Steelers Mock Draft 2023: Pittsburgh fills their biggest team needs

Steelers, Devon Witherspoon
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Steelers mock draft round 2: Offensive Tackle Blake Freeland

Offensive Tackle – Blake Freeland – BYU - 6’-8”, 305 lbs - The first time I saw Blake Freeland play I thought, ‘Alejandro Villanueva in his prime’. Freeland was an accomplished multi-sport athlete in High School. He played QB and TE and was a six-time All-State in track and field. He was a state champion in the shot put and javelin. He also excelled at basketball, being named to the All-State basketball team in 2018. At BYU he was voted team captain four times.

With a long wingspan and heavy hands, Freeland can corral speed rushers and stop bull rushers in their tracks. His kick slide generally looks good but sometimes he loses form. He gave up zero sacks in 2022. He consistently gets the seal on off-tackle runs. He looks smooth moving on inside pulls and shows good leg drive in run blocking. The Cougars ran a lot in his direction.

Freeland had some disappointing one on one reps at the Senior Bowl but he blew up the Combine. He was a top performer among the offensive linemen in a number of categories: 4.98 second 40-yard dash - 2nd Place -, 1.68 second 10-yard split - 1st Place, 37” vertical jump - 1st Place, 10’-0” - Broad Jump - 1st Place and a 7.46 second 3 Cone Drill - 4th Place. Freeland has athleticism to spare and room on his frame to add weight and muscle.

On Pro Football Focus Freeland has a 90.8 overall blocking grade. He scored 90.7 pass blocking and 87.1 run blocking. Those scores land him in 2nd, 4th, and 6th place among over five hundred offensive tackles. For all that Freeland’s got going for him, he’s still learning the position. Even though he’s a work in progress I think Freeland could beat out Dan Moore during training camp. Within a couple of years, he should be a high performing starter.