The first round of the 2021 NFL Draft is over, with the Steelers selecting Najee Harris out of Alabama with the 24th pick overall.
Here’s my Big Board breakdown of Harris:
24. Najee Harris — RB — Alabama
#22, Senior, 6’ 2”, 230 lbs
2020 season stats: 1,466 rushing yards, 26 rushing touchdowns, 5.8 yards per carry (YPC), 43 receptions, 425 receiving yards, 4 receiving touchdowns.
Ryland B.: Considered a top recruit coming out of high school, Najee Harris underwhelmed in his first few years at Alabama, but slowly improved each season to become the best running back in his draft class by his senior year. Harris has the size of a NFL running back, but he also has the power and athleticism to succeed at the next level. He is a patient runner with good vision, and can consistently make something out of nothing if the play breaks down. He ends runs with power, and is hard to bring down once he gets going, even unleashing an impressive hurdling ability at times. He isn’t the fastest, but has enough speed and burst to succeed at the NFL level — although he won’t be a home-run hitter. As a receiver, Harris showed some good hands and yards after catch ability in 2020. If there’s one concern, it’s mileage, as Harris had over 800 touches during his 4 years at Alabama. He hasn’t shown any durability concerns, but it’s certainly something to be aware of due to the short shelf life on NFL running backs. Overall, Harris is the most complete and NFL-ready back in the draft class, having shown athleticism, talent, and production over his successful college career.
But there are still six more rounds to go, and a lot of impactful picks to be made. Below, I’ve listed the top 50 players still remaining heading into the next day of the draft. The rankings are based off of Andrew Wilbar’s top 300, with the analysis and stats being from the BTSC Big Board. I’ve also added some “draft notes” to go along with the prospect analysis with some more up to date opinions on how the draft is falling.
And as always, the consensus rankings are from big boards from CBS Sports, Drafttek, ESPN, Mock Draft Database, and Tankathon.
Let’s take a look at the best players remaining in this year’s draft:
14. Azeez Ojulari — EDGE — Georgia
#13, So, 6’3”, 240 lbs
Consensus ranking: 39 (58, 30, 58, 22, 25)
2020 season stats: Tackles 31, TFL 12.5, Sacks 9.5, PD 2, FF 4, FR 1 (10 games)
Itz JustNoah: Ojulari has great athleticism and technique. He uses his hands well, he’s quick and he’s got a great bend that helps him stay upright. He has average size for an edge rusher so he could use a bit more strength but his speed off the line has helped him be successful without the ideal size. His major flaw comes as a run defender. When he’s forced outside and has to set the edge, he doesn’t have his burst off the line so he isn’t able to get by blockers. He’s not polished, but he’s got a high ceiling that makes him well worthy of being taken in the first round. He excelled in Kirby Smart’s 3-4 defense at Georgia and I think that’s where he will fit best in the NFL.
Draft notes: Ojulari is a fantastic pass-rusher, but it seems like NFL teams had others ranked even higher on their boards. Payton Turner, Gregory Rousseau, Jayson Oweh, and Joe Tryon all went ahead of the Georgia product.
18. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah — LB — Notre Dame
#6, Sr, 6’1”, 215 lbs
Consensus ranking: 21 (23, 29, 14, 19, 18)
2020 season stats: Tackles 62, TFL 11, Sacks 1.5, FF 3, FR 2, PD 3, Int 1, (12 games)
steelerfan11: While not the biggest linebacker in the world, Owusu-Koramoah has serious range in coverage and outstanding versatility. His lack of size occasionally bites him when trying to tackle a well-built running back or tight end, but the burst he displays when rushing the passer makes up for it. His versatility also allows him to play safety in certain packages, and he has had no trouble covering receivers and tight ends out of the slot. Adding some weight would only help him, but he will be a valuable piece for a defense that can use his versatility correctly.
Draft notes: Perhaps the biggest name to fall out of the first round, it seems as if NFL teams are concerned with JOK’s size. He’ll likely go early in the second round due to his athleticism and coverage ability — but if he falls to #55 the Steelers will likely be interested.
21. Joseph Ossai — EDGE — Texas
#46, Jr, 6’4”, 253 lbs
Consensus ranking: 34 (34, 36, 29, 38, 34)
2020 season stats: (0 games)
2019 season stats: Tackles 90, 14.5 TFL, 6 Sacks , Int 2, PD 3, FF 2 (13 games)
Itz JustNoah: I absolutely love Ossai. He has pretty much everything you want in a 3-4 OLB. He’s very quick off the line, his balance is phenomenal, he uses his hands extremely well and he has a wide range of pass rush moves. The stats may not show it but he is almost always in the backfield whether it be a run or a pass. Unlike a lot of the other edge rushers in this class, Ossai is very versatile. He can easily drop back into zone coverage or even play man against some tight ends or running backs, so he is the perfect 3-4 edge. I see a lot of TJ Watt in him because of his quickness, balance and his knack for creating turnovers. I’ve seen him fall out of the first round in some mocks but I think that any team that uses a 3-4 should take him before any other edge rusher.
Draft notes: Ossai is a versatile defender who is a perfect fit for the Steelers system. Earlier in the draft process BTSC writer KT Smith broke down how he could be a great second round pick for the team HERE.
22. Samuel Cosmi — OT — Texas
Jr, #52, 6’7”, 309 lbs
Consensus ranking: 43 (32, 24, 84, 25, 28)
2020 season stats: (8 games)
steelerfan11: Cosmi is not a sure thing at tackle, but I liked what I saw from him in both 2019 and 2020 when he was at left tackle. Generally, raw tackles will start out at right tackle if they play at all their rookie season, but I think Cosmi’s natural fit is on the left side. He depends on his superb athleticism too often, but all of Cosmi’s technical issues are fixable. When he leaves his chest exposed and a defender can land a punch, he loses balance but can usually save himself with his length. His kick-slide needs to become smoother, but that will come with improved footwork and hip angles. His pad level also needs to be lower on a more consistent basis, but that got much better in 2020. Cosmi does a good job of getting to the second level of the defense as a run-blocker, and he has the length and mobility to be a dominant pass blocker. If he can add a good 15 pounds to his frame, he could develop into one of the top blindside protectors in the game.
Draft notes: Cosmi is the best remaining tackle on the board, and the Steelers definitely have a need at the position. Cosmi is raw, but is a good fit at LT with tremendous upside.
23. Pat Freiermuth — TE — Penn State
#87, Jr, 6’5”, 250 lbs
Consensus ranking: 39 (26, 47, 41, 39, 41)
2020 season stats: 23 receptions, 310 receiving yards, 1 receiving TD’s, (4 games)
steelerfan11: Freiermuth is one of my favorite prospects in this class because of his style of play. Every year people try to compare the top tight ends in the class to Rob Gronkowski, but I actually find it fair to compare Freiermuth to him. I expect Freiermuth to get closer to the 260 pound range once he is in the NFL, helping him hold up against stronger NFL athletes. He does a good job of boxing out defenders and getting in good position to make catches, and he has the soft hands that you want in a tight end. I realize that he is still very raw and undeveloped as a blocker, but I believe that he is fully capable of becoming one of the top blocking tight ends in the league. It just may not come in year one. If he has fully recovered from that shoulder injury that ended his 2020 season early, he will be able to contribute immediately as a legitimate red zone threat. They say that a good blocking tight end is an extension of the offensive line, so if the value does not present itself at center or tackle, maybe the Steelers would consider the local tight end instead.
27. Christian Barmore — DL — Alabama
#58, So, 6’5”, 310 lbs
Consensus ranking: 29 (26, 49, 30, 21, 20)
2020 season stats: Tackles 37, TFL 9.5, Sacks 8, FF 3, PD 5, (12 games)
Itz JustNoah: Barmore has great size even for his position. He has all the right technique that you want from an interior lineman. His strong upper body helps him get in the backfield with ease and he has plenty of strength to help against the run. He’s much more refined than Nixon and I think that a team like the Raiders or possibly the Vikings that are ready to compete now and need a defensive tackle would work best. He can fit in a 3-4 and a 4-3 as long as he plays on the interior. I would not be opposed to the Steelers taking him to add some youth to the defense but the offensive line is definitely a bigger need if the top tier guys are still there.
28. Kelvin Joseph — CB — Kentucky
#1, Jr, 6’1”, 192 lbs
Consensus ranking: 73 (NA, 111, 46, 69, 66)
2020 season stats: Tackles 25, TFL .5, PD 5, Int 4, (9 games)
Ryland B.: A smart, fluid mover in zone, Joseph had a sneaky solid season in 2020 for Kentucky. I watched his tape against Alabama, and he more than held his own against DeVonta Smith, who was the best receiver and route runner in college football last year. Joseph’s not the quickest, but he still has a good athletic profile to match up with NFL receivers. Joseph’s tackling is by far the worst part of his game, but overall he’s a corner with the instincts and athletic ability to succeed in the NFL.
Draft notes: The Steelers have an underrated need at corner. Joseph is great at zone and could likely play on both the outside and in the slot.
29. Nico Collins — WR — Michigan
#1, Sr., 6’4” 215 lbs
Consensus ranking: 125 (138, 157, 43, 161, NA)
2020 season stats: Opted out
2019 season stats: 37 receptions, 729 receiving yards, 7 receiving TD
steelerfan11: Collins opted out of the 2020 season for Michigan, and his absence was quite evident. Collins did not have a great quarterback throwing him the ball during his time in Ann Arbor, but he bailed Shea Patterson out many times down the field in 2019. For a guy at that size, he actually runs decent routes and gets in and out of his cuts pretty quickly. His ball skills are tremendous, and he has good speed. If he would have had good quarterback play last year and decided to play this season, we may be talking about him as a top 15-20 pick. I still think that he is deserving of first round consideration simply based off on talent, but it is likely that he falls to day two.
30. Trey Smith — G — Tennessee
Sr, #73, 6’6”, 330 lbs
Consensus ranking: 47 (28, 39, 70, 48, 50)
2020 season stats: (10 games)
steelerfan11: Smith played left tackle in 2017 for the Volunteers before having issues with blood clots in his lungs in 2018. The former five-star recruit was able to get the issue resolved in time to play in 2019, but he moved inside to guard, which turned out to be the right move. Smith was much more dominant at guard and became one of the best run-blocking guards in the country while holding his own as a pass protector. In 2020, he was not quite as quick on his feet, and he struggled to win the battle for leverage. However, I like his game as a whole, and I believe he has a chance to be an absolutely dominant run-blocking guard.
31. Rondale Moore — WR — Purdue
#4, So., 5’9” 180 lbs
Consensus ranking: 32 (17, 20, 58, 29, 34)
2020 season stats: 35 receptions, 270 receiving yards, 0 receiving TD (3 games)
Ryland B.: Rondale Moore is an interesting prospect, as most of his first-round hype is based off of his incredible freshman season — back in 2018. That year Moore had over 100 catches and 1,200 yards to go along with his 12 touchdowns, making him a surefire first round pick when he would eventually enter the draft. However, a torn ACL at the beginning of his sophomore campaign didn’t help his draft plans, and then a decision to opt-out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns essentially made Moore a one-year wonder. But when he’s on the field, there is a lot to like about his game. Moore is very fast and elusive, and is a monster after the catch. There are some concerns about his smaller frame, as Moore isn’t suited for contested catches and struggles against physical corners, although he has good hands. Moore is a boom-or-bust prospect entering this year’s draft, but if he can be the player he was in 2018, the team that drafted him will be quite happy that they did so.
32. Creed Humphrey — C — Oklahoma
Jr, #56, 6’5”, 320 lbs
Consensus ranking: 58 (96, 40, 51, 44, 61)
2020 season stats: (11 games)
Ryland B.: There were questions about Creed Humphrey’s athleticism entering the 2021 draft cycle, but he silenced the doubters with a 10/10 RAS score in 2021, making him one of the most athletic centers ever tested. But his technique is just as impressive. A former wrestler, he plays with good functional strength and excellent leverage. He’s a proven leader with a great football IQ as well. Being left-handed might cause some issues, but that shouldn’t drop him on many boards (could it raise him on Miami’s?). Humphrey has really cemented himself as the top center in this class, and could hear his name called early on in the second round.
Draft Notes: The Steelers desperately need a center, and if Humphrey falls to #55 it would be a home-run draft in the first two rounds for the Steelers.
33. Aaron Robinson — CB — UCF
#31, Sr, 5’11”, 193 lbs
Consensus ranking: 76 (NA, 108, 64, 68, 63)
2020 season stats: Tackles 41, TFL 1, FF 1, PD 7, Int 0, (9 games)
steelerfan11: Robinson is yet another scheme versatile corner who does his best work in man coverage. The dude is just a baller no matter where he is lined up. He can reroute receivers at the line when he is lined up on the perimeter, and he has the quickness and agility to cover receivers coming out of the slot. While he is not the biggest corner in the world, he has good functional strength and seems to be well-built. Robinson actually transferred from Alabama, and I cannot help but wonder what his draft stock would be if he would have stayed. Now, he may not have seen the opportunities he wanted at Alabama, but his tape this season would have made him a surefire first round pick if his production came at Alabama instead of UCF.
34. Javonte Williams —RB — North Carolina
#25, Junior, 5’ 10”, 220 lbs
2020 season stats: 1,140 rushing yards, 19 rushing touchdowns, 7.3 YPC, 25 receptions, 305 receiving yards, 3 receiving touchdowns
Ryland B.: I’ve seen some debates online over the past month or so arguing that Williams is the second-best running back in this class over Travis Etienne — and while I’m not ready to go that far yet, Williams’ incredible 2020 season certainly puts him in the discussion. He’s a running back that screams “Pittsburgh Steeler”, as he’s an underclassmen, runs with power and an attitude, and produced well in college. If he gets a good SPARQ score you might as well pencil him in as the Steelers’ second round pick. In a way, I see Javonte Williams as Benny Snell 2.0, someone with the powerful rushing style and contact balance the Steelers liked in Snell, but paired with good speed and burst to make him a complete back, something that Snell certainly lacks. Williams isn’t the fastest in this class, but he’s an excellent power back with enough speed to be a starter in the NFL. He’s definitely someone to keep an eye on as the draft gets nearer.
37. Asante Samuel, Jr. — CB — Florida State
#26, Jr, 5’10”, 184 lbs
Consensus ranking: 36 (26, 24, 45, 44, 42)
2020 season stats: Tackles 31, TFL 1, FF 1, FR 2, PD 6, Int 3, (8 games)
Necksnation: The son of a four-time Pro Bowler, Asante Samuel Jr. has been rising on draft boards and has the potential to be a high quality starter in the NFL. Samuel is best in man, and he defends the run well. Although he’s somewhat undersized, Samuel projects as an outside corner in the NFL who can also play in the slot. Samuel doesn’t have great ball skills, but he did register three interceptions in 2020, so he seems to be improving in that regard. The Steelers have reportedly met with Samuel, but I wouldn’t want him selected in the first two rounds.
Draft notes: Samuel is someone who many saw as a sleeper first round pick for the Steelers. He certainly seems like someone the team would be interested in, and could be a fit at #55 if he lasts that long.
39. Walker Little — OT — Stanford
#72, Sr, 6’7”, 313 lbs
Consensus ranking: 88 (120, 87, 85, 81, 66)
2020 season stats: (0 games)
2019 season stats: (1 games)
steelerfan11: Before Walker Little opted out of the 2020 season, I thought that he had a chance of being a top 15 pick. He has all the traits that you want in a blindside pass-blocker. The former five-star recruit was a very fluid mover, and his ability to mirror well in pass protection made him look the part of a franchise tackle. Hand usage was good, and he was very good instinctively. The only problem is that we have not seen him play in two years. Little had a knee injury at the beginning of the 2019 season and then opted out this season. I really would like to see how well he moves and performs post-injury, and that will be difficult to do considering that there is not a combine to evaluate him at either. I absolutely love the upside that Little brings, and he could be the steal of the draft, but he is anything but a sure thing. I must say that the more I watch of him from 2018, the more I would welcome the idea of the Steelers grabbing him if he is available on day two.
40. Davis Mills — QB — Stanford
#15, Sr, 6’4”, 225 lbs
Consensus ranking: 107 (62, 185, NA, 99, 80)
2020 season stats: 1,508 passing yards, 7 passing touchdowns, 3 interceptions, 37 rushing yards, 3 rushing touchdowns (5 games)
steelerfan11: Mills was getting absolutely no hype two months ago, but people have begun to take notice of his talent. Mills shocked scouts when he ran a 4.58 in the 40 at his pro day, but what was more impressive was the accuracy he displayed in the rain, especially on deep throws. There were several games where Mills turned the ball over a lot, but he did not let the turnovers phase him. He generally came up clutch when his team needed a big play, and he showed good poise in the pocket for a quarterback who is inexperienced. He only started 11 games at the collegiate level, but the upside is a high-level NFL passer who can occasionally make plays with his feet. He has a very good chance of being taken inside the top 50 picks.
41. Daviyon Nixon — DL — Iowa
#54, So, 6’3”, 305 lbs
Consensus ranking: 43 (NA, 27, 61, 42, 43)
2020 season stats: Tackles 45, TFL 13.5, Sacks 5.5, FF 1, (8 games)
Itz JustNoah: In a relatively weak class for defensive lineman, Nixon is a bright spot. He’s not completely pro ready but he shows plenty of potential. He has excellent hands and athletic ability. Despite having 5.5 sacks (which is not bad for an interior lineman) he didn’t overly impress me as a pass rusher but his power as a run stopper is incredible. He has the ideal size and physical tools to be a starting defensive tackle, he just has to learn proper technique as a pass rusher to be really successful. I don’t think he’s a first round talent yet, but if a team wants to take a chance on him the upside is high.
42. Elijah Moore — WR — Ole Miss
#8, Jr., 5’9”, 184 lbs
Consensus ranking: 54 (NA, 56, 36, 68, 54)
2020 season stats: 86 receptions, 1193 receiving yards, 8 receiving TD (8 games)
Ryland B.: I hadn’t watched Elijah Moore at all until looking at film for this board, but I came away very impressed. He’s very quick and has solid speed, and runs crisp routes. He was very productive in college as well, and although he ran a lot of short routes, mainly bubble screens and curls, he was really successful when he got the chance to run vertically. I think he’ll translate quite well into the NFL as a starting slot receiver.
43. Carlos Basham — EDGE — Wake Forest
#9, Sr, 6’5”, 285 lbs
Consensus ranking: 50 (56, 62, 41, 48, 42)
2020 season stats: Tackles 28, TFL 5.5, Sacks 5, PD 1, FF 1 (7 games)
Ryland B.: Basham is a powerful edge rusher who has more of a clear fit as a 4-3 defensive end than anyone I’ve profiled so far for this board. He’s not a bad athlete per se, but he lacks the pure agility and bend of some of the others on this list, and his array of pass-rush moves isn’t the strongest. Still, Basham has good strength, plays with good discipline, and has a solid all-around game. He may not be an overly dynamic athlete, but Basham still made his impact at Wake Forest with some big plays. Hell be a good second round pick as he can start right away but probably not a great fit in Pittsburgh.
45. Trevon Moehrig — S — TCU
#7, Jr, 6’2”, 202 lbs
Consensus ranking: 23 (25, 17, 15, 30, 28)
2020 season stats: Tackles 47, Sacks 0, Int 2, PD 11, FF 0, FR 0, (10 games)
steelerfan11: Moehrig is the best safety in this class, but not by much. He has some versatility, but he will most likely settle in as a free safety in the NFL. His physicality is what I like most about him. He does not shy away from contact and isn’t afraid to hit hard. He has solid ball skills and good instincts, but his tackling is inconsistent. It seems as if sometimes he will go for the big blow rather than simply wrapping up the ball carrier. Moehrig will likely be a starting free safety in the NFL, but I would not take him until day two.
46. Tyson Campbell — CB — Georgia
#3, Jr, 6’2”, 185 lbs
Consensus ranking: 48 (31, 47, 55, 54, 52)
2020 season stats: Tackles 29, TFL 2.5, PD 6, Int 1, (10 games)
Ryland B.: Campbell is a good athlete who is still figuring out the corner position. He has good size and is physical in man coverage, with the speed to match up with top receivers. He’s a smooth mover with good quickness and he flips his hips well, but he can be a slow processor and still end up a step behind receivers. Campbell is an incredibly raw corner with all of the tools to succeed, but he will need to be developed by whichever NFL team drafts him.
48. Jabril Cox — LB — LSU
#19, Sr, 6’4”, 231 lbs
Consensus ranking: 62 (85, 54, 39, 60, 71)
2020 season stats: Tackles 58, TFL 6.5, Sacks 1, FF 0, FR 1, Int 3, (11 games)
Ryland B.: Cox is quickly becoming one of my favorite linebackers in this draft. He’s built nearly the same as Jamin Davis, and similarly is an excellent athlete who is rock solid in coverage. He has the same big play gene as the Kentucky linebacker as well. But where Davis struggles in navigating traffic, Cox is a heat-seeking missile. He flies across the field and through contact to make tackles, and while he’s still developing as a run defender, he shows all of the required tools and effort. He’ll be excellent value in the second or third round.
Draft notes: Besides JOK, Cox is my favorite linebacker remaining. And the Steelers love to draft linebackers. Cox could be an playmaking defender to pair next to Devin Bush in 2021.
49. Landon Dickerson — C — Alabama
Sr, #69, 6’6’’, 325 lbs
Consensus ranking: 67 (76, 59, 93, 56, 52)
2020 season stats: (12 games)
Ryland B.: If it wasn’t for Dickerson’s extensive injury history, I’d have a much higher grade on him. Dickerson is a technically sound, smart center with good size and strength who plays very aggressively. He’s a proven winner and leader as well. His strength and physicality shine in his run blocking, and he is good in pass protection thanks to his football IQ and technical ability. Besides the injuries, Dickerson’s weaknesses involve his overall athleticism, as it isn’t bad but far from elite, and he isn’t the most mobile. He’s a strong player though and shined at the SEC level, so there isn’t a whole lot to worry about there. If Dickerson can stay healthy he’ll be a very good NFL center. If you’re interested in reading more in-depth analysis on him, check out K.T. Smith’s extensive breakdown on Dickerson HERE.
Draft notes: Creed Humphrey is a fantastic center, but if it wasn’t for Dickerson’s many injury issues he would be in the same conversation. If the Steelers are confident that he can hold up at the NFL level, they could definitely bring him into Pittsburgh to block for his Alabama teammate Najee Harris.
50. Richie Grant — S — UCF
#27, Sr, 6’0”, 199 lbs
Consensus ranking: 84 (NA, 28, 186, 56, 66)
2020 season stats: Tackles 72, Sacks 1, Int 3, PD 0, FF 2, FR 2, (9 games)
Ryland B.: Grant is a top-tier coverage safety who really stood out in the Senior Bowl. He’s quick and instinctive in coverage with excellent ball skills. As a free safety his play recognition and range isn’t the greatest, but far from a concern. He isn’t the biggest, but still plays very physically and is a surprisingly good tackler. Grant projects best as a safety in the NFL, but he was fairly versatile in college, and I think that in the right scheme he could be a solid slot cornerback.
Draft notes: An underrated option to replace Mike Hilton here.
52. Dillon Radunz — OT — North Dakota State
Sr, #75, 6’6’’, 299 lbs
Consensus ranking: 64 (67, 84, 56, 57, 55)
2020 season stats: (1 games)
2019 season stats: (16 games)
Ryland B.: Radunz has flown under the radar for a while, but began to pop up on draft radar as his teammate Trey Lance began to get more hype — and Radunz showed up on the tape. He’s not a freak athlete like Cosmi or Darrisaw, but he’s still a fairly good one with good mobility and strength. He’s a little undersized for the position, an issue I think will pop up more in the NFL than it did at the FCS level. I think he has the frame to bulk up, though. He’s solid in pass protection but shined best in run blocking, showing excellent power and drive. Radunz had a strong Senior Bowl and showed the versatility to play at guard as well. Radunz’s smaller size and school are legitimate concerns, but as for now the NDSU linemen has established himself as a fringe first round candidate at offensive tackle.
53. Amon-Ra St. Brown — WR — USC
#8, Jr., 6’1” 195 lbs
Consensus ranking: 62 (58, 68, NA, 61, 60)
2020 season stats: 41 receptions, 478 receiving yards, 7 receiving TD (6 games)
steelerfan11: St. Brown has the bloodlines and the talent that warrant a first round selection, and he has a skill set to complement that. He is very quick and clean in and out of his cuts, he runs decent routes, has good body control and sideline awareness, has solid speed, and displays reliable hands week in and week out. Former USC receiver Juju Smith-Schuster is a reasonable comparison here as well, but I honestly think St. Brown’s game is a little more complete and a little better in terms of overall upside. While he isn’t dominant in any one area, he is very good in almost every category. If he isn’t a WR1 for some team, he will most certainly be one of the best #2 receivers in the league. He is a high floor prospect with a reasonably high ceiling.
55. Terrace Marshall — WR — LSU
#6, Jr., 6’3”, 200 lbs
Consensus ranking: 41 (65, 35, 35, 36, 35)
2020 season stats: 48 receptions, 731 receiving yards, 10 receiving TD (7 games)
Ryland B.: Part of a highly productive LSU offense in 2019, Marshall still managed to shine despite being in the same wide receiver room as Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase. Both Jefferson and Chase didn’t play in 2020, and Marshall was able to capitalize on the opportunity, putting up good numbers before opting out part way through the season. Marshall has really great size and good vertical speed and ball skills, although his hands aren’t the most consistent. Marshall is a good route-runner as well, although there is room to grow regarding his quickness and agility. Having been overlooked early on in his career due to the talented offense he played on, Marshall could be steal in the upcoming draft.
56. Teven Jenkins — OT — Oklahoma State
Sr, #73, 6’6’’, 320 lbs
Consensus ranking: 61 (109, 96, 33, 37, 32)
2020 season stats: (12 games)
Ryland B.: Jenkins is a powerful run-blocker at the tackle position who is still improving at the pass-blocking aspect of his position. I wasn’t all that impressed at first but he grew on me the more I watched. Jenkins really has that mauler mentality and plays with great power and drive. Put a guy in front of him and Jenkins will move him out of the way. This overaggressive style of play can get Jenkins in trouble at times, especially when paired with his lack of athleticism and technique. Overall I like Jenkins, as tough, aggressive linemen are something the Steelers really need more of on their roster. Still, there are a lot of issues that are hard to ignore, and Jenkins certainly needs to develop.
Draft notes: If the Steelers are all-in on improving their run game in 2021, Jenkins is the tackle to draft. However, his fit is definitely on the right side, and the Steelers have a bigger need at LT.
57. Jevon Holland — S/CB — Oregon
#8, Jr, 6’1”, 201 lbs
Consensus ranking: 57 (52, 59, 59, 54, 61)
2020 season stats: (0 games)
2019 season stats: Tackles 66, Sacks 0, Int 4, PD 4, FF 0, FR 0, (14 games)
steelerfan11: Holland has the best versatility of any safety in this class. He can play both safety spots as well as nickel cornerback, and I expect the team that drafts him to use him sporadically at each of those positions. Holland opted out of the 2020 season, but he was the leader of the Oregon defense in 2019, accounting for four interceptions and over sixty tackles. Holland has ideal speed and length to excel in man coverage, and he did exactly that in college. He has loose hips and moves fluidly when dropping into zone, but there are a few instances where he would drop too deep or not deep enough. He became much more consistent in 2019 in that department while still displaying his athletic traits and versatility. He was projected to be a top 15 pick before opting out, but his stock has fallen to a probable day two pick. He could be one of the true steals of the draft if he is still on the board after the top 50 picks.
58. Patrick Jones — EDGE — Pittsburgh
#91, Sr, 6’5”, 260 lbs
Consensus ranking: 55 (31, 67, 49, 67, 60)
2020 season stats: Tackles 44, TFL 13, Sacks 9 (11 games)
Ryland B.: Jones is an athletic pass-rusher with an insanely quick first step. He has solid size, and while he’s still a little raw overall there aren’t any major concerns when rushing the passer or defending the run. As a 4-3 defensive end, Jones is a very solid prospect who will just need some time to grow into his role in the NFL. However, as a 3-4 outside linebacker, a position Jones would play in the Steelers’s system (an actual possibility as the team met with him at the Senior Bowl), there would be a lot more to work on. Jones has the ideal size and athletic profile but is severely lacking when it comes to anything besides rushing the passer from a defensive end stance.
60. Wyatt Davis — G — Ohio State
Jr, #52, 6’4”, 315 lbs
Consensus ranking: 33 (NA, NA, NA, 29, 37)
2020 season stats: (8 games)
Ryland B.: There’s a lot to like about Wyatt Davis. He’s a powerful, athletic guard who has been a starter for a while on one of the better lines in college football. He’s a mauler who can move defenders in the run game, and he’s pretty solid in pass protection. Davis isn’t the most polished player at his position, as he can get pushed back sometimes and can struggle staying on a block. However, he’s an experienced, high-upside prospect overall who is still a safe pick in the early rounds.
61. Quinn Meinerz — C/G — UW-Whitewater
Sr, #77, 6’3”, 320 lbs
Consensus ranking: 157 (NA, 130, 176, 165, NA)
2020 season stats: (0 games)
2019 season stats: (15 games)
steelerfan11: Meinerz played his entire collegiate career at guard until his senior season. After an offseason of, well, interesting training, he made the move to center and played at a really high level for Wisconsin-Whitewater. He was still somewhat of an unknown commodity up until a few weeks ago when he shined at the Senior Bowl. He consistently won in one-on-one drills and showed his toughness and attitude as a blocker. His personality, style of play, and hair all make Ryan Jensen a logical comparison. I’m not saying that he will become one of the top two or three centers in football and go on to win a super bowl like Jensen, but he does not seem to be as raw a prospect as the initial scouting reports were saying. The NFL is quite a leap from Division III college football, but Meinerz has the toughness and moxie to be a really good interior lineman down the road.
Draft notes: The small school standout looked great at UW-Whitewater, but will it translate to the NFL? Meinerz is a fantastic prospect but Humphrey and Dickerson have more experience at center and against better competition. If both are gone at #55 and the Steelers need their center, Meirnerz is still a viable option in the second or third.
62. Liam Eichenberg — OT, — Notre Dame
Sr, #74, 6’6”, 302 lbs
Consensus ranking: 63 (105, 77, 46, 45, 43)
2020 season stats: (12 games)
Ryland B.: The highest rated member of a very good Notre Dame offensive line last year, Eichenberg has been projected all the way from the first to the third round in some mock drafts. A very good run blocker, Eichenberg plays tough while showing decent strength. In pass protection, his lack of athleticism shows, but he is still solid overall. Speed rushers give him fits though and cause him to lunge too often. Eichenberg is a good high floor/low ceiling prospect who will probably be a starter at the NFL level, although I’m not sure if he has Pro Bowl potential.
63. Shaun Wade — CB/S — Ohio State
#24, Jr, 6’1”, 195 lbs
Consensus ranking: 100 (144, 66, 108, 98, 86)
2020 season stats: Tackles 35, TFL 1, PD 1, Int 2, (8 games)
steelerfan11: Wade had a fantastic year in 2019 when Jeff Okudah and Damon Arnette were manning the outside, but Wade struggled mightily when he was asked to be a boundary corner in 2020. Wade made a few decent plays, but he struggled for the most part. However, literally whenever Ohio State moved him to the slot for a few plays, he was his old self and was blanketing receivers. Ty Fryfogle of Indiana absolutely torched Wade all day when he was playing on the outside, but on the few occasions he was put in the slot, he did well against Whop Philyor and the other Indiana receivers. As a prospect, I like Wade’s athleticism and upside, and I think the 2020 season was just a fluke. Some think that he will move to safety, but I honestly think playing the nickel is what he does best. If he can be an inside-only corner for a team, he could be a potential pro-bowler down the line.
64. Trey Hill — C/G — Georgia
Jr, #55, 6’4”, 330 lbs
Consensus ranking: 113 (148, 123, NA, 88, 91)
2020 season stats: (8 games)
steelerfan11: If you ever read my comments about my hopes for the Steelers this offseason, Trey Hill has probably been mentioned at some point in time. Hill just turned 21 and still has a lot of room to grow as a prospect, but he could start from day one if the Steelers needed him to be. He gets good leverage, uses his hands well, and maintains a low pad level. He has excellent power and is an absolute mauler in the run game, and I believe his ability to get to the second level of the defense is way better than what your average scouting report on him will say. While he has sufficient mobility and has shown the ability to pull as either a center or guard, he isn’t super light on his feet. If he remains at center, he may want to drop a couple pounds, but I would love to see Hill next to Kevin Dotson on that offensive line. I believe that Hill is one of the most underrated players in this draft. If he is still there on day three, some team is getting an absolute steal.
65. D’Wayne Eskridge — WR — Western Michigan
#1, Sr., 5’9” 190 lbs
Consensus ranking: 109 (NA, 89, 105, 134, NA)
2020 season stats: 34 receptions, 784 receiving yards, 8 receiving TD (5 games)
Ryland B: Eskridge’s draft stock rose meteorically during the Senior Bowl, going from a mid-round grade to a viable late first-rounder to many. Despite playing at a lower level of competition, Eskridge showed he could put DB’s at any level on skates during his impressive string of practices at the all-star game. Eskridge runs very snappy routes, making sharp cuts, and showing off great acceleration — all while being one of the fastest receivers in this class. He’s a little small for an NFL wideout, but he still has good hands and toughness, along with a defensive background. He was a starting cornerback at Western Michigan for much of his time there, and played fairly well. Overall, there’s a lot to like about Eskridge’s game, and while a good Senior Bowl may have taken aways his status as a late-round gem, a deep wide receiver class could push him into the second round. He’s a MAC guy, too, which means the Steelers will definitely have him on their radar.
66. Tylan Wallace — WR — Oklahoma State
#2, Sr., 6’0”, 190 lbs
Consensus ranking: 53 (62, 50, 60, 72, 67)
2020 season stats: 59 receptions, 922 receiving yards, 6 receiving TD (13 games)
Ryland B.: Tylan Wallace has been consistently productive as a three-year starter at Oklahoma State, racking up nearly 3,500 receiving yards in his career as a contested-catch specialist. Wallace doesn’t have great size or speed, and his lanky frame limits his agility and quickness. However, he’s a good football player, period. Wallace has really great hands and tracks the ball well, and despite not being the biggest guy, he wins a lot of jump balls. He’s a scrappy, physical receiver who is an excellent blocker and tough to bring down after the catch, fighting hard for yardage every time. He also sells out for the ball when it’s in the air, fighting through the defender and contorting his body to find a way to make the catch. Wallace was an excellent college receiver, but his athletic profile may hinder his transition to the NFL.
67. Jalen Mayfield — OT — Michigan
So, #73, 6’5”, 320 lbs
Consensus ranking: 32 (29, 44, 26, 32, 29)
2020 season stats: (2 games)
steelerfan11: Another example of Ed Warriner’s excellent coaching, Mayfield was very raw when arriving at Michigan, losing frequently to quicker edge rushers that had a quicker first step than he had and getting overpowered by more powerful pass rushers. After several years under good coaching, Mayfield has taken amazing strides in his game and has become much more refined. He knows how to move defenders in the run game, and his strong lower body helps him anchor well. His footwork is somewhat slow and sloppy at times, and I would like to see him get out of his stance a bit quicker, but Mayfield has a high floor due to his versatility to play both tackle and guard. His ceiling will likely depend on whether he can slide over to the left side in the NFL.
68. Brady Christiansen — OT — BYU
Jr, #67, 6’6’’, 300 lbs
Consensus ranking: (137, 195, NA, 112, NA)
2020 season stats: (12 games)
Ryland B.: Trusted with protecting top quarterback prospect Zach Wilson at BYU, Christiansen was excellent as a pass protector. He’s a smart, physical player with decent size and strength. He’s also a good run blocker who plays powerfully and with good technique. Where Christiansen is lacking is in his athleticism, as he’s not that mobile and had some trouble with agile, athletic pass-rushers. He also went on a mission trip while in college which makes him older than most of the prospects in this draft, which might have aided in his college success, as well as taking away a couple years from his NFL career. It’s worth noting he’s pretty popular with the folks at PFF, but who knows how those grades will translate at the next level. Christiansen doesn’t have a very high ceiling, but his floor is high enough to be a solid starter early on in his NFL career.
69. Jackson Carman — OT/OG — Clemson
Jr, #79, 6’5”, 335 lbs
Consensus ranking: 62 (37, 71, NA, 66, 74)
2020 season stats: (12 games)
steelerfan11: Carman may have the highest upside of any tackle after Penei Sewell, but inconsistency has been the story of his collegiate career. Carman was playing at about 345 pounds at Clemson, which allowed him to be an absolute mauler in the run game. That size became a double-edged sword, however, as he was often unable to win battles against speedy edge rushers one-on-one. His first step is slower than what you would like in a blindside protector, and his pad level could use a little work in the run game. He has every tool you could ever want, but I really think he needs to drop 10-15 pounds if he is going to reach that potential at tackle. If not, I think that a move to guard at the next level is inevitable (Note: Carman weighed 317 pounds at his pro day. Sounds like he wants to stay at tackle).
70. Dylan Moses — LB — Alabama
#32, Sr, 6’3”, 240 lbs
Consensus ranking: 59 (76, 48, 54, 62, 53)
2020 season stats: Tackles 80, TFL 22, Sacks 6.5, FF 1, FR 0, PD 4, Int 1, (13 games)
Necksnation: Once considered a potential top 10 pick, an underwhelming 2020 caused Moses to plummet on draft boards. He is an above average tackler who is very athletic, although it isn’t always evident in his film. Moses’ awareness is a reason for concern. In the film I watched, he was frequently getting fooled by read options, and it sometimes looked like he didn’t know where the ball was. His coverage skills could also use some work, as he only registered two interceptions and four pass breakups in his three seasons at Alabama. However, if he can return to his 2018 form, Moses has the potential to be a quality starter for an NFL team.
72. Anthony Schwartz — WR — Auburn
#1, Jr., 6’0”, 179
Consensus ranking: 117 (141, 92, NA, 118, NA)
2020 season stats: 54 receptions, 636 receiving yards, 3 receiving TD (10 games)
steelerfan11: Schwartz is one of my favorite prospects in this entire class. There is fast, and then there is freakishly fast. Tyreek Hill fast. Schwartz honestly disappointed me with his 4.26 40 time at his pro day. Listed at only 179 pounds, Schwartz could probably afford to add ten pounds and not lose his world class speed. Schwartz has pretty good hands for a speed guy, and he is not afraid to work the middle of the field. He can line up on the outside or in the slot, although his best fit in the NFL will likely be the slot. I wish that he was a more willing blocker and had a little more shiftiness to his game, but the sky’s the limit for a guy with Schwartz’s speed.
73. Hunter Long — TE — Boston College
#80, Jr, 6’5”, 253 lbs
Consensus ranking: 90 (NA, 111, 49, 110, NA)
2020 season stats: 57 receptions, 685 receiving yards, 5 receiving TD’s, (11 games)
Ryland B.: Long was targeted a lot last year as a big part of Boston College’s offense, and responded well with some admirable production. He has good size and decent athleticism, although he lacks the athletic upside of some of the others in this class. As a receiver he has solid hands and speed, and while his routes aren’t anything special, they’re more than adequate for a man his size. Long is a great blocker, being both willing and effective, with good hand placement and drive. While Long is still above-average as a receiver, there are still some issues overall. He isn’t the most athletic and could have a tough time getting separation on the next level. His hands are good, but there are still some drops here and there, and while he made some tough catches, he failed to hold onto some passes you would expect a big, imposing tight end to come down with. He’s not much of a threat after the catch, either. Overall I’m not as big a fan of Long as some others are, but in a weak class he’s a solid third option. He could be a good #2 tight end for an NFL team, but I don’t think he has much starter upside.
Draft notes; Long is a decent prospect, but likely won’t be anything more than a #2 tight end. Is that worth a mid-round pick for a team with bigger needs?
74. Cameron McGrone — LB — Michigan
#44, Jr, 6’1”, 236 lbs
Consensus ranking: 88 (121, 69, NA, 83, 79)
2020 season stats: Tackles 26, TFL 2, Sacks 4.5, FF 1, FR 0, PD 1, Int 0, (5 games)
steelerfan11: Familiar with Devin Bush? McGrone has a similar profile but has a smaller sample size. He has the same size, speed, and blitzing ability that made Bush a top ten pick, but we did not see it week in and week out. However, much of that may have been because of Michigan’s inconsistent play as a unit. When Aidan Hutchinson went down with a season ending injury, Michigan’s defensive line struggled to get consistent pressure, which made Josh Ross’ And McGrone’s job more difficult. McGrone had an injury of his own in 2020, but he displayed amazing toughness and played through it. He is excellent in man coverage, but his ability to play zone coverage is an unknown at this point because of how rarely Michigan employed zone philosophies. If he reaches his full potential, he’s Devin Bush 2.0, but the Steelers already have the real Devin Bush. I expect them to find someone who would be more of a complement to Bush’s skill set.
75. Alim McNeill — DL — North Carolina State
#29, Jr, 6’2”, 320 lbs
Consensus ranking: 68 (NA, 63, NA, 75, 67)
2020 season stats: Tackles 26, TFL 4.5, Sacks 1, FF 1, FR 1, (11 games)
steelerfan11: McNeill does an excellent job of splitting the A-gap and applying pressure from the interior, but he will sometimes get upfield too quickly on running downs and become a non-factor against the run. It is rare for a 320 pound prospect to have issues with “overrunning” plays, but that is sometimes the case with McNeill. He has a quick first step out of his stance, and he maintains a good pad level, but I have concerns as to whether he can adjust the technical difficulties in his game. That said, he has enough intrigue as a penetrating 3-4 nose tackle to warrant a day two pick.
76. Pete Werner — LB — Ohio State
#20, Sr, 6’3”, 242 lbs
Consensus ranking: 112 (126, 121, 96, 106, NA)
2020 season stats: Tackles 54, TFL 2.5, Sacks 1, FF 2, FR 0, PD 1, Int 0, (8 games)
steelerfan11: I was not looking at Werner as a potential fit for the Steelers during the season simply because I did not know if he had the necessary athleticism, but he silenced doubters like me by recording a 4.58 40 and a 39.5 inch vertical. He is very good instinctually and plays a very smart version of football. His role increased in Ohio State’s defense despite the crowded linebacker room, and he was up to the task both in coverage and against the run. If Werner continues to improve in coverage, his size and athleticism will make him a valuable player as early as year one.
77. Milton Williams — DL — Louisiana Tech
#97, Jr, 6’4”, 278 lbs
Consensus ranking: 225 (NA, 292, NA, 157, NA)
2020 season stats: Tackles 44, TFL 10, Sacks 4.5, PD 1, FR 3, (10 games)
Ryland B.: Williams is an athletic prospect with a lot of upside, but questions regarding his size and strength will make him a risky pick in the upcoming draft. He has good mobility and has some nice pass-rush moves, and he’s a good tackler and run defender. He’s undersized though, and got pushed back more often than you’d like to see from an interior lineman. He rarely did much against double teams, too. On tape I did notice he got held a lot, which is a testament to his quickness and hand-usage. Williams will be an interesting late-round pick, but some major holes in his game may damper his otherwise fantastic upside.
78. Ronnie Perkins — EDGE — Oklahoma
#7, Jr, 6’4”, 248 lbs
Consensus ranking: 70 (NA, 98, NA, 59, 52)
2020 season stats: Tackles 24, TFL 10.5, Sacks 5.5, PD 0, FF 0, FR 0 (6 games)
Ryland B.: Perkins is a strong, aggressive EDGE with good athleticism. He has violent hands and a good collection of pass rush moves, although there is room to develop in that area. For someone listed at under 250 pounds, Perkins plays much bigger than he is and I can’t stress enough how impressive his strength is. He’s a good tackler and has all of the tools to be a good run defender, but hasn’t completely arrived there yet, with The Draft Network noting that he is “wildly undisciplined” when defending the run. A suspension at Oklahoma could be a red flag as well.
80. Chazz Surratt — LB — North Carolina
#21, Sr, 6’2”, 225 lbs
Consensus ranking: 70 (81, 75, 47, 74, 73)
2020 season stats: Tackles 91, TFL 7.5, Sacks 6, FF 1, FR 1, PD 4, Int 1, (11 games)
Itz JustNoah: As a UNC fan, I had the pleasure of watching Surratt in a lot of games this year. His pro day numbers may not be the greatest but his athleticism is evident on tape. He’s always around the ball, he plays fast and he’s good against the pass, both in coverage and as a pass rusher. Surratt is relatively new to the position and he’s not very refined but his raw talent is undeniable and should easily make him at least a 3rd round pick if he doesn’t sneak into the 2nd. I wouldn’t mind if Pittsburgh wanted to take him but I would prefer we take Collins or Bolton before even thinking about Surratt.
81. Nick Bolton — ILB — Missouri
#32, Jr, 6’0”, 232 lbs
Consensus ranking: 37 (50, 31, 32, 36, 38)
2020 season stats: Tackles 95, TFL 16, Sacks 4, FF 0, FR 1, PD 5, Int 0, (10 games)
Ryland B.: Built like Devin Bush, Bolton has a skillset similar to that of a slightly more athletic Vince Williams. He doesn’t have sideline-to-sideline range, but he has tremendous short-area explosiveness, and is a tough, physical tackler. He’s a smart player who is decent in zone coverage, but his athletic limitations show up when in man coverage. I think he could be a great interior blitzer, using his quickness to shoot gaps, but I didn’t see him do much of that at Missouri. I’m not as big a fan of his tape as others, as he often had a really hard time shedding blocks, which could be a big problem on the next level. Bolton is a solid prospect who could hear his name called anywhere from the first to third round in a linebacker class everyone has ranked differently.
Draft notes: Bolton is another intriguing linebacker option in the second or third. He skillset would compliment Devin Bush’s well, but it would leave the Steelers with two undersized linebackers starting on defense if he was the selection.
There’s certainly a lot of talented players still on the board, and the Steelers should have lots of options with their second and third round picks (#55 and #87 overall).
Who do you think the Steelers will pick on Day 2? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below, and stay tuned to Behind the Steel Curtain for more NFL Draft news and analysis.