It’s hard to believe this time of year has come back around again but here we are. For those of you who are new to how I do things, I always draft based on how I believe the Steelers will draft. Doing it how I would kind of takes the “mock” part out of it. Anyway, on with version one for 2021.
The Steelers are expected to receive compensatory draft picks for Javon Hargrave (4th) and B.J. Finney (6th).
Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
With the top tackles off the board at 24, the Steelers opt for a guy who can play inside or outside. His length, football IQ and play-making ability give Keith Butler some serious options. Fun fact: Collins would be the first non-Power 5 player drafted in the first round by the Steelers since Ben Roethlisberger.
Javonte Williams, RB, North Carolina
You wanted it? You got it. Here’s your running back in the form of a Mack truck. Williams will need to work on his pass protection but the ability to be an every down back who punishes tacklers is too much to pass on here.
Jackson Carman, OT, Clemson
Carman has some question marks such as overall length but he showed well against the likes of Chase Young and other top pass rushers while protecting Trevor Lawrence. His run blocking is tremendous.
Shi Smith, WR, South Carolina
Smith simply does not drop passes. He might not be as athletic as some receivers similar to him but he fights his tail off to get off the line of scrimmage using a blend of strength and technique. While he won’t be JuJu Smith-Schuster who is expected to depart in free agency, he fill a much needed role in the slot.
Round Four B
Marvin Wilson, DT, Florida State
Wilson was one of the most highly-prized recruits in FSU history but through some injuries and average play, he didn’t always live up to expectations. I see him as a guy who could provide immediate depth on the Steelers D-Line especially if they want to put him over center.
Jimmy Morrissey, C, PITT
Needing depth at center is an understatement. The Steelers were not impressed enough with early round centers so they walk down the hall to grab Morrissey. The former walk-on turned himself into a three-time All-ACC selection. He’s an ideal fit in a zone blocking system but is limited overall with average athleticism.
Round Seven A
John Bates, TE, Boise State
With Eric Ebron likely returning the Steelers still need depth here especially since the retirement of Vance McDonald. Bates is a good athlete who blocks well and catches the ball well. He’s not flashy but he has the earmarks of someone who could be a very nice number two tight end.
Round Seven B
Christian Uphoff, S, Illinois State
I fear Uphoff is going to climb draft boards because he’s currently playing his football season right now. Many schools in the lower tier chose spring to play their seasons and Uphoff is going to get noticed for his size and overall abilities.
Round Seven C
Tarron Jackson, EDGE, Coastal Carolina
The Steelers are always looking for depth on the edge and Jackson is a bit of a luxury pick here. He’s a big, strong and fast athlete who is currently living on potential. If he improves his run defending he could possibly develop long term.