Steelers mock draft round 2: Zach Frazier, C, West Virginia
The biggest problem with drafting a cornerback in the first round is that the Pittsburgh Steelers would be ignoring the offensive line. Now that Arthur Smith has signed a three-year contract to be the new offensive coordinator, Mike Tomlin and Omar Khan are going to do everything in their power to make sure he succeeds.
Ahead of free agency, there are two gaping holes on the offensive line that must be addressed ahead of the 2024 season. One of these comes at the offensive tackle position (call it left tackle, if you will, though Broderick Jones can play either side). The other is at center.
Though he was respectable in 2022, Mason Cole's performance wasn't up to snuff during the 2023 season. He graded out as one of the worst centers in the league this past season, and like Kendrick Green before him, he was routinely bullied in pass protection as he lacked the ability to re-anchor when bullrushed.
Enter Zach Frazier out of West Virginia. There are better center prospects in this class like Jackson Powers-Johnson (who was one of the Senior Bowl standouts this year) and Graham Barton (a tackle who projects as a center/guard in the NFL). These two players will be gone when the 51st pick rolls around for Pittsburgh in Round 2.
Landing a quality center like Zach Frazier might be the next best thing. Frazier is entering the NFL Draft head of his senior year and his tape was probably better as a sophomore in 2022 than it was last season, but he still projects as a starting NFL center who stick around the league for quite some time.