Here are a couple more 2011 NFL Mock Drafts to chew on. Rob Rang as CBS Sports has LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson going to the Panthers with the No. 1 overall pick, and Clemson’s Da’Quan Bowers (who turns up as the top overall pick in some recent mocks) falling to the Browns at No. 6. He also has Alabama defensive tackle Marcell Dareus going to the Bills at No. 3, which is higher than I think I’ve ever seen Dareus go. Further down, Alabama’s Julio Jones falls to the Rams at No. 14, and Pitt’s Jon Baldwin drops out of the first round completely. Rang has the Steelers taking Mississippi State tackle Derek Sherrod, which would represent an excellent value for them at the end of the first round.
Chad Reuter, meanwhile, has Auburn’s Nick Fairley going first overall – certainly not a controversial choice, at this point. He has the Bengals taking Bowers at No. 4 and the Browns grabbing top wideout Julio Jones. Further down, he has the Ravens picking Florida’s Mike Pouncey and the Steelers picking Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt, which again would probably be a good pick. Reuter for some reason leaves Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett out of the first round.
SB Nation's latest 2011 NFL Mock Draft is a pretty interesting one. It's got Auburn's Nick Fairley going to the Carolina Panthers with the top pick overall, and Clemson's Da'Quan Bowers going to the Broncos at No. 2. The top two receivers, Georgia's A.J. Green and Alabama's Julio Jones, go to AFC North teams, with the Bengals and Browns, respectively, selecting them at fourth and sixth. Pitt's Jon Baldwin is the third receiver selected, and he goes to the Chiefs at No. 21. (The Rams also need a receiver at No. 14, but SB Nation says there's no reason for them to "reach" for a receiver, which they would probably be doing by picking Baldwin that early.)
Pittsburgh perpetually has one of the league's best defenses because they relentlessly replenish their talent and depth on that particular unit. Aaron Smith has struggled mightily with injuries over the past two years, and Brett Keisel is no spring chicken. Wilkerson is a long, athletic defensive tackle that would be a nice developmental option at end for the Steelers.
If the Steelers can't get an offensive lineman they want, a defensive lineman is definitely a possibility.