As the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offseason has now been underway for about a month, many mock drafts have been written with the Steelers selecting names like cornerback Joey Porter Jr., or tackle Paris Johnson Jr. On Friday though, a new name has been mocked to the Steelers: Oklahoma tackle Anton Harrison.
CBS Sports writer Ryan Wilson released a mock draft this morning which sees the 6’5″ 315 pound Harrison be drafted to protect quarterback Kenny Pickett’s blindside. One of the highly rated tackles in the draft, Wilson has Harrison being taken before Georgia’s Broderick Jones.
“There was some thought that Harrison might return to Oklahoma for an NIL deal that was too good to pass up but he’s instead opted for the NFL,” wrote Wilson. “He’s one of the top tackles in the class and now the question is whether he finds his way into Round 1 or goes early on Day 2.”
Harrison was a three-year starter at Oklahoma where he primarily played left tackle, although he would occasionally start games at right tackle. A four-star recruit, Harrison excelled in Norman, Oklahoma, being named first team All-Big 12 in his final year by both coaches and the media.
Even in his first year playing against elite competition, Harrison proved he could play with the best of them. In 2020, PFF only charged him for one sack allowed on 173 snaps in pass protection.
A left tackle, Harrison would be battling it out with Dan Moore Jr. if the Steelers end up drafting him. Recently, there has been support for Moore Jr. from both former Steelers tackle Max Starks and NFL film guru Greg Cosell, who both believe the interior offensive line is of a more urgent need in upgrading than the left tackle position.
While upgrading at guard would be what I would personally do, the idea of bringing in a potential stud left tackle is something that would be hard to pass up. While Moore is certainly serviceable and will likely continue to improve and be a good left tackle for years to come, when you get a chance to draft a potentially great left tackle you do it.
The question then is if at pick 17 do general manager Omar Khan and head coach Mike Tomlin think a great left tackle is there. If Harrison is available at 17, do they think he can turn into the Steelers left tackle for 10+ years playing at an All-Pro level? If yes, then the Steelers need to grab him. If not, I wouldn’t mind Pittsburgh going either interior offensive line of defense with their first pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.