Where would Steelers 2020 picks be selected in the 2021 NFL Draft?

Alex Highsmith #56 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
Alex Highsmith #56 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) /
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The Steelers had an impressive draft in 2020 despite no first-round pick. Here’s where their top players from last year would go in the 2021 NFL  Draft. 

I typically trust Pittsburgh’s drafting ability, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous prior to the 2020 NFL Draft. The Steelers were already without their first-round pick after trading for Minkah Fitzpatrick, and all signs seemed to point to them eyeing a running back with their second-round selection. In hindsight, it doesn’t seem like things could have possibly turned out much better.

The Steelers were able to grab some talented football players with good upside, but the return we have already begun to see on them after their rookie seasons is more than impressive. With the 2021 NFL Draft just around the corner, it got to thinking: where would Pittsburgh’s top draft choices from 2020 go if they were in this year’s class? After seeing the promise they showed last season, here’s where each player might land if they were thrown into the 2021 NFL Draft class:

WR Chase Claypool: Late 1st round

Strictly from a talent standpoint, you could make the case for Chase Claypool being taken much earlier if he were to be thrust into the 2021 draft class. However, with a few sideshow antics during his rookie season and most recent offseason, some teams looking for a wide receiver may be more willing to roll the dice on a player like Minnesota’s Rashad Bateman or maybe even Ole Miss receiver, Elijah Moore.

In addition, I think top prospects like Ja’Marr Chase, Jaylen Waddle, and DeVonta Smith would all be taken higher. Claypool wasn’t the most efficient receiver in the league during his rookie season, but this was largely due to his low quality of targets down the field. He was, however, able to draw the most penalties in the league down the field, and his upside is tremendous. If he can avoid the distractions, he could certainly prove to be worth going in the top 25 picks of the 2021 draft class in this hypothetical scenario.