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2018 NFL mock draft: Derrius Guice could help the Steelers move on from Le’Veon Bell

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A tough decision gets made for Pittsburgh in the SB Nation NFL writers’ mock draft.

NCAA Football: Texas A&M at Louisiana State Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the hardest teams to project in the 2018 NFL Draft.

You can realistically argue several different directions they should take. Ryan Shazier will miss the season, so linebacker might make sense. The Steelers have seemingly needed a good safety since Troy Polamalu retired. Even a quarterback could be under consideration because Ben Roethlisberger is 36 and has just two years left on his contract.

But the most recent issue for the Steelers is running back Le’Veon Bell.

Fortunately, Jeff Hartman of Behind the Steel Curtain is up in the SB Nation NFL writers’ mock draft to provide some clarity with the Steelers.

28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Derrius Guice, RB, LSU

Hartman: While the fan base will rebuke the selection for being an offensive player, the Steelers are preparing for the future by picking Guice. This hard-nose running back gives the team some options regarding their struggles with All-Pro Le’Veon Bell. By selecting Guice the Steelers could potentially rescind the franchise tag, try and trade him if he signs his tender, or allow Guice to play sparingly his rookie season before taking over in 2019 when Bell will be let to test the free agent market. Some may wonder what to think about James Conner, a third-round selection in 2017, but he and Guice would be a punishing duo for opposing defenses as the Steelers attempt to get back to a ‘blunt force trauma’ style rushing attack in the very near future.

There were defensive options available here at No. 28, but the Steelers have never drafted by position or need, but based on the best player available. With that said, Guice is the best player still on the board, and the Steelers make a very important move for the future of their offense.

Analysis: Finally, at long last, a player in my top five remaining is gone. Obviously with that said, I like the value of Guice with the 28th pick in this mock draft. It’s been difficult to work Guice into the first round of mock drafts just because running back is deep at the top of the draft this year. With that said, though, Guice absolutely has first-round talent.

Moving on from Bell is a risk. But the running back position is so disposable that it often makes more sense to bring in a younger and cheaper player while the veteran fades. Bell is probably still going to be a good player, but if his career follows the trend of most running backs, he’s entering the downside.

Dan Kadar’s top five players remaining

  • 20. Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
  • 22. Will Hernandez, G, UTEP
  • 23. Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma
  • 24. Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
  • 26. Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville

The last pick of the day in the SB Nation NFL writers’ mock draft is coming up at 1 p.m. ET courtesy of Alfie Crow of Big Cat Country.

Poll

What grade do you give the pick of Derrius Guice by the Pittsburgh Steelers?

This poll is closed

  • 32%
    A
    (313 votes)
  • 35%
    B
    (344 votes)
  • 17%
    C
    (172 votes)
  • 6%
    D
    (61 votes)
  • 8%
    F
    (80 votes)
970 votes total Vote Now