Steelers 7-round mock draft: Pittsburgh goes defense in round one

Nick Bolton #32 of the Missouri Tigers. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Nick Bolton #32 of the Missouri Tigers. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /
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Oklahoma Sooner center Creed Humphrey (56). Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports /

Round 2 (pick 56): Creed Humphrey, C, Oklahoma

You wanted some offensive linemen early in the draft? You got it. Though the Steelers haven’t drafted an offensive lineman with as much as a second-round pick since doubling up on David DeCastro and Mike Adams in 2012, I think that changes this year. Forget the fact that Maurkice Pouncey has received Pro Bowls in 2019 and 2020 – he’s just not a good football player anymore, and Pittsburgh understands that he needs to be replaced.

Cue Creed Humphrey, who has the makings of a long-time NFL starter at center. Humphry also has a terrific frame for the position (6’5” and 316 pounds) and is capable of playing either guard spot in addition to center, but this is where Pittsburgh would no doubt keep him. The Steelers could cut Pouncey with this pick, as the former All-Pro has a cap hit of nearly $14.5 million in 2021.

Round 3 (pick 87): Jackson Carmen, OT, Clemson

In addition to addressing the interior offensive line, I have the Steelers taking what many consider to believe to be their biggest need this offseason: offensive tackle. Though the Steelers miss out on the top-flight tackle prospects early in the draft, they are fortunate to have Jackson Carmen fall into their lap in round three.

Carmen isn’t a complete player like some of the names who will go above him, but he has incredible size and strength for the position (6’5” and 345 pounds) and is still very young. The true Junior and former 5-star recruit was the blindside protector for Trevor Lawrence at Clemson this year.