NFL Draft

Mock Draft: Steelers Focus On Upgrading Run Game, O-Line In Top Two Rounds

In his latest mock draft, CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso has the Pittsburgh Steelers focusing on upgrading the run game by addressing running back and offensive tackle in the top two round. In the two-round mock, he has the team taking Clemson RB Travis Etienne at #24. In a brief writeup, he says:

“Etienne goes to the Steelers to give Ben Roethlisberger a multi-talented weapon in 2021.”

Etienne would inject big-play ability into a Steelers’ offense missing the home run. Anthony McFarland brought speed to the roster last year, though was limited as a rookie, but his presence wouldn’t stop Pittsburgh from adding to the position early on. The Steelers have done their homework on the top backs in this class led by Alabama’s Najee Harris and Clemson’s Etienne.

So far, Etienne has checked the boxes Pittsburgh looks for in a first round pick. He’s athletic, productive, and coming from a Power 5 conference. And despite returning for his senior season, he just turned 22 years old. At his Pro Day, Mike Tomlin, Kevin Colbert, and Matt Canada attended. Tomlin and/or Colbert have been at the Pro Day of every first round pick since 2010.

And of course, it’s a position of need. With James Conner allowed to hit free agency, the Steelers are searching for their next starting running back. Benny Snell nor McFarland are those guys. And the signing of Kalen Ballage doesn’t move the needle.

In Trapasso’s mock, Etienne is the only running back to go in the top 32. Najee Harris is the next man off the board at #34 with North Carolina’s Javonte Williams taken two picks later.

With the Steelers’ second pick at #55, he has them taking Notre Dame OT Liam Eichenberg. Our scouting report on him was positive but some – including his own head coach – have questioned his athleticism. But he tested well at his Pro Day workout Wednesday, ranking very well in the Relative Athletic Score.

If the Steelers address offensive line early, they’re more likely to do it at center than they are offensive tackle. Check out our scouting reports on both prospects below.

2021 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Clemson RB Travis Etienne

2021 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Notre Dame LT Liam Eichenberg

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