Well it's finally here, draft week, Christmas for every NFL team and their fans. Shiny new toys that will bring the promise of hope for the future. As with all toys, some will break leading to "bust" status, and some will provide us with memories that we fans will cherish forever. Let's see what happens and just enjoy the holiday season shall we?
1. Jacksonville Jaguars - Trevor Lawrence QB, Clemson
No guessing here. Lawrence is a generational talent at the position, getting grades similar to Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning, and John Elway.
2. New York Jets - Zach Wilson QB, BYU
As with the first pick, this pick is set in stone. The Jets are rumored to love Zach Wilson.
3. San Francisco 49ers (from Miami via Houston)- Mac Jones QB, Alabama
Which QB will San Francisco take here? For a while it was Mac Jones, now the Vegas odds make it Justin Fields as the favorite. The rumors are that GM John Lynch wants Trey Lance while HC Kyle Shanahan wants Mac Jones, but ultimately the decision will be left up to Shanahan.
4. Atlanta Falcons - Kyle Pitts TE/WR, Florida
The rumors for the Falcons are that new GM Terry Fontenot wants to draft a QB here, but new HC Arthur Smith wants to commit to Matt Ryan for at least the next two years. With a 40 time of 4.44, the 6-foot-5 and 245 pounds Kyle Pitts appears to have jumped both Ja'Marr Chase and DeVonta Smith on most teams' draft boards as the drafts' top pass-catcher. Arthur Smith employs a lot of 12-personnel in his offense, and having both Pitts and Hayden Hurst at TE would make for a lethal combo. Additionally, the Falcons must decide on Hurst's 5th-year option shortly after the draft concludes.
5. Cincinnati Bengals - Ja'Marr Chase WR, LSU
Penei Sewell has been penciled into this spot in virtually everyone's mock draft since the beginning of the 2020 season. The Bengals need better protection for franchise QB Joe Burrows. However there are rumors that the Bengals will take Joe Burrow's college teammate Ja'Marr Chase here as a replacement for A.J. Green, happy with the progress of 2019 first round pick Jonah Williams at LT as well as getting Riley Reiff in free agency to play RT.
6. Miami Dolphins (via Philadelphia Eagles) - Jaylen Waddle WR, Alabama
The Dolphins got a King's Ransom from the 49ers to move out of the third overall pick, but were still able to move back into position to grab one of either Jaylen Waddle or DeVonta Smith, with the hopes of getting Kyle Pitts.
7. Detroit Lions -Penei Sewell OT, Oregon
The Lions have one of the worst rosters in the NFL and should be in the midst of a total rebuild. New first time head coach Dan Campbell is a Sean Payton disciple, so he may be inclined to use this pick to build the trenches, especially when Penei Sewell is still on the board. Taylor Decker seems entrenched at LT but Sewell has All-Pro potential at either OT or OG spots. Detroit is also rumored to be looking to trade back to acquire more picks.
8. Carolina Panthers - Rashawn Slater OT/OG, Northwestern
With Sam Darnold now in-tow the Panthers can focus on upgrading other positions. Given that they spent their entire 2020 draft picks on defense, it's likely that this will use this draft class to bolster the offense around their new QB. For Carolina the dream scenario would be that either one of Kyle Pitts or Penei Sewell drops here. Aside from Taylor Moton at RT, the Panthers entire offensive line is anything but settled. Injury-plagued 32-year old LT Russell Okung is still on the free agent market. If the Panthers do draft a defensive player here it'll likely be either Patrick Surtain or Jaycee Horn, as they failed to replace James Bradberry.
9. Denver Broncos -Trey Lance QB, North Dakota State
Most mock drafts have the Broncos taking either a CB or Micah Parsons here. Denver released AJ Bouye but replaced him with Ronald Darby, and also signed Kyle Fuller to a 1-year deal, so while CB could still be addressed here it's not as big of a need. At linebacker, the Broncos have had issues ever since they lost Danny Trevathan to free agency. Drew Lock is one of the worst rated QB's in the NFL and with a very talented roster Denver needs to try and upgrade at the games most important position, which could potentially mean trading up with the likes of Atlanta, Miami, or Detroit.
10. Dallas Cowboys - Patrick Surtain II CB, Alabama
It is almost a forgone conclusion that the Cowboys will use this pick to upgrade a porous defense, especially at CB and DE. Chidobe Awuzie signed with Cincinnati which makes CB their biggest need, but they could also use someone who can rush the passer consistently besides Demarcus Lawrence. There is a rumor that team owner Jerry Jones is infatuated with Kyle Pitts, so much so that Dallas could potentially trade up for him.
11. New York Giants - Kwity Paye DE, Michigan
The Giants biggest needs are for better protection of Daniel Jones and to improve their pass-rush. New York GM Dave Gettleman loves drafting for the trenches. After spending the 2020 fourth overall pick on Andrew Thomas combined with the return of Nate Solder, it's more likely that this pick is used on an edge-rusher, although Rashawn Slater and Alijah Vera-Tucker cannot be counted out as a replacement for Kevin Zeitler. The Giants should have their pick of pass-rushers here, but Kwity Paye fits the mold of the types of players that Gettleman prefers.
12. Philadelphia Eagles (from Miami via San Francisco 49ers) -Jaycee Horn CB, South Carolina
Rumor has it that the Eagles traded out of the sixth overall pick because they believe that the Bengals are taking Ja'Marr Chase. New Head Coach Nick Sirianni has a background as a WR's coach and will likely fall in love with whichever of the top-3 WR's fall this far. Another rumor has the Eagles "very high" on Jaycee Horn. This pick could be Horn or Patrick Surtain, or the best available WR. Either way, it looks like Philly will take a WR and CB with their first two picks.
13. Los Angeles Chargers - Christian Darrisaw OT, Virginia Tech
The Chargers have a draft history of filling their biggest need in the first round. The signings of Corey Linsley and Matt Feiler definitely help the offensive line but the Chargers still need a blindside protector to replace the mediocre Sami Tevi who signed with Indy. They also need a long-term replacement for 32-year old free agent Melvin Ingram, as well as a replacement for Casey Hayward at CB after he was released for cap reasons.
14. Minnesota Vikings - Alijah Vera-Tucker OT/OG, USC
Minnesota will likely continue to rebuild their offensive line, especially in the wake of Riley Reiff's release. Rumor has it that the Vikings love Christian Darrisaw, but could still take Alijah Vera-Tucker here. Defensively, Danielle Hunter will be coming back from injury, and is threatening to hold out, and the Yannick Ngakoue trade ended up being a total bust, so if the Vikings opt to upgrade their defense it'll likely be for an edge-rusher.
15. New England Patriots -Justin Fields QB, Ohio State
With the Panthers seemingly having taken themselves out of the QB draft race with the trade for Sam Darnold, it could potentially leave a QB on the board for the Patriots, although they'll still have to trade up to get one. If there's not a QB available New England may trade back to acquire more picks given that they lack a third round pick. If they stay here and do not get a QB, the Pats could look to bolster the CB position given that they may trade Stephon Gilmore and 34-year old Jason McCourty is still a free agent. J.C. Jackson will also be an unrestricted free agent in 2022. Otherwise it'll likely be for a linebacker, as virtually all of New England's current group of linebackers will be free agents in 2022.
16. Arizona Cardinals -DeVonta Smith WR, Alabama
Arizona has needed to upgrade across from Chandler Jones for a while now, especially in the wake of Hassan Reddick signing with Carolina. They will also need to replace Patrick Peterson who signed with Minnesota. Outside of Byron Murphy, the Cardinals don't have anything at CB besides a lot of stop-gap guys on 1-year deals at CB. The Cardinals are rumored to be targeting Patrick Surtain or Jaycee Horn, with back-up options being Jaylen Waddle, DeVonta Smith and Zaven Collins.
17. Las Vegas Raiders - Alex Leatherwood OT, Alabama
The Raiders seriously need to upgrade the middle of their defense. They need a pass-rushing DT, multiple upgrades at LB, Jonathan Abram has been a complete bust, and Erik Harris signed with the Falcons. After trading or releasing 3/5th's of their offensive line, for some strange reason, taking the best available lineman could be the priority here. GM Mike Mayock and HC John Gruden love using early picks on multi-year starters from elite college programs, particularly Clemson and Alabama, so O-linemen such as Clemson's Jackson Carmen or Alabama's Alex Leatherwood, and even Notre Dame's Liam Eichenberg could all get consideration. While not as big of a need, the Raiders will likely have serious interest in JOK. The hybrid LB/S would be a boon to new DC Gus Bradley's Cover-3 defense.
18. Miami Dolphins -Azeez Ojulari DE/OLB, Georgia
The favorite here is likely to be Najee Harris, because he fills a need and because of the Alabama connection with Tua Tagovailoa, but Miami did sign Malcolm Brown to pair with Myles Gaskin, while defensively they have a big need for an edge-rusher after trading Shaq Lawson to Houston for Benardrick McKinney.
19. Washington Football Team - Micah Parsons LB, Penn State
Washington is one of a handful of teams who are looking to trade up for a QB. They also definitely need address the left tackle position after trading Trent Williams to San Francisco last offseason, and at linebacker after Thomas Davis' retirement. It's sounds as though Washington, if they cannot trade up for a QB, will target a LT or ILB here. Another possibility is that they trade back if the top available ILB and OT's are off of the board.
20. Chicago Bears - Elijah Moore WR, Ole Miss.
Like Washington, Chicago is one of the teams looking to trade up for a QB. Elsewhere, Allen Robinson is on the franchise tag and it sounds as though the Bears have little interest in re-signing him to a massive long-term deal. Add that to the rumor that Chicago is shopping Anthony Miller in trade, and Chicago could likely draft a WR here. They also need a replacement for Kyle Fuller, who was released for cap reasons, and will need to rebuild their offensive line, especially after the release of Bobby Massie.
21. Indianapolis Colts - Jayson Oweh DE, Penn State
With the Colts having traded for Carson Wentz, this pick will likely be used on a replacement for retired LT Anthony Castanzo, or on a replacement for 32-year old free agent Justin Houston, and possibly a long-term option at CB given that Xavier Rhodes was only re-signed to a 1-year deal. With Justin Houston still on the market and Denico Autry signing with Tennessee, an edge-rusher makes the most sense here unless an elite OT like Christian Darrisaw falls.
22. Tennessee Titans - Caleb Farley CB, Virginia Tech
Tennessee filled by far their biggest and most obvious need in free agency with the signing of Bud Dupree. Now their attention should turn to right tackle, where 2020 first round pick Isaiah Wilson was such a colossal bust that he was traded to Miami for a late-round pick and Dennis Kelly was released, or at cornerback where Desmond King signed with Houston and both Adoree Jackson and Malcolm Butler were released.
It could be a tossup here between Teven Jenkins and Caleb Farley, and rumors have Elijah Moore as a possibility as well. While rumors are rampant that, in light his Farley's back issues, many teams now have a second round grade on Caleb Farley, his upside is worth a gamble here. The Titans rolled the dice on Jeffrey Simmons in the first round of the 2019 draft, who tore his ACL while training for the draft, and that worked out well for them.
23. New York Jets (from Seattle Seahawks) - Greg Newsome CB, Northwestern
After rebooting the QB position with Zach Wilson, the Jets could use this pick to improve the run game to take the pressure off of him by taking Travis Etienne or Najee Harris. However, new first time HC Robert Saleh could lean on what he knows best by taking an edge-rusher to pair with newly signed Carl Lawson to revamp a woeful Jets pass-rush, in an attempt to mimic the fearsome defensive front he worked with in San Francisco. It's likely that the Jets will use this pick on the best available cornerback or edge-rusher, with an outside chance of taking a RB.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers - Najee Harris RB, Alabama
If the internet rumors are to be believed, this pick will come down to a small handful of players, the most likely of which is Najee Harris. The debate as to whether or not there is value in taking a running back in the first round is warranted and will continue rage on regardless of who the Steelers take here, but it's obvious that the Steelers need to do something to improve the running game. If the Steelers are truly gearing up for one final ride with Big Ben, it does makes sense to draft someone here that can make an immediate impact and, out of all of the positions, running backs tend to "hit the ground running" and have the greatest impact in their rookie seasons. Detractors believe that, to have a good running game requires a good offensive line first, so it becomes a "chicken or the egg" argument.
The 6-foot-3, 230-pounds Najee Harris would give the Steelers a dynamic element that has been absent from the offense ever since Le'Veon Bell left town. He plays with power, patience, vision, and he has elite receiving ability out of the backfield. The only thing missing from Harris' arsenal of traits is elite speed. The Steelers could take the speedy Travis Etienne, who might potentially be a better scheme fit for OC Matt Canada's offense, but the front office appears to be zeroed-in on Harris. His size fits the mold of the types of running backs that the Steelers have traditionally tended to prefer.
It goes without saying that the Steelers value the center position more so than most teams, and per Tony Pauline of PFN the Steelers are considering Landon Dickerson with their first round pick. Although he's also mentioned that many teams have removed Dickerson from their draft boards because of his extensive injury history and as a result it is possible that he slides on draft day. As Pauline explains, "several teams gave Dickerson a medical grade of 3-minus off medicals, the equivalent of a C-minus in letter grades."
If Pittsburgh elects to go in any other direction it could be for someone like Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. HC Mike Tomlin and GM Kevin Colbert were both at his pro day, and the Telvin Smith-like JOK would make for a great fit next to Devin Bush in the middle of our defense with his sideline-to-sideline coverage ability.
Other options would include Azeez Ojulari and Jayson Oweh. Tomlin and Colbert were both present at their pro days as well, and the Steelers love athletic freaks at the outside linebacker position as well as drafting younger players, and both happen to be redshirt sophomores.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Los Angeles Rams) - Christian Barmore DT, Alabama
The Jags filled most of their biggest needs through free agency and the drafting of Trevor Lawrence. With new DC Joe Cullen changing the defensive scheme from a 4-3 nickel to base 3-4 that heavily deploys sub-package dime looks, adding Tevon Moehig to pair with newly signed Rashawn Jenkins at safety or Greg Newsome at CB with Shag Griffin and CJ Henderson seems like the most likely options here. Another option would be Christian Barmore who would be a great fit as well as a massive upgrade to their new 3-man front.
26. Cleveland Browns -Jaelan Phillips DE, Miami
The Browns will likely invest this pick on defense as Oliver Vernon, who ruptured his Achilles in the final game of the regular season, is a free agent, Larry Ogunjobi signed with Cincinnati, and Sheldon Richardson was released. Additionally the weakest link of the defense is Cleveland's LB corps. Before he signed with Tennessee, the Browns were in serious contention to sign free agent Bud Dupree, which means that they may view edge-rusher as their biggest need despite signing Jadeveon Clowney to a 1-year deal. If he were available Greg Newsome would be a great replacement for Greedy Williams, who has yet to establish himself after a mediocre rookie season and then missing all of 2020 with a shoulder injury. Another option would be Christian Barmore to replace Ogunjobi and Richardson.
27. Baltimore Ravens - Zaven Collins OLB, Tulsa
The Ravens lost Yannick Ngakoue to the Raiders and Matt Judon to the Patriots in free agency, making edge-rusher their biggest need. The Ravens also need more dependable pass-catchers besides Mark Andrews, but they did sign Sammy Watkins to a 1-year deal. Indications are that unless the right prospect falls into their laps, the Ravens will trade back to acquire more picks. If they do trade back, presumably into the top of the second round, a likely target could be Landon Dickerson or Creed Humphrey to replace OC Matt Skura who signed with Miami or possibly Terrace Marshall to upgrade their passing game. Now reportedly up to 270-pounds, Zaven Collins fits the mold of the type of edge-rusher that the Ravens prefer.
28. New Orleans Saints - Levi Onwuzurike DT, Washington
Sean Payton typically spends his first round picks on trench players. Injury-plagued Sheldon Rankins signed with the Jets and Trey Hendrickson signed with Cincinnati, Marcus Davenport's 5th-year option may be declined making him a 2022 free agent, and Malcom Brown was traded to Jacksonville, so D-line is a huge need. Offensively both Terron Armstead and Ryan Ramczyk will be free agents in 2022.
29. Green Bay Packers - Jamin Davis LB, Kentucky
The Packers have to take a WR at some point don't they? If not, this pick will likely be used on a long-term replacement for Kevin King, who re-signed on a 1-year deal, or to upgrade one of the worst run defenses in the NFL, especially at ILB. Green Bay will definitely need to invest in their offensive line to replace Corey Linsley, Lane Taylor and Rickey Wagner, and LT David Bakhtiari may not be ready to start the season due to a torn ACL.
30. Buffalo Bills -Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah LB, Notre Dame
The Bills have a fairly solid roster, and managed to fill their biggest needs when they retained free agents Daryl Williams, Jon Feliciano, and Matt Milano. Rumor has that they will look to upgrade the pass-rush here as both Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison will be aging free agents in 2022, or take a CB opposite of Tre'Davious White, where Josh Norman is a free agent and Levi Wallace was only re-signed to a 1-year deal. They'll also have to consider whether or not, after giving a big free agent deal to Matt Milano as well as needing to re-sign Josh Allen to a massive extension, to pick-up the 5th-year option on Tremaine Edmunds, and as such the Bills could draft a LB here. Bills GM Billy Beane has made some cryptic comments about taking the best player available, even if they do not start right away. He's also mentioned exploring the idea of adding a "big nickel" safety-linebacker hybrid for the defense. Someone like JOK would fit that role perfectly, and could be a replacement for Edmunds if they do not sign him to a long-term deal.
31. Baltimore Ravens (via Kansas City Chiefs) -Teven Jenkins OT, Oklahoma State
With Orlando Brown jr. now in Kansas City, courtesy of this pick, Baltimore must replace him. Teven Jenkins is virtually a carbon copy of Orlando Brown in terms of size and style of play, and would make for a seamless transition at right tackle for the Ravens.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Rashod Bateman WR, Minnesota
Amazingly enough the Bucs have managed to retain all of their priority free agents. As such, their biggest need heading into the draft will be to upgrade their depth in the wake of a host of 2022 free agents. On the defensive side, CB Carlton Davis, FS Jordan Whitehead, 34 year old DT Ndamukong Suh and 32-year old Jason Pierre-Paul will all be free agents in 2022. Offensively LG Alex Cappa, OC Ryan Jensen will be free agents as well. Plus Chris Godwin will be playing on the 1-year franchise tag. Rumor has it that the Bucs and free agent WR Antonio Brown are far apart on their contract negotiations. Taking a WR here would fit into both their appeasement of Tom Brady, giving him another weapon, and fill an immediate need for a slot WR during their Championship window, who can potentially replace Godwin in 2022 if they cannot work out a long-term deal.
33. Jacksonville Jaguars - Samuel Cosmi OT, Texas
Cam Robinson is on a 1-yr deal.
34. New York Jets - Gregory Rousseau DE, Miami
NYJ need an edge-rusher opposite of Carl Lawson.
35. Atlanta Falcons -Trevon Moehrig S, TCU
ATL will likely take a DE or a safety here.
36. Miami Dolphins (from Houston Texans) -Travis Etienne RB, Clemson
With so many draft assets MIA could move back into the 1st for a RB.
37. Philadelphia Eagles - Terrace Marshall jr. WR, LSU
If PHI takes a CB in the 1st they'll take a WR here.
38. Cincinnati Bengals - Creed Humphrey OC, Oklahoma
2018 1st round bust Billy Price will likely have his 5th-yr option declined.
39. Carolina Panthers -Asante Samuel jr. CB, Florida State
CAR never replaced James Bradberry.
40. Denver Broncos - Kelvin Joseph CB, Kentucky
Kyle Fuller is on a 1-yr deal.
41. Detroit Lions - Kadarius Toney WR, Florida
Kenny Golladay signed with NYG.
42. New York Giants -Trey Smith OG/OT, Tennessee
Will Hernandez and Zach Fulton are both 2022 FA's.
43. San Francisco 49ers -Eric Stokes CB, Georgia
Richard Sherman is a FA and injury-plagued Jason Verrett is on a 1-yr deal.
44. Dallas Cowboys -Milton Williams DT, Louisiana Tech
DAL is rumored to "love" Milton Williams.
45. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Minnesota Vikings) - Tyson Campbell CB, Georgia
JAC needs a CB to go with CJ Henderson and Shaq Griffin.
46. New England Patriots - Baron Browning LB, Ohio State
Hightower, McMillan, Bentley, and possibly Kyle Van Noy are all 2022 FA's.
47. Los Angeles Chargers - Joe Tryon DE, Washington
Melvin Ingram is a 32-yr old FA.
48. Las Vegas Raiders - Richie Grant S, UCF
Erik Harris signed with ATL.
49. Arizona Cardinals -Javonte Williams RB, North Carolina
Chase Edmonds and injury-plagued James Conner are both 2022 FA's.
50. Miami Dolphins -Aaron Robinson CB, Central Florida
Xavien Howard and Byron Jones have opt-outs in 2022 and 2023.
51. Washington Football Team -Liam Eichenberg OT, Notre Dame
WAS never replaced Trent Williams.
52. Chicago Bears - Jalen Mayfield OT, Michigan
Bobby Massie was released.
53. Tennessee Titans -Joseph Ossai DE/OLB, Texas
Harold Landry is a 2022 FA.
54. Indianapolis Colts - Dillon Radunz OT/OG, North Dakota State
Anthony Castonzo retired and Sam Tevi is on a 1-yr deal.
55. Pittsburgh Steelers - Landon Dickerson OC, Alabama
This pick might be blind Homerism, or just wishful thinking, but there is a legitimate chance that Landon Dickerson falls due to serious durability concerns with regards to his medical history. The 6-foot-6, 326-pounds redshirt-senior has only finished one collegiate season healthy from start to finish, and is currently rehabbing from an ACL tear suffered in the National Championship game. That medical history includes two ACL tears, one on each knee, as well as two ankle surgeries. However, if not for the injury concerns then Dickerson would undoubtedly be a sure-fire first round pick. He's a true road-grader in the run game, and a high-character team captain. Despite the injury issues he's well worth the gamble here, especially for a Steelers team looking to cash in one last time before Big Ben's retirement party. Armed with two 4th round picks, as well as a likely bevy of compensation picks in the 2022 draft, if Dickerson falls beyond the top 10 picks of the second round it wouldn't be surprising to see the Steelers make an uncharacteristic move up in the draft to secure a player thought to be in contention for their first round pick.
Should the dream of Landon Dickerson not come to fruition here, the most likely targets would be Josh Myers or Quinn Meinerz. Conventional wisdom would point to Myers as the pick, as he comes from an elite college program that the Steelers frequently draft from, and both Colbert and Tomlin, as well as O-line coach Arian Klemm, were at his pro day. However he's really not a good fit for the offense that the Steelers are trying to build under OC Matt Canada. Myers is still in the process of recovering from toe surgery as a result of an injury sustained in the National Championship game so he was unable to run drills at the Ohio State pro day, opting to only participate in the bench press (29 reps). The 6-foot-5, 315-pounders' tape shows a mauler in the run game but a liability in pass protection, as a lack of athleticism gets exposed when trying to protect against defensive alignments predicated on gap penetration, as well as an inability to get-to and square-up defenders on the second level.
Conversely, while also not a perfect fit for Canada's system, the small-school Senior Bowl stand-out Quinn Meinerz is considered raw but has all of the tools to flourish in the Steelers offense. A complete unknown going into the Senior Bowl, the 6-foot-3, 320-pounds Meinerz shined while playing center after never having played the position before then. Interestingly enough, Meinerz got his invitation to play center at the Senior Bowl as a result of Landon Dickerson tearing his ACL in the National Championship game. Meinerz is tough-as-nails, as he broke his hand during Senior Bowl week and played through the injury. He really shined at his pro day, where his athletic scores put him in league with the top linemen in this draft class. The Steelers met with Meinerz at the Senior Bowl and Adrian Klemm was at his pro day. As written by our own Shannon White, Quinn Meinerz could be our next Kevin Dotson. However, we won't be lucky enough to get him in the fourth round.
Another option here would be Pat Freiermuth whose value, much like Chase Claypool in 2020, may simply too good to pass up as a replacement for the recently retired Vance McDonald. Behind current starter Eric Ebron the Steelers have virtually nothing on the roster besides 2019 5th round pick Zach Gentry, who has 1 career reception for 4 yards. Add to that Ebron's dubious accolades as the 2020 leader in both penalties and dropped passes by a tight end, and the fact that he's a free agent in 2022, and the tight end position could be seen as big of a need as any other on the roster. Freiermuth likely will never live up to his "Baby Gronk" moniker, but he has the upside to be the Steelers' next Heath Miller, a consistently reliable safety valve for the QB position who can also be an effective blocker in the run game. Colbert and Tomlin were both present at the Penn State pro day, and of all of the assistants they could have brought with them, such as OC Matt Canada or LB's coaches Jerry Olsavsky and Denzel Martin, they took Steelers TE coach Alfredo Roberts who put Freiermuth through drills and routes during his workout.
Defensively the Steelers lost both Steven Nelson and Mike Hilton to free agency, and 2019 third round pick Justin Layne was recently arrested and is facing a potential felony gun possession charge, so taking a cornerback here would also be an option. They've shown interest in a bevy of prospects including Asante Samuel jr. and Aaron Robinson, and both Colbert and Tomlin were present at the Georgia pro day and likely came away impressed with the showings of Eric Stokes and Tyson Campbell. If Landon Dickerson isn't an option here, it's likely that in light of all of the issues at CB that the Steelers will draft one here, especially if Samuel if still on the board.
56. Seattle Seahawks -Ronald Moore WR, Purdue
SEA needs a slot WR.
57. Los Angeles Rams - Quinn Meinerz OC, Wisconsin-Whitewater
Austin Blythe signed with KC.
58. Kansas City Chiefs (via Baltimore Ravens) - Carlos Basham DE, Wake Forest
KC needs a DE opposite of Frank Clark.
59. Cleveland Browns - Daviyon Nixon DT, Iowa
Larry Ogunjobi signed with CIN and Sheldon Richardson was released.
60. New Orleans Saints - D'Wayne Eskridge WR, Western Michigan
NO needs a #2 WR.
61. Buffalo Bills -Paulson Adebo CB, Stanford
Levi Wallace is on a 1-yr deal.
62. Green Bay Packers - Ifeatu Melifonwu CB, Syracuse
Kevin King is on a 1-yr deal.
63. Kansas City Chiefs -Nico Collins WR, Michigan
Sammy Watkins is in BAL and Demarcus Robinson on a 1-year deal.
64. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Wyatt Davis OG, Ohio State
Alex Cappa is a FA in 2022.
65. Jacksonville Jaguars - Josh Myers OG/OC, Ohio State
JAC is rumored to really like josh Myers here.
66. New York Jets - Michael Carter RB, North Carolina
NYJ are rumored to target Michael Carter here.
67. Houston Texans - Jackson Carman OT, Clemson
Houston needs to take the BPA to protect Deshaun Watson.
68. Atlanta Falcons -Ronnie Perkins DE/OLB, Oklahoma
ATL needs an edge-rusher opposite of Dante Fowler jr.
69. Cincinnati Bengals -Spencer Brown OT, Northern Iowa
Riley Reiff is on a 1-yr deal.
70. Philadelphia Eagles -Nick Bolton LB, Missouri
PHI needs multiple upgrades at LB.
71. Denver Broncos - Jabril Cox, LB, LSU
DEN needs upgrades at ILB.
72. Detroit Lions-Jevon Holland S, Oregon
Duron Harmon signed with ATL.
73. Carolina Panthers - Pat Freiermuth TE, Penn State
Dan Arnold is on minimal 2-yr deal.
74. Washington Football Team (from San Francisco 49ers) -Kellen Mond QB, Texas A&M
WAS released Alex Smith and Dwayne Haskins.
75. Dallas Cowboys - Payton Turner DE, Houston
Aldon Smith signed with SEA and Randy Gregory is on a 1-yr deal.
76. New York Giants - Ambry Thomas CB, Michigan
Adoree Jackson is injury-plagued.
New England Patriots - Pick lost due to penalty.
77. Los Angeles Chargers - Tommy Tremble TE, Notre Dame
Hunter Henry signed with NE.
78. Minnesota Vikings - Jordan Smith DE, UAB
MIN never replaced Yannick Ngakoue and Danielle Hunter is holding out for a new deal.
79. Las Vegas Raiders (via Arizona Cardinals) - Tommy Togiai DT, Ohio State
Maurice Hurst was released and Johnathan Hankins is on a 1-yr deal.
80. Las Vegas Raiders - Aaron Banks OG, Notre Dame
LVR traded Gabe Jackson and 38-yr old Richie Incognito is on a 1-yr deal.
81. Miami Dolphins -Trey Hill OC, Georgia
Ted Karras signed with NE and Matt Skura is on a 1-yr deal.
82. Washington Football Team -Ben Cleveland OG, Georgia
Brandon Scherff is on the franchise tag.
83. Chicago Bears - Davis Mills QB, Stanford
If CHI can't move up in the 1st for a QB, they'll take one on the second day.
84. Philadelphia Eagles (via Indianapolis Colts) - Trill Williams CB/S, Syracuse
Jalen Mills signed with NE.
85. Tennessee Titans -Brevin Jordan TE, Miami
Jonnu Smith signed with NE.
86. New York Jets (from Seattle Seahawks) - Elijah Molden CB/S, Washington
Brian Poole is still a FA.
87. Pittsburgh Steelers - James Hudson III OT, Cincinnati
The Steelers have shown in recent years that they are willing to take chances on small school prospects in the third round. James Hudson could end up being a real sleeper in this draft class, similar to Alex Highsmith and Javon Hargrave.
For those unfamiliar with Hudson, the former Michigan transfer started his collegiate career as a defensive tackle before making the switch to the offensive side of the ball. The 6-foot-5, 313-pounds Hudson, who at the Senior Bowl measured the biggest hands of any player at 11-inches, plays with the kind of violent streak that will endear him to Steelers fans. As a DT-convert his game is still extremely raw, but the tools are there for a high upside potential. In addition to being interviewed by the Steelers at the Senior Bowl he's also had virtual meetings with both OC Matt Canada and OL coach Adrian Klemm.
There are several offensive line prospects expected to go in this range that the Steelers have shown interest in, including Notre Dame's Robert Hainsey and Aaron Banks, and rumor has it that Adrian Klemm loves Northern Iowa's Spencer Brown.
On the defensive side, the Steelers brought back Vince Williams which could lessen their need for a linebacker, but shouldn't necessarily preclude them from taking one here. This is especially true with Michigan redshirt-sophomore Cameron McGrone available.
88. Los Angeles Rams - Tyler Shelvin DT, LSU
Michael Brockers was traded to DET.
89. Cleveland Browns - Pete Werner OLB, Ohio State
Malcolm Smith and Anthony Walker are both on minimal 1-yr deals.
90. Minnesota Vikings (from Baltimore Ravens) - Cameron McGrone LB, Michigan
Nick Vigil is on a 1-yr deal.
91. Cleveland Browns (from New Orleans Saints) -Dyami Brown WR, North Carolina
Rashard Higgins is a FA and OBJ might be traded.
92. Green Bay Packers -Demetric Felton RB/WR, UCLA
GB finally drafts a WR.
93. Buffalo Bills - Alim McNeil DT, North Carolina State
Vernon Butler is a FA in 2022.
94. Baltimore Ravens (via Kansas City Chiefs) - Tylan Wallace WR, Oklahoma State
Sammy Watkins is on a 1-yr deal.
95. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -Jay Tufele DT, USC
34-yr old Ndamukong Suh is on a 1-yr deal.
96. New England Patriots - Andre Cisco S, Syracuse
Jason McCourty is a FA and Patrick Chung retired.
97. Los Angles Chargers - Anthony Schwartz WR, Auburn
LAC needs a speedy slot WR.
98. New Orleans Saints - Robert Rochell CB, Arkansas State
Janoris Jenkins was released.
99. Dallas Cowboys -Brady Christensen OT, BYU
DAL needs depth for injury-plagued Tyron Smith.
100. Tennessee Titans - Amari Rodgers WR, Clemson
Corey Davis signed with NYJ.
101. Detroit Lions (via Los Angeles Rams) - Shaun Wade CB, Ohio State
Desmond Trufant and Justin Coleman both left in FA.
102. San Francisco 49ers - Benjamin St-Juste CB, Minnesota
SF could spend multiple pick on the secondary.
103. Los Angeles Rams -Camryn Bynum CB, California
Troy Hill signed with CLE.
104. Baltimore Ravens - Deonte Brown OG, Alabama
BAL may move Bradley Bozeman to OC to replace Matt Skura.
105. New Orleans Saints - Kyle Trask QB, Florida
NO is rumored to be interested in Kyle Trask.
106. Jacksonville Jaguars - Hunter Long TE, Boston College
Injury-plagued Tyler Eifert is a FA.
107. New York Jets - Walker Little OT, Stanford
NYJ need a bookend with Mekhi Becton.
108. Atlanta Falcons - Trey Sermon RB, Ohio State
Todd Gurley is an injury-plagued FA.
109. Houston Texans - Amon-Ra St. Brown WR, USC
Will Fuller signed with MIA.
110. Cleveland Browns (via Philadelphia Eagles) - Tre Brown CB, Oklahoma
Greedy Williams is coming back from injury.
111. Cincinnati Bengals - Kenny Gainwell RB, Memphis
Giovani Bernard was released.
112. Detroit Lions - Patrick Jones DE, Pittsburgh
DET needs someone besides Trey Flowers who can pass-rush.
113. Carolina Panthers - Osa Odighizuwa DT, UCLA
Kawann Short was released.
114. Denver Broncos - Elerson Smith DE, Northern Iowa
Von Miller is coming back from injury.
115. Dallas Cowboys - Dylan Moses LB, Alabama
Sean Lee is a 34-yr old injury-plagued FA.
116. New York Giants - Khalil Herbert, RB, Virginia Tech
Saquon Barkley is coming back from injury and Wayne Gallman signed with SF.
117. San Francisco 49ers - Kendrick Green OC/OG, Illinois
Ben Garland and Tom Compton are both unlikely to be re-signed.
118. Los Angeles Chargers - Deommodore Lenoir CB, Oregon
Casey Hayward was released.
119. Minnesota Vikings - Marlon Tuipulotu DT, USC
MIN needs depth at DT.
120. New England Patriots - Shi Smith WR, South Carolina
Julian Edelman retired.
121. Las Vegas Raiders (from Miami via Las Vegas) - Hamsah Nasirildeen S/LB, Florida State
LVR needs help at LB and competition for Johnathan Abram.
122. New England Patriots (from Houston via Arizona) - Kylin Hill RB, Mississippi State
James White is a 2022 FA.
123. Philadelphia Eagles (via Miami Dolphins) - Chazz Surratt LB, North Carolina
PHI needs to rebuild its LB corps.
124. Washington Football Team - Tre McKitty TE, Georgia
Logan Thomas is a 2022 FA.
125. Minnesota Vikings (via Chicago Bears) - Kenny Yeboah TE, Ole Miss.
Kyle Rudolph signed with NYG.
126. Tennessee Titans - Adrian Ealy OT, Oklahoma
Isaiah Wilson was a colossal bust.
127. Indianapolis Colts - Ihmir Smith-Marsette WR, Iowa
TY Hilton is on a 1-yr deal.
128. Pittsburgh Steelers - Divine Deablo S/LB, Virginia Tech
Bringing Vince Williams back on a 1-year deal makes it less likely that the Steelers will spend a day 1 or day 2 pick on an ILB, provided that a top prospect doesn't fall into their laps, but it doesn't mean that they will conclude the draft without addressing the position altogether.
Mike Tomlin has a soft spot for Va. Tech players and is surely to have interest in Divine Deablo. The 6-foot-3, 226-pounds defender played safety in college but will likely assume a linebacker position in the NFL. He has experience playing in the slot, in the box, deep center, and managed to pull three interceptions in 2020. He should be able to carve out a role as a dime-backer and special teamer early on, with the upside potential to replace VW full time in 2022. While neither Tomlin nor Colbert were able to attend the Virginia Tech pro day, Michigan held theirs on the same day, DBs coach Teryl Austin was in attendance. It's also been reported that Deablo has met virtually with both Tomlin and Colbert. With a lack of speed and athleticism from both VW and Robert Spillane, the Steelers will need to invest in someone to pair with Devin Bush for the long-term at some point.
129. Seattle Seahawks - Ade Ogundeji DE, Notre Dame
Carlos Dunlap and Aldon Smith are short-term solutions at DE.
130. Jacksonville Jaguars (via Los Angeles Rams) - Chuba Hubbard RB, Oklahoma State
JAC needs depth behind James Robinson.
131. Baltimore Ravens -Dayo Odeyingdo DE, Vanderbilt
BAL lost multiple edge-rushers in FA.
132. Cleveland Browns - Tommy Kraemer OG, Notre Dame
Wyatt Teller is a 2022 FA.
133. New Orleans Saints -Jamar Johnson S, Indiana
33-yr old Malcolm Jenkins could be a cap casualty in 2022.
134. Minnesota Vikings (via Buffalo Bills) - Ar'Darius Washington S/CB, TCU
Xavier Woods is on a 1-yr deal.
135. Green Bay Packers -Robert Hainsey OT/OG, Notre Dame
Lane Taylor signed with HOU.
136. Baltimore Ravens (via Kansas City Chiefs) -Richard LeCounte III FS, Georgia
DeShon Elliot is a 2022 FA.
137. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Quincy Roche DE/OLB, Miami
JPP will be a 32-yr old FA in 2022.
138. Dallas Cowboys - James Wiggins S, Cincinnati
Keanu Neal and Damonte Kazee are both on 1-yr deals.
139. New England Patriots - Stone Forsythe OT, Florida
Trent Brown is a 2022 FA.
140. Pittsburgh Steelers - Charles Snowden OLB, Virginia
The Steelers lost Bud Dupree in free agency, but before that they lost him to injury mid-way through the 2020 season. In his stead 2020 third round pick Alex Highsmith filled in admirably, and will assume the full-time starting role opposite perennial All-Pro T.J. Watt. However, the Steelers still need depth behind them. Even before Dupree was lost to injury Highsmith saw a significant number of snaps as the primary back-up at OLB, and with Dupree and Ola Adeniyi now both in Tennessee the Steelers don't have anyone besides free-agent roster-filler Cassius Marsh to take those snaps.
One of the more interesting prospects in the 2021 draft class, at least in terms of physical profile, is Virginia OLB Charles Snowden. Reaching a height just over 6-foot-6 and weighing only 232-pounds, it would be easy to mistake him for a WR or a TE rather than an edge-rusher. But Snowden did play OLB in the Cav's 3-4 defense. He makes great use of his frame by using that length to gain leverage and keep opposing offensive linemen from getting into his chest. With that height, and a wing span that reaches over 82-inches, Snowden can get into passing lanes to disrupt a QB's view and bat down passes. Naturally he needs to add weight to his lanky frame, otherwise he'll be a liability against the run and as such be relegated to a pass-rush specialist. The Steelers interviewed Snowden both virtually and at the Senior Bowl.
141. Los Angeles Rams - Talanoa Hufanga S, USC
John Johnson signed with CLE.
142. Green Bay Packers -Bobby Brown DT, Texas A&M
GB needs to fix its run defense.
143. Minnesota Vikings - Jermar Jefferson RB, Oregon State
Min needs depth behind James Cook.
144. Kansas City Chiefs - Rhamondre Stevenson RB, Oklahoma
Le'Veon Bell is a FA and Damien Williams was released.
216. Pittsburgh Steelers - Jamie Newman QB, Georgia
The Steelers don't have a single quarterback under contract after 2021 as Ben Roethlisberger, Mason Rudolph, Dwayne Haskins and Josh Dobbs will all be free agents in 2022. With Ben likely to retire, both Haskins and Dobbs only being roster-fillers to this point, and a possibility that Rudolph is brought back on a minimum deal it would behoove the Steelers to draft a developmental QB at some point just in case of emergency.
Once thought to be a future first round pick, Jamie Newman started his career at Wake Forest before becoming a graduate transfer at Georgia. However he never played a down at UGA after deciding to opt-out of the 2020 season due to the pandemic. His 2019 tape shows a good prospect who largely carried a talent-deprived Wake forest team on his shoulders. Newman has good mobility, a strong arm, and good deep-ball accuracy. At this point in the draft he's as good of a lottery ticket as any player available and at the very least he could be a cheaper #3 QB than Haskins or Dobbs on the depth chart for 2022 and beyond. Newman has stated that he's had several virtual meetings with Tomlin, Colbert, and OC Matt Canada.
245. Pittsburgh Steelers - Trevon Grimes WR, Florida
No Steelers draft class is complete without a WR. If they do not take one in the early rounds it's usually a sure bet that they will draft a developmental WR at some point on day three. A former 5-star recruit who started his career at Ohio State, Trevon Grimes has shown flashes of superstar potential but was never able to put it all together. In his on-field play he has shown to be maddeningly inconsistent. The 6-foot-4 and 220-pounds Grimes has a 4.49 forty time and can be described as a poor-man's JuJu Smith-Schuster, as a strong, big-bodied, possession receiver with decent vertical speed. With Smith-Schuster and James Washington due for free agency in 2022, the Steelers could be looking for a WR with upside to stash on the practice squad, but it's possible that Grimes can beat out newly signed Ray-Ray McCloud and/or Tyler Simmons for the #5 WR spot on the roster.
254. Pittsburgh Steelers - John Bates TE, Boise State
John Bates isn't likely to be the Steelers long-term answer at the tight end position, but what he can do is contribute right away to the teams' running game as one of the drafts' best blocking tight ends. At 6-foot-5 and 259-pounds, Bates uses textbook leverage and power to fire off of the snap and bulldoze defenders back which will help with Pittsburgh's goal-line inefficiencies. With Vance McDonald's retirement and no one on the roster talented enough to claim the #2TE spot, John Bates could be the rare 7th-round pick who can come onto the roster and contribute in his rookie season.