Steelers mock draft: Pittsburgh ignores RB and OT until day three
By Andrew Falce
While it has not been finalized as to what veteran center Maurkice Pouncey plans to do this offseason, the Steelers would be wise to look for a center-capable player early in the draft. Even if Pouncey decides to stay, his long-term outlook with the team isn’t bright. His play is regressing, and he has a bloated contract. The team may move on from him regardless of if he retires, meaning finding a new center should be paramount. While J.C. Hassenauer has looked fine as a reserve, the team shouldn’t rely on the undersized center to be a true starter.
Enter Creed Humphrey out of Oklahoma. He is everything that Pouncey is not, as Humphry is more of a mauling run blocker with good size as opposed to a more athletic and finesse-based blocker like Pouncey. While this may lead to some early issues as a pass blocker, Humphry has shown that he can be a true road grader in the running game. Given the Steelers’ struggles in that regard, having a more run-centric offensive lineman could aid in rebuilding this line.
Even if the team rolls with Pouncey one more year, Humphry could serve as the top interior backup, as he could play guard if forced into action. While that could limit his playing time in his rookie year, the door should be opened as late as next year for him to take over. The team needs to invest in some offensive line pieces this year and grabbing a big center could be the start of an offensive overhaul. Humphry makes a lot of sense in the second round; thus the Steelers should be eyeing him if he makes it that far.