The series “32 NFL Mock Drafts in 32 Days” ventures on with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Pittsburgh had one of the most inconsistent seasons in recent history. The team started the season going 11-0 but they had many flaws throughout that span. Negatives would begin to stack up and the Steelers would finish out the year going 1-4, missing out on the No.1 seed in the playoffs.
QB Ben Roethlisberger restructured his contract to finish out his last year in Pittsburgh. The team is aware that they need a better starting RB than James Conner and that their once superior offense line is vulnerable, not to mention their elite defense has holes. To no surprise, the Steelers are quiet in free agency and enter the NFL Draft with eight picks and just about $10.5 million in cap space.
Many fans would have bet on Pittsburgh having a solid replacement for QB Ben Roethlisberger by now since he is entering his final year. Mason Rudolph has the backing of the front office but not the fans. James Conner, a Pittsburgh hero in a sense, just can’t make it as a featured back anymore. The real question is if any of the other young RBs on the roster can step up or not.
Eric Ebron is the only real threat at TE but he thrives better with a partner he can rotate with. Center Maurkice Pouncey retired on a horrible sad note and the offensive line as a whole is questionable. At least WR Juju Smith-Schuster agreed to return on a “prove-it” deal.
Bud Dupree left for a big paycheck and CB Steven Nelson was surprisingly released. Robert Spillane and Cameron Sutton are stepping up into larger starting roles this season but Joe Haden is at the end of his playing career and there will be a few stars looking for their own payday soon.
With eight total draft picks, the Pittsburgh Steelers can get a few impact starters and some much-needed youthful depth for the roster. Their biggest team needs are cornerback, offensive tackle, running back, and linebacker. The secondary needs are quarterback, edge rusher, and interior defensive line. Pittsburgh could also use some depth at tight end and wide receiver.
Pittsburgh Steelers NFL Mock Draft: Day 1
1.24 | Dillon Radunz | OT | North Dakota State
Some of you might not know who Dillon Radunz is, as he isn’t in most 1st round mock drafts. Well, he should be. He’s a left tackle with prime athleticism and great in the run game and pass protection. He’s also got the ability to swing on the line, making him a necessary pick for the Steelers here. They need a big, nasty tackle to improve their running attack. Radunz has proven himself in that area and is worthy of a first-round pick in this Pittsburgh Steelers NFL mock draft.
Pittsburgh Steelers NFL Mock Draft: Day 2
2.55 | Eric Stokes | CB | Georgia
Eric Stokes could benefit in playing more to his incredible speed. Still, he has great vision on the field and is a playmaker with his hand and ball skills. He excels in zone schemes but can line up in man coverage as well. Joe Haden can mentor him as he slowly starts to exit the NFL and can help Stokes become an overall stud CB. For now, he could start at the nickel position. There is tons of upside to this prospect for the long haul.
3.87 | Quinn Meinerz | OL | Wisconsin-Whitewater
As a D-lll prospect, Quinn Meinerz started as a no-name and became one of the hottest OL in the draft class. Wisconsin-Whitewater is a very successful powerhouse in their own right and Meinerz was their strongman. He’s highly intelligent but does need some grooming once he’s in the NFL. He relies on his brute strength more than his balance and technique. Pittsburgh can snag a future starter here and one that fits their rushing scheme well.
Pittsburgh Steelers NFL Mock Draft: Day 3
4.128 | Dylan Moses | LB | Alabama
Next up in this NFL mock draft Pittsburgh can grab another draft steal here with Dylan Moses. Moses was once seen as a top-10 prospect before a season-ending injury hampered him. He lost some speed and power but is still a playmaker on the field. He’s a very sound tackler and doesn’t allow many missed ones. There was a loss of speed but he’s still stronger than ever. Moses can disrupt the ball in coverage and can produce on the edge if needed. Any team that picks this man will still be hoping he can bounce back into his 2019 form. At the very least, you still get a starting LB who will rack up the tackles.
4.140 | Shi Smith | WR | South Carolina
Shi Smith can play back up to Chase Claypool in the slot. Smith was praised for his speed and ability in college. He’s been labeled as a scrappy young man with pretty solid hands. His downside is his frame and limited route-running. Both are clearly fixable over time. The Steelers have a proven track record with WRs in the draft and should be able to find Smith’s potential.
6.216 | Jamie Newman | QB | Wake Forest/Georgia
It’s finally time for the Pittsburgh Steelers to find another quarterback in this NFL mock draft. Opting out right after he arrived to Georgia didn’t help Newman’s draft stock. At this point, Jamie Newman is a developmental dual-threat. Pittsburgh, at the very least, needs someone to compete with Mason Rudolph. Newman is athletic and a threat with his legs and has the right tools as a passer. He just needs to be coached up to the NFL level to see if he can be valuable or not.
7.245 | Raymond Johnson lll | EDGE | Georgia Southern
Raymond Johnson and the Pittsburgh Steelers are being named together more and more. Johnson has the ideal size for the NFL and plays with power. He can pair well with Tyson Alualu in penetrating the gaps to take down RBs. He’s not quite the most flexible off the edge but makes up for it with technique and power.
7.254 | Quintin Morris | TE | Bowling Green
Quintin Morris is a developmental prospect that has shown promise in college. He can become a young QB’s go-to target and can aid in converting on short-yardage situations. He can block in a wide variety of schemes and formations as well.
Pittsburgh Steelers Mock 2021 NFL Draft Recap
The Pittsburgh Steelers land some Day 1 starters in Radunz and Stokes. The biggest takeaway is the two amazing steals in Meinerz and Moses. Pittsburgh’s roster is above-average right now, but the future doesn’t scream with promise. This is a step in the right direction though.
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