Steelers Mock Draft: Final predictions for Pittsburgh's 2024 draft haul

With the NFL Draft almost here, here is my final look at what I think the Steelers are going to do this year.
Oregon offensive lineman Jackson Powers-Johnson (OL58)
Oregon offensive lineman Jackson Powers-Johnson (OL58) / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL draft is almost here, and I want to give my final prediction as to what the Steelers will do when they are on the clock. This will be a cut-and-dry mock with no trades, although I fully anticipate this team to move around as they did a season ago. To note, this is not what I personally want this team to do in the draft.

I’d like to see some improvement over how I did last year, as the only pick I got right was Broderick Jones (although I did have Keeanu Benton and Joey Porter in my “Others Considered” sections). With a lot of needs and not a surplus of draft picks, here is my final try at predicting what the Steelers do during the draft.

Steelers mock draft round 1: Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia

While tackle isn’t one of the two biggest needs on this roster right now as they have a competent, albeit, lackluster starter in Dan Moore across from Jones, the tackle depth in this class is incredible. In a normal draft class you see an early run on tackles due to the scarcity at the position, but it isn’t unthinkable that there will be some top names available atop of the second round.

In a normal season, a talent like Amarius Mims would likely be long gone before pick 20, but the depth of the class pushes him down and into the Steelers range. On the surface, there isn’t a lot to dislike. He has tremendous size and moves well. As a blocker, he is a mauler in the run game and can eliminate pass rushers with his pure power and impressive length.

The issue is experience, as Mims started eight games in school. That is a big risk when it comes to using your top pick on a player. That said, if Mims can get even the basics down he could be a dynamic player. The sky is the limit on his overall ceiling though, as he can become an absolute force of a right tackle. He can also be afforded time to sit and learn if it is needed because of the current names on this roster.

Pittsburgh has also been all over him in the pre-draft process, and he checks off the usual boxes you look for in a top name (Mike Tomlin and Omar Khan at his pro-day, pre-draft visit, Power Five school). Assuming he makes it this far, he seems like the favorite to be the pick, and for good reason.

Others Considered: Graham Barton, Nate Wiggins, JC Latham

Steelers mock draft round 2: Jackson Powers-Johnson, C, Oregon

Cue the chorus of people screaming that there is no way that Jackson Powers-Johnson falls this far in the draft.

Such has been the case this entire pre-draft process, as I feel like the center class has been vastly overrated in terms of where they will go in the draft. To me, the only safe first-round prospect is Barton, and based on historical trends, the second and third center should be available when the Steelers pick in the second round.

I’ll buy into the recent smoke that Zach Frazier is above Powers-Johnson on some boards as well, making it a real possibility that he is the third center off the board. Even if he isn’t, we have seen conventional “best pure center in the class” fall past pick 51 in recent years with John Michael-Schmitz last year and Creed Humprey a few years before that. I don’t see Powers-Johnson as a significantly better prospect.

I fully expect him to be available somewhere on day two. Maybe the Steelers move up a few spots to get him or maybe he is just naturally available here, but I’ve said since the start of the offseason that this seems like the sweet spot for a center, and I’ll stick with that in this final mock draft.

Others Considered: Zach Frazier, Mike Sainristil, Ricky Pearsall

Steelers mock draft round 3: Malachi Corley, WR, Western Kentucky

The Steelers fill their last major need with the selection of Malachi Corley here, as they need a starting receiver across from George Pickens. While a third round pick isn’t a lock to be ready to start, this receiver class is deep, and Corley has a lot of traits that would benefit this offense right away.

Corley is the ultimate yards-after-catch threat, and he has the new-age “running back build” as a receiver. Arthur Smith’s offense has benefited from having receivers like that who can make the most of a play when the ball is in their hands. Corley does just that, even if he needs to get more refined as an actual receiver.

The Steelers have also been all over him during the pre-draft process. Receivers coach Zach Azzanni was on hand for his Pro Day and the team had Corley come in for a visit. He is a unique player for this offense and fits what this team needs. I have him circled as their receiver target if they pass on options in the first two rounds.

Steelers mock draft round 3: Maason Smith, DE, LSU

The Steelers have a type when it comes to defensive linemen. They are taller, heavier, and longer than the average defensive tackle. This is becoming a bigger problem as college defenses get smaller and faster. The big defensive end is seemingly on its way out, limiting the options the Steelers can choose from.

Maason Smith fits the mold of what this team wants in defensive linemen though. His physical attributes are perfect for this team and he has the developmental traits to be a good player eventually. The issue is that he is mostly a question mark following his college career. He failed to live up to expectations and injuries derailed his time at LSU.

The Steelers don’t need him to start right away though, so they can give him his rookie season to sit behind Cameron Heyward and learn the ropes. There is a very good chance he doesn’t develop as you would want him to, but if he does, he could become a starting lineman down the road.

Others Considered (both 3rd round picks): Devontez Walker, Junior Coldon, Sedrick Van Pran, Blake Fisher, Max Melton, Andru Phillips

Steelers mock draft round 4: Trevin Wallace, LB, Kentucky

Despite this room seemingly having three starter-capable players (assuming Cole Holcomb is healthy), taking a linebacker doesn’t make a lot of sense. That said, Aaron Curry was all over the scouting trail (including at Kentucky), and once you get to day three you should be focused on talent over need.

Trevin Wallace is just that type of player. He has great size and is an amazing athlete as a linebacker. He was also known for making big plays in school. The issue is his processing, as he is slow to read a play and is fooled by misdirection in run-and-pass plays. Like Smith, he can take his rookie season to learn and play special teams, but if he gets better as a processor, he could be a viable starter down the road.

Others Considered: Luke McCaffrey, Rodger Rosengarten, Tommy Eichenberg

Steelers mock draft round 6: M.J. Devonshire, CB, Pittsburgh

M.J. Devonshire is one of my favorite late-round prospects in this class. He has the length and physicality to play outside cornerback, but he also has the tenacity to shift inside to the slot. For a cornerback room that doesn’t have a single slot option and has major question marks at outside cornerback besides Joey Porter, Devonshire could be a versatile addition.

Personally, I would start him off on the outside and see if he can make it there even though he lacks the size the Steelers seemingly want their cornerbacks to have. If he is soundly beaten out by the likes of Cory Trice and Darius Rush, you can shift him inside as a rookie.

Steelers mock draft round 6: Daequan Hardy, CB, Penn State

Unlike Devonshire, there is no question what role Daequan Hardy will play at the next level. Because of his size, he will be forced to be a slot defender in the pros. Considering the Steelers have nothing at slot cornerback, and in this mock, they bypass earlier slot options, I’m fine using the last two picks to fill out that depth chart.

Hardy needs to get more consistent in run defense, but he is an agile cover cornerback from the inside. He can also play special teams and thrived there in school. I’d give him the chance to earn the slot role along with potentially Devonshire, as either rookie could become a fixture there long-term.

Others Considered (both 6th round picks): Steven Jones, Travis Glover, Logan Lee, Tahj Washington, Steele Chambers, Jordan Whittington

Steelers already have a Justin Fields problem on their roster. Steelers already have a Justin Fields problem on their roster. dark. Next

While I don’t anticipate getting every single one of the Steelers draft picks right, I’m confident we will see a few names on this list and in the others considered wind up on Pittsburgh’s roster. I followed the breadcrumbs and came away with this list as my most likely names for this team to draft this year.