The 2021 NFL draft is now just over a month away. With free agency rolling on 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 mock draft by foxsports.com, they have the Steelers taking a powerful running back in order to bolster their running game. 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 | Javonte Williams | RB | North Carolina | JR |
Even though the draft process has been going on for a while, there may be players some fans are not familiar with. If this is the case, here is a breakdown of Williams according to thedraftnetwork.com:
North Carolina running back Javonte Williams enters the NFL as an ascending prospect that increased his production every year in college and became one of the most dynamic runners in the nation in 2020. A big, physical, and powerful runner, Williams complements his bruising style with compact elusiveness which leads to frequent broken tackles and production after contact. An every-down threat, Williams is very good in pass protection and as a receiver out of the backfield. Williams is capable of ripping off big chunks of yardage with his ability to see the field cleanly, string together moves, take smart angles, and accelerate. The biggest question mark for Williams as he takes his game to the professional ranks is how he will fare without the benefit of the scheme and playmakers in place around him at North Carolina. His traits suggest he will do just fine with the transition but it’s something to monitor. Williams has the upside to become a highly productive starting running back in the NFL that is the focal point of a rushing attack.
Ideal Role: Featured running back.
Scheme Fit: Williams is a fit for any scheme, but his skill set translates wonderfully to one-cut opportunities.
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 Williams with their first pick? Or do you feel the Steelers should look at one of the other running backs who could be available? Personally, I’m usually against the idea of going running back in the first round as the position has been devalued in recent years. But as atrocious as the Steelers running game was last season, if they feel they need to address the position with their top pick it is difficult to go against it. Whether or not Williams is their best option remains to be seen, but he does check off a lot of boxes for the Steelers.
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.