Steelers Mock Draft: Pittsburgh adds a big-play wide receiver

Pittsburgh will be looking to get Ben Roethlisberger help in 2020. Here’s why I have them targeting a down-field threat in my latest Steelers mock draft.

After a season where it was hard to stomach what was going on with the offensive side of the football, the Steelers will be getting Ben Roethlisberger back. His return will be much welcome, but that doesn’t automatically put Pittsburgh’s offense back on top. In my latest Steelers mock draft, I have Pittsburgh targeting a big-play wide receiver who could be a monster down the field.

With the 49th pick in the 2020 NFL draft, I have the Steelers going with Clemson wide receiver, Tee Higgins.

A few weeks ago, I would have never mocked Higgins to Pittsburgh in the second round. The true junior is a young, productive player with loads of upside. In 2019, Higgins managed 59 catches for 1,167 yards and 13 touchdowns in 15 games.

Higgins measured in at the NFL Combine at 6’4” and 216 pounds with incredible 34 1/8” arms. However, the Combine is the exact reason a player of his stature could end up sliding to the Steelers in round two.

It’s no secret by now that the 2020 draft class is loaded at the wide receiver position, and with players like Justin Jefferson and Denzel Mims exceeding all expectations, it’s possible Higgins – who chose not to participate in any Combine testing – could see his name called later than expected on draft day.

Pittsburgh hasn’t had a true vertical threat since Martavis Bryant was on the team. James Washington can win down the field, but he does it with his ability to box defenders out and track the ball, not with speed.

While Higgins isn’t quite as fast as Martavis, he presents very similar size build and he has an unnatural ability to win down the field. Higgins has terrific ball skills and the ability to rise above defenders and win when the ball is in the air.

There are a handful of players expected to be drafted ahead of him this April. CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy, and Henry Ruggs are good bets to go above the Clemson product, while a few others like Laviska Shenault, Jalen Reagor, Denzel Mims, Justin Jefferson, Brandon Aiyuk, and K.J. Hamler all have a chance of being drafted higher.

Higgins’s availability will be much better known after Clemson’s Pro Day on March 14th. If he runs well and has a good showing, we can probably kiss his chances of falling to the Steelers goodbye. If not, he could be a player who will certainly be on Pittsburgh’s radar.

Next: 3 tight ends the Steelers may target after the NFL Combine

Based on their Combine meetings, the Steelers may choose to go another direction early in the draft. However, Tee Higgins checks a lot of the boxes Pittsburgh typically looks for early in the draft. If he falls, we can expect him to be a possibility at 49. His Pro day will determine whether or not he shows up again in my future Steelers mock draft.

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