At the current moment, the 2020 college football season is very much in flux. Some conferences like the Big 10 and Pac-12 have called it a season. Meanwhile, the SEC is determined to have a season no matter what.
Just chalk this up to another way the coronavirus pandemic has impacted not the the sports world, but the entire globe.
One thing it hasn’t impacted? ESPN’s ability to try and predict an NFL Draft before a game of college or professional football game has even taken place. That’s right, the latest 2021 NFL Mock Draft by ESPN’s Todd McShay has the long-time ESPN expert giving his best shot at predicting not just what players are taken when, but how they feel teams will end up after the dust of the 2020 season has settled.
For the Pittsburgh Steelers, McShay has them picking 22nd in the first round, and taking an offensive lineman out of the SEC.
Take a look at who, and why, McShay has Trey Smith going to the Steelers in Round 1:
22. Pittsburgh Steelers
Trey Smith, OT/G, Tennessee
Pittsburgh could go in a lot of different directions with this pick, including edge rushing, defensive tackle, linebacker, safety or running back. Quarterback is not out of the question either. But zero starting offensive linemen are under contract beyond the 2021 season. Both tackles are actually hitting free agency after the 2020 season, though Smith is better projected at guard in the NFL. Smith is a plug-and-play starter who could be a long-term replacement at left guard for Stefen Wisniewski, with the versatility to move around, despite a bit of injury history to consider.
There is no doubt the Steelers’ offensive line is on the back nine of their careers, but will the Steelers break tradition and take a lineman with their top pick? At this point it is entirely too early to tell.
When you look at the offensive line, Alejandro Villanueva might be in his last season with the Steelers, David DeCastro isn’t going anywhere and neither is Maurkice Pouncey. Matt Feiler could his free agency after the 2020 season along with Zach Banner, and Chuks Okorafor will be entering the final year of his rookie contract.
There will be some turnover, but not so much if the team is able to re-sign Feiler and possibly Banner. Then again, it is entirely too soon to try and guess what is going to happen in the 2021 NFL Draft. With that said, would you be happy if the Steelers took Smith, or an offensive lineman, with the top pick of the draft? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!