The 2021 NFL Draft is just weeks away, and with this huge event on the horizon media outlets are scrambling and producing as much pre-draft content as they possibly can. This means a massive influx of mock drafts circulating the internet.
The thing about mock drafts is so many people take them as legit predictions, when, in reality, they are just guesses. Mock drafts are the same as Power Rankings. Just someone’s overall opinion.
Nonetheless, you can learn a lot about prospects be reading mock drafts and different outlets’ thoughts on those prospects.
In the latest Pro Football Focus (PFF) mock draft, they predicted three rounds for all 32 NFL teams. For the Steelers they have the team addressing some serious needs in the first three rounds. Take a look at their projected picks, a description of each player and a grade for each pick below:
Pick 24: T Walker Little, Stanford
If the Steelers aren’t going to take a quarterback — and Pick 24 would be a weird spot to do that — then let’s protect Big Ben. He refused to hold on to the ball for any length of time in 2020, presumably because he didn’t want his injury-riddled body to take any hits. Pittsburgh is losing mainstay Alejandro Villanueva and his 77.1 pass-blocking grade at left tackle, so the team must replace him immediately or Ben will continue to throw the ball short and quick, leaving the offense devoid of big plays. Insert Walker Little, Dillon Radunz, Christian Darrisaw or any other large human being. Little hasn’t played in a few years, but he has all the tools to be an elite tackle in the NFL.
Pick 55: RB Javonte Williams, UNC
If the passing offense continues to be lackluster and short, the Steelers are will need a home-run hitting running back so that they can at least create explosive plays on the ground. Pittsburgh finished 31st in explosive run play percentage in the regular season. Javonte Williams’ 4.59 yards after contact in 2020 is over a yard better than the Steelers’ overall yards per carry mark last season. The Steelers will try to run him into the ground, and he will keep on breaking tackles and gaining extra yards. Clemson’s Travis Etienne could work here, as well.
Pick 87: LB Jamin Davis, Kentucky
Pittsburgh also needs someone to play next to Devin Bush. Davis has been rocketing up draft boards the past couple of weeks because he is a freakish athlete who, while he needs to play a little better within himself, possesses great potential. His length is exciting for NFL teams, particularly with his ability to close open windows in the passing game and to match up body-wise with the new breed of NFL tight ends. He comes out of the box as a run stopper and has the traits to become a great coverage linebacker.
Travis Little: B
Javonte Williams: C+
Jamin Davis: C+
Overall PFF Draft Grade: B-
What do you think of the projected three picks for the Steelers in the 2021 NFL Draft? Would you be on board with the selections, or do you think there would be better value at different positions/players? On top of that, if the draft did play out the way PFF predicts, do you agree with their grades? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft.