Pittsburgh Steelers 2023 NFL Mock Draft: Post-Week 1 of free agency

Anton Harrison, Steelers
Anton Harrison, Steelers / Brian Bahr/GettyImages
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Round 7, Pick #234: Jose Ramirez, OLB, Eastern Michigan (6’2”, 252)

Thanks to some trades that bore mixed results, the Steelers suffer from a Day 3 draft capital shortage. It would not be shocking to see them trade back from some of their earlier selections to recoup picks in the fifth and sixth rounds. But back to the choice at hand. Like their late-round draft picks, Pittsburgh desperately needs depth at the outside linebacker/edge rusher position. They brought back former preseason stars Quincy Roche and Jamir Jones, but they still need more bodies. Bud Dupree could be due for a reunion, but this team still needs some young edge rushers. 

The Steelers love drafting edge rushers out of the MAC in the late rounds. James Harrison is obviously the most prolific example, but Sutton Smith and Keion Adams are more recent examples. Of course, the latter two never made an impact, but seventh-round picks rarely do. Therefore, consider Jose Ramirez out of Eastern Michigan.

Ramirez began his career at Arizona, redshirting in 2017, before transferring to Riverside Community College for the 2018 season. He then transferred again to Eastern Michigan and only appeared in four games in 2019. But in 2020, during a shortened season, he finally broke out. Over the next two years, he only missed one game and was one of the most productive edge rushers in the MAC. This past season, according to PFF, Ramirez led the MAC in sacks (12) and finished third in pressures (50). 

As previously mentioned, seventh-round picks rarely pan out. But if Ramirez is going to buck that trend, he’ll need to get his start on special teams. He’s not the biggest edge rusher, but the Steelers have been drafting smaller edge rushers recently. Furthermore, Ramirez is quite athletic for his size, earning an 8.07 Relative Athletic Score and an Elite Composite Agility Grade. Therefore, Ramirez should be able to be an immediate contributor on special teams that could develop into a valuable depth piece at outside linebacker.