For those of you who have been waiting for the 2021 mock draft from former NFL general manager Mike Tannenbaum, you’re in luck as it finally hit the internet on Tuesday morning on espn.com. In his early-April mock draft offering, Tannenbaum approaches each pick as if he were each team’s general manager. For the Pittsburgh Steelers at 24th overall in the first round of his long-waited mock draft, Tannenbaum has them selecting Oklahoma center Creed Humphrey. Below is his reasoning for doing so.
It’s still too early for a running back, and there isn’t a first-round quarterback left on the board. So my initial leaning becomes even stronger: Get Pittsburgh a lineman. Finding a center you can form an offensive line around is Team Building 101. A former high school wrestler, Humphrey is tough, physical and smart.”
While widely considered one of the top centers in the 2021 draft class, Humphrey hasn’t been mocked to the Steelers at 24 overall very much, if any, by major media draftniks so far this offseason. At his pro day, Humphrey, who was at the Senior Bowl earlier this year, measured in at 6042, 302-pounds with 32 1/2-inch arms and 9 5/8-inch hands. He reportedly had a 33-inch vertical leap, ran a 4.46 20-yard shuttle, and had 29 bench press reps at 225 pounds at his pro day and ran his 40-yard-dash in 5.09-seconds.
Humphrey started 37 games at center for Oklahoma over the course of the last three seasons. According to Pro Football Focus, he did not allow a single sack on 401 pass plays in 2020 or 799 plays in 2019.
While the Steelers did send assistant offensive line coach Chris Morgan and another unknown personnel member to the Oklahoma pro day this year, neither general manager Kevin Colbert nor head coach Mike Tomlin attended the event. That’s a huge and notable blow to Humphreys chances of being the Steelers first-round selection this year.
While Humphrey isn’t likely to be drafted by the Steelers in the first-round this year, there might be a chance the team could select him in the second or third round, which is where the center’s stock is widely considered to be right now.
In case you’re curious, Tannenbaum doesn’t have Alabama running back Najee Harris in his first-round mock draft. He only has one running back going in the first round and it is Clemson Travis Etienne going 32nd overall to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.