The SB Nation two-round NFL mock draft continues along with each lead NFL team blogger making the pick for their team. We continue the second round with the Pittsburgh Steelers and pick No. 56.
With the 56th pick in the SB Nation NFL writer's mock draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers select Midwestern State offensive lineman Amini Silatolu.
Michael Bean from Behind the Steel Curtain checks in to explain the pick and I respond after the jump. For the latest on the Steelers, follow along at BehindTheSteelCurtain.com. Mr. Bean is also heading up the rapidly growing video wing of SB Nation. Check out these draft profiles they're putting out.
Michael Bean explains: After restocking at linebacker with the selection of Dont’a Hightower, it’s time to turn attention back to the Steelers’ most obvious area of need -- along the offensive line. Outside of Maurkice Pouncey, the two-time Pro Bowl center who has already cemented his status as one of the game’s very best, the Steelers could upgrade any and all other positions. None more so than at guard where the team has received average, and at times awful, play for several years now.
Enter Amini Silatolu, the raw but promising guard out of unknown Midwestern State. Despite having played against lesser competition, Silatolu’s upside and potential is easy to identify. The fact that he could potentially develop into a competent right tackle makes him even more intriguing considering the uncertainty of Willie Colon’s ability to stay healthy. I suppose the Steelers might be taking a big gamble on a prospect that has yet to show his mettle against the country’s best athletes, but the need is certainly there and the possibility of him blossoming into something special makes Silatolu worth the gamble in my mind.
Dan Kadar responds: The draft process is great. For the most part, no one actually knew who Silatolu was when actual games were being played. But the offseason process has propelled him to near the top of small school rankings. Now here he is a second-round pick in a mock draft to one of the best teams in the NFL. In the system the Steelers run, Silatolu can play right tackle. He was a left tackle at Midwestern State but doesn't project there because he lacks some foot quickness. But from a power and drive blocking standpoint, Silatolu can hold up. So that makes him a good pick for the Steelers.
Mocking the Draft's Top 5 Remaining Prospects
|1||Indianapolis Colts||Andrew Luck||QB||Stanford||Story|
|2||Washington Redskins||Robert Griffin III||QB||Baylor||Story|
|3||Minnesota Vikings||Matt Kalil||OT||USC||Story|
|4||Cleveland Browns||Justin Blackmon||WR||Oklahoma State||Story|
|5||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Morris Claiborne||CB||LSU||Story|
|6||St. Louis Rams||Trent Richardson||RB||Alabama||Story|
|7||Jacksonville Jaguars||Quinton Coples||DE||North Carolina||Story|
|8||Miami Dolphins||Ryan Tannehill||QB||Texas A&M||Story|
|9||Carolina Panthers||Fletcher Cox||DT||Mississippi State||Story|
|10||Buffalo Bills||Mike Adams||OT||Ohio State||Story|
|11||Kansas City Chiefs||Riley Reiff||OT||Iowa||Story|
|12||Seattle Seahawks||Courtney Upshaw||OLB||Alabama||Story|
|13||Arizona Cardinals||Jonathan Martin||OT||Stanford||Story|
|14||Dallas Cowboys||David DeCastro||G||Stanford||Story|
|15||Philadelphia Eagles||Luke Kuechly||LB||Boston College||Story|
|16||New York Jets||Melvin Ingram||DE||South Carolina||Story|
|17||Cincinnati Bengals||Stephon Gilmore||CB||South Carolina||Story|
|18||San Diego Chargers||Mark Barron||S||Alabama||Story|
|19||Chicago Bears||Michael Floyd||WR||Notre Dame||Story|
|20||Tennessee Titans||Dre Kirkpatrick||CB||Alabama||Story|
|21||Cincinnati Bengals||Cordy Glenn||OT||Georgia||Story|
New England Patriots
Green Bay Packers
San Francisco 49ers
New England Patriots
New York Giants
St. Louis Rams
|36||Tampa Bay Buccaneers
|39||St. Louis Rams
||Alshon Jeffery||WR||South Carolina
|44||Kansas City Chiefs
|47||New York Jets
|48||New England Patriots
|49||San Diego Chargers