Steelers mock draft: Pittsburgh lands a fan favorite and builds trenches

Phidarian Mathis #48 of the Alabama Crimson Tide. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
Phidarian Mathis #48 of the Alabama Crimson Tide. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /
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Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Phidarian Mathis (48). Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

2. player. 829. . Defensive tackle. Crimson Tide . Phidarian Mathis

Steelers mock draft round 2: DL Phidarian Mathis

If the Steelers go with a quarterback in round one, many would assume that offensive line has to be their pick in the second round. However, I don’t think that’s necessarily going to be the case. Though this class is rich with OL at the top, a potential run on offensive lineman could sway them in a different direction with this pick as there may not be one worth taking here.

Nobody is talking much about the potential departure of Stephon Tuitt this offseason, but it is one that could certainly cause Pittsburgh to shift its priorities. Art Rooney II mentioned during his post-season press conference that this team must get better at stopping the run next season, and Alabama’s Phidarian Mathis could do exactly that.

While Pittsburgh really likes Tyson Alualu, the veteran defensive tackle turns 35 years old this offseason and is coming off a season-ending ankle injury. Even if he does return to the field for one more season, there’s no guarantee he will be the same player.

I like what I saw from Isaiahh Loudermilk during his rookie season, but the Steelers still need help along the defensive interior. Mathis is a huge, physical defensive lineman who can play across odd and even fronts. He would be an ideal replacement for Tuitt if he’s not part of the program moving forward.