We won't truly be in the thick of NFL mock draft season until later in the year, but already, we are seeing how things could be shaping up for some NFL teams. Entering Week 7, there are a whopping six teams who have one win or fewer (the Carolina Panthers sit at the bottom of the league at 0-6). The Pittsburgh Steelers, meanwhile, have managed to scrape together a 3-2 record prior to entering their Week 6 bye.
When Week 6 ended, Pittsburgh would have held the 25th overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Following the results of Week 7, the Steelers have risen up slightly. If the season ended today, they would own the 23rd overall pick, per Tankathon.com, and they would be the sixth seed in the AFC -- playing on the road against the Ravens in the first round of the playoffs.
There is still plenty of season to be played, and if the Steelers don't make significant improvements, it's possible that they could fall in the standings and rise in the draft order. As of now, here's a look at the players that NFL Draft media has them targeting in the first round in 2024.
NFL Mock Draft Roundup: Steelers selections entering Week 7:
CBS Sports, Kyle Stackpole: Xavier Worthy, WR, Texas
Here's a name that is gaining some steam in connection with the Pittsburgh Steelers next April. While the front office doesn't dip its toes into the Big 12 very often, Texas will become an SEC school soon. It's easy to see the fit with Xavier Worthy. At 6'1'' and 172 pounds, Worthy is quick and shifty. Dionate Johnson might not be around long-term, and the Steelers could use extra weapons in their offense that lacks explosiveness.
The Draft Network, Keith Sanchez: Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama
This might be a bit of wishful thinking from The Draft Network. In many early mocks, Kool-Aid McKinstry is a player who winds up going inside the top five overall picks in 2024. McKinstry is a long cornerback with a great resume. Even if Joey Porter Jr. is as good as advertised, the Steelers will certainly need to pair him with a CB who can play opposite him for the foreseeable future. McKinstry would be excellent value in the back half of the first round, but he may not be available.
NFL Spin Zone, Sayre Bedinger: Shedeur Sanders, QB, Colorado
It's not totally unreasonable to think that Pittsburgh could target at quarterback in the first round next year -- especially if things continue to go poorly for Kenny Pickett. While this team did spend a first-round pick to acquire Pickett in 2022, that was a Kevin Colbert decision. With GM Omar Khan running the show, he might have a different plan in mind. Pickett will turn 26 years old next offseason and currently doesn't have much to show for it. Meanwhile, this is shaping up to be an outstanding QB class in 2024.
Pro Football Network, Ian Valentino: Xavier Worthy, WR, Texas
Another media outlet is jumping on the Xavier Worthy bandwagon. Pro Football Network likens Worthy to DeVonta Smith of the Eagles -- a long, wirey receiver with natural football ability. George Pickens looks like the real deal, but they could probably stand to look for a player who can line up opposite him and give this offense a consistent weapon in the passing game.