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2024 NFL Mock Draft: Steelers find Cam Heyward’s successor in Round 1

The Pittsburgh Steelers get an answer along the defensive line in this way-too-early 2024 mock draft.

Florida v LSU Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

The 2023 NFL Draft is in the books, but we cannot officially wrap up draft without a way-too-early 2024 mock draft. With the dust finally settling on the 2023 draft landscape, it is time to begin shifting the attention to a 2024 class that is much stronger than this year’s.

After coming off a generationally bad draft class from top to bottom, next year’s draft projects to be both talented at the top as well as extremely deep. We saw three quarterbacks selected in the Top 5 this year, and we could very well see it happen again next year, with Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, and Michael Penix, Jr. heading a star-studded class of quarterbacks.

The class also boasts generational talents at offensive skill positions, as both Marvin Harrison, Jr. and Brock Bowers will be in play to be top-5 selections. The draft as a whole will also be much deeper next year, with interior defensive line, wide receiver, and offensive tackle looking to be the biggest strengths. Linebacker should also be much better.

For draft order, we will be using the projected order via Tankathon. As always, thoughts and commentary is appreciated in the comment section below.

Let’s dive in!

1. Cardinals- Caleb Williams | QB | USC
2. Cardinals (via Texans)- Marvin Harrison, Jr. | WR | Ohio State
3. Buccaneers- Drake Maye | QB | North Carolina
4. Rams- J.T. Tuimoloau | EDGE | Ohio State
5. Colts- Olumuyiwa Fashanu | OT | Penn State
6. Commanders- Quinn Ewers | QB | Texas
7. Falcons- Jared Verse | EDGE | Florida State
8. Packers- Joe Alt | OT | Notre Dame
9. Titans- Brock Bowers | TE | Georgia
10. Bears (via Panthers)- Kool-Aid McKinstry | CB | Alabama
11. Raiders- Michael Penix, Jr. | QB | Washington
12. Bears- Johnny Wilson | WR | Florida State
13. Broncos- Dallas Turner | EDGE | Alabama
14. Patriots- JC Latham | OT | Alabama

15. Steelers- Maason Smith | DL | LSU

The Steelers must begin thinking about life after Cameron Heyward, and with the jury still out on DeMarvin Leal, there is a high probability the Steelers address this position early on in the 2024 draft. Smith is coming off a torn ACL he suffered in the first game of the 2022 season, but the talent is off the charts. At 6’5”, 300 pounds, he is the body type the Steelers like in their 5-technique defensive ends. Jeremiah Trotter, Jr. could also be in play here if Cole Holcomb does not work out this season.

16. Vikings- Bralen Trice | EDGE | Washington
17. Texans (via Browns)- Leonard Taylor | DT | Miami
18. Chargers- Jar’Zhan Newton | DT | Illinois
19. Saints- Sedrick Van Pran | C | Georgia
20. Giants- Jeremiah Trotter, Jr. | ILB | Clemson
21. Lions- Kalen King | CB | Penn State
22. Dolphins- Cooper Beebe | OL | Kansas State
23. Jaguars- Zion Nelson | OT | Miami
24. Jets- Kingsley Suamatia | OT | Boise State
25. Seahawks- Michael Hall, Jr. | DT | Ohio State
26. Ravens- Denzel Burke | CB | Ohio State
27. Cowboys- Chop Robinson | EDGE | Penn State
28. Bills- TreVeyon Henderson | RB | Ohio State
29. 49ers- Xavier Worthy | WR | Texas
30. Bengals- Junior Colson | ILB | Michigan
31. Eagles- Will Shipley | RB | Clemson
32. Chiefs- Emeka Egbuka | WR | Ohio State