Steelers find Cam Heyward's long-term replacement in latest 2025 mock draft

Pittsburgh turns the page on an All-Pro defensive lineman with their selection in the latest 2025 mock draft.
Michigan v Maryland
Michigan v Maryland / G Fiume/GettyImages

Following a seven-year drought without a playoff win, Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers are hoping to change the narrative in 2024. Two impressive draft classes in back-to-back years from GM Omar Khan should help turn the roster around quickly, but numerous loom in 2025.

The Steelers are set to have a large percentage of starters and prominent role players hit the free-agent market next season. This includes players like OG James Daniels, CB Donte Jackson, TE Pat Freiermuth, and RB Najee Harris -- as well as quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Justin Fields.

But one name potentially on the way out has drawn more buzz than any other as we enter the summer.

Cameron Heyward recently expressed how he's open to leaving the Pittsburgh Steelers and playing for another team in 2025. Even if Heyward returns on a contract extension, the long-time interior defender will be 36 years old ahead of the 2025 season.

Recently, Oliver Hodgkinson of Pro Football Network published his 2025 NFL mock draft. With the projected 14th overall pick in the 2025 NFL Draft, PFN has the Steelers going with Michigan defensive tackle, Mason Graham. Here's what Hodgkinson had to say about the selection.

"14) Pittsburgh Steelers: Mason Graham, DT, Michigan
Aside from Keanu Benton, the Pittsburgh Steelers have an aging defensive front that could use an injection of youth and terrifying (for opposition offenses) talent. Mason Graham is a mauler forged in the Michigan trenches who has pocket-pulverizing power and remarkable pass-rush potential due to athleticism that belies his stout 6’3″, 318-pound frame."

Oliver Hodgkinson, Pro Football Network

Hodkinson pointed to the Steelers passing the torch to Keeanu Benton, but outside of the young defensive lineman, there isn't much to look forward to at this positional group. Graham could change that in a hurry.

Steelers turn the page on Cam Heyward in latest 2025 mock draft

It's disappointing to see the Steelers miss the playoffs and wind up with the 14th overall pick in this mock. What's not disappointing is the talent that they are able to scoop up with this pick. Mason Graham was a beast on a championship Michigan program last season He had a breakout sophomore campaign in which he racked up 7.5 tackles for a loss and 3.0 sacks while forcing and recovering a fumble.

Listed at 6'3'', Graham doesn't exactly fit the tall, long profile the Steelers typically look for at the defensive tackle position, but Graham has excellent bulk at 318 pounds and carries his weight remarkably well.

Graham's ability as a stout run defender and pocket-collapsing ability as a pass rusher would be an ideal pairing as a long-term starter alongside Keeanu Benton on Pittsburgh's defensive line.

Cameron Heyward is the longest-tenured player on the team, but his career in Pittsburgh could be coming to an end. The Steelers have always coveted talent on the defensive line, and this move in the 2025 NFL Draft would be right in their wheelhouse.