Steelers mock draft: Unspectacular, yet realistic selections

Alabama Crimson Tide running back Najee Harris (22). Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Alabama Crimson Tide running back Najee Harris (22). Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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National offensive lineman Quinn Meinerz of Wisconsin -Whitewater (71). Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports /

Round 2:

(Note: I know that he is from Wisconsin-Whitewater. There is no code for that though, so Wisconsin is being used as a placeholder)

The reason I can fathom taking a running back first is that the second round should have a plethora of center options to choose from. While getting a Creed Humphrey here would be ideal, I doubt he falls that far. Instead, the Steelers go for a small school stud in Quinn Meinerz. Meinerz has blown up since dominating the senior bowl, and while his tape is limited due to his school, he seems like he could be a mauler at the next level.

Meinerz was primarily a guard in college, but he showed some serious skill at center at the senior bowl. While he may need some time to develop there, the team has B.J. Finney to start in the meantime. He can have some time to develop. That said, he would likely see the field sooner than later, and when he does, expect some more physicality along the interior of the line.

Picking Meinerz after Harris means the Steelers cover two of their biggest needs in the first two rounds. The run game should see an instant boost, meaning Rooney will be happy and the team will ideally have a more balanced offense. While picking Harris in the first isn’t ideal to me, landing a mauler like Meinerz can make up for it. The team has shown a lot of interest in him, and it seems like he is a serious candidate at pick 55.

Others considered: Javonte Williams (RB), Tyson Campbell (CB), Liam Eichenberg (OT)

I personally love Williams’s game, but having selected Harris in the first, it wouldn’t make any sense to double-dip. Campbell is a freaky athlete at cornerback and could potentially fill in on the outside. That said, I get serious Artie Burns vibes as he is more athlete than prospect at this point. The most tempting of these picks is Eichenberg, as he has long-term starting potential at either tackle spot. That said, I think the team is set on waiting for a tackle as a center is a far more pressing need.