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!
Check out previous scenarios below:
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 - Jaelan Phillips, EDGE Miami
22. Tennessee - Alex Leatherwood, OT Alabama
21. Indianapolis - Greg Newsome II, CB Northwestern
20. Chicago - Trey Lance, QB North Dakota State
19. Washington - Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB Notre Dame
18. Miami - Rashod Bateman, WR Minnesota
17. Las Vegas - Zaven Collins, LB Tulsa
16. Arizona - Alijah Vera-Tucker, IOL USC
15. New England - DeVonta Smith, WR Alabama
14. Minnesota - Teven Jenkins, OT Oklahoma State
12. Philadelphia - Jaylen Waddle, WR Alabama
11. NY Giants - Caleb Farley, CB Virginia Tech
10. Dallas - Jaycee Horn, CB South Carolina
9. Denver - Patrick Surtain II, CB Alabama
8. Carolina - Rashawn Slater, OT Northwestern
7. Detroit - Penei Sewell, OT Oregon
6. Miami - Micah Parsons, LB Penn State
5. Cincinnati - Ja’Marr Chase, WR LSU
4. Atlanta - Kyle Pitts, TE Florida
3. San Francisco - Zach Wilson, QB BYU
2. NY Jets - Justin Fields, QB Ohio State
1. Jacksonville - Trevor Lawrence, QB Clemson
Compared to the first scenario, this decision was more of a challenge. It came down to offensive line, or a running back. Choosing what makes a bigger difference, the line or the back, is like debating which came first, the chick or the egg?
With that said, I chose to pass on all three running backs who were available (Najee Harris, Travis Etienne and Javonte Williams). My hope is the team will be able to address those needs in Round 2, even if it means trading to get the player they desire, like Williams. Nonetheless, in this scenario you can see the big name offensive tackles were off the board, and defenders like Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and Zaven Collins were also already gone.
Despite the fact I would have traded up to get Trey Lance ahead of Chicago, since I won’t utilize trades in these scenarios, I chose to go with center Creed Humphrey from Oklahoma. Landon Dickerson of Alabama, who is ranked higher than Dickerson, was my pick. I love Dickerson’s physicality, but his injury history concerns me. In my opinion, Humphrey is a great fit for the Steelers’ offense with Matt Canada calling the plays.
As I said earlier, this is a situation where the Steelers show how much they value the center position. Some might call this a reach, but the center position is that important. Getting a player like Humphrey in Round 1 would open the team up to go after other positions like running back, cornerback and EDGE rusher in the middle rounds of the draft.
This is just the one 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.