Even though the 2021 NFL Draft is still a little more than 10 days away, draft analyst Tony Pauline of the Pro Football Network believes the Pittsburgh Steelers will select one of three players at 24th overall in the first round, and two of those players are Alabama products. Pauline made his declaration during a Monday interview on 93.7 The Fan.
“I’m hearing right now it’s one of three people,” Pauline said. “It’s either Najee Harris, Teven Jenkins, the right tackle from Oklahoma State or Landon Dickerson, the center from Alabama, who’s had a lot of medical issues. I think right now the conversation is, you know, can they get a good center in round two, maybe a Quinn Meinerz, who I know that they like. I don’t know if he’s going to be there 55.”
“So, I mean, you know, it’s basically what-ifs right now. I absolutely think, as far as what I’ve heard the past two days, and there will be an article released on it tomorrow at Pro Football Network, Najee Harris is absolutely in the conversation. And I would dispute any report that says they’re not going to take a running back with that first pick, or it’s out of the narrative right now.”
Pauline stating that Alabama running back Najee Harris is essentially the leader in the clubhouse to be the Steelers’ selection at 24 overall in the first round is not a huge surprise. After all, Harris has been a very popular mock draft selection for the Steelers most of the pre-draft process.
As for Dickerson, if not for his knee injury and previous medical issues, he would likely rival Harris in possibly having the best odds to be the Steelers’ first round selection less than two weeks from now.
When it comes to Jenkins, his being the Steelers selection at 24 overall would be a bit of an upset, especially with general manager Kevin Colbert and head coach Mike Tomlin not being at his Pro Day.
On Monday, senior NFL.com draft analyst Gil Brandt released his updated top 100 player rankings ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft. In it, he has Jenkins ranked 21st overall. Brandt ranked Dickerson 23rd overall, and Harris 32nd.