Most likely Steelers receiver target by round of the NFL Draft

Michigan wide receiver Roman Wilson (WO39)
Michigan wide receiver Roman Wilson (WO39) / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2024 NFL Draft almost upon us, I want to break down some likely draft positions the Steelers are targeting and see just who makes sense in every given round that the team currently has a pick in. While there are a handful of likely positions that this team will target in the draft, there isn’t a concrete plan of what position will go in what round.

With the Steelers holding picks in the first, second, third, fourth, and seventh rounds of the draft, I want to see what players at certain positions of need make sense. This list takes a lot from my list of 100 prospects that make sense for the team as well as players that fit what this team looks for typically.

We are starting off with the receiver room first, as there is a huge hole there following the trade of Diontae Johnson. This team needs a capable second option, and they could even potentially double dip at the position. They could use a guy that profiles in the slot or as more of a catch-and-run outside target due to George Pickens’s ability as a vertical threat. Here is a prime target for the Steelers by round at receiver.

Steelers first-round receiver target: Adonai Mitchell

There isn’t a surplus of first-round receivers that makes sense for the Steelers this season. That isn’t due to the options in this class (as there are many), but more due to the way this team went about their pre-draft process. They weren’t at the Pro Day for any first-round receivers. The closest I got was new receivers coach Zach Azzanni being at Texas’s Pro Day.

This lands Adonai Mitchell in the first-round conversation, as he appears to be a backend of the first-round guy given the depth of this draft class at the position. He profiles as a similar type of player to Pickens, as both are vertical threats who struggled with making plays after the catch in school.

While I slightly like an option like Brian Thomas more at this point as he is a more unique player for this room, Mitchell has seemingly garnered some more interest. If the Steelers go receiver in round one, he seems like the only realistic bet based on Pittsburgh's historical trends.

Steelers second-round receiver target: Roman Wilson

The second and third rounds are where the meat and potatoes are for the Steelers at receiver. With the first round likely being a lineman, and with the receiver class being so deep, there will be a lot of talent to choose from. While I went for a slightly less conventional name, you could easily be highlighting Xavier Legette or Xavier Worthy here.

That said, I think Roman Wilson could be a sneaky fit here. Mike Tomlin and Omar Khan were at the Michigan Pro Day, so it is a safe bet that they are very familiar with him as a player. He is also dynamic on the field, serving as a deep threat and a talented option with the ball in his hands.

He can serve in the slot as a pro while also working vertically on the outside. He is almost the anti-thesis of Pickens, which should make the offense more balanced in the passing game. While the team hasn’t been all over him, the Tomlin/Khan connection as well as his play makes a lot of sense in the second round.

Steelers third-round receiver target: Malachi Corley

If the Steelers pass on receivers in the first two rounds (which is entirely possible given their needs elsewhere), I feel like Malachi Corley is a lock to be their target in the third round. For a mid-round option, Pittsburgh has been hot on his trail with Azzanni at his pro day and the team having him in for a pre-draft visit.

Like Wilson, Corley also offers something different for this passing game. While he projects as more than just a gadget guy at the next level, the goal is to constantly get the ball in his hands and let him run with it. The comparisons to Deebo Samuel are valid, and that type of stocky receiver works well in Arthur Smith’s offense. He is the favorite to be the target in the third round if receiver is ignored until then.

Steelers fourth-round receiver target: Luke McCaffrey

While a deeper position than most in this draft, receiver does begin to dry up after day two. Considering the need, I would assume any receiver taken on day three is a double dip for the offense, as they need a more immediate impact player.

The Steelers brought in Luke McCaffrey for a pre-draft visit, a strong sign for a mid-round option. They also love NFL bloodlines. McCaffrey is a converted quarterback from a smaller school, but he thrived in the slot and could continue to do so as a pro. If Pittsburgh lands a capable outside receiver early, McCaffrey could work the slot for this offense as a later pick.

Steelers sixth-round receiver target: Tahj Washington

I have Tahj Washington circled here in the sixth round as a potential double-dip guy, and if he were somehow to go undrafted, Pittsburgh needs to be all over him. His stats aren’t going to wow you and his size and athleticism are middling, but he plays like his hair is on fire every snap.

On offense, his size and speed will make him a slot-specific option. He does run sharp routes and has decent hands though, so there is something to work with there. I think he can also be a potent special teams player, as his physicality is impressive. The ceiling is limited here, but he makes a lot of sense as a depth receiver this late in the draft.

Next. Steelers will regret not making these six free agent deals in 2024. Steelers will regret not making these six free agent deals in 2024. dark

The Steelers are almost certain to draft a receiver at some point in this draft, and while they have a lot of options, these players are my early favorites by round. That said, there are genuinely a dozen or more names that make sense for this team at varying spot in this draft.