The Pittsburgh Steelers have several team needs entering the 2021 NFL Draft, and because the team isn’t looking at just one, or two, possible positions they want to take with their first round selection, the board is pretty open.
In other words, the Steelers could seriously take a number of players who are deemed the best player available when it is their turn to pick. While the NFL Draft is a three day process, the first two days are the days which get the most attention, and rightfully so. Draft picks in Round 1 and 2 are expected to be contributors in Year 1, so everyone is watching what happens at the beginning of the draft process.
It is the time of the mock draft season when people start to put together multi-round mock drafts, and this includes ESPN expert Mel Kiper Jr. In the latest Kiper mock draft, he selects the first two rounds for all NFL teams.
Check out who he has going to the Steelers at picks. No. 24 and 55:
24. Pittsburgh Steelers
Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
The Steelers could go with an offensive lineman here, as center Maurkice Pouncey retired, tackle Matt Feiler left in free agency and free-agent tackle Alejandro Villanueva is still unsigned. But I’d love to see Harris in this offense to take the pressure off quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. He could grind down defenses as a runner and help in the short passing game. If Harris goes in Round 1, he’ll be the fifth Alabama running back picked in the first round since 2000. The others: Josh Jacobs (2019), Trent Richardson (2012), Mark Ingram (2011) and Shaun Alexander (2000). Notably absent is Derrick Henry, who was a second-round pick in 2016 and somehow just had an underrated 2,000-yard campaign.
Now onto the Steelers’ second round pick, pick No. 55:
55. Pittsburgh Steelers
Dillon Radunz, OT, North Dakota State
After I gave the Steelers a running back in Round 1, here’s another selection to help quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Radunz started 32 games for the Bison and was a two-time FCS All-American. He stood out on tape when I studied Trey Lance — he just swallowed FCS edge rushers. As it stands, Pittsburgh will have new starters at both tackle spots, so this pick is about creating competition there.
What do you think of these selections? Would you be pleased if this is the Rounds 1 and 2 haul for the Steelers? Or do you think they should target other players/positions? Let us know in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes on the Steelers as they prepare for the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft and the rest of Free Agency.