NFL Mock Draft Roundup: Steelers make a bizarre selection in Round 1

Could the Steelers throw a curveball at us with their first-round pick this year?

Steelers, Pittsburgh Steelers
Steelers, Pittsburgh Steelers / Grant Halverson/GettyImages

The Pittsburgh Steelers found a way to enter the NFL Playoffs, but that doesn't mean that it's too early to look ahead to mock draft season. Throughout the year, Mike Tomlin's team has struggled mightily at certain positions, and these holes became more glaring as the season went on.

The Steelers are set to have a large portion of their roster returning for the 2024 season, but plenty of cuts could be in order as GM Omar Khan and his front office look to get back under the cap. Very early on, fans and draft analysts had a good idea of which positions Pittsburgh could look to target in the 2024 NFL Draft, and not much has changed.

However, the latest Steelers mock draft roundup includes a selection that comes out of left field. Pittsburgh would own the 23rd overall pick in the draft if the season ended today. Here's a look at what experts have the Steelers doing in the first round of April's NFL Draft as we approach Pittsburgh's Wild Card game against the Buffalo Bills.

Steelers mock draft roundup includes a wild pick

The Athletic, Nick Baumgardner: Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State

I was surprised to see that The Athletic has an edge defender mocked to the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 23rd overall pick this year. Pittsburgh is dishing out the second-most money in the NFL to their pair of pass rushers T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith. On top of this, rookie Nick Herbig has flashed his potential and could carve out a bigger role in 2024. Florida State's Jared Verse is a good player, but I don't think this pick is likely to come to fruition.

Bleacher Report, B/R Scouting Department: Denzel Burke, CB, Ohio State

The scouting department at Bleacher Report has the Steelers going with cornerback Denzel Burke in their latest 2024 mock draft. Burke is one of a group of five or six cornerbacks who could end up being drafted in the first round this year. The Ohio State CB is a former wide receiver with intriguing traits and he would fill a position of need for Pittsburgh.

CBS Sports, Josh Edwards: Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State

It would be out of character for the Pittsburgh Steelers to draft a Pac-12 player in the first round -- this is something they haven't done since 2012 when David DeCastro fell into their lap. Still, there's no question that offensive tackle is a huge need for this team. The Steelers should be desperate to find an OT they can pair with Broderick Jones long-term. Neither Dan Moore Jr. nor Chukwuma Okorafor is the answer.

Football Guys, Christian Williams: Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia

Here's a selection that would make a lot of sense, based on Pittsburgh's draft history. The Steelers are a big fan of Georgia's football program. Just last year, they traded up for a Georgia OT. Armarius Mims has raw upside like Broderick Jones but projects as a long-term starting right tackle in the NFL. This selection would allow Jones to move back to his more natural position at left tackle.

USA Today, Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz: Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama

Cornerback has been the most frequently mocked position to the Steelers in the early going, and it's not hard to understand why. Outside of Joey Porter Jr., Pittsburgh doesn't have a respectable option at the position. Though Patrick Peterson salvaged his 2023 season, the Steelers could cut him to save money during the offseason. Even if he comes back, he shouldn't be trusted to be a starter at his age. Terrion Arnold is a smooth and explosive athlete from a great football program at Alabama. He would be an ideal fit alongside Porter in the secondary.