Steelers Mock Draft: Pittsburgh plugs every roster hole in pre-free agency mock

Duke Blue Devils offensive lineman Graham Barton
Duke Blue Devils offensive lineman Graham Barton / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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The dawn of the new league year is here, and with it comes the opening of free agency. The Steelers have been active in cutting some dead weight from their roster, and now they are left with some money to spend, a lot of holes, and some draft picks to wrap things up.

Before the proverbial poop hits the fan, I want to throw out another mock draft. This mock is focused entirely on players that I believe fit what this team wants/looks for but also fill the most pressing needs. With free agency likely to bring in a few new starters, this mock could see some shift as needs fluctuate. That said, here is my pre-free agency mock draft for the Steelers.

Duke. player. . Graham Barton. Graham Barton. Graham Barton. 1. 434. . IOL

Steelers mock draft round 1: Graham Barton, IOL, Duke

While fans have been quick to deem Jackson Powers-Johnson the savior of this Steelers offensive line, I opt to look in another direction. I think Powers-Johnson is a plug-and-play center with decent upside, but I don’t think he is a lock to be the best center from this class.

While listed as a tackle still in some circles, Graham Barton has been playing a lot of center and interior lineman snaps during the predraft process. He looks the part as well on tape, as he is your classic grader that, while a potential tackle, seems to fit best along the interior. There is some projection here, but he screams elite center if he develops as he should.

There may be some early miscues as he relearns the position, but Barton is my pick for a first-round center given his stronger play, better size, and higher potential. While my heart is set on a tackle with the first pick given the depth in this class, center is easily the biggest team need, and Barton addresses it in a major way.

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