Steelers Mock Draft: Pittsburgh doesn't overthink it in final 7-round mock

Pittsburgh sticks to their guns in final 7-round predictive Steelers mock draft.
Ball State v Georgia
Ball State v Georgia / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages

The 2024 NFL Draft is upon us and it's time to take one final stab at what the Pittsburgh Steelers could in the draft this year. From the beginning of the process, I've had my eyes on numerous prospects who have been closely associated with Pittsburgh, and a few of them could wind up on the Steelers roster following the draft.

For my final seven-round Steelers mock draft, I used the information gathered from our pre-draft visit tracker and predicted which positions Pittsburgh will value early in the draft based on team needs.

Let's get to it! Here's my final predictive Steelers mock draft.

Final Steelers 7-round mock draft

Amarius Mims. player. Amarius Mims. 527. Offensive Tackle. . . Amarius Mims. 1.

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

The trail of breadcrumbs has been leading to the feet of Amarius Mims all offseason, so I'm not going to overthink it. Yes, Graham Barton is a rock-solid candidate who could break the trend of needing Mike Tomlin or the GM on hand at a player's Pro Day to be a first-round pick, but I'm sticking with what we know.

When we break it down, Mims checks essentially every box the Steelers look for in a first-round pick. He's young, athletic, and comes at a premium position that Omar Khan and Andy Weidl value.

It doesn't hurt that he comes from a spectacular college football program. The Steelers took a pair of Georgia Bulldogs in the first three rounds just last year. Mims was one of two players to check every visit box for Pittsburgh this offseason. My gut tells me there's a great chance he's the player selected by Pittsburgh at pick 20.

Others considered: C Graham Barton, CB Nate Wiggins, OT Taliese Fuaga, JC Latham

player. . Wide Receiver. . Ricky Pearsall. 526. Ricky Pearsall. . Ricky Pearsall. 2

Steelers mock draft Round 2: Ricky Pearsall, WR, Florida

Since very early in the pre-draft process, the Steelers have had their eye on early Day 2 wide receivers. There was a time shortly after the Diontae Johnson trade that looked like Pittsburgh could go this route in Round 1, but I don't think that will be the case.

Whether they want to admit it or not, the Steelers have a glaring hole next to George Pickens, and if they risk waiting until the third round to address wide receiver, they could miss out on the players who project as WR2 types in the NFL.

I really like the idea of landing a physically imposing weapon like Xavier Legette here, but I believe the Steelers will have their eyes on Ricky Pearsall early on Day 2 of the NFL Draft. Pearsall isn't the heaviest or longest receiver, but he's physical and would serve as an excellent complement to Pickens.

Pearsall is a tremendous athlete, but his age and lack of elite production at Florida will prevent him from going higher on the draft. Pittsburgh's brass met with Pearsall formally at the NFL Combine and again for a pre-draft visit. He is firmly on their draft radar in the second round.

Others considered: WR Xavier Legette, CB Mike Sainristil, DL Braden Fiske, WR Malachi Corley

Maason Smith. Defensive Tackle. 817. Maason Smith. player. Maason Smith. . . . 3

Steelers mock draft Round 3: Maason Smith, DL, LSU

I don't think it's a coincidence that the Steelers used 30 visits on players like Darius Robinson and Maason Smith. Omar Khan and Mike Tomlin know that Cameron Heyward's long tenure with the team will soon come to an end, and they don't have a player on the roster who could step into his role on defense.

Pittsburgh has expressed a great deal of interest in long, strong interior defenders. Both Robinson (an edge rusher who projects as an interior defender in the NFL) and Smith are at least 6'5'' with long arms and huge wingspans.

Ironically, Robinson is nearly identical in size to Cameron Heyward coming out of Ohio State in 2011, and Smith has almost the same frame as former defensive lineman, Stephon Tuitt coming out of Notre Dame in 2014. The Steelers value this body type, which is a rare breed for a defensive lineman in today's NFL.

Maason Smith is nowhere near a finished product, but his length, power, and ability to stack and shed blockers will draw the Steelers to this selection in the third round of the 2024 NFL Draft if he's on the board.

Others considered: C Sedrick Van Pran-Granger, WR Malachi Corley, CB Andru Phillips, OT Blake Fisher

Sedrick Van Pran-Granger. . . . 3. player. 527. Sedrick Van Pran-Granger. Sedrick Van Pran-Granger. Center

Steelers mock draft Round 3 (via PHI): Sedrick Van Pran-Granger, C, Georgia

I decided to hedge my bets with Pittsburgh's second third-round pick. Sedrick Van Pran-Granger could go earlier than this, and he might be a player the Steelers consider at pick 84.

Van Pran-Granger isn't the perfect fit for Arthur Smith's wide zone offense, but I don't believe that will prevent them from taking Amarius Mims in Round 1. Last year, the Steelers took two Georgia players in the top three rounds with OT Broderick Jones and TE Darnell Washington. They could do so again with Mims and Van Pran-Granger.

I think that Penn State's Hunter Nourzad could be the fallback option if Pittsburgh misses out on the top three centers in the NFL Draft, but Van Pran-Granger is the better overall player and it's hard to pass on him late in the third round.

It's worth noting that the Steelers had a formal meeting with Sedrick Van Pran-Granger at the NFL Combine and they brought the house to Georgia's Pro Day. He's on their radar where the value lines up with the need at center.

Others considered: C Hunter Nourzad, LB Jeremiah Trotter Jr., LB Cedric Gray, OG Mason McCormick

491. Cornerback. Daequan Hardy. player. Daequan Hardy. 4. . Daequan Hardy. .

Steelers mock draft Round 4: Daequan Hardy, CB, Penn State

It's hard to believe that the Steelers will make it past the fourth round without addressing the slot cornerback position. Though Joey Porter Jr. and Donte Jackson are the projected starters on the outside this year, there isn't a slot-capable CB on the current roster. Daequan Hardy could change that.

At 5'9 3/8'' and 179 pounds, Hardy will be a slot-only CB in the NFL, but that's exactly what Pittsburgh needs. Hardy's 4.38 speed and outstanding explosion will be enticing in the fourth round of the draft.

Mike Hilton was under 5'9'' and just 178 pounds cming out of Ole Miss in 2016. They could look to a player with a very similar frame to fill the void at slot cornerback. Hardy was a local pre-draft visit for Pittsburgh this offseason.

Others considered: WR Luke McCaffrey, CB Jarvis Brownlee, C Beaux Limmer

. Safety. Josh Proctor. . . Josh Proctor. 490. Josh Proctor. 6. player

Steelers mock draft Round 6 (via ARI): Josh Proctor, S, Ohio State

The Steelers have their starting safeties set for the 2024 season with Minkah Fitzpatrick and DeShon Elliott, but they could certainly use some depth at the position. At 25 years old, Proctor won't have the upside as some of the younger safeties in the 2024 draft, but he's coming off an excellent 2023 season.

Proctor is an average athlete, but he's a physical run defender and projects as a core special teams player. He also comes from an Ohio State football program that Mike Tomlin likes. At this stage of the draft, the Steelers will be looking for players who could make their roster, and Proctor could do exactly that.

Others considered: DL Logan Lee, OL Travis Glover, M.J. Devonshire, WR Tahj Washington

player. . Linebacker. . Nathaniel Watson. 530. Nathaniel Watson. . 6. Nathaniel Watson

Steelers mock draft Round 6: Nathaniel Watson, LB, Mississippi State

After using pre-draft visits to meet with linebackers Payton Wilson and Junior Colson, it seems like the Steelers could draft a linebacker as early as the second or third round. However, considering other needs, it's more likely they wait until the back half of the draft.

If the Steelers don't dip their toes into the linebacker position until their final selection in the sixth round of the 2024 NFL Draft, Nathaniel Watson is a player they could target. Watson doesn't have any defining traits, but he checks a lot of the boxes they look for.

I wanted to get myself to mock a linebacker like Ohio State's Steele Chambers or Michigan's Michael Barrett to the Steelers with their final pick, but these two linebackers fell well short in terms of athletic testing. Considering Omar Khan and Andy Weidl took essentially an entire class of athletes in their first draft in 2023, they could be looking for guys who check the athletic thresholds they look for in 2024.

Others considered: LB Michael Barrett, LB Steele Chambers, CB Shon Stephens, OG Steven Jones