4 alternative picks for the Steelers from Mel Kiper Jr.’s new mock draft

ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. has a new one-round mock draft out just as the NFL Scouting Combine gets set to kick off. For the Pittsburgh Steelers, Kiper opted for the fan favorite and legacy pick, Penn State cornerback Joey Porter Jr. at No. 17 overall. We will know more in a couple of weeks if cornerback really is a first-round need but for now, here are four guys who would have made better picks for the Steelers in this scenario.

OT Broderick Jones, Georgia

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As of right now, the position in greatest need of an upgrade for the Steelers is offensive tackle. You cannot have your young franchise quarterback being protected for a full season by Dan Moore on the left side. I like Broderick Jones much more than Kiper does and would be fine with him at 17.

DE Myles Murphy, Clemson or Lukas Van Ness, Iowa

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If Myles Murphy slides this far or even Lukas Van Ness, Pittsburgh would have to seriously consider one of them. They are both stronger, more dynamic versions of Bud Dupree when he came out of Kentucky as a defensive end and would add serious punch to the pass rush.

LB Drew Sanders, Arkansas

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If the Steelers lose Devin Bush and Robert Spillane to free agency, Drew Sanders is a perfect replacement. Sanders can line up inside and rush off the edge and is a true three-down defender who is always around the football.

S Brian Branch, Alabama

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Kiper doesn’t have Brian Branch in his first round but by the time the real draft gets here, look for that to change. If the Steelers lose Damontae Kazee to free agency, Branch is a perfect replacement. The Steelers lose to run three safeties on defense and Branch is incredibly versatile.

Story originally appeared on Steelers Wire