Super Bowl LV is in the books, and the entire NFL is now headed into the 2021 offseason. With free agency looming followed by the NFL draft in April, the Steelers will have a plethora of decisions and moves to make before making their first draft selection. Because the NFL combine will not be held, pro days are the best option to get player information. It will be interesting to see what limited information ends up being available in regards to draft prospects this year.
When talking about mock drafts or NFL free agency, you have to first identify the team’s main needs for the offseason. Before any gains or losses in free agency, there are some who would like to see the Steelers go with either offensive line or running back with their first-round pick. Others feel tight end or linebacker could be on top of the list. With plenty of chances for the Steelers to shape their roster prior to April, their goal is usually to get into position to draft the best player available rather than target a specific position. When it comes to what position the team will select with their first pick, it is certainly up for debate.
In the latest two-round mock draft by Pro Football Network, they have the Steelers going offensive line with their first pick and addressing the tackle position before anything else. With Chukwuma Okorafor as the only tackle from the Steelers 53-man roster who is still under contract for 2021, the players the Steelers sign in free agency will determine how high the need for tackle will be come April. Since the Steelers could go in any number of directions with their first selection, it is important to look at all the possibilities presented by various mock draft outlets.
Check out the Steelers 24th pick:
24. Pittsburgh Steelers | Teven Jenkins | OT | Oklahoma State | SR |
Being early in the draft process, there may be some players most fans are not familiar with. If this is the case, here is a breakdown of Jenkins according to thedraftnetwork.com:
PROSPECT SUMMARY – TEVEN JENKINS
Playing in 37 career games (35 starts) at Oklahoma State, Teven Jenkins experienced time at right guard, left tackle, and right tackle. With a bulk of his experience coming at right tackle, he blossomed during his final two seasons. Playing in the first eight games of the season, he elected to opt out after suffering what was reported as lower back issues. The 6-foot-6, 320-pound fifth-year senior offensive tackle is a top-heavy blocker that has experienced success in the team’s Air Raid offense. A quick setter that’s prone to take horizontal pass sets, he’s created a habit of establishing quick wins by striking his hands and controlling defenders. As a run blocker, he’s able to create considerable amounts of movement when able to gain momentum prior to engagement points. A well above average finisher, Jenkins is the type of offensive lineman that attempts to humiliate players in the opposite color jersey. The echo of the whistle doesn’t slow down his process and he continues on with his process until he wants to conclude. Jenkins’ athleticism and lack of overall range may create questions about his potential at offensive tackle and there will be some teams who grade him as a guard as a result. Jenkins will have a strong chance of being the first offensive lineman drafted from the program since Russell Okung (2010).
Ideal Role: Developmental offensive tackle that could eventually turn into a starter at tackle or guard.
Scheme Fit: Man/Gap/Power.
For all you who are preparing yourself for the draft, what do you think of the selection? Would you be on board with the Steelers taking Jenkins with their first pick? Or do you feel there is a better player at this position or a different one who may still be available? Personally, I believe the offensive line is the Steelers top priority at this time. Whether it’s a tackle or an interior lineman will depend on which players the Steelers are able to retain. Additionally, I trust the Steelers evaluation as to which lineman fits their team better than anything I can see myself. Whether Jenkins is that player or not we shall see.
As always, let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and remember these mock drafts are merely speculation and caused to create discussion among the fan base.