Senior Bowl week is in the books, and NFL teams just learned a lot more about dozens of prospects set to enter the 2024 NFL Draft. For some, their time spent in Mobile proved to be very beneficial, as dominant performances helped raise their draft stock. Others would probably like to erase their Senior Bowl tape from existence.
The Pittsburgh Steelers had their brass on hand as Mike Tomlin and Omar Khan were soaking up every opportunity to scout and talk to players. Right now, we can only venture a guess as to where their interest lies when it comes to the upcoming NFL Draft, but these five standouts from Senior Bowl week should now be firmly on their draft radar.
Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo
There was one cornerback who easily stood among the rest during Senior Bowl week; that was Toledo's Quinyon Mitchell. Despite playing in the MAC conference, Mitchell looked like a man amongst boys all Week in Mobile, Alabama.
Mitchell has solid size for a boundary cornerback, but it's his freakish athletic traits and exceptional feel for the game that had him making plays left and right during Senior Bowl week. Though one-on-one drills clearly favor the wide receiver, it was this cornerback who appeared to have the upper hand with whomever he was matched up against.
It just so happens that cornerback is arguably Pittsburgh's biggest need this offseason, and we know that Mike Tomlin is not afraid to draft players from the MAC. There is a cluster of late-first-round and early-second-round cornerbacks set to enter the 2024 NFL Draft, but Mitchell solidified first-round status after a dominant Senior Bowl showing. He will be in play for the Steelers with the 20th overall pick this year.
Jackson Powers-Johnson, C, Oregon
From the moment NFL Network aired the first day of Senior Bowl practices, Steelers fans went gaga for Jackson Powers-Johnson. The 6'3'', 334-pound center was an underclassman who came to Mobile to prove why he's the best center prospect in the class.
Powers-Johnson immediately proved to be the talk of the town after annihilating the defensive line competition in OL vs. DL drills. Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Steelers have a glaring need at center that they haven't been able to fill since the retirement of Maurkice Pouncey following the 2020 season. Jackson Powers-Johnson might not be the perfect scheme fit for what new OC Arthur Smith wants to do with his wide zone offense in Pittsburgh, but the tape is undeniably good.
Tyler Guyton, OT, Oklahoma
There's no question that the Steelers need to find an offensive tackle they can pair with Broderick Jones long-term. The question becomes whether or not they would be willing to take a raw OT in the first round in back-to-back years.
Guyton has exceptional traits to be a long-time starter at offensive tackle in the NFL. He officially measured in at 6'7'' and 328 pounds with an 82 3/8'' wingspan. Guyton showcased incredible movement skills and outstanding power, but he has a lot of work to do refining his technique. If the Steelers are in the market for another people-mover at OT, Guyton should be on their draft radar after some 'wow' moments during Senior Bowl week.
Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State
Taliese Fuaga is another tackle who didn't finish out the week of Senior Bowl practices, but coaches and scouts likely saw all they needed to from the mammoth offensive tackle. At 6'5 3/4'' and 332 pounds, Fuaga bullied smaller edge defenders with a solid blend of traits, foot quickness, and power. He even drove star edge rusher Laiatu Latu into the turf.
Fuaga is probably a right tackle only in the NFL, but that would work out just fine for the Pittsburgh Steelers, as they could kick Broderick Jones back to his more natural position at left tackle. This would be a pairing that would impose their will in the running game, but he's not guaranteed to be available to the Steelers with the 20th overall pick this April.
Ladd McConkey, WR, Georgia
Michigan wide receiver Roman Wilson was expectedly impressive in Mobile, but the other wide-out who really caught my attention was Ladd McConkey. The Georgia product made cornerbacks look silly during WR vs. DB drills, as McConkey left them in the dust with his quick feet and sharp route-running.
McConkey offers versatility thanks to his ability to play both outside and in the slot. The Steelers, meanwhile, are expected to cut Allen Robinson II this offseason and they need help at the WR position. McConkey could be an ideal fit thanks to his ability to get open from any alignment, and he even has enough upside to groom as an eventual Diontae Johnson replacement if Johnson hits the free agent market following the 2024 season.