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Steelers OG Mason McCormick is in Position to Become Starter in 2025

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Steelers Mason McCormick

Guard was not a position of need heading into the 2024 NFL Draft but looking into the future, it may have been a need next offseason with James Daniels’ contract expiring after this season. After walking away with Mason McCormick in the fourth round, the Steelers were very pleased.

They were so pleased that they told Daniels that he will not be receiving an extension from the team anytime soon. The team also gave McCormick the historic No. 66 which was the number that two Steelers legends wore in the past.

While McCormick is not the most familiar with Alan Faneca or David DeCastro, he does understand the value that his jersey number holds due to those two guys.

“I have heard a little bit about it,” McCormick told reporters about the No. 66 in Steelers history. “Not a crazy amount, but I know I got a lot of expectations to live up to and I’m ready to be who I am.”

While will tell if McCormick will be the next great No. 66 for the Steelers, he is not too worried about the high expectations and said that he is just taking things one day at a time.

“I don’t really think about the future too much,” McCormick said. “I’m just trying to be where my feet are and try to make the most out of every moment.”

McCormick was one of three offensive lineman that the Steelers drafted in 2024 as they took Troy Fautanu in the first round and Zach Frazier in the second. With McCormick projected to start at right guard in 2025, Fautanu expected to be the starting right tackle by the end of this season and Frazier expected to be the team’s starting center sooner rather than later, the team may have secured 60% of the starting offensive line for years to come in one single draft.

Coming in together has helped the three become good friends and they are hoping that it results in them becoming good teammates for each one another, too.

“I mean, offensive line, you can’t play good unless the guy next to you plays good,” McCormick said. “So being able to be around these guys and develop that relationship is super important. … Being around guys like Zach and Troy, who are awesome dudes and they work extremely hard, it’s good to be able to lean on one another and develop together.”

While McCormick is playing and be coached up at right guard, he played left guard in college. For some guys, that switch to the other side is hard but McCormick credits the program at South Dakota State for preparing him the right way which was to prepare him for any position on the offensive line.

“At South Dakota State, they prepared me for everything. They wanted us to be as versatile as possible, and I think that’s something that could help all of us at this level,” McCormick said. “I’m ready for whatever they throw at me, I just want to help the organization in anyway that I can.”

While McCormick is going to sit behind Daniels for a season, if he or Isaac Seumalo go down with an injury, McCormick’s versatility will allow him to fill in on either side as a rookie. With no extension likely coming for Daniels, McCormick will have the chance to win a starting job in his second season.

66 • Mason McCormick, Guard, South Dakota State
6-foot-4, 309 pounds, 24 years old, 1st Season

Acquired: The Steelers drafted Mason McCormick in the fourth round of the 2024 NFL Draft. He was the 119th overall pick of the draft and was one of two Jackrabbits to be drafted in 2024.

Last Year: In 2023, Mason McCormick started all 15 games at left guard for the Jackrabbits. He earned first-team AP All-American honors following the season. He set the school record for most consecutive games started in a row with 57.

Steelers fourth-round selection Mason McCormick

SIOUX FALLS, SD – DECEMBER 7: South Dakota St. offensive lineman Mason McCormick during a FCS Playoff game Saturday afternoon at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium in Brookings, SD. (Photo by Dave Eggen/Inertia)

CollegeMason McCormick spent six seasons at South Dakota State before entering the 2024 NFL Draft. He played in 70 games for the Jackrabbits. As a true freshman, McCormick played in three games before redshirting. It was the first year that players could play up to four games and still maintain their redshirt.

In 2019, McCormick’s role grew and he eventually started the last 12 games of the season at left guard. He moved into a full-time starting role in 2020.

McCormick stayed as the starter at left guard in 2021 and then in 2022 he earned All-American and All-conference honors following the season. McCormick was a three-time team captain and two-time first-team AP All-American while with the Jackrabbits.

Pittsburgh Steelers Mason McCormick

SPRINGFIELD, MO – SEPTEMBER 24: South Dakota State University at Missouri State in Springfield, MO on September 24, 2022 (Photo by Dave Eggen/Inertia)

Salary cap and future: Mason McCormick is entering the first year of his standard four-year rookie contract. As a rookie, McCormick will cost $986,224 against the team’s cap space. In each year of his deal, McCormick will earn a $191,224 signing bonus. In 2024, McCormick’s base salary is $795,000.

McCormick signed with the team through the end of the 2027 season. He will become an unrestricted free agent once his contract expires.

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