Way-too-early 2024 mock draft: Steelers keep valuing strong family bloodlines

Steelers, Jeremiah Trotter Jr.
Steelers, Jeremiah Trotter Jr. / Ken Ruinard / USA TODAY NETWORK

Is it ever too early to start preparing for next year's draft? The answer is probably yes. There's plenty of game film to diagnose and scouting reports to break down now that the Pittsburgh Steelers officially have their 2023 draft class. But that won't stop us from at least doing one way-too-early 2024 mock draft.

Based on their current odds to win the Super Bowl this coming season, the Steelers are projected to be picking 9th overall in the 2024 NFL Draft (which seems far too high, if you ask me). On paper, Pittsburgh's roster has certainly improved, but Vegas is banking on Mike Tomlin's team finishing last in their division.

I'm going to use my own projection. Let's even err on the side of caution and say the Steelers will own the 18th pick in the draft next year. This means that they narrowly missed out on a Wild Card spot (something I think will be attainable, but it's whatever).

With the 18th pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, I have the Pittsburgh Steelers selecting Clemson linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr. in my way-too-early mock draft.

Steelers could be interested in LB Jeremiah Trotter Jr. in 2024

Obviously, so much is going to change between now and then. This time last year, some people were thinking of Noah Sewell as a potential first-round pick. By the time next February rolls around, assessments on players are going to change drastically.

Furthermore, it's impossible to even narrow down which positions the Steelers will target in the first round at this point in time. However, doing a little projecting, I landed on Jeremiah Trotter Jr.

The Steelers did a patchwork job at the linebacker position this offseason after wiping the slate clean. Myles Jack, Devin Bush, and Robert Spillane are no longer part of the picture in Pittsburgh, but that doesn't mean that the combination of Cole Holcomb, Elandon Roberts, and Mark Robinson will prove to be substantially better.

Even if Holcomb can recover from the season-ending injury and play like I think he could, the Steelers will still need more linebacker help. Trotter could fit the bill.

We know how much the Steelers value strong family bloodlines. It's the reason why this team has literally had five different groups of brother pairings on their roster over the past two years alone (Watt's, Edmunds', Heyward's, Davis', and now Herbig's).

Additionally, Pittsburgh just drafted a second-generation NFL talent in Joey Porter Jr. I could certainly see them doing the same for Jeremiah Trotter Jr. Obviously, Trotter is the son of former long-time Eagles linebacker, Jeremiah Trotter.

Trotter had a very productive NFL career that spanned over 11 seasons and included All-Pro honors in 2000 in addition to 3 Pro Bowl appearances. Trotter Jr. will attempt to follow in his father's footsteps. In 2022, the Clemson linebacker recorded 89 tackles, 13.5 tackles for a loss, 6.5 sacks, and 2 interceptions, per ClemsonTigers.com.

At just under 6'0'' and 230 pounds, Trotter isn't a big player for the position, but his lack of size isn't a big issue for today's game. Growing up in a football family, Trotter would step in and give Pittsburgh an immediate boost on defense.

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Again, it's obviously way too early to make any viable 2024 mock draft predictions. However, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Pittsburgh Steelers express a ton of interest in a quality prospect with strong family bloodlines like Clemson LB Jeremiah Trotter Jr.