5 bold predictions for Steelers in 2024 NFL Draft

Omar Khan could throw us a few curveballs on draft day.
2018 NFL Draft
2018 NFL Draft / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

The 2024 NFL Draft is just around the corner, and the Pittsburgh Steelers will soon have fans on the edge of their seat when they are officially on the clock. In years past, however, it has often been easy to narrow down Pittsburgh's top selection to one or two players.

That is something that could change soon. Thanks to new general manager Omar Khan and assistant GM Andy Weidl running the show, all of the trends we are used to seeing in the draft could be thrown out the window.

Khan showed us just how aggressive he was willing to get for the players he liked last year. This should have fans believing that everything is on the table for Pittsburgh in 2024. Here are five bold predictions for the Steelers in the 2024 NFL Draft.

1. Steelers make two trades during the NFL Draft

Steelers fans would have scoffed at the idea of making this draft-day prediction if Kevin Colbert was still running the show. But with Omar Khan in charge, executing a pair of trades during the 2024 NFL Draft seems reasonable.

In fact, the Steelers pulled this off in Khan's first season as GM in 2023 when they traded up in Round 1 for Broderick Jones and moved back in the third round to recoup a fourth-round pick. This strategy seemed to pan out well for them the first time around, and the Steelers could do it again this year.

2. Steelers take an offensive tackle in Round 1

While offensive tackle is firmly on their draft radar, the Pittsburgh Steelers also have glaring needs at positions like center, wide receiver, and cornerback. I will go as far as to say that offensive tackle will be their top pick in the NFL Draft this year.

The Steelers have spent most of their time visiting offensive tackles during the pre-draft scouting trail -- meeting with players like Amarus Mims, JC Latham, and Taliese Fuaga. I'll reveal my selection in my final seven-round mock just before the draft, but I'm predicting an offensive tackle in Round 1 for Pittsburgh.

3. Steelers draft a tall, long interior defender on Day 2

The Pittsburgh Steelers seem to be infatuated with a rare type of defensive lineman in 2024. Based on their pre-draft visits, they are scoping out tall, long players who will offer versatility across the defensive interior.

More specifically, the Steelers seem to be eying players who are 6'5'' with long arms. LSU's Maason Smith is a name to watch who fits a remarkably similar body type as Stephon Tuitt coming out of college. Drafting a player in this mold on Day 2 is something that feels like a priority.

4. Steelers trade up on Day 2 for a cornerback

With Joey Porter Jr. and Donte Jackson set to be the starting cornerbacks for Pittsburgh in 2024, I don't believe the Steelers will take a cornerback in Round 1. However, their interests would indicate that they really like the top CB prospects this year.

The Steelers had Pro Day dinner meetings with players like Nate Wiggins, Terroin Arnold, and Kool-Aid McKinstry. Later on, they used Top 30 visits to meet with Wiggins and Cooper DeJean. Because of the depth at CB, a few of these players could still be on the board when Day 2 opens. With an extra third-round pick this year, Khan could be willing to trade back up to get a talented CB prospect that slips early in the second round.

5. Steelers don't address center in the first two rounds

As much as Steelers fans want to believe that the team will take a center with one of their top two selections, I'm going to predict that this will not be the case. If the Steelers go with an offensive tackle in Round 1, it's possible the top three centers will be off the board when pick 51 rolls around.

If they stand pat in Round 2, the Steelers could go with a wide receiver or an interior defender at this point. It's worth noting that they used formal NFL Combine visits on mid-round center prospects like Georgia's Sedrick Van Pran-Granger, Arkansas' Beaux Limmer, and Penn State's Hunter Nourzad.