10 most likely picks for Steelers first round of the 2021 NFL Draft
Zaven Collins LB, Tulsa
Chance drafted by Steelers: 7%
Collins is an interesting prospect. Some consider him the best defensive player in college football. Despite that tag, he is not a sure first-rounder. However, he only falls out of the first round 25% of the time in mock drafts. Why would he fit with the Steelers? He’s explosive, big strong, and defeats blocks easily, even if off balance. He also plays with balance and can change his angles without losing momentum. In coverage, he stays with assignments and manages to stand out in coverage.
The interesting thing here is that Collins is not an edge rusher. That’s what the Steelers lost in Dupree. However, he’s versatile to play both inside and outside. While Collins can bring a lot to the Steelers, is he the first-round choice that fills all the boxes like Terell Edmunds did when the Steelers chose him. Or is this a case of analysts penciling him in for the Steelers because the other edge linebackers may be off the board? As much as analysts think he fits with the Steelers; Pittsburgh can make up for Dupree in the mid-draft rounds without Collins despite a 60% chance he remains on the board at the 24th selection.
Jalen Mayfield, OL Michigan
Chance drafted by Steelers: 11%
Mayfield is the 2nd highest potential draft pick on the list. At 6’5” 320 pounds, he’s another big athlete that can plug a hole or two on the Steelers offensive line. He’s versatile and can line up on either side of the line; Mayfield moves well on his feet, he has good vision for a blocker, and blocks with leverage. Plus, there is a 91% chance he’s still on the board when the Steelers pick.
In short, there is a lot to like about Mayfield, and considering the odds seem to indicate he should be available as the 24th selection comes up, it would make a lot of sense that the Steelers take Mayfield. Despite getting snubbed in almost 50% of mock drafts, in the ones he does go, he falls to the 24th selection often. He seems the most likely to go to the Steelers of any offensive linemen on this list.