Steelers 7-round mock draft: Trade helps the OL and defense
By Andrew Falce
Steelers round six
The first pick of this draft comes via the trade projected earlier, and the Steelers in turn grab a big mold of clay to work with. Edge depth is one of the more underrated needs this offseason. While Alex Highsmith and T.J. Watt are a great pair of starters, the players behind them are the issue. Isaiah Thomas wouldn’t be a slam dunk top reserve from day one, but he provides a different style of play.
He is a bigger edge rusher at 6’5, 265 pounds. The Steelers are lacking that in their starters, thus adding the different body type would be a help. Thomas was never a premiere rusher at Oklahoma, but he used his size to set the edge and power his way for sacks. He would be a developmental third option that should play on special teams early.
Another dart throw akin to Flott, Luke Tenuta is a mountain of a man without much of a track record in college. While he was a starter on both the right and left sides of Virginia Tech’s line, he was never an elite blocker. While he used his size to bully smaller rushers out of the play, he was consistently beaten by players who used proper technique and quick agility to get around him.
While the Steelers like their tackles tall, and Tenuta fits that bill at 6’9, he doesn’t use his size to his advantage. Instead of playing low and using his size to constantly take players out of the play, Tenuta constantly plays too tall and lacks the leverage to be effective. He needs a lot of work developing but has starter upside if all goes well. As well, if he never can become a true starter, he could be a capable swing tackle.