With the 22nd pick in the 2015 Arrowhead Pride mock draft, Pittsburgh Steelers GM ChiefsEnthusiast selects...
Looking at the Steelers roster, there's one thing that almost everyone can agree on; the first round pick is coming on the defensive side of the ball. From high-profile retirements of Ike Taylor, Jason Worilds and Troy Polamalu, to already having an aging defense, to having one of the league's most successful offensive units in 2014, all signs seems to be pointing to Dick LeBeau's old unit as getting the shiny first-round pick.
The front seven obviously needs work. If they're relying on James Harrison making another season, the Steel City will definitely be feeling the pressure after a few weeks. Alvin Dupree of Louisville would be a good pick at 3-4 OLB, giving them another first-round pass-rusher to pair with 2013 pick Jarvis Jones. Dupree is a pass rusher whose success stems from his physical gifts and technique, has long arms, a quick burst, the flexibility to turn the corner and an explosive burst to close when the ballcarrier is near.
The obvious focus here, however, could be the secondary, with obvious holes all over. The retirement of defensive mainstays Ike Taylor at corner and Troy Polamalu at SS leave the starters as Allen Cortez/BW Webb, respectively and Shamarko Thomas/Will Allen . At cornerback, the Steelers have several smart picks; Kevin Johnson of Wake Forest would be an instant upgrade to their secondary, with natural cover skills and a good nose for attacking the ball, baiting quarterbacks into making dumb throws, while Byron Jones of UCONN has slightly better size with only a slight drop off in cover skill. At safety, top prospect Landon Collins of Alabama is still on the board, giving the Steelers an intriguing defensive talent to help fill Polamalu's rather large shoes.
However, the need best matches the value at corner, and the Steelers select ...
Wake Forest CB Kevin Johnson
In a division with regular-season Andy Dalton and Joe Flacco, and facing a formidable schedule for 2015, the Steelers have no choice but to upgrade their secondary with a promising, talented prospect early in the draft, and hope the conventional wisdom of this being a deep pass-rusher draft means good OLB talent falls to them in a later round.
Mock draft order
22. Steelers - CB Kevin Johnson