Steelers mock draft with trades: Pittsburgh bolsters roster with strong draft class

The foreseeable future would be looking bright with this Steelers draft class.

Oct 21, 2023; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes defensive back Cooper DeJean (3)
Oct 21, 2023; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes defensive back Cooper DeJean (3) / Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
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. 2. Mock. 490. Michael Hall Jr.. player. Defensive Lineman. . . Michael Hall Jr.

Steelers mock draft round 2: Michael Hall Jr, DL, Ohio State

With Cam Heyward facing injury concerns and nearing retirement, coupled with Larry Ogunjobi's recent struggles, the Steelers seek a player to develop into a key figure on the defensive line alongside Keeanu Benton. Enter Michael Hall Jr., another promising Ohio State DL prospect.

There's uncertainty about Ogunjobi's future with a $13 million due, and as a rotational player at this point in his career, cutting him before June 1st could save $7 million. The Steelers might explore free agency for a better fit at that price. Regardless, getting younger on defense is needed, especially on the defensive line. Hall Jr. could be drafted to learn from Heyward, Benton, and a potential veteran.

Despite being slightly undersized, Hall Jr. brings high energy, explosiveness, and significant upside. His quickness and disruptive abilities align well with the Steelers' criteria for their defensive linemen, making him a potential asset for the future of the defensive front.

With Leal's underwhelming development thus far and Watts and Adams as free agents, Hall becomes a valuable depth option, potentially evolving into a standout player. The defensive line might not be a priority for some, but in this mock draft, the value couldn't be ignored. Addressing the position was inevitable at some point. Andy Weidl's commitment to building the trenches aligns with the team's need to improve on both sides of the ball. Come April, it won't be surprising if bolstering the defensive line is on their agenda.