the NFL Draft, it becomes more about adding depth and taking a chance on a player than finding someone to start right away. In our last mock draft, I had the Steelers selecting tackle Willie Beavers out of Western Michigan, an experienced lineman who can grow within the system.
With the last two picks on the offensive side of the ball, it is time now to switch attention back to the defense. One position that the Steelers may go after late is a pass rushing linebacker. James Harrison is still mulling retirement. After seeing the team’s schedule for this year, the former NFL Defensive Player of the Year may actually call it quits.
Jarvis Jones, who has underachieved since being drafted out of Georgia, is in the last year of his rookie deal. They could pull the trigger on Day 2 of the draft on a pass rusher, but the Steelers will definitely add a pass rusher in the late rounds. Stony Brook pass rusher Victor Ochi brings great upside into the fold despite being raw at the position.
Unlike most rushers in this draft, Ochi is not wide regarded. Playing in the CAA Conference of the FCS, you don’t get a lot of games on national TV. Even without the notoriety, Ochi has been a dominate force since becoming a starter in 2014. In his career, he racked up 23.5 sacks and 50.5 tackles for loss, establishing himself as Stony Brook’s career sack leader.
Ochi was the Co-CAA Defensive Player of the Year in 2015. Though he spent his entire career at Stony Brock lining at right defensive end, he would line up both in a three point and two point stance. A little work may be needed with linebackers’ coach Joey Porter before Ochi makes a true impact on the defense.
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He impressed well enough in the East-West Shrine that he could become the first draft pick out of Stony Brook. Ochi showed off his tremendous pass rush skills in the game, chasing and catching ball carriers 10 yards down the field. This high motor could benefit the Steelers special teams units as he adjusts to playing outside linebacker in the NFL.
If Ochi is still on the board in the seventh round, the Steelers may take a chance on the talented pass rusher.