Steelers mock draft: Pittsburgh finally opts to attack the trenches

Team Buckeye offensive guard Paris Johnson Jr. (77)Ohio State Football Spring Game
Team Buckeye offensive guard Paris Johnson Jr. (77)Ohio State Football Spring Game /
6 of 6
Cincinnati Bearcats linebacker Ivan Pace Jr. (0) Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports /

Steelers mock draft round 6: LB Ivan Pace

I really wanted to find a linebacker earlier in the draft, but I settled for Ivan Pace here in the sixth round. A hyper-productive defender, Pace has a Vince Williams vibe to him. He isn’t the biggest player, nor is he an incredible athlete, but he plays with his hair on fire and has a nose for the football.

I’m not sure if Pace will ever be able to start, but he should be a capable run-stopping backup that can play special teams. He adds another body to this room that will likely be completely upturned this offseason. He has some big flaws that will limit him as a pro, but Pace should be a solid reserve for this team.

Steelers mock draft round 7: C Juice Scruggs

The Steelers start and end this draft along the offensive line. While Johnson should be a plug-and-play tackle, Juice Scruggs has a long way to go before he is an established lineman. The slightly undersized center is a good athlete and developed into a consistent interior lineman for Penn State.

While the Steelers will likely lean on Mason Cole again in 2023, Scruggs can be a versatile backup who is primarily a center but can also take snaps at either guard spot. Scruggs likely won’t develop into a top-tier starter, but he could give the team a dependable interior backup, something that they are lacking right now.

light. Must Read. Steelers rookie grades: Kenny Pickett earns a below-average score in first season

The Steelers need to do a good job in their draft this season. This mock focuses on the trenches, as four total linemen make their way onto the team. As well, key positions are added to further boost the depth chart heading into 2023.