Peter Schrager of the NFL Network has now released his first mock draft of 2021, and his first offering of the year includes the Pittsburgh Steelers to addressing a significant need on their offensive line in the first round.
Schrager has the Steelers drafting Alabama center Landon Dickerson with the 24th overall selection in his first mock draft of 2021, and below is his reasoning for doing so.
“The ACL tear in the SEC Championship Game will scare off a lot of teams, but if Pittsburgh needs anything, it’s a way to immediately address an ailing run game. Dickerson is supposed to be healthy by the start of the season. Will he be anything close to Maurkice Pouncey? Of course not … yet.”
Dickerson, who has been mocked to the Steelers quite a bit at 24 overall throughout the offseason, is indeed still recovering from the torn ACL he sustained in the SEC Championship game this past season. By all accounts, however, Dickerson’s recovery seems to be going just fine. It was his second career ACL injury, however, and he has suffered significant ankle issues during his college career. Dickerson comes with medical red flags, and those could result in him falling to the second or third round.
The Steelers do indeed need a center during this year’s draft on the heels of longtime veteran center Maurkice Pouncey retiring earlier in the offseason. That need figures to result in the Steelers selecting a center this year with one of their first four selections.
Dickerson played all five spots on the offensive line throughout his college career. Of 37 career starts, 20 of those were at center, and 11 others came at right guard. He measured in at his Alabama pro day at 6055, 333 pounds with 33 1/4-inch arms and 10 3/8-inch hands. Dickerson said during his pro day media session that he has talked with the Steelers during the pre-draft process.
The Steelers selecting Dickerson at 24th overall would be a bit of a surprise on the surface. It seems much more likely that he could be the Steelers second-round selection at 55th overall.