NFL Draft

Four Round Mock Draft Has Surprising Defensive Focus For Steelers

As Dave Bryan mentioned earlier today,’s Chad Reuter released his latest mock draft, a four-round edition with free agency winding down. And though he goes with a conventional offensive selection at #24, there’s a heavier defensive twinge to this mock than maybe some would expect.

But with their first round pick, he has the team taking Alabama RB Najee Harris. He writes:

“The Steelers haven’t selected a running back in the first round since Rashard Mendenhall in 2008. GM Kevin Colbert isn’t afraid to break historical trends, however; after years of staying put in the first round, he made a large trade up for linebacker Devin Bush two years ago. Harris compares well to Le’Veon Bell as a big-bodied dual-threat back worthy of this selection, joining former teammate Josh Jacobs as No. 24 overall selections.”

As Tony Pauline noted, the Steelers remain high on Harris, sending the house to the Alabama Pro Day. Mike Tomlin, Kevin Colbert, and new OC Matt Canada attended, checking a crucial box for Harris. Since 2010, every single Steelers’ first round pick has had Tomlin and/or Colbert attend his Pro Day. The Crimson Tide is loaded with talent this draft class but Harris is the most likely man the Steelers were eying at #24.

Reuter flips to the other side of the football in the second round, mocking Washington DL Levi Onwuzurike. He doesn’t include any write-ups for selections outside the top 32. We will post a report on Onwuzurike in the next day or two. Here’s a sneak peek at what our Tom Mead had to write about him.

“He has a good foundation to build from with pass rush potential and his scheme versatility is a plus.”

As a junior in 2019, he recorded 45 tackles, six for a loss, with two sacks. He opted out of his final season with the Huskies, though the school ultimately played in just a handful of games. He would help fill the void left by Tyson Alualu’s return to Jacksonville.

Defense remains the focus in Round Three with Reuter giving the Steelers Notre Dame EDGE Daelin Hayes. The team met with Hayes at the Senior Bowl and will surely love him as a person. He’s regarded as one of the highest-character people in the draft. On tape though, I came away with plenty of questions, knocking him for a lack of length, bend, and a possible history of shoulder injuries. The Steelers need to add another pass rusher behind Alex Highsmith and TJ Watt. But Hayes probably isn’t that guy.

With their first pick in the fourth round, the Steelers are mocked Texas A&M Dan Moore Jr. Listed at 6’5, 315, he served as a three-year starting left tackle for the Aggies. Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline praised him for his pass pro but questioned the push he could get in the run game. Pittsburgh has been linked to their other tackle, RT Carson Green, and should attend his workout in some capacity this upcoming week.

Finally, Reuter mocks Pittsburgh Michigan LB Cameron McGrone with their other fourth round pick. McGrone is a great athlete but has limited production. He played just 16 games in college, including just five in 2020, recording 26 tackles (two for a loss). That makes him a projection but he would bring an infusion of athleticism and potentially make for an All-Michigan pairing at inside linebacker next to Devin Bush. Check out Tom Mead’s report on him. 

Three defensive players in their first five picks feels a little surprising, especially with center being ignored. But the Steelers do have plenty of needs defensively with the way that unit has been gutted this offseason. Swap out Hayes for a better pass rusher and Moore for a center and this would be a pretty strong mock.

Check out Reuter’s updated mock, including the Miami Dolphins/San Francisco 49ers blockbuster trade that saw the 49ers move up to #3. Reuter thinks that move was to zero in on a quarterback. Click the link to find out which one he slotted to the Bay Area.

Steelers Four Round Mock Draft

#24 – Najee Harris/RB Alabama
#55 – Levi Onwuzurike/DL Washington
#87 – Daelin Hayes/EDGE Notre Dame
#128 – Dan Moore Jr./OT Texas A&M
#140 – Cameron McGrone/LB Michigan

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