Pittsburgh Steelers: 2017 Seven-Round NFL Mock Draft

Dec 28, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Miami Hurricanes tight end David Njoku (86) reacts after a touchdown in the second half against the West Virginia Mountaineers in the Russell Athletic Bowl at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 28, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Miami Hurricanes tight end David Njoku (86) reacts after a touchdown in the second half against the West Virginia Mountaineers in the Russell Athletic Bowl at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports /

The NFL Draft kicks off Thursday, April 27th at 8:00 PM EST from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Steelers hold picks 30, 62, 94, 105, 135, 173, and 248.

Every blogger thinks he or she knows what’s best for their respective teams and I am no different when it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers, ladies, and gentleman.

The two obvious needs for the Steelers are outside linebacker (or EDGE as the cool kids say) and defensive back, specifically a versatile athlete who can come in and solidify the nickel, slot role. Beyond those two positions, there are a lot of varying opinions on what the Steelers need to address in this year’s draft.

Who will the Steelers take in the first round? Does Big Ben contemplating retirement make quarterback a serious need? Will the Steelers draft a safety or cornerback in the first three rounds?

Look no further folks, I’ve got it all figured out.

Here’s my mock draft for the Steelers:

(Pick 30) Don’t get it twisted, this isn’t a luxury pick.

I’m hoping Ladarius Green will be healthy next year but unfortunately, his health is a big looming question. As a Penn State guy, I love me some Jesse James, but I don’t think he scares many defensive coordinators. Adding a bonafide playmaker at the tight end position would make the Steelers offense an unstoppable force, when healthy.

At 6’4″, 246 lbs, David Njoku is an incredible athlete. He’s a smooth, explosive route runner who should instantly create matchup nightmares at the next level. He needs to improve his blocking to become a more complete tight end but that should come with maturation.

The bottom line: the Steelers have pro-bowl talent at every skilled position on offense expect tight end, and that could change instantly by drafting Njoku. Full player profile here.

(Pick 62) Honestly, I’m praying T.J. Watt is available in the first round but I don’t think he makes it to the Steelers pick. That makes adding an edge rusher in the second round all the more important. Enter, Derek Rivers.

Rivers is a gritty pass rusher who wins with relentless effort. He does a good job at keeping his eyes in the backfield and finding the ball. Last season, Rivers was acknowledged by the Associated Press as a third-team FCS All-American. His stat line? 58 tackles, 19.5 for loss, and 14 sacks. Oh yeah, he killed the combine too. Here’s his full draft profile.

The Steelers need depth at outside linebacker and Rivers can immediately contribute as a situational pass rusher.

(Pick 94) This dude just looks like a Steeler.

Justin Evans is a rangy, hard-hitting safety with natural coverage skills. According to Matt Miller of Bleacher Report, some teams have even pegged Evans as a cornerback.

Evans brings versatility and physicality to the defensive back room. Between Sean Davis and Evans, the Steelers would have a lot of schematic flexibility from their safeties. He would instantly compete for a role in sub package football and be the eventual replacement for Mike Mitchell. Full player profile here.

(Pick 105) Pretty straightforward connection between the Steelers and Douglas – he matches a need and the team has shown interest in him. He visited the Steelers on April 12th.

At 6’2″, 209 lbs, Rasul Douglas is big-time corner coming off of a productive 2016 campaign. He lacks elite speed but could develop into a nice piece opposite of Artie Burns for the future. Here’s the bottom line on Douglas from NFL.com analysis Lance Zierlein:

"“Douglas has rare size for the position and his 2016 interception total will add to the level of intrigue for NFL teams. There is no doubting Douglas’ ability to make plays on the ball when he’s in position, but his lack of long speed and closing burst could make his big senior season an anomaly. Douglas is a zone corner with press and trail ability…”"

Full player profile here.

(Pick 135) It ain’t rocket science, folks. Big Ben thinks it’s okay to leave us poor Yinzers in constant disarray wondering when it will be his last year. Dobbs’ stock has been trending upward so the Steelers would be very fortunate to see him available in the fourth round.

Joshua Dobbs has a slight figure at 6’3″, 216 lbs but he’s an athletic guy who can sling the rock …and it doesn’t hurt that he’s a genius. Dobbs, the aerospace engineering major, had this swaggy thing to say to Emily Kaplan of TheMMQB.com about teams questioning his ability to learn an NFL offense:

"“My senior year I was taking astronautics, propulsion and an aerodynamics class… all on the same day,” said Dobbs. “At the same time as football season when I was leading an SEC team. I think I can handle it.”"

Sign me up. Here’s his full player profile.

(Pick 173) The last time the Steelers drafted an undersized, shifty running back it worked out, right? Right? Bueller?

Cohen, known as “The Human Joystick,” had an incredibly productive college career. I spent the last few years living in Greensboro, NC (home of the A&T Aggies) and I’m all aboard the Cohen hype train. I think he can be a dynamic returner day 1 and add another dimension to the Steelers already prolific offense. Get this kid in space and watch him break ankles.

View his complete player profile here.

(Pick 213) I think the Steelers are in good hands with Vince Williams replacing Lawrence Timmons, but adding depth to the position should be addressed.

Elijah Lee is the perfect Day 3 project player. He is an athletic linebacker who could use a “redshirt” year to add some weight to his 6’3″, 228 lb frame. With some added size and receptiveness to coaching, this kid could be steal, just like Vince Williams was in 2013.

Full player profile here.

(Pick 248) Price is a Day 3 prospect who could fall to the seventh round due to his lack of size and athleticism.

Could it be any more appropriate for Ejuan Price to land with the Steelers? Price not only went to the University of Pittsburgh, he’s a local kid – product of Woodland Hills High School in Pittsburgh. On top of that, his player comparison? James Harrison.

Full player profile here.

Next: Steelers' Bell, Dupree, Rookies have banner day

We’ll check back after the draft and see who the team picks. As always, please comment and share. Let us know what you think!