Steelers best-case scenario mock draft: The sweet spot between value and need

The draft board couldn't have fallen more perfectly for the Steelers.
NFL Combine
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The Steelers are just a couple of weeks away from the highly anticipated 2024 NFL draft. This draft presents a crucial opportunity for them to bolster their roster, aiming to strengthen their position as contenders for the Super Bowl and solidify a team capable of long-term success.

In this mock draft, we explore the ideal scenario that would undoubtedly thrill fans and send a strong message to the entire NFL that the Steelers mean business.

The Steelers have undoubtedly strengthened their roster this offseason, but there are certainly some looming concerns that must be addressed. With this year's draft class being top-heavy and offering multiple directions for Pittsburgh to consider with their first-round pick, it's been challenging to pinpoint where Omar Khan and company will prioritize.

The Steelers, who haven't traditionally traded down in the draft, might find this year an opportune time to do so, as they seek quality players capable of making an immediate impact. Pittsburgh is eyeing additional picks in the Top 100 to fully capitalize on a roster poised to compete for a championship now.

Steelers Trade Back in First Round with Arizona Cardinals

Best case

Following the trade with Arizona, who in return secures a first-round favorite by some for the Steelers in Amarius Mims, the Cardinals find their other starting tackle opposite Paris Johnson Jr.

Steelers mock draft round 1: Graham Barton, OL, Duke

Best case. . . Graham Barton. 1. . Graham Barton. 434. Offensive Line. player

By trading back with the Arizona Cardinals and securing an additional 3rd round pick, the Steelers found themselves presented with a golden opportunity. An incredibly athletic and versatile offensive lineman fell right into their laps. Graham Barton, who has showcased his skills by starting at Duke across various positions on the offensive line, becomes the answer to Pittsburgh's pressing need at center. He is tailor-made for the Arthur Smith offense, which has been in search for a leader to anchor the offensive line.

Steelers mock draft round 2: Ruke Orhorhoro, DL, Clemson

Defensive Line. player. . Ruke Orhorhoro. Best case. . . 2. Ruke Orhorhoro. 432

The Steelers opt for the best player available, selecting the freakishly talented defensive lineman Ruke Orhorhoro. This move not only provides depth for their aging defensive line but also potentially positions Orhorhoro to succeed Cam Heyward in the future. With his explosive athleticism—he clocked a 4.90 40-yard dash at 6'4" and 294 pounds—and versatility across Clemson's defensive front, Orhorhoro offers the Steelers an exciting and dynamic addition to their roster.

Steelers mock draft round 3: Ricky Pearsall, WR, Florida

. . . Ricky Pearsall. 526. Best Case. Wide Receiver . Ricky Pearsall. 3. player

With Diontae Johnson traded to the Carolina Panthers, the Steelers find themselves in need of a new number two wide receiver. Enter Ricky Pearsall, who possesses the same qualities that made Johnson effective in Pittsburgh. A savvy route runner with the ability to create separation, Pearsall offers an additional dimension with his exceptional speed and body control. With solid hands and the potential to make a significant impact, the Steelers have found their next complementary wide receiver to pair effectively with George Pickens.

Steelers mock draft round 3: Mike Sainristil, CB, Michigan

Mike Sainristil. Mike Sainristil. player. . . Cornerback. . 3 . 485. Best Case

Pittsburgh has finally found their next slot corner, a position they've been desperately missing since Mike Hilton's departure. With the 84th pick, the Steelers draft Mike Sainristil, whose playing style mirrors that of Hilton. Sainristil embodies everything you'd want in a slot corner and seamlessly fits into the Steelers' defensive scheme. He's a sure tackler with exceptional ball skills and the ability to blitz effectively. With his relentless effort and ability to be all over the field, Sainristil promises to make a significant impact on the Steelers' defense.

Steelers mock draft round 3: Dadrion Taylor-Demerson, S, Texas Tech

Safety . Dadrion Taylor-Demerson. player. . Dadrion Taylor-Demerson. 3. Best Case. . . 468

Once again, the Steelers prioritize selecting the best player available, this time landing Dadrion Taylor-Demerson. Despite already securing Deshon Elliott as their starting strong safety, Pittsburgh recognizes the value of adding depth in the secondary. Taylor-Demerson brings versatility and sharp instincts to the table, evidenced by his impressive 10 career interceptions at Texas Tech. Known for their fondness for defensive players who can excel in multiple roles, the Steelers see Taylor-Demerson as a key addition who can contribute in various defensive schemes.

With Taylor-Demerson on board, Pittsburgh's secondary gains flexibility, allowing them to deploy diverse looks. Picture scenarios where Minkah Fitzpatrick and Dadrion Taylor-Demerson occupying two high safety looks, with Deshon Elliott shifting down to the box as a pseudo-linebacker. The potential combinations become limitless with a secondary boasting talents like Joey Porter Jr, Donte Jackson, Mike Sainristil, Deshon Elliott, and now Dadrion Taylor-Demerson.

Steelers trade back in the 4th round with the San Francisco 49ers

Best case

Steelers mock draft round 4: Matt Goncalves, T, Pittsburgh

. . Matt Goncalves. Best Case. Tackle. . Matt Goncalves. player. 4. 866

The Steelers snag offensive tackle Matt Goncalves, who could serve as a backup for Dan Moore or potentially even replace him as the starter. With his physical attributes and experience playing both left and right tackle at Pitt, Goncalves has the potential to develop into a quality player for the Steelers.

Steelers mock draft round 6: Sataoa Laumea, OL, Utah

Best Case. 6. 843. player. . . Sataoa Laumea. Sataoa Laumea. . Offensive Lineman

Pittsburgh aims to further bolster their offensive line by selecting Sataoa Laumea, who offers versatility as both a guard and tackle but is projected to excel as an interior offensive lineman. With four years of starting experience at Utah, Laumea brings a sense of nastiness and athleticism to the position, enhancing the Steelers' offensive front depth.

Steelers mock draft round 6: Nehemiah Pritchett, CB, Auburn

Best Case. . Nehemiah Pritchett. Cornerback. . . Nehemiah Pritchett. 6 . player. 525

The Steelers double down at cornerback with their final pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, selecting Nehemiah Pritchett. With impressive speed and size, Pittsburgh recognizes the necessity for depth at cornerback, and Pritchett adds value to the cornerback room as a solid backup option. Desperately needing to inject speed into their secondary, the Steelers' acquisition of Donte Jackson through a trade and their selections in this mock draft has fully addressed this requirement, significantly enhancing the traits present on their roster.