Steelers mock draft: Wishes come true for Pittsburgh in final 2023 NFL Draft

Steelers, Broderick Jones
Steelers, Broderick Jones / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
3 of 7

2. player. . . Center. John Michael Schmitz. 487.

Steelers mock draft round 2 (pick 49): C John Michael Schmitz

I think many fans will be caught off guard if the Pittsburgh Steelers take an interior offensive lineman in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft. However, I don't think it's any coincidence that Omar Khan and Mike Tomlin just so happened to bring in a whopping five early-round interior offensive linemen for pre-draft visits.

Of the five who earned 30 visits from the Steelers, three of them project as center-capable at the next level: John Michael Schmitz, Steve Avila, and Cody Mauch. Schmitz is the only true center of this group, and he was widely regarded as the best center in the nation this past season.

While Schmitz's size (6'3 1/2'', 301 lbs) could scare Pittsburgh a bit after whiffing on Kendrick Green, they know how much better of a prospect Schmitz is. Additionally, Andy Weidl saw how successful an undersized center like Jason Kelce (6'3'', 280 lbs) has been in Philly.

There is clearly a ton of interest in addressing the interior offensive line, and the Steelers are looking for a long-term option at center and an upgrade over Mason Cole. John Michael Schmitz fits the bill and could be ripe for the picking with the 49th overall selection if he's on the board here.

Others considered: OL Cody Mauch, C Luke Wypler, DT Keeanu Benton, LB Trenton Simpson