Best moves Steelers made in the 2024 NFL Draft

Ranking the five best decisions Pittsburgh made during the NFL Draft.
NFL Combine
NFL Combine / Kara Durrette/GettyImages

According to consensus draft grades comprised of 20 major NFL media outlets, the Pittsburgh Steelers earned the top collective grade average of any team in the NFL for what they were able to accomplish during the 2024 NFL Draft. With an extra third-round pick and seven total selections, Omar Khan pulled off some magic similar to what he did in his first draft in 2023.

Because there were so many excellent value picks, it's hard to rank them in order of brilliance, but I did exactly that. Based on the value Pittsburgh received and the potential payout in the future, here are the five best moves the Steelers made during the 2024 NFL Draft.

1. Stealing LB Payton Wilson at pick 98

Considering I had Payton Wilson as the 38th overall player on my draft board, this was an easy decision for me. Yes, Wilson will be a 24-year-old rookie with a scary injury history, but these two factors are the only thing that kept him from being a first-round pick.

Wilson was the best linebacker in the nation thanks to his playmaking ability, outstanding speed, and elite play recognition. The NC State product ran a 4.43 at the NFL Combine without an ACL in one knee. If he can stay healthy (and he has the past two seasons), he has the upside to be one of the best linebackers in the NFL.

2. A no-brainer decision to draft WR Roman Wilson at pick 84

The Pittsburgh Steelers had a desperate need at the wide receiver position, and Roman Wilson should not have been available to them at this stage in the draft. After 10 receivers were snatched up in the first 37 picks of the draft, it's astounding that Wilson was ripe for the picking at pick 84 in the NFL Draft.

Wilson is a reliable option with speed and soft hands. I had a second-round grade on the former Michigan product, and this was an effortless choice for the Steelers in the middle of the third round.

3. Steelers didn't have to think twice before drafting Zach Frazier

Throughout the pre-draft process, Steelers fans questioned the possibility of one of the top three centers falling to Pittsburgh in the second round. They should have read Andrew Falce's article on historical draft trends at the center position.

Frazier proved to be a player who slipped, and instead of getting nervous and trading up to secure a Day 1 starting center, Omar Khan stood pat and let Frazier fall to pick 51 in the second round. I'll be the first to admit that Texas WR Adonai Mitchell would have been an enticing option here, but Frazier filled a huge positional need and every team seemed to have glowing remarks about his character.

4. Troy Fautanu was too good to pass up at pick 20

While many draft experts believed Troy Fautanu should have been long gone before the Pittsburgh Steelers were on the clock, I had him right at value for where they were selecting. There were other options to consider here. Though CB Quinyon Mitchell wouldn't have filled as big of a need, he and WR Brian Thomas Jr. were the best remaining players on my draft board.

Fautanu is an older prospect, but there's a lot to love. Placing this move fourth on my list shows just how much value Pittsburgh found throughout the draft this year.

5. Mason McCormick was worth the OL overload in Round 4

When pick 119 in the fourth round came round, there were several names I would have considered for Pittsburgh. They could have doubled up on wide receiver with a player like Florida State's Johnny Wilson or even snatched a quality backup QB like Spencer Rattler.

Instead, the Steelers tripled down on the offensive line. Mason McCormick tested as a generational athlete at the guard position, and the upside is through the roof. He has the potential to be a future starting guard in the NFL, and finding this in the fourth round was hard to pass on.