Proof that Steelers won't consider taking Zach Frazier in Round 1 of the NFL Draft

Steelers fans can be thankful that Pittsburgh won't reach for this center in the first round.

TCU v West Virginia
TCU v West Virginia / G Fiume/GettyImages

The more I've studied film throughout the pre-draft process, the more I ponder every possible outcome early in the NFL Draft for the Pittsburgh Steelers. One hypothetical our team at Still Curtain has entertained is the worst-case scenario for Pittsburgh in Round 1.

Based on the Mike Tomlin and Omar Khan scouting trail, and their pre-draft visits, I use my assessment of draft prospects to determine what would be the worst possible realistic pick the Steelers could make in the first round. For the past month, I feared Zach Frazier could be a candidate Pittsburgh considers with their top pick.

The Steelers have a big need at center, and Frazier checks several of the boxes they are looking for. He's an experienced player with loads of snaps under his belt and he seems like a quality scheme fit for Arthur Smith's offense. Frazier is also from their own backyard after playing his college career at West Virginia.

However, Frazier is not a first-round talent. Despite his 6'2 5/8'' frame, Frazier is a bit slow-footed and has trouble picking up stunts too often. Perhaps a bigger concern is that he gives too much ground in pass protection when trying to anchor against the bull rush or a pass rusher converting speed to power.

Despite their desperate need for a center, Frazier would have been my least favorite pick for the Steelers among all the 'realistic' Round 1 candidates for Pittsburgh. Fortunately, we can now put those fears to rest.

Why Zach Frazier won't be the Steelers first-round pick

This year, the pre-draft process got a bit of a shake-up as the Big 12 held its collective Pro Day. Because there weren't prior engagements, we expected to see Pittsburgh's brass on hand to scope out the talent for this four-day event. They were not.

Instead of Mike Tomlin, Omar Khan, Arthur Smith, and Pat Meyer showing up to watch Zach Frazier, the only Steelers representative reportedly seen at the Big 12 Pro Day to watch Frazier work out was assistant OL coach Isaac Williams.

History tells us that, in order for the Steelers to consider drafting a player in the first round, the head coach and/or general manager need to be on hand at the player's Pro Day. Frazier doesn't come close to falling into this category. While it's possible that Pittsburgh could change things up in a new regime.

Steelers fans breathe a sigh of relief that Zach Frazier won't be the selection at pick 20 for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Frazier is a respectable player on film and he doesn't have a lot of red flags in his game. However, nothing about him screams 'first-round pick'.

Frazier has a short, stocky frame that is completely made out, which means there isn't much room to improve his functional strength. At the Big 12 Pro Day, Frazier tested as a 64th percentile athlete, according to Relative Athletic Score by the testing numbers collected from NFL Draft analyst, Dane Brugler of The Athletic. Frazier's 8'4'' broad jump (44th percentile) and 7.85 3-cone (47th percentile) show what the tape suggests -- that Frazier is not a great athlete.

The lack of elite movement skills, size, and power, combined with questions about weaknesses in his game make Frazier an easy choice to be a Day 2 draft pick. The Steelers' historic draft trends only work for the first round. There's still a chance Frazier could be the pick on Day 2 of the draft, but that's where he should be selected.

The final five years of the Kevin Colbert era were a disaster as the former general manager cared more about filling positions of need than taking the best players on the board. This is why the Steelers traded up for Devin Bush and reached on players like Terrell Edmunds and Kenny Pickett.

We don't want to see a repeat of bad draft philosophy with Omar Khan in his second season as GM. Thanks to the lack of top representation at the Big 12 Pro Day, I feel confident in saying the Pittsburgh Steelers are not going to take Zach Frazier in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft.