With Senior Bowl week in Mobile having come and gone, we now turn our attention to who stood out the most, and who the Steelers could be targeting. While not every player Pittsburgh selects will have participated in the Senior Bowl, or at least it’s not likely, but there were many participants that the Steelers would benefit from adding. Alright, enough of my yapping- here is my post-Senior Bowl mock draft.
Round 1, Pick 20: C Jackson Powers-Johnson, Oregon
Don’t underestimate what a great center can do for an offense. Look at the Lions with Frank Ragnow or the Chiefs with Creed Humphrey. Pittsburgh passed on Humphrey in 2021 and have been lost at the position ever since- they can’t make that mistake twice. Take the best center in the draft, and lock down the anchor of your offensive line.
Round 2, Pick 52: OT Patrick Paul, Houston
I talked about Paul a good bit last week because he was very impressive. I spoke with someone who works in an FBS player personnel department that told me Paul was the best pass protecting tackle in this draft, and he made quite the case for that on the field.
I’m all in on the Steelers beefing up their offensive line. It’s been an issue for far too long, and if they hit on both picks, they are back to having a reliable unit up front.
Round 3, Pick 84: WR Jamari Thrash, Louisville
The Steelers need a third receiver that can be versatile in their offense. Thrash has the ability to separate from his man, and put on a show doing so in Mobile.
Louisville's Jamari Thrash is so damn shifty man— Taylor Kyles (@tkyles39) January 31, 2024
Was burning dudes yesterday, but today Thrash showed he can win short-intermediate (and also deep) with quickness, stop-start ability, some deception, and active hands
Did have a drop and there was an overthrow that might've… pic.twitter.com/l0oyXvODWF
He can play outside or in the slot, and the Steelers desperately need someone not named Allen Robinson playing that role. A top three of Diontae Johnson, George Pickens, and Thrash would be very intriguing and fun to watch.
Round 4, Pick 119: CB Khyree Jackson, Oregon
The Steelers go back to the Oregon trail and get someone who can be their next starting cornerback opposite of Joe Porter Jr. Jackson picked off three passes in 2023 and allowed a passer rating of just 41.6 when balls were thrown his way. He is also someone who isn’t afraid to dive down and attack the run. On 38 targets he allowed just 19 receptions. Cory Trice can’t be forgotten about either, and with the addition of Jackson, the Steelers could end up having a very talented room of corners.
Round 4, Pick 120: LB JD Bertrand, Notre Dame
Bertrand had a nice performance in the Senior Bowl, specifically diagnosing a run play and crashing into the backfield for a tackle for loss. During practices, he looked very solid in one-on-ones, and just looked composed all week- the moment wasn’t too big.
JD Bertrand picked up where he left off. Big tackle for loss on the first drive of the Senior Bowl. pic.twitter.com/H46c5DUSzW— Jack Soble (@jacksoble56) February 3, 2024
After all the injuries the Steelers had at linebacker this past season, combined with only having Elandon Roberts, Cole Holcomb, and Mark Robinson under contract at that spot, they need some insurance. Plus, there is a decent chance Bertand could just beat out Robinson for a spot on the depth chart.
Round 6, Pick 198: CB Marcellas Dial, South Carolina
More cornerback help because let’s be serious, the Steelers don’t have much there right now. Levi Wallace is not a starter in this league anymore, nor is Patrick Peterson, and the Steelers need to get as much depth as they can.
Round 7, Pick 241: S Josh Proctor, Ohio State
I liked what I saw from Proctor at the Senior Bowl. He didn’t have a huge standout week, but he didn’t fail to make plays, either.
Ohio State’s Josh Proctor completely smothers this route at the Senior Bowl. pic.twitter.com/RcjZzLhhyd— Bobby Football (@Rob__Paul) February 1, 2024
The Steelers went through a lot of safeties last season and frankly could do with some remodeling at the position. Proctor could be a guy that impresses enough in camp and preseason to earn a roster spot.