Steelers take an impressive young left tackle in total NFL re-draft

Mekhi Becton #77 of the New York Jets. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mekhi Becton #77 of the New York Jets. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

Marcus Mosher recently conducted a total NFL re-draft. Here’s who he had the Pittsburgh Steelers taking from a clean slate. 

I enjoy the NFL Draft as much as anyone could. For the months following the college football season, I study hundreds of prospects in an effort to know every player as well as I can prior to the draft. The three-day stretch at the end of April is the greatest weekend of the year, and when it’s finished, I start counting the days down until next year’s NFL Draft. So you can only imagine how excited I would be if there was a total NFL re-draft.

I often find myself daydreaming about what a draft would look like if every single NFL player was thrown back into a pool and each team was drafting with a clean slate. It would be interesting to see how many quarterbacks go before the first non-quarterback is taken, and how much a player’s age factors into their draft position.

For several years now, NFL writer and podcast guru Marcus Mosher has taken the liberty of conducting total NFL re-drafts for us. Using the turn order from the 2021 NFL Draft, he gives an explanation for each of the top 32 picks in his re-draft this year. With the 24th overall pick in this total NFL re-draft, Mosher has the Steelers taking ascending Jets left tackle, Mekhi Becton. Here’s what he had to say about the selection:

"24. Pittsburgh Steelers: LT Mekhi BectonDoes Becton need to improve as a pass protector? Yes. But he is a rare athlete with elite size. He had dominant flashes as a rookie and now, with an entire season under his belt, he could become the league’s best-left tackle in the next year or two. Picking him at No. 24 might seem rich, but players like him at the left tackle position just don’t come around very often."

Taking a quarterback wouldn’t make sense at this point

With the first overall pick, it wasn’t surprising to see Mosher slot Patrick Mahomes to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Like the Trevor Lawrence pick this year, that is one they would have had dialed in for months prior to this hypothetical re-draft. After Mahomes, Mosher has a run of young, promising quarterbacks being selected in Deshaun Watson (ignoring current legal issues), Josh Allen, Justin Herbert, Dak Prescott, and Trevor Lawrence.

Because quarterback is indisputably the most important position on the football field, Mosher has 17 straight passers being selected to open the NFL re-draft before going with the first non-quarterback in Cleveland edge defender, Myles Garrett. The only other non-quarterbacks selected before Pittsburgh’s pick at 24 are EDGE Chase Young, DT Aaron Donald, and OT Tristan Wirfs.

Mekhi Becton is a wise choice for Steelers in a total NFL re-draft

At this point in the re-draft, a total of 19 quarterbacks have already been taken in the first 23 picks of the draft. The most recent passers that were selected prior to Pittsburgh’s pick were Ryan Tannehill, Derek Carr, and Kirk Cousins. The best remaining include Tom Brady (who turns 44 during training camp this year), a 36-year-old Matt Ryan, a 39-year-old Ben Roethlisberger, and a very risky Carson Wentz.

In this hypothetical re-draft, age plays a factor, and spending your top draft choice on one of these aging quarterbacks may not be the way to go. For this reason, the New York Jets promising young offensive tackle, Mekhi Becton, is a solid selection for the Steelers with the 24th overall pick in the re-draft.

Becton is a mammoth at 6’7” and a whopping 364 pounds, so it was remarkable to see him test athletically in the 98th percentile among NFL offensive tackles, according to his Relative Athletic Score. But Becton is more than just a great athlete with terrific size.

During his rookie season for New York in 2020, Becton was quite impressive – earning a 74.4 overall grade from Pro Football Focus. This trailed only Tristan Wirfs among rookie offensive tackles last year. Becton turned just 22 years old in April, and he has all the makings to be a generational talent as a starting left tackle in a career that could span well over a decade.

Some of the other best players available when the Steelers are on the clock in this total NFL re-draft include Jalen Ramsey, Kyle Pitts, and Quinton Nelson. It’s also worth noting that T.J. Watt was selected just one pick after the Steelers with the 25th overall selection. Knowing what the organization knows about Watt, Pittsburgh would certainly be tempted to take him at 24, but Mosher has them going with a player that is four-and-a-half years younger at arguably the second-most important position in all of football.

Watt was the only Steelers player to be selected in the first round of this total NFL re-draft. Minkah Fitzpatrick is probably the only other Pittsburgh player worth considering this high, but he didn’t crack the top 32.

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Though this is a completely hypothetical scenario that will never come to fruition, it’s interesting to think about what our team would do with the 24th pick if every NFL player was thrown back into a pool to be re-drafted. Leave a comment below with who you think the Steelers should select at pick 24 if the re-draft played out like this.