With the 63rd pick of Pride of Detroit's 2011 NFL Mock Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers select Hampton defensive tackle Kenrick Ellis. BtotheLT is serving as the Steelers' general manager, and his reasoning for the pick is below.
With the 63rd overall selection, most Steeler fans would like to see a defensive back taken. Ellis comes to the Steelers with some character concerns; something I believe can be managed in a stable Pittsburgh locker room. Considering my first selection was an addition to the offensive line, I thought I would address one of the older defensive lines in the league today.
Other than Ziggy Hood and Steve McClendon, the other contributors on the defensive line are in the twilight of their careers. Casey Hampton (32), Aaron Smith (33) and Brett Keisel (31) won't be the players they have been in years to come. Defensive line is not particularly a position of need but bringing in young blood can only help the already solid unit.
Like I have already mentioned, Ellis comes to the Steelers with some obvious character concerns. When Ellis has been asked about these problems, he has suggested he has matured and has overcome those mistakes. I would feel comfortable bringing him onto the Steelers, a franchise I consider to be pretty stable and a place where Ellis will get the veteran leadership he will need to be successful at the next level. On the field, Ellis brings a lot of physical talent, good size and an up sloping stat line.
Ellis was a really tough pick for me to make, I really liked a few players gauged between the second and fourth rounds of this draft. It's no secret the Steelers need to upgrade at cornerback. Considering the players available, I thought it was in my best interest to wait another round to address those needs. A pass rusher I wanted to reach for was Dontay Moch, as his speed in the Boston College tape almost sold me. But at the end of the day I thought it would be a reach. I looked at inside linebackers Quan Sturdivant and Kelvin Sheppard considering the also aging Pittsburgh linebacker unit. I gave a real hard look at John Moffitt but felt more comfortable settling with Ellis, all things considered.
Check out the 2011 Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft tracker for a look at all of the picks.