3rd round (pick 102): John Simpson
Interior offensive line, Clemson
Taking John Simpson in the 3rd round isn’t necessarily a great value pick, but it’s one that could come out of necessity in a poor interior line class. The Steelers are old and thin along the offensive line. While they brought in Stefen Wisniewski this offseason, the 31-year old center doesn’t solve their youth issue and only partially makes up for their lack of depth.
Pittsburgh lost Ramon Foster to retirement and B.J. Finney to free agency this offseason, and they haven’t done enough this offseason to replace them. John Simpson is a Ramon Foster clone. Though he will get beat by quickness at times and have a hard time getting to the next level on run plays, he is a massive anchor ( 6’4”, 321 pounds) with terrific strength for the position.
Simpson wouldn’t be forced to start right away, but the hope would be that he could win the left guard job by 2021. Simpson is an experienced offensive lineman with ideal size for the position and he tested surprisingly well at the NFL Combine. He may never be a Pro Bowl player at the NFL level, but he has potential as a long-time starter in the league.