Steelers mock draft: Rare trade-back still lands an impressive center

Oregon Ducks offensive lineman Jackson Powers-Johnson (58)
Oregon Ducks offensive lineman Jackson Powers-Johnson (58) / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
8 of 8

player. OT. 481. Julian Pearl. Julian Pearl. 7. Julian Pearl. . . Illinois

Steelers mock draft round 7: Julian Pearl, OT, Illinois

The early pick at center meant the Steelers missed out on the top tackles in this class. This is the price you pay, and why I am personally more inclined to go tackle early if a top name falls to pick 20. I dabble into the tackle class with the last pick of this class though, going with Julian Pearl out of Illinois.

Frankly, this is a size issue for the team, as, like cornerback, tackle is becoming a position where they covet a certain size and length. Pearl fits that at 6’5 with projected 35-inch arms. A little taller and heavier perhaps, but this is as close to perfect as what Pittsburgh is targeting for their tackles.

As a prospect, there isn’t anything that stands out on his tape. He doesn’t consistently flash a nasty demeanor or a mauling nature. He also doesn’t get consistently beaten off the edge, meaning he could carve out a role as a tackle and won’t have to kick inside. This is a very unexciting pick, but it adds another body to the room and gives this team more options to fill out their tackle depth chart.

Next. Grading the Steelers 2023 class: Strong results across the board. Grading the Steelers 2023 class: Strong results across the board. dark

This mock draft is a mixed bag, but it hits a lot of needs. The trade back in the first still lands you a top tackle and an extra third-round pick, which was big. That said, tackle remains a question mark, and Dan Moore’s job would seem to be safe after this draft.