With the 22nd pick in Pride Of Detroit's 2015 NFL mock draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers select LSU cornerback Jalen Collins. Ncbur10 is serving as the Steelers' general manager, and his reasoning for the pick is below.
It's a time of transition in the Steel City. Longtime defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau has moved on to the Tennessee Titans, and Keith Butler has replaced him after serving as linebackers coach for over a decade. The retirement of All-Pro strong safety Troy Polamalu and sudden retirement of Jason Worilds have left holes that will have to be replaced by recent draft picks Shamarko Thomas and Jarvis Jones, neither of whom has shown to be up to the task thus far.
Each year the Steelers' greatest need and draft pick seem to meet at whatever pick they fall to, and this year is no exception. Although Pittsburgh's defense ranked 18th overall, a far cry from the glory days a few years ago, they actually ranked sixth in rushing defense. Their big area of improvement is in their passing defense, where they ranked an uncharacteristic 27th, allowing 253 passing yards per game. Two glaring reasons for this downfall are the number of sacks, where they ranked 26th with only 33, and number of interceptions, where they ranked 25th with 11. To help with the back end of the defense, I went with Jalen Collins over a few others because in many scouts' eyes he fits what the Steelers' scheme requires: a big, hard-hitting corner who has exceptional cover skills and great run support.
Check out the 2015 POD Community Mock Draft tracker for a look at all of the picks.