With the thirty-first pick in the 2011 BGN Mock Draft, stash600 selects...
Derek Sherrod - OT, Mississippi State
The Steelers are in an envious position this year with no major holes or glaring weaknesses, and plenty of young talent in key positions. Two spots that could be an area of improvement are O-Line and secondary. Not that either position is particularly weak, but there is reasoning for both. Last year during the Superbowl, the Steelers defense was exposed with multiple receiver sets by the Packers. They tended to leave their linebackers rather than sub in defensive backs, and the Packers took advantage. Part of the reasoning was because their linebackers are outstanding, but it also had to do with their lack of quality cover men. If they expect to contend in a league with the Patriots, Colts, Eagles, Packers, and Saints, and shut down defensively, the better the cover men, specifically cornerbacks, the better their odds. On the offensive line, they lost tackles Max Starks and Willie Colon to season-ending injuries neither is guaranteed to be 100%, and Flozell Adams is 35. Add these injuries to their sub-par guards, and you have 3 or 4 positions that could use improvements.
That's why with the 31st pick in the 2011 BGN draft the Steelers select, OT Mississippi St. A 6'5" 321 tackle prospect Sherrod is projected to be a left tackle in the NFL, but has the ability to play either right or left tackle. Sherrod is the last of the "Big 5" offensive tackles (Smith, Solder, Costanzo, Carimi, Sherrod) in this yenar's draft and the drop-off from one to another is small. Depending on who you ask will depend on the order they rank the five, and any team would be ecstatic to have any of the five. After them the tackle position is slim pickings for the most part.
More after the jump...
Sherrod has the speed and mobility to get to the second level run blocking, and the athleticism to handle most pass-rushers. While better suited as a pass protecting l tackle, he also is solid run blocker, especially on outside runs where he needs to get outside positioning to seal in the defender. While his technique can always improve he can be a starter from day one where he'll be an immediate upgrade over whoever's at right tackle, and potentially at left. He will need to bulk up a little more below the waist, and he tends to rely on his upper body a little to much, but with NFL trainers and coaches neither should be a problem.
While the Steelers may go cornerback with their first pick, I think if they were to do so, they would either trade back to get more picks (they only have one in the first two rounds) and targeting Aaron Williams or Ras-I-Dowling or trade up for Brandon Harris. I can also see them banking on Starks being fully healthy by the beginning of the season, and Flozell Adams pulling his weight for another season, while trading back for a guard; Watkins or Cannon to go alongside last year's pick, Maurkice Pouncey. Ultimately, Sherrod would be the best pick for the Steelers given that he's the best player available, not just the best lineman. Not to mention he has the flexibility to change positions depending what happens with both tackle spots which might just be the key factor in the Steelers selection of Sherrod.
Next on the clock will be omnom96 with the Green Bay Packers.
Previous Picks: 1 - Nick Fairley 2 - Patrick Peterson 3 - Blaine Gabbert 4 - Cam Newton 5 - Von Miller 6 - Marcell Dareus 7 - Prince Amukamara 8 - A.J. Green 9 - Da'Quan Bowers 10 - Corey Liuget 11 - Robert Quinn 12 - Julio Jones 13 - Tyron Smith 14 - Jimmy Smith 15 - Mark Ingram 16 - Cameron Jordan 17 - Ryan Kerrigan 18 -