Brugler’s Seven Round Mock has Steelers Focus on QB, CB with Top To Picks

Athletics’ Dane Brugler is one of the best draft guys out there, and publishes an annual comprehensive draft guide called “The monster.” So when it comes to evaluating leads, few are better. He also decided to try the massive undertaking of a complete, seven round mock draft, choose one for 262. Here’s how it shook off the Steelers.

At pick # 20, he has the Steelers to take on Cincinnati QB Desmond Knight, an increasingly popular first-round pick in mock drafts. User includes this interesting nugget of gold about Knight and the team in his revaluation of the election:

The Steelers have spent a lot of time and resources evaluating this year’s crop of quarterbacks, and they will not be pale in exchange for getting “their guy” if they need it. But “their guy” may be Knight , which impressed the Steelers’ key decision-makers, including ownership, during prior meetings. “

Most reports suggest that Knight has been impressive in pre-draft visits and meetings at the Senior Bowl and Combine, so Brugler’s reporting here follows. Knight is possibly the most polarizing quarterback in this class. He is at least for the Steelers Depot team, which ranked him everywhere from their best QB to fifth-best to everything in between. Quarterback still seems like the frontrunner position in round 1. But guessing who it will be is a much harder game.

In round 2 of election # 52, he has the team to take Auburn corner Roger McCreary. Underdimensioned with poor length, McCreary was one of college football’s best man-cover corners and fought good fights against elite receiver talents like Ja’Marr Chase in 2019 and the Alabama receivers in 2021. Here’s how we summed him up in our draft profile, put a first-round grade on him.

“McCreary will probably be one of my favorite corners in this year’s class, especially because he does not impress with incredible qualities. He is a smooth, technically sound player and also, to be fair, a plus athlete. Somehow he reminds me a little bit of Cam Sutton, but a better version, a little more athletic than Sutton came out. ”

McCreary showed no deadly physical tools, driving a 4.50 40 at 190 pounds, but he was still able to dominate the SEC.

In Round 3 of Election # 84, Brugler taunted Ohio State OT team Nicholas Petit-Frere. A two-year starter, our Tom Mead profiled him and concluded:

“His best fit is in a zone run attack to take advantage of his speed and agility and ability to block on the go. If he can get the problem of inside rushers cleared up, he can become a solid starter along the way.”

And placed a third round of character on him. He would be instant tackling depth behind Dan Moore Jr. and Chukwuma Okorafor along with veteran Joe Haeg, who served as the Steelers’ swingman last year.

Round 4 sees the Steelers grab a wide receiver in Notre Dame’s Kevin Austin Jr. It took until 2021 for Austin to see the field, but he broke out with an average of 18.5 YPC for Fighting Irish in 2021. There were off-field issues that led to him being suspended throughout the 2019 season, and an injury meant he barely played in 2020, so there are not many ties to go off. But he’s a height / speed Z receiver we compared to Deon Cain. In our profile we wrote:

“On tape, he does his one thing well as the vertical Z receiver, but the limited ways he consistently wins, combined with his inexperience, create more risk than usual for a customer.”

Jumping to round 6, Brugler taunts Steelers Stanford DL Thomas Booker. A name that has been getting more buzz lately, our profile summed him up this way:

“He can disrupt the game in one hole and has the ability to stack and throw in two holes. He has a good engine and chases the balls well. As a pass rusher he can get pressure with power rush and will also mix some speed rush moves in … I think the skills are where he could develop more and I would like to see him speed up his game. Faster at the snap count, faster hand placement and faster throw for example, and he could be a quality backup behind the starters. ”

Booker finished last year with just one firing for the Cardinal, but has 9.5 of them in his college career. He was also a two-time team captain, checking out some of the hearts and smart boxes the Steelers are looking for.

With the team’s pair of choices in the seventh round, the team selects UCLA safety Quentin Lake and LSU LB Damone Clark. Lake is a popular choice, son of former Steelers’ DB and coach Carnell Lake. Clark was a popular day 2 name early in the draft, but underwent back surgery that will knock him out of his rookie season, leaving long-term questions about his health. In the seventh round, he’s worth a fly, but not someone you can count on day one.

Overall, Brugler’s mockery feels semi-realistic. The biggest problem is the lack of a security supplement until the seventh round. Pittsburgh have yet to tackle the SS, and although they still look set to sign a veteran over the next two weeks, unless it’s Tyrann Mathieu, the team could and should look to add through the draft with something higher than a late day 3 addition.

Here is a summary of his choices.

1 (20)

Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati

2 (52)

Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn

3 (84)

Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Ohio State

4 (138)

Kevin Austin Jr., WR, Notre Dame

6 (208)

Thomas Booker, DT, Stanford

7 (241)

Quentin Lake, S, UCLA

7 (225)

Damone Clark, LB, LSU

And you can check out his entire mock draft end-to-end by by clicking on the link here (subscription required).

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