Steelers 7-round mock draft: Trade helps the OL and defense

Boston col offensive lineman Zion Johnson. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Boston col offensive lineman Zion Johnson. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Missouri Tigers running back Tyler Badie (1) Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports /

Steelers round seven

With the extra draft capital from the trade, the Steelers can address two depth needs at the end of the draft. The first is a backup running back, as the team needs a compliment to Najee Harris. His 381 touches are unsustainable going forward so having a change of pace option is needed. Missouri’s Tyler Badie would fit that bill, as his style contrasts Harris’s power but is still effective on the field.

While he was only a role player until his senior season, he didn’t disappoint as the bell cow. He had nearly 2000 total yards and was effective as both a runner and a receiver. While he would be the number two to Harris, Badie would provide a more explosive option with some speed to take some of the weight off of his shoulders. Running back isn’t a top need but getting a more capable backup is a wise move.

Like running back, tight end is rather low on the list of potential needs. Pat Freiermuth has all of the makings of an elite starter while Zach Gentry developed into a quality blocking second option. While the team could certainly role with Kevin Radar/anyone else as their third option, Lucas Krull has some actual upside long-term.

Used sparingly at Pitt until this past season, Krull became a safety valve for Kenny Pickett. That said, his receiving ability pales in comparison to his blocking. He has the size and skill to take on opposing defensive linemen which should translate at the next level. Even if he never develops into much more than a quality blocker, he is a player the team could use in their tight end room.

Must Read. Defensive line is the Steelers most overrated need in 2022. light

With the offseason now in full force, the Steelers will have their eyes set on the draft and in free agency to improve their team. While there is still a lot more to be looked into with this draft class, this trade-back scenario seemed to work well. The team still got a starting capable lineman along with a few other key pieces to build around. Overall, this mock fills many of the needs that this roster has heading into 2022.