Steelers mock draft: Pittsburgh doesn’t hide their interests early

Running back Travis Etienne #9 of the Clemson Tigers. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Running back Travis Etienne #9 of the Clemson Tigers. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /
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Linebacker Jordan Smith #22 from UAB of the American Team during the 2021 Resse’s Senior Bowl. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) /

player. 2369. . Edge defender. Blazers . Jordan Smith. 3

Steelers mock draft round 3: Dillon Radunz

I don’t remember the last time the Steelers took a non-Power 5 player back-to-back in the second and third round of the same draft, but depending on how things shake out, this certainly seems like a possibility. Pittsburgh is no doubt thrilled with what they got out of Alex Highsmith so far, but with Bud Dupree now headed to Tennessee, they really need at least one more quality edge rusher.

By this point in the draft, there will be a run on talent and the top few tiers of edge defenders will be off the board. The Steelers could go with an unspectacular player from a big school who could be a core special teams player and rotational defender, or they can press their luck with another small-school guy.

UAB’s Jordan Smith has earned 23.5 tackles for a loss and 12.5 sacks in his 21 college games. He’s long and athletic with a good combination of burst and power. Smith is another player the Steelers got a good look at during the Senior Bowl and he turned heads in one-on-one drills. At 6’6” and 255 pounds, Smith is taller than what Pittsburgh typically looks for in an edge defender, but he is rangy and has experience playing both edge positions for the Blazers. He would immediately become Pittsburgh’s third-best edge defender with Dupree gone and would carve out a role early in his rookie season.