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2024 NFL Draft

Brian Baldinger: Graham Barton Would Be ‘Dream Scenario’ for Steelers



Pittsburgh Steelers Graham Barton

Duke offensive lineman Graham Barton has been picking up steam lately as a favorite to be the Pittsburgh Steelers’ first round selection. Field Yates and Mel Kiper of ESPN both have the Steelers selecting the highly-touted, versatile Duke Blue Devil at 20th overall in their mock drafts.

Tony Pauline of Sportskeeda took it a step further with adding speculation that the Steelers will end up landing Barton at 20th overall.

“Speculation from people in the league familiar with the organization is that Graham Barton of Duke will likely be the pick,” Pauline wrote. “The reasoning is simple: Barton was an accomplished offensive tackle at Duke and projects to be a center in the NFL. The Steelers need help at both positions and Barton’s ability to line up at either makes him attractive.”

NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger is also on the Graham Barton to Pittsburgh train.

“The Pittsburgh Steelers know how to draft centers. They got a bunch of them in the Hall of Fame. Center is a position of need. There’s no question about it,” Baldinger said during a draft debate on NFL Total Access Wednesday. “Last year, they started the (offensive line) rebuilding process with drafting Broderick Jones, trading up to get him. (Getting) Isaac Seumalo. I think they have to finish it. Mason Cole has been released, Nate Herbig is the only center on the roster.

“But, I like Graham Barton at Duke. You’ll see him at left tackle, but he started as a freshman (in) his final five games at center. And I think a lot of teams project him as a center. I think he’s just more athletic than Jackson Powers-Johnson. I think the Steelers value the athletic ability like they did with Dermontti Dawson, a bunch of other guys that Pittsburgh had great success with. So, I’m going with Graham Barton at center with the 20th pick, and I think the starts the run-on (with) centers in this first round.”

Baldinger also appeared on 93.7 The Fan Wednesday and expressed that Barton’s athleticism is what separates him from the rest of this year’s center class.

“I don’t believe he’s gonna be an elite left tackle. I think he could be a Pro Bowl guard. But I think he could be a really good center,” Baldinger said. “I like him because I think can run better than anybody else. I think he pulls and leads better, and I think he gets to the second level better than all those other centers do. I feel like that’s the position where he’s gonna be best suited in the NFL.”