Welcome to the buckeyehoppy 2011 Steelers Mock Draft.

As always, I am ruling out the notion that the Steelers might trade into or out of picks, so my mock will not assume trades. OTOH, I will speculate and say that the likelihood of a trade is increased for all teams this year. Regardless of speculation, I don’t see the Steelers doing much trading of picks, seeing that depth is the biggest concern on their roster at present.

And, typically, the views expressed here will largely be ignored by Kevin Colbert and the Brain Fart Trust. Nevertheless, they are the expressed views of buckeyehoppy, Steeler sycophant extraordinaire!

To review my 2010 Mock, hit up this link: http://www.pittsburghsportstavern.co...r-Mock-w-UDFAs

1.31 (31): Ras-I Dowling, 6’ 1 3/8”, 200#, CB, Virginia
A lot of people have other CBs here and have discounted Dowling because of a propensity to injuries. You’ll need to sue me for ignoring this fact. His style and his overall experience suggest that he is the heir apparent to Ike Taylor and would give the Steelers a much needed cover corner who could start from game one. In fact, he is a more complete player at this position than any other player they may be looking at. Most will look at Dowling as a reach here. Not for what he’ll offer to the Steelers, he isn’t. Dowling is exactly the player the Steelers need at 1.31.

2.31 (63): James Brewer, 6’ 6 ¼”, 323#, T, Indiana
If you did review my 2010 Mock, this will be déjà vu only in a slightly lower spot. The need for the Steelers might be for a G. But, considering that Adams has limited shelf life remaining in his pro career, a choice for a T here with the relative upside of Brewer makes all the sense in the world. Besides, if the Steelers want a short term fix at G, they could do worse than moving Ramon Foster to the inside and seeing what he might look like full-time at RG. Drafting Brewer here and moving Foster to RG immediately strengthens the right side of the OL and might give the Steelers a future option for LT if Brewer can work as an understudy there.

3.31 (95): Ian Williams, 6’ 1 3/8”, 311#, NT, Notre Dame
A solid player against the run and the pass, he would be groomed to be the heir apparent to Big Snack. He is a prototype 3-4 NT with lots of experience against high levels of competition and under the national microscope. He would also address the Steelers need for youth on the DL. Ian Williams, given a year as Hampton’s protégé and taking some reps off of his well-worn knees, could be a fixture on the Steelers DL for a long time to come.

4.31 (128): Alex Henery, 6’ 1 1/8”, 178#, K, Nebraska
buckeyehoppy is not exactly thrilled to be recommending this pick in this spot. OTOH, if the Steelers want him, they will need to take him here. And why wouldn’t they take him? He would be an immediate upgrade at K and could handle the P duties if need be. I don’t think his selection eliminates the need for Seppy. They’ll still need him for KOs and you just don’t take away a P who is as capable as Seppy when he is a team asset. Besides, drafting a K here is important for the security of having someone who is capable in that role. Henery appears to be just the person who can handle this assignment for the Steelers and would be a valuable selection here if he was still on the board

5.31 (162): Justin Boren, 6’ 3”, 315#, G, Ohio State
Really? No kidding? buckeyehoppy likes another Ohio State player (despite the Steelers sterling record in selecting players from the Big “10”s premiere football school in the last year or two). You’ll have to see Boren for what he is and can be. No, he won’t play T at this level. OTOH, the Steelers won’t need him to be a T. What he will be is the understudy for Kemo in his rookie year and his replacement his second. He is a 3 year Big “10” starter at Michigan and Ohio State (go figure) and is a proven asset in all phases of the game. He can cover any interior line position, with particular strength at LG and would be a bargain if he was still available at this spot.

6.31 (196): Chris Prosinski, 6’ 1”, 201#, FS, Wyoming
This kid would be a welcome add to a not very deep S corps. Surprisingly athletic for a FS, he is a ferocious tackler and saw a very aerial game in the pass happy Mountain West. Has lots of upside and could one day be a consideration to assume the role now filled by Ryan Clark. He would be a heady choice by the FO at this position.

7.29 (232): Eddie Jones, 6’ 3”, 260#, OLB, Texas
He doesn’t come with a true NFL position and isn’t really big enough to play 4-3 on the interior line (where some have projected him). Still, Jones has a fabulous motor and a favorable upside for a player who only cracked the starting lineup at Texas in his senior year. Might be valuable for outside depth or as a ST player, where his high energy would be an asset.

Undrafted Free Agents
Dom DeCicco, 6’ 3”, 230#, ILB, Pittsburgh
Played SS at Pitt, but the skill set calls for him to be an ILB in the NFL. Had lots of tackles as a SS, so bringing him inside, where he has decent size, might be a worthwhile project.

Greg Lloyd, 6’ 1”, 246#, ILB, Connecticut
A no-brainer if he is not drafted. Was expected to red-shirt with an injury last year, but played anyway. You have to like legacies of NFL players, especially if they are the sons of past Steeler greats.

Lazarius “Pep” Levingston, 6’ 3 3/8”, 281#, DE, LSU
Would be a good fit for a 3-4 scheme. He might not be much more than depth for the Steelers. But he could be an asset with an aging and injury prone corps at DE.

Justin Roper, 6’ 6”, 218#, QB, Montana
He would be a worthwhile risk to pick up. He’s from a quality DI-AA program and is a transfer from Oregon. Considering the instability of the QB position behind Big Ben, there would be no downside to bringing him for a look.

Mana Silva, 6’ 1”, 206#, SS, Hawai’i
If he isn’t drafted, the Steelers would be nuts not to bring him in. He might also be worth a look if he’s still on the board when the Steelers come on the clock in the 7th.

Jeremiah Masoli, 5’ 10 1/4”, 223#, RB, Oregon
The former Oregon QB would be a project to convert to RB. But the risk could be worth the reward if he turns into an effective 3rd down back.

Ricky Henry, 6’ 2 7/8”, 310#, G, Nebraska
The Steelers need a couple players in to compete for spots at G. Henry comes from a solid program and has the right demeanor to make it in the NFL.

Josh Gatlin, 6’ 1”, 196#, CB, North Dakota State
This is another player from a DI-AA program who shows a lot of upside. A physical and athletic specimen, he would be a low risk, high reward pick up with plenty of position versatility.