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 State Cowboys running back Chuba Hubbard (30). Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports /

Round 4 (pick 125): Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State

Don’t let the fact that I don’t have the Steelers taking a running back until the fourth round bother you. The fact of the matter is that this just isn’t a great running back class, and Pittsburgh has bigger fish to fry. Fortunately, addressing the offensive line and getting more creative with Matt Canada’s offense should help this group that finished dead last in the league from a season ago.

Chuba Hubbard is no slouch, and this would be a solid selection – assuming he is able to fall to the fourth round as the simulator predicted. Though Hubbard may not have a lot of special traits, he’s a patient runner with good vision and a well-balanced skill set. Even as a day three pick, he should offer an instant boost to this running back room, which isn’t saying all that much.

Round 4 (pick 140): Olaijah Griffin, CB, USC

I would be floored if Pittsburgh elected to ignore the cornerback position with nine selections in the 2021 NFL Draft. Though this group of cornerbacks for the Steelers has been one of the best in recent memory, it may not stay that way for long if Kevin Colbert and his crew neglect it this offseason. Mike Hilton and Cameron Sutton are both coming off some of the best football of their young careers. Unfortunately, both players are free agents.

In addition, the combination of Joe Haden and Steven Nelson is about to set back Pittsburgh approximately $30 million in cap space this year, and it’s likely that one of these players could get the boot. Olaijah Griffin is a former five-star recruit with good size, speed, and fluidity for the position. His technique needs to be cleaned up a bit, and we’re hoping the next defensive backs coach can help him with this. Still, Griffin is a young player with loads of upside and presents good value at this point in the draft.