The 2021 NFL mock draft season seemingly started with Alabama running back Najee Harris being the predominant selection for the Pittsburgh Steelers, at least from a major media draftnik perspective. However, with the 2020 NFL season now officially over, it certainly seems like Virginia Tech tackle Christian Darrisaw is the new flavor of the 2021 mock draft cycle for the Steelers.
On the heels of Todd McShay of ESPN mocking Darrisaw to the Steelers this week in his second mock draft of 2021, one of the many other more notable draftniks, Dane Brugler of The Athletic, has followed suit in his third mock draft of 2021. There’s a twist, however, with Brugler’s mocking of Darrisaw to the Steelers as he has the team trading up to get the left tackle.
Here is what Brugler wrote about his reason for mocking Darrisaw to the Steelers after a trade up in the first round that would include a trade up to the 18th overall spot with the Miami Dolphins that includes first round selections being swapped in addition to a third and sixth-round selection from Pittsburgh.
With longtime left tackle Alejandro Villanueva an upcoming free agent, the Steelers will need to find an answer at the position. They can sit at No. 24 and hope a tackle falls to them, but with tackle-needy teams like the Bears and Colts in front of them, trading a third rounder and sixth rounder to secure the position is a small price to pay.
I wrote quite a bit about Darrisaw when recapping McShay’s mocking of Darrisaw to the Steelers so I will not rehash all of that. Without a doubt, he’s a talented left tackle type and odds are probably good he’ll end being selected somewhere in the first round, or early second-round at the very latest.
While the Steelers certainly could use a top tackle in this year’s draft, this year’s crop includes a lot of top notable ones. Would the Steelers really consider trading up for one, and especially for Darrisaw? While I suppose it’s certainly plausible, I can only envision the Steelers trading up in the first-round of this year’s draft for one position and that’s for a quarterback. Stranger things have happened, however, and it’s not like a third and sixth-round selection in this year’s draft is that steep of a price, should that ultimately be what it would take to move up six spots.
In case you missed it, our own Josh Carney recently profiled Darrisaw for the site and the link to that post is below.
Christian Darrisaw allowed 0 QB pressures in 6 games this season.
Most among all college OTs. pic.twitter.com/Gh539uwKa4
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) February 10, 2021
Highest career run-blocking grade in the 2021 Draft class
1. Penei Sewell, Oregon: 94.8
2. Landon Dickerson, Bama: 93.9
3. Brady Christensen, BYU: 91.2
4. Teven Jenkins, OK St: 90.3
5. Christian Darrisaw, VA Tech: 90.2 pic.twitter.com/6TC1Yczb31
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) January 25, 2021
Christian Darrisaw is a BULLY.
Highest-graded run-blocker at OT💪 pic.twitter.com/0OEujcdppS
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) January 19, 2021