With the 2020 Senior Bowl long behind us and the annual scouting combine set to get underway in Indianapolis, IN in a few more weeks, I suppose it’s finally time for me to release my first Pittsburgh Steelers mock draft of the offseason. So, here it is below for you in all of its glory.
As usual, I chose not to use a mock draft simulator for my first offering this year as I just don’t like going that route this early if I can avoid it. As usual, I ask that you focus on the individual players I selected for the Steelers while critiquing this mock draft instead of the rounds they were taken in. Tell me what you like and dislike about each of the players I have mocked to the Steelers and which players you would have selected instead.
With all the disclaimers that I’m sure you failed to read out of the way, here is my first mock draft of 2020. Remember, this mock is what I think the Steelers might do.
2nd Round – WR Justin Jefferson – LSU – 6020, 192 – An underclassman from a top college program hailing from a football family that excels from the slot and can play all over the place? The Steelers would sign up for such in a heartbeat. The team certainly won’t be opposed to drafting yet another wide receiver this year and especially one that could help right out of the chute. 165 catches for 2,415 yards and 24 touchdowns in the last two seasons is no joke in the SEC. This kid has very impressive tape in 2019 and buzz about him will start increasing very soon. This is a deep wide receiver class so odds are good that Jefferson falls to the Steelers in the second-round.
3rd Round (Compensatory) – DT Davon Hamilton – Ohio State – 6036, 327 – The Steelers are likely going to want to draft a defensive tackle this year with Javon Hargrave likely leaving in March via unrestricted free agency. Enter Hamilton, an Ohio State product, who had a great 2019 season as both a run defender and pass rusher. Hamilton exits college not being an every-down player so that will hurt his draft stock to some degree. The Steelers like those Ohio State defensive players and Hamilton looks like he might be able to instantly contribute as a base nose tackle as a rookie.
4th Round – G Solomon Kindley – Georgia – 6040, 335 – A battle-tested SEC left guard that can anchor well in pass protection and move fairly well as part of a power running game. While he won’t likely be ready to be a day-one starter in the NFL, he certainly should be able to take over a starting left guard spot come the start of his second season. He has a nice level of nasty to him and seemingly has a great character. This year’s draft class isn’t filled with great interior offensive line talent so Kindley figures to be a mid-round selection.
4th Round (From Miami Via Tennessee) – S Jalen Elliott – Notre Dame – 6004, 205 – Versatile safety out of Richmond, VA that is likely best-suited to play down low more than deep. Elliott was a captain at Notre Dame and wound up being a Senior Bowl participant. Several scouts at the Senior Bowl claimed Elliott was the biggest riser of any prospect in Mobile and the safety was also named a North Squad Defensive Practice Player of the Week. I’ve yet to dive deep into Elliott’s college tape, but what little I have seen certainly makes him seem like a mid to late round safety the Steelers might have interest in drafting. The Steelers figure to enter this year’s draft without much safety depth so look for them to draft one at some point this year
6th Round – TE Charlie Woerner – Georgia – 6044, 245 – I’m the only one talking about Woerner right now ahead of the scouting combine. That will likely change after he performs in Indianapolis, IN. Woerner might be the best kept secret in the tight end class this year because of him not being used a ton in the passing game in his four years at Georgia. The former high school wide receiver can catch, however, and he might have been the best blocking tight end in the SEC last season. His character is off the charts great and there’s no way the Steelers won’t be attracted to him. Woerner is not the next George Kittle but he might be the next Foster Moreau.
7th Round – ILB Evan Weaver – California – 6021, 234 – The new Tyler Matakevich? Weaver was a tackling machine at Cal and reportedly had a great week at the Senior Bowl. While he’s unlikely to ever be a starting inside linebacker at the NFL, much like has been the case with Matakevich so far, Weaver can likely wind up being a multi-year backup and core special teams player.