We are rapidly approaching the 2021 NFL Draft. We have already seen some trades shaking up the first round draft order, and teams beginning to tip there hands toward what position they will target with their first round pick. We can safely remove some names from ever making it to the Steelers at pick No. 24. If we also eliminate players that don’t fit the system, and also positions which wouldn’t be high priorities, we can pin point a number of real draft possibilities for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Starting things off, let’s look at some names that...
A.) Won't be on the board by 24
B.) Aren't fits/positional strong holds for the Steelers:
The San Francisco 49ers aggressive trade up to No. 3 has basically locked in the first three picks of the draft as quarterbacks. The Atlanta Falcons at No. 4 could make it four in a row and the Carolina Panthers at No. 8 could make 5 of the first 8 picks quarterbacks. If anyone drops, they're not making it past the New England Patriots. On top of that, if somehow someone did fall to that point, they’re not getting by Washington.
The only question here is who bites on Devonta Smith’s slight frame first. None of these prospects will come close to pick 24.
The top tackles will be gone early, and Vera-Tucker translates better in the NFL as a guard which is possibly the Steelers best strength along the offensive line.
Paye won't make it to the Steelers, and now with Tyson Alualu back in the fold the Steelers just have far too many holes to be address defensive tackle that early.
Parsons 4.3 40-yard dash time locked him back into the first half of the draft. Owusu-Koramoah (JOK) doesn't fit as the Steelers buck linebacker role (think heavier guys that stick pulling blockers) JOK is not replacing Devin Bush, the fit just doesn't exist.
The athleticism of either player locked them in as the top corners of the draft.
Next up let’s look at the guys that could be in consideration for the 24th pick.
Realistic Big Board:
Kyle Trask? Kellen Mond? Davis Mills? Jamie Newman?
Anyone worth a first round pick is long gone. The Steelers aren't desperate enough to inexplicably reach on someone. Although some other team might. This just isn't the year for a QB.
Ah, the spot so many Steelers fans are begging for. I wouldn't be surprised if one of the running backs listed above end up suiting up in the black and gold. If the Steelers don’t want to gamble on a runner falling, they will take one here. Bateman and Freiermuth represents the top receiver and tight end left on the board and also won't make it to the Steelers’ second round pick, pick No. 55.
If Christian Darrisaw slips through the cracks, he will be the Steelers’ draft pick. If the draft gets wonky, he could slip, but it’s doubtful. It is worth noting the last time the Steelers picked at 24 another big name offensive lineman fell right into their laps, and that would be none other than David DeCastro. If the running backs are also gone, I could see the uber athletic Cosmi as the pick as well. Any of the other tackles could be the Steelers’ selection, although I doubt they'd take Mayfield or Jenkins after the re-signing of Zach Banner. Only a true upgrade at tackle makes sense at this point.
If the Steelers don’t sign a Center before the draft, I would consider Dickerson or Humphrey a near lock to be the top pick. B.J. Finney just isn't good enough and either top rookie would likely start on Day 1.
Mike Tomlin loved this kid at his pro day workout. The Steelers do need some depth at outside linebacker, but I just can't see them finding that in the first round.
My favorite player of the draft, Collins has the size to step right into the buck linebacker roll, and the coverage ability no one has ever had at that position. Collins can also rush the passer both as a blitzer and off the edge. This would be my pick. I’m excited to see if the Steelers feel the same way.
Greg Newsome II
Farley’s back surgery has seen him tumble down draft boards, potentially a huge steal for the Steelers, but comes with obvious red flags. Newsome on the other hand has a rocket strapped to his back and by the time the draft gets here may end up going well before the Steelers’ pick.
What do you think? Who will be the Steelers first round pick? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below.