Steelers mock draft: Pittsburgh doubles-up on offensive line help early

Center Creed Humphrey #56 of the Oklahoma Sooners. (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)
Center Creed Humphrey #56 of the Oklahoma Sooners. (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images) /
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The Steelers are going to have some difficult choices this April. Here’s what I have them doing in my latest 2021 seven-round NFL mock draft. 

The Pittsburgh Steelers have selected a defensive player in the first round in seven straight years (eight if you count their 2019 trade for Minkah Fitzpatrick). While trend tells us that defense could be a possibility yet again based on the high priority that Mike Tomlin and his crew place on that side of the ball, Pittsburgh’s roster tells us that offense will be the pick.

It’s been a while since the Steelers have had this many sizeable holes with players retiring and a handful more set to leave in free agency. There are a number of routes the team could go early on, but here’s what I have Pittsburgh doing in my latest seven-round NFL mock draft:

Round 1 (pick 24): Creed Humphrey, OC, Oklahoma

With the official retirement of Maurkice Pouncey, center becomes the biggest need on the team. If Pittsburgh can find enough money after offseason cuts, it’s possible they could bring in a veteran to help fill out the position; however, it’s unlikely that they will be able to pay top dollar for a center in free agency. Because of this, Oklahoma’s Creed Humphry is now very much in play at pick 24.

Humphrey isn’t a great athlete, but he has put together a solid body of work as a starter over the past three years, and he was thoroughly impressive at the Senior Bowl – dominating interior defenders in one-on-one drills. While Pittsburgh may prefer to get a player like Humphrey in the second round or in a trade-back, they may not want to risk having a hole at the position in 2021. Humphrey isn’t necessarily undeserving of a first-round selection, and the left-handed center should be a long-time starter at the next level.