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2019 NFL Mock Draft: Steelers create a two-headed monster at TE

The Steelers create a dynamic duo of TEs in the 2019 NFL Draft.

NCAA Football: Iowa at Penn State Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers are not really that ready to move on from Antonio Brown, but it has become increasingly inevitable that he is no longer a Steeler come next season. Whether they keep him or not, however, they have to start preparing for some change on the offensive side of the football. Le’Veon Bell is gone, and AB won’t be here that much longer even if he somehow does work out his issues with the organization.

Therefore, I did a mock up to the Steelers’ selection at No. 20, and here is what I came away with, even if it is a bit more controversial.

  1. Arizona Cardinals — EDGE Nick Bosa
  2. San Francisco 49ers — IDL Quinnen Williams
  3. New York Jets — EDGE Josh Allen
  4. Oakland Raiders — ILB Devin White
  5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — OT Jonah Williams
  6. New York Giants — EDGE Brian Burns
  7. Jacksonville Jaguars — QB Dwayne Haskins
  8. Detrioit Lions — EDGE Clelin Ferrell
  9. Buffalo Bills — IDL Ed Oliver
  10. Denver Broncos — ILB Mack Wilson
  11. Cincinnati Bengals — QB Drew Lock
  12. Green Bay Packers — EDGE Jachai Polite
  13. Miami Dolphins — QB Kyler Murray
  14. Atlanta Falcons — IDL Jeffery Simmons
  15. Washington Redskins — S Deionte Thompson
  16. Carolina Panthers — OT Cody Ford
  17. Cleveland Browns — CB Greedy Williams
  18. Minnesota Vikings — OL Dalton Risner
  19. Tennessee Titans — CB Byron Murphy

20. Pittsburgh Steelers — TE Noah Fant, Iowa

I know, please, do not kill me for selecting a TE here, I will explain. For one, with Antonio Brown theoretically gone here, the Steelers have a few options here. They can get a WR to replace Antonio Brown, or there is another option, and they can get a receiving Tight End who can pair with Vance McDonald and be a nasty mismatch.

In comes Noah Fant, who is just a ridiculously good Tight End. Not only can he block pretty well, but the man moves and runs routes like a receiver. He can work in-line, out in the slot, or outside. That gives OC Randy Fichtner a myriad of new options for his offense and packages. Just check out how good Fant moves here anyways.

This is an amazing route by Fant for a Tight End. Look at how he sets the CB up to the inside and then uses that foot speed to catch the outside and thus gain the leverage. Then, like a natural receiver, he simply stacks the guy as he gets vertical and thus gains the long separation. Stuff like this is at a premium for receiving Tight Ends. Not many guys can actually do this.

So, when you are looking to replace a guy like Antonio Brown, a guy like Fant can be a huge help in creating mismatches and being a player who can bail you out. You have that in JuJu Smith-Schuster, but honestly, Fant takes a ton of attention away from JuJu, and even more so, it will open up the way for James Washington.

And when you can stretch the field vertically like this as a TE, and be a huge weapon on motions, it is pure offensive art. Fant is not a reach talent wise, and would add a huge weapon to the Steelers offense that they otherwise would not have.