The fact the Pittsburgh Steelers need to add to their offensive line depth is not a secret. With the future of Matt Feiler, Alejandro Villanueva and even Maurkice Pouncey up in the air, the Steelers are going to need to get younger, and quick, in the offensive trenches.
Could the Steelers look to add to their offensive line in free agency? They could, but the unknown 2021 salary cap number leaves the organization with very little wiggle room in that department. Plus, it always seems as if the Steelers prefer to build through the draft, especially along the line.
With all that said, it is worth noting when certain NFL draftniks put out their latest mock drafts. Todd McShay of ESPN is certainly one of the experts people tend to lean on as the draft season heats up.
Take a look at his thought process when placing Darrisaw with the Steelers in Round 1:
24. Pittsburgh Steelers
Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
What becomes of Bud Dupree’s role if he leaves, and would someone like Tulsa outside linebacker Zaven Collins be the savvy pick? What is the future plan at quarterback? Who starts at running back next season? And would the Steelers look to replace JuJu Smith-Schuster with a similar type of receiver in Minnesota’s Rashod Bateman? Those are all important questions, but to me, the need along the offensive line and the value of Darrisaw still being available makes this a worthy move.
The Steelers could lose all of their currently rostered tackles either this March or next, and whomever is under center has to have the kind of protection Ben Roethlisberger saw this season (league-low 14 sacks allowed). Darrisaw shows power in pass pro and smoothness in working to the second level as a run blocker.
Don’t feel bad if you haven’t heard of, or know anything about, this particular prospect. For those of you who would like to know more about Darrisaw, check out this draft profile from the Draft Network:
Virginia Tech offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw earned the opportunity to start for the Hokies as a true freshman and did nothing but improve for three seasons, developing into a dominant blocker in 2020. From a size, length, and mobility standpoint, Darrisaw firmly checks the boxes and should immediately become an asset to an NFL franchise in pass protection, outside zone runs, and utilizing his exceptional ability to pull and connect with moving targets in space. Like most young offensive linemen, Darrisaw has room to add functional strength to improve his overall power at the point of attack, but it’s far from a deficiency that is of major concern. The amount of technical growth Darrisaw has demonstrated throughout the course of his career is exciting when considering his starting point for the next level and how he peaked at the perfect time. It shouldn’t take long for Darrisaw to earn a starting role in the NFL and he has the upside to become a standout, franchise left tackle.
Ideal Role: Starting left tackle
Scheme Fit: Zone run scheme
Knowing what you know now, what do you think about McShay’s selection? Do you like the position, but not the prospect? Let us know in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the new league year, NFL Free Agency and the 2021 NFL Draft.