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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Frank Darby (84) makes a touchdown against USC. /

Round 7 (pick 241): Frank Darby, WR, Arizona State

In four straight years, the Steelers have invested a second-round pick into a wide receiver. While I wouldn’t rule that out as an option in 2021 with JuJu Smith-Schuster likely signing elsewhere, Mike Tomlin has some bigger holes to fill. Depth could be an issue if wide receiver isn’t addressed, but Pittsburgh is still at least three deep at the position.

If the Steelers miss out on the first couple of waves of receivers this year, Frank Darby is a player they could potentially nab late in the draft. Darby is a decent athlete with body control and competitive toughness, but he doesn’t create a lot of separation. When picking this late, you can’t have it all.

Round 7 (pick 251): Lorenzo Neal, IDL, Purdue

Lorenzo Neal Jr. is the son of longtime NFL fullback, Lorenzo Neal – so the bloodlines are legitimate. However, he got his dad’s NFL body and then some. While his father was listed at 5’11” and 255 pounds, Neal Jr. measures in at 6’3” and 315 pounds; thus he is an ideal size for a nose tackle in Pittsburgh’s 3-4 front.

Unfortunately, there’s a reason you can get him in the seventh round. Neal has some flash to his game and owns an impressive swim move to go with his plus motor, but he isn’t consistent in anchoring and ends up on the ground too often. He would compete for a roster spot at defensive tackle.

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The Steelers have many shoes to fill and plenty of draft choices to assist them in doing so. Expect them to bolster their offense in the first two days of the draft, but history shows us that we can’t rule out drafting defense in round one.