NFL Mock Draft: Predicting Round 1 surprises for Pittsburgh Steelers

Steelers, Will McDonald
Steelers, Will McDonald / Zach Boyden-Holmes/The Register / USA
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1. Lukas Van Ness, DL, Iowa

The last surprise name who could be a potential first-round pick of the Steelers is Iowa's Lukas Van Ness, the Steelers desperately lack depth at both edge defender and interior defensive line, and Van Ness could help in both regards.

In 2021, Van Ness primarily played defensive tackle as a 20-year-old for the Hawkeyes. This past season at age 21, the gifted lined up mostly on the edge. Surprisingly, he's never been a starter, but when you project forward, the upside is through the roof.

At nearly 6'5'' and 272 pounds with 34'' arms, Van Ness is fast enough to stick on the edge (4.58 speed), but stout enough to be an interior defensive lineman at the next level. Personally, my preference would be to bulk him up and have him dominate guards inside.

Tomlin and Khan met with Van Ness at his Iowa Pro Day -- making this selection a possibility. Steelers love long and strong players on their defensive line, and Van Ness has outstanding traits that give him a high ceiling in the NFL. It would certainly be a surprise pick, given their other needs, but it's not out of the question

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