4 realistic first-round picks for Steelers before the NFL Combine

Malik Willis #7 of the Liberty Flames. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Malik Willis #7 of the Liberty Flames. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
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Boston College Eagles offensive lineman Zion Johnson (77) . Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports /

Steelers may draft Johnson

A name that has seen a huge rise in his draft stock, Zion Johnson entered the offseason viewed as a fringe second-third round pick as an interior lineman. Now, he has climbed all the way to 20th overall on the big board and he may be in a prime position to be the Steelers’ top pick in the draft. Considering the team’s immense need along the interior, Johnson has to be seen as a favorite option assuming the other interior options are already drafted.

Despite his fast rise into the first round of the draft, I do believe that Johnson is now slightly overrated based on where he is valued at. While I think he will be a very good player, I don’t see a dominant interior presence due to his size and lack of elite strength. I think he very well could have a Ramon Foster type of career, a good starter for a long time but one that never enters into the elite category.

Even if his stock slips back towards the end of the first round (where I personally believe it should be), the Steelers will still likely be interested. He was one of two linemen that the team spoke with at the Senior Bowl which indicates some potential interest. While he may be shooting up boards now, expect his value to even out sooner than later. That said, he is squarely in play for pick 20 as of now.