Steelers mock draft: Running things how I would as Pittsburgh's GM

Ohio State offensive lineman Paris Johnson, Jr.
Ohio State offensive lineman Paris Johnson, Jr. / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Ohio St.. Paris Johnson. 1. 490. . OT. player.

Steelers mock draft round 1: OT Paris Johnson

The Steelers seem inclined to take a tackle early if they address the position at all, and the best prospect in this class is Paris Johnson. The former Ohio State blocker moved there from guard, but he was a great fit there this past season. He has the prototypical size and athleticism that you want in a left tackle.

What separates him from the rest of this class is the lack of projection and ability to play left tackle. The other two top tackles, Peter Skoronski and Broderick Jones can play on the left side, but Skoronski has size and length concerns and Jones is a raw prospect. While I do believe Johnson has a lower ceiling than Jones, I think he is pro-ready and can develop into a top tackle still.

On the flip side, the usual candidates that the Steelers could target with one of their top two picks have far lower ceilings and tend to be dominated by right tackles. That would be fine for the long term, but I want to ensure this offensive rebuild of the line is continued with a true top prospect.

Johnson is that to me, as he can start his rookie season and kick Dan Moore to either swing tackle or right tackle. This makes the line a far more complete unit which will only benefit Kenny Pickett’s development.

There is enough of a difference between Johnson to the second wave of prospects to make it worth it to move up a few spots. As a GM, I certainly am not done trading, as I want to add some more picks on day two to better attack the meat of this draft.

There isn’t anyone I love at pick 32, and the Bears come calling as they want their original pick back. I make the deal simple, their other second-round pick (pick 53) and their third-round pick (pick 64) for pick 32. The deal is accepted, and we now have a higher third-round pick than we did before.