Don't Mock This (Second Round)

For months, mock drafts have flooded our screens, but those were mainly of the first-round variety. And they became very old very fast ...

Today it's a fresh slate, and today's the only day we'll have to suffer this relatively new phenomenon known as second-round mock drafts.

As explained throughout my "Don't Mock This" trilogy in the months leading up to Thursday's choice, the Steelers don't use mock drafts as a form of preparation. They instead rank their favored athletes according to the number of picks in front of them.

So that's what I'm presenting to you this morning, by way of 16 picks, in my Don't Mock This (Second Round).

See you at pick 48:

1. Arthur Brown, ILB, Kansas StateWould've taken him at 17 and I'm going to stick to my board, offensive weapons for Ben or not.

2. Keenan Allen, WR, CaliforniaLike Jarvis Jones, Allen presents another slow 40 time. But Allen was just recovered from an injury when he ran his 4.71. May not be a burner but he's an accomplished kick returner with Anquan Boldin-type receiving skills.

3. Robert Woods, WR, USCA student of the game, as well as an accomplished kick returner, Woods might not be the big inside receiver that Allen is, but he's not bad inside and presents a more dangerous home run threat.

4. Eddie Lacy, RB, AlabamaHe was too out of shape to finish his pro day workout, but we all saw his production down the stretch for Alabama. Big back with home run capability (see: Georgia).

5. Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise StateSome were calling this physical leader the best cornerback in the draft not too long ago. Sure looked that way in the Senior Bowl.

6. Markus Wheaton, WR, Oregon StateA captain, a return man and a track-trained deep threat who played split end for the Beavers would make a suitable replacement for Mike Wallace.

7. David Bakhtiari, T-G, ColoradoNo one wants to hear about another high pick for the offensive line, but the Steelers' backup tackle right now is whomever loses the LG competition, Kelvin Beachum or Ramon Foster. I'm not confident that either of those can play left tackle. In fact, no one knows if either of the Steelers' new starting tackles can man the left side. Obviously, left tackles are hard to find. That's why this guy ranks so high on this list.

8. Margus Hunt, DE, SMUHe'll be a 26-year-old rookie but there are two names that come to mind when I see Hunt: Aaron Smith and Doug Atkins; Smith because of his long arms and athleticism, and Atkins because I have to go back to the 1960s to remember another 6-foot-8 defensive end. Sheer value pick here.

9. Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida InternationalThey're doing pretty well when one of the last big safeties capable of covering Gronkowski is the ninth option.

10. Geno Smith, QB, WVU – Just being true to the available talent.

11. Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi StateWatched him all season and thought he reeked of being a Steelers-style corner. He's a team captain with 16 career picks, including 100 and 20-yard TD returns of Tim Tebow. That's worth it right there.

12. Le'Veon Bell, RB, Michigan StateI was hoping to land him in the third round, but not sure I can trust the typical rankings out there. But one of the ensuing big backs on this list should be – might be – could be – available in the third.

13. Montee Ball, RB, WisconsinIdolizes Curtis Martin and has the same size and wore the same number as the Hall of Famer from Pitt. But Ball was certainly more durable coming out of the draft than Martin, who was chosen in the third round with the 74th pick (Steelers scheduled for 79th pick) in 1995. Ball scored 107 touchdowns in high school and an NCAA record 83 touchdowns in college. The Steelers could use that kind of nose for the end zone.

14. Quinton Patton, WR, Louisiana TechMy gut tells me I should go with the tall, rangy deep threat who is Justin Hunter here, but my brain keeps reminding me how much I liked watching Patton during Senior Bowl week.

15. Christine Michael, RB, Texas A&MBig, powerful, fast and explosive, but Michael's proven to have a bad attitude. Was it caught in time? Will he strive to re-prove himself? Is the Steelers' locker room the type that will help this classic Steelers big back live up to all of his immense potential? I would rather take the chance in the third round, but that's a long way from pick 48.

16. Justin Hunter, WR, Tennesseee – There's no sense worrying because someone will snap this explosive athlete up sooner. I do worry about his 12 percent drop rate.

Just Missed The Cut: Blidi Wreh-Wilson, CB, UConn; Gio Bernard, RB, North Carolina; Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas.


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