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Todd McShay 2024 NFL Mock Draft: Steelers spend Top 10 pick on pass rusher

The Pittsburgh Steelers, with a Top 10 pick, add to their pass rush in this 2024 mock draft.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 30 Washington at UCLA Photo by Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The 2023 NFL Draft just wrapped up, and of course that means it’s time to start looking ahead to 2024, right?

Well, most NFL fans think that might be a bit premature, but not for Todd McShay of ESPN. In what has been somewhat of a ritual, since McShay refuses to grade draft classes immediately after the selection process he is tasked with doing a way-too-early mock draft.

Before taking a look at McShay’s latest mock draft, let’s first talk about how McShay came up with the draft order.

There is also the matter of the draft order. Let’s get this out of the way: I didn’t make it. We opted to project the order using the inverse of Super Bowl odds from Caesars Sportsbook, though we broke some ties and tweaked the end of it to ensure seven teams from each conference make the playoffs. It ultimately put Arizona at the top of the board with pick Nos. 1 and 2. But would the Cardinals hang onto both selections?

With all that out of the way, all you need to know is that underclassmen are noted with an asterisk. Let’s get to the Round 1 mock draft...

Round 1

Projected trade: Cardinals trade down

If things play out like this, Arizona could control the draft with the top two selections, including the first one via the trade for the Will Anderson Jr. pick last Thursday. If the Cardinals are picking this high, a lot of things didn’t go right in 2023, and it’s not out of the question that the new regime would consider a change at quarterback. I considered going that route, but Kyler Murray’s contract makes him extremely difficult to move on from after this coming season. His cap hits for 2024-26 are all north of $50 million, with at least $20 million in dead cap each year, and he’s coming off a torn ACL. So I’m instead proposing that another QB-needy team comes up the board, allowing the Cards to pick up more draft capital and continue the rebuild.

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (via mock trade with ARI/HOU) - Caleb Williams, QB, USC*
2. Arizona Cardinals - Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State*

Projected trade: Washington goes in on a QB?

Maybe Indy stays put if Harrison — the son of a Colts legend — is still on the board at No. 3. But there’s still a high-end quarterback out there, and that’s not a need for Indianapolis after it took Anthony Richardson at No. 4 in April. I don’t see many teams that definitely need a signal-caller right now, but Washington does jump out a little bit. I could see a slight move up for the Commanders, who sit at No. 6 in this mock order.

3. Washington Commanders (via mock trade with IND) - Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina*
4. Tennessee Titans - Dallas Turner, OLB, Alabama*
5. Arizona Cardinals (via mock trade with TB) - Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama*
6. Indianapolis Colts (via mock trade with WSH) - Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia*
7. Atlanta Falcons - Jared Verse, DE, Florida State*
8. Chicago Bears (via CAR) - J.T. Tuimoloau, DE, Ohio State*
9. New England Patriots - Olumuyiwa Fashanu, OT, Penn State*

10. Pittsburgh Steelers - Bralen Trice, DE, Washington*

Trice has an NFL frame at 6-foot-4 and 256 pounds, and he can get to the QB. Trice piled up 48 pressures (sixth in the nation) and nine sacks last season, plus 13 tackles for loss. Alex Highsmith is a free agent after 2023, and Trice could slot in as a potential replacement opposite T.J. Watt.

If you are like me, and have no clue about prospects in next year’s draft, here is an early profile of Trice as a prospect, via the Draft Network:


  • No. 8 recruit in Arizona for his class
  • Opted for Washington over offers from Alabama, Notre Dame, and mostly every Pac-12 school

Pros: Bralen Trice is a relentless pass rusher with outstanding functional strength. It’s easy to love just how urgent Trice is off the ball and how he battles to clear blocks and relentlessly pursue the quarterback. He features terrific contact balance that allows him to remain sturdy throughout his rush, establish a half-man relationship, and power through the edges of blocks. Trice is effective at converting speed to power and compromising the width of the pocket while showing good counters and combinations to get off the block. Trice plays with outstanding leverage against the run, showcasing good power at the point of attack and the ability to squeeze gaps.

Cons: Bralen Trice is a late bloomer that was very quiet to start his college career. He didn’t play at all until 2021 when he played less than 200 snaps. The switch has clearly flipped and he’s making a significant impact in 2022. I want to see Trice play with a bit more control as he’s missed some tackles in the backfield, so finding balance once clearing blocks will allow him to make even more splash plays. Trice is a good athlete but won’t be confused as a top-tier guy in terms of twitch and explosiveness. He’s also not the most dynamic in terms of bend and reducing his upper half.

It might be early, but what would you think of the Steelers making this move? Let us know your way-too-early thoughts in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they press on throughout the NFL offseason.