With the 2021 NFL Draft just days away, it is time to start doing what all NFL teams are doing at this time in their draft prep. Teams are going through an endless amount of scenarios trying to decipher what they will do if the draft falls a certain way.
For the Pittsburgh Steelers, they have any number of directions they could go in the upcoming selection process, so it is time to start running the scenarios leading up to the big event!
For clarification, as well as consistency, I am using The Draft Network’s mock draft simulator. On top of that, I am always using the Predictive Board, and the manual option, during these simulations. It also should be noted there are never any fictitious trades in these scenarios.
Time to see what the Steelers were staring at when the 24th pick came
23. NY Jets - Najee Harris, RB Alabama
22. Tennessee - Kadarius Toney, WR Florida
21. Indianapolis - Elijah Moore, WR Ole Miss
20. Chicago - Mac Jones, QB Alabama
19. Washington - Greg Newsome II, CB Northwestern
18. Miami - Jaelan Phillips, EDGE Miami
17. Las Vegas - Micah Parsons, LB Penn State
16. Arizona - Caleb Farley, CB Virginia Tech
15. New England - Rashod Bateman, WR Minnesota
14. Minnesota - Teven Jenkins, OT Oklahoma State
13. LA Chargers - Christian Darrisaw, OT Virginia Tech
12. Philadelphia - DeVonta Smith, WR Alabama
11. NY Giants - Jaycee Horn, CB South Carolina
10. Dallas - Kyle Pitts, TE Florida
9. Denver - Trey Lance, QB North Dakota State
8. Carolina - Rashawn Slater, OT Northwestern
7. Detroit - Patrick Surtain II, CB Alabama
6. Miami - Jaylen Waddle, WR Alabama
5. Cincinnati - Ja’Marr Chase, WR LSU
4. Atlanta - Penei Sewell, OT Oregon
3. San Francisco - Justin Fields, QB Ohio State
2. NY Jets - Zach Wilson, QB BYU
1. Jacksonville - Trevor Lawrence, QB Clemson
As you can see, several key players many black and gold fans are off the board. The run on offensive tackles has players like Teven Jenkins and Christian Darrisaw off the board, several cornerbacks have also been selected, but there was plenty of talent to choose from at No. 24.
Trying to put myself in Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin’s position, I wanted to truly adopt the Best Player Available (BPA) approach. The New York Jets did me a favor by taking Najee Harris at pick No. 23, but that left other running backs like Travis Etienne still on the board.
I want a first round pick who can come in and put their hand in the pile. Someone who can help make this Steelers team better from Day 1. While players like Creed Humphrey, Etienne and Jayson Oweh were still available, I went with Tulsa LB Zaven Collins.
Maybe it is just me, but I believe Collins can be a Swiss Army Knife of sorts for the Steelers in his rookie year. Not only playing the inside linebacker role, but also rushing the passer from time to time. Collins’ college tape shows a playmaker in the truest sense of the word, and him being injected into the lineup will only make an already good defense even better.
With Collins as the first round pick, the Steelers would likely approach the offensive side of the ball on Day 2 of the draft, mainly looking at center, offensive tackle and running back.
This is just the first of many NFL Draft scenarios I’ll be doing, every time finding a new prospect/approach which could dictate who the Steelers might select in the first found of the 2021 NFL Draft.
What do you think of the pick, given who was still available when it was the Steelers’ pick? Let us know in the comment section, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft.