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Steelers Mock Draft: Pittsburgh lands potential franchise center

Pittsburgh adds offensive line talent in seven-round mock

2023 Pac-12 Championship - Oregon v Washington Photo by Brandon Sloter/Image Of Sport/Getty Images

It’s that time of year where everyone starts making mock drafts that we all talk ourselves into happening almost daily. Draft season is just beginning, as well, with the Senior Bowl taking place next week (and you can come to BTSC every day for my daily reports from Mobile, AL).

Before that, though, this is my personal first Steelers mock of the draft season, and the second one for our staff as a whole of the year. Let’s dive in.

Round 1, Pick 20: OT Amarius Mims, Georgia

The Steelers need a left tackle. Whether or not they move Broderick Jones back to his natural spot, or keep him on the right side, they need help at the position. Mims has similar traits to his former Georgia teammate when it comes to his athleticism in space, but has shown to be better in pass protection. If the Steelers do take Mims, he is who I would slot in as the starting left tackle while Jones holds down the right side.

Round 2, Pick 52: C Jackson Powers-Johnson, Oregon

Pittsburgh gets its second JPJ, this time on the offensive side of the ball. Powers-Johnson is very quick for his size, and allowed just one hurry and zero sacks in 2023. The Oregon product won the Rimington trophy in 2023 as college football’s best center, and would immediately upgrade Pittsburgh’s interior.

Round 3, Pick 84: CB Mike Sainristil, Michigan

The nation got to see Sainristil dominate on a national stage in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game. He intercepted Michael Penix and led the Wolverines in tackles as Michigan defeated Washington 34-13. He’s physical at the line of scrimmage, and could play in the slot and on the outside. He’s a versatile guy with good speed and physicality that Steelers fans would love.

Round 4, Pick 119: LB Tommy Eichenberg, Ohio State

Eichenberg didn’t have as big of a season in 2023 as he did in 2022, but his physical gifts are evident. He’s quick, a good run defender, and has grown as a coverage linebacker. While the latter still needs improvement, I would love to see what Aaron Curry could do with him.

Round 4, Pick 120: DT Tyler Davis, Clemson

Davis is a versatile interior presence, who can get in the backfield to stuff runs as well as apply pressure to the quarterback. He had 22 pressures and 19 hurries, as well as 13 run stops. The Steelers need more interior depth, as well as a potential future starter. He’s incredibly athletic and physical enough to get real snaps as a rookie.

Round 6, Pick 198: WR Zakhari Franklin, Ole Miss

Franklin had a tremendous 2022 season with UTSA, hauling in 94 passes for over 1,100 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2022. He transferred to Ole Miss for the 2023 season before battling an injury that saw him play in only four games. Should he be available in the sixth round, Pittsburgh should absolutely take a flier on him. Consecutive seasons of 1,000 yards and 12+ touchdowns speak for themselves.

Round 7, Pick 241: CB Daequan Hardy, Penn State

Hardy played opposite of Kalen King to make up one of the top secondaries in the nation. He picked off two passes and totaled five passes broken up as a fifth-year senior. Size is what will make Hardy slide down boards. At 5-foot-9, he isn’t an ideal perimeter cornerback, and would purely play in the nickel spot at the NFL level. That said, he is physical at the line and instinctual. Getting him in the seventh round would be a good value pick.