Steelers make splash move, pass on Amarius Mims in latest NFL mock draft

Would the Steelers pass on offensive line help in Round 1 if this player is still on the board?
Oct 21, 2023; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr. (11)
Oct 21, 2023; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr. (11) / Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

When you've been studying the Steelers' draft interest as much as I have throughout the pre-draft process, it's clear to see that the trail of breadcrumbs is leading them to the offensive line in Round 1. But one prominent NFL analyst doesn't believe that will be the case.

Recently, Peter Schrager of NFL Network released his 2024 NFL mock draft. Schrager noted that this was not a mock about what he would do; rather a predictive mock based on what he is hearing from 'sources around the league.'

After a run on offensive tackles early, Schrager has the Pittsburgh Steelers selecting dynamic LSU receiver, Brian Thomas Jr. Here's what he had to say about the selection.

"I'm still keeping an eye on Steelers GM Omar Khan to make a splash at wide receiver this offseason. Could that be a trade for Brandon Aiyuk? If not, Thomas is a special talent who helped himself at the combine as much as any player at the position."

Peter Schrager, via

Schager mentions that the trade for Brandon Aiyuk isn't out of the question, but he has Omar Khan going with one the best playmaking receivers in an uber-talented 2024 class.

Thomas has an unmatched combination of size (6'3'', 209 lbs), speed (4.33), and overall athletic traits. These pop on film often, but he's also a natural athlete with soft hands.

While Thomas played second fiddle to Malik Nabers in the receiving game at LSU, Thomas still had a remarkable breakout season in 2023 that included 1,177 yards and a whopping 17 touchdowns in 13 games. He has frequently been compared to former Steelers receiver Martavis Bryant thanks to his size, deep speed, and ability after the catch.

Surprisingly, Schrager has the Steelers passing on offensive tackle Amarius Mims. Though a total of six tackles were taken before pick 20 in his mock, Mims was still on the board. However, Schrager believes Pittsburgh will pass on the polarizing OT prospect from Georgia to take a dynamic weapon to pair with George Pickens.

Is Brian Thomas Jr. on Steelers' draft radar?

If Brian Thomas Jr. was on Pittsburgh's draft radar, it feels like Mike Tomlin and Omar Khan would have spent a Top 30 pre-draft visit to bring him into the facility. That didn't happen, but there's another factor that should be considered.

Though Tomlin and Khan couldn't be at LSU's Pro Day as NFL owners' meetings were still taking place, assistant GM Andy Weidl was on hand to watch Thomas work out. This might not check the Tomlin/Khan visit box, but perhaps the Steelers would make an exception with their assistant general manager there.

If Thomas is still available at pick 20, he will be one of the best players on the board when Pittsburgh is on the clock. The value, combined with Pittsburgh's interest in him during the pre-draft process, makes Thomas a realistic candidate for the Steelers to draft in Round 1.

It remains to be seen if Pittsburgh would be willing to pass on a player like Amarius Mims for Brian Thomas Jr., but the LSU star is on the Steelers' draft radar, and we can't rule him out as a possibility at pick 20.