Steelers Mock Draft: Pittsburgh turns the page on Kenny Pickett

Steelers emphasize quarterback, center, and cornerback early in my latest seven-round mock draft.

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Jackson Powers-Johnson. . Jackson Powers-Johnson. player. Center. 3. 515. . . Jackson Powers-Johnson

I strongly considered mocking center Zach Frazier to the Steelers in round two. Frazier fits what the Steelers are looking for and is right in their neck of the woods at West Virginia. However, cornerback is just as big of a need for this team. I have them dipping into the center pool one round later with Jackson Powers-Johnson.

This selection would be a bit out of the box, as the Steelers don't often select players from the Pac-12 Conference. However, they are transitioning to a Big Ten team in 2024, and with the changes in the front office, Pittsburgh may not follow all of the same draft trends they used to.

Mason Cole looked like a respectable low-level signing in 2022, but he was awful for the Steelers in 2023. Pittsburgh was aware that he wasn't the answer even before the season started, as they visited with plenty of early-round center prospects prior to the 2023 draft. Now they will certainly look to move on, and if they haven't taken a center by this point, they could land one in round three.

Powers-Johnson is a two-year starter for the Oregon Ducks and proved to be one of the more impressive centers in the country this season. In fact, Pro Football Focus has him higher than Zach Frazier on their early 2024 NFL Draft board. Listed at 6'3'' and 320 pounds, Powers-Johnson could be an instant upgrade over Mason Cole at center for the Steelers.