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2024 NFL Draft

Mel Kiper Jr. Gives Steelers an A- for 2024 Draft Class



Pittsburgh Steelers Zach Frazier

The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of four teams who received an A+ draft grade from Pro Football Focus in the 2024 NFL Draft. This is the second straight year that PFF has given the Steelers an A+ draft grade. It’s safe to say that Omar Khan and Andy Weidl know what they’re doing.

Longtime draft analyst for ESPN Mel Kiper Jr. also gave the Steelers their flowers for an impressive draft haul, which isn’t an easy thing to do for him as he’s a Baltimore native and Ravens fan.

“It’s not easy for me to praise the Steelers, but this is a stellar class with good players throughout,” Kiper wrote.

Kiper gave the Steelers an A- for their draft, which was the third-best grade overall in the NFL.

“They have a talented roster, but their offense was dreadful last season, averaging 16.9 points per game, which ranked 28th in the league. Could they find an O-lineman on Day 1 who could help them close the gap in the AFC North? Kiper wrote. “The answer is unequivocally, [yes]. Troy Fautanu to Pittsburgh is one of my favorite picks of the draft…I just think he’s a tenacious blocker with the potential to be an All-Pro. Based on Pittsburgh’s depth chart, I can see him starting on the left side.”

In an article published after the draft on ESPN, Kiper raved about the Fautanu selection.

“What a steal by Pittsburgh. I wrote Thursday morning that I thought the Steelers were targeting Graham Barton to be their new center, but I didn’t think Fautanu would be available. This is a no-brainer. I had Fautanu at No. 10 and Barton at No. 19 in my rankings, and both were the top players at their position. Fautanu played left tackle in college, and I wouldn’t be shocked if the Steelers thought he could stick there and compete with Dan Moore Jr. in 2024 while they find their center somewhere else,” Kiper wrote.

Three of the Steelers’ first five picks were offensive lineman. Some thought they invested too much in one area, but Kiper thinks it was a prudent move.

“GM Omar Khan went back to O-line with two of his next four selections, taking Zach Frazier (51st overall), my second-ranked center, and Mason McCormick (119th overall), my sixth-ranked guard,” Kiper wrote. “That’s at least two new starters for the Steelers’ offensive line.”

The Steelers’ investment in the offensive line should have them set for years to come. They got a steal with Zach Frazier falling to them in the second, and the value was off the charts with the Roman Wilson and Payton Wilson selections. NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah thinks Payton Wilson could have been a first-round pick if it wasn’t for a lengthy injury history.

“Sandwiched between those picks those were two that were values on my board. Wideout Roman Wilson (84th overall) had 12 touchdowns last season, and his stock was boosted after he ran a 4.39-second 40-yard dash at the combine,” Kiper wrote. ” Payton Wilson (98th overall) dropped due to some medical concerns, but he’s a speedy off-ball linebacker with range. Cornerback Ryan Watts (195) isn’t speedy, but he can make the roster.”