Steelers mock draft: Factoring positions of need and offseason visits
The Pittsburgh Steelers have had meetings with loads of players heading into the 2021 draft.
We know where the Steelers are slotted for the 2021 NFL draft. I’m not completely ruling out the possibility of the Steelers trading up if a player like Justin Fields falls to the 10 or 11th pick, or if Penei Sewell/Rashawn Slater fall to the low teens. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any notable prospects the Steelers have reportedly had visits with past the 5th round so that is where this mock draft will end.
With all of that being said, the first round is the hardest round for me to project. The Steelers have shown a ton of interest in some top talent on the defense that will likely slip due to the number of quarterbacks being taken within the first 10 picks. I really only see the Steelers picking 1 of 2 players in the first round.
Asante Samuel Jr. is my top selection for the Steelers at the 24th pick.
More and more signs are pointing towards the Steelers taking a running back later in the draft, depending on their confidence in Benny Snell Jr. I know how likely it seems that the Steelers are picking up Najee Harris with their first pick, but it is so against the grain for Pittsburgh, and it is hard to envision taking a running back this early.
Defense wins championships, we just saw in the latest Super Bowl that having a dominant defense gives you the advantage in the big game. With Cam Sutton playing so well in the slot in 2020, having another lockdown corner in man coverage would bode really well for Pittsburgh. Samuel Jr’s strengths are undoubtedly in man-to-man and that fits what Pittsburgh has stuck to in the last two seasons. While he is a little undersized, the nickel package has become the Steelers base formation, if they’d rather keep him in the slot they can and he will still be fine there.
The only other options that Pittsburgh has shown this much interest in for the 24th pick are Najee Harris, Trevon Moehring, and Zaven Collins. The Steelers have shown interest in all 3 of these players, but with Vince Williams coming back, and having two young safeties for depth behind Terrell Edmunds and Minkah Fitzpatrick I don’t see the value in adding either Moehring or Collins at the current moment in time. I think it ends up being either Samuel Jr. or Harris as the first pick.