There is, I’m quite certain, more than one new major, mainstream mock draft per day coming out at this point in the NFL calendar. Most outlet churn out a series of mock drafts over the course of the offseason, and Pro Football Focus has certainly contributed its share, of wildly varying levels of reasonableness.
The latest installment by Ben Linsey at least provides a somewhat new and less-analyzed name for the Pittsburgh Steelers over which we will no doubt discuss when considering the possibilities for their first-round selection. And discussion there will be, since it’s not an offensive player, but linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah of Notre Dame, whom we profiled here. He writes:
The focus in Pittsburgh this offseason has been primarily on the offensive line and running game. The losses of Bud Dupree, Steven Nelson and Vince Williams have also quietly opened holes on the defensive side of the ball.
Owusu-Koramoah should be appealing to Pittsburgh here because he could potentially help fill multiple holes in the Steelers’ defense. Whether it’s at linebacker alongside Devin Bush, slot cornerback or box safety, JOK is an explosive enough athlete at his size to capably fill any of those roles depending on the situation. Those also all happen to be areas of need for Pittsburgh.
Owusu-Koramoah (19th on PFF’s Big Board) is a better value here than any of the offensive line or running back prospects still on the board.
As has been typical for PFF’s mock drafts, the running back position is not well-represented at all, with Najeeh Harris, Javonte Williams, and Travis Etienne all still available when the Steeler are on the clock. In fact, Linsey doesn’t have any of them being selected in the first round at all.
Regarding the tackle position, Penie Sewell, Rashawn Slater, Christian Darrisaw, and Teven Jenkins were all taken prior to Pittsburgh’s selection in this mock draft. Sam Cosmi was the only other tackle drafted in the first round, coming at 31 by the Kansas City Chiefs.
I find it pretty unlikely that no running backs will be off the board by the time the Steelers draft, but if that should happen, I think I would be on board with the idea of trading down at that point. Pittsburgh doesn’t need a first-round linebacker, in my opinion, with Devin Bush already on the roster, but they do need a lead rusher, and I think any of those three backs can be just that.