Steelers mock draft: A final look at what Pittsburgh could do in the NFL Draft

Minnesota Center John Michael Schmitz
Minnesota Center John Michael Schmitz / Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports
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Steelers mock draft round 2: OC John Michael Schmitz, Minnesota

The Steelers seem very content to take a center-capable player early in the draft. Despite aggressively rebuilding the interior of this line over the past two offseasons, the team has continued to express interest in the top center prospects in this draft.

Pick 49 seems like a realistic spot to land their center if they so choose. This class is lacking an elite prospect, and even in the past, the top prospects end up falling. John Michael Schmitz is easily the most pro-ready prospect in this class, and he has the makings of a long career commanding the center of an offensive line.

I compare Michael Schmitz to Creed Humphrey from a few seasons ago. Both have the prototypical size you want along the interior and were experienced college players. Humphrey was the better athlete, but both are plug-and-play centers that should be good starters for a long time.

I’m not notably in favor of drafting a center this early given the lack of an immediate need, but this team seems focused on rebuilding their line. Personally, if the draft fell this way, I would try and trade Mason Cole, as getting Michael Schmitz on the field early makes sense given his age. No matter what, it seems like a center may join this team early in the draft process.

Others considered: IOL Steve Avila, CB Tyrique Stevenson, DL Keeanu Benton