It’s been over a month since ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay released his first mock draft of 2021. In that mock he had the Pittsburgh Steelers selecting Alabama running back Najee Harris at 28th overall in the first round. On Wednesday, McShay released his second mock draft of 2021 and his latest offering he has the Steelers addressing their offensive line as he has them picking Virginia Tech tackle Christian Darrisaw at 24 overall.
Below is his reason for mocking Darrisaw to the Steelers.
What becomes of Bud Dupree’s role if he leaves, and would someone like Tulsa outside linebacker Zaven Collins be the savvy pick? What is the future plan at quarterback? Who starts at running back next season? And would the Steelers look to replace JuJu Smith-Schuster with a similar type of receiver in Minnesota’s Rashod Bateman? Those are all important questions, but to me, the need along the offensive line and the value of Darrisaw still being available make this a worthy move.
The Steelers could lose all of their currently rostered tackles either this March or next, and whoever is under center has to have the kind of protection Ben Roethlisberger saw this season (league-low 14 sacks allowed). Darrisaw shows power in pass pro and smoothness in working to the second level as a run blocker.
Darrisaw, who declared for the 2021 NFL Draft as an underclassman in December, started at left tackle at Virginia Tech since his true freshman season in 2018. The 6-foot-5, 314-pound Darrisaw played for one of the best rushing teams this past season in Virginia Tech, who ranked No. 10 in the country in averaging 240.1 yards per game. He was voted 2020 First Team All-ACC for his play this past season.
Below is what Pro Football Focus wrote about Darrisaw in the first release of their 2021 NFL Draft guide.
Darrisaw showed up in 2020 a different player than he was in his first two years at Virginia Tech. In his first game against N.C. State, outsiders could tell he was a different player. He went on to not
allow a single sack or hit all season, with his lowest single-game grade being 77.5. The sheer number of positively graded run blocks he generated is stunning. He’s uniquely capable of moving men against their will. Just ask North Carolina linebacker Chazz Surratt, who ended up 30 yards downfield with Darrisaw on one play. While he’s not the most fleet of foot, you aren’t going through the Virginia Tech left tackle.
Our own Josh Carney has already profiled Darrisaw for the site and you can read his scouting report at the link below. Darrisaw certainly seems to make sense for the Steelers in the first round as we sit here in the middle of the February as the team most certainly could draft a tackle early this year.