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2024 NFL Draft

Mina Kimes: Steelers Had My Favorite Draft Class

Mina Kimes believes that the Steelers had her favorite draft class by adding to their overall identity on the team.



Pittsburgh Steelers Troy Fautanu

The Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line heavy 2024 NFL Draft is earning its praise from all around the media landscape. Pro Football Focus lauded the haul, giving Pittsburgh an A+, while Mel Kiper largely backed that up with an A- grade. However, they were not the only ones to love the picks.

Rene Bugner compiled a cumulative draft GPA from 20 different experts who graded the draft, and Pittsburgh earned the highest GPA from all 20 outlets. The lowest grade they received was a simple B, but most experts gave them an A grade, with multiple A-pluses sprinkled throughout there.

PFF categorized Zach Frazier and Roman Wilson as “elite” picks. Following Troy Fautanu, Zach Frazier, Roman Wilson, and Payton Wilson through first two days, which racked up huge value throughout those first three rounds, the Steelers continued to bolster the offensive line on Day 3 by selecting South Dakota State guard Mason McCormick, the third offensive lineman in their first five picks. Since 2022, McCormick has earned a 90.3 PFF grade, the best among all draft-eligible FBS guards. With their last two picks, the Steelers scooped up Iowa interior defensive lineman Logan Lee and Texas cornerback Ryan Watts.

And Mina Kimes is another person who is hopping on the train to praise Pittsburgh, saying that they had her favorite draft overall out of anybody.

“I think outside of maybe the Bears getting Caleb [Williams] and [Rome] Odunze obviously being at the top of the draft, [the Steelers] might be my favorite class, honestly, in the entire NFL,” Kimes said. “The three players that they took with their first three picks- Fautanu, Frazier, Wilson- I would use the same words to describe all of them, which are athletic and nasty. Which you usually use for offensive linemen, not for receivers, but that’s what Roman Wilson will be doing in this offense- he does the dirty work. He blocks, he wins in traffic. You saw at Michigan how useful he was on play action on those crossers. You know he is going to be used that way in Arthur Smith’s offense. And, in my opinion, he pairs extremely well with George Pickens. The Steelers, unlike a lot of teams in the NFL drafting receivers, did not not need an X receiver- they have one. They needed a slot guy who can do exactly what Roman Wilson does. I think they hit this one out of the park, and if I’m either Russell Wilson or Justin Fields, I’m extremely happy about what they did with this draft.”

Regarding Watts, PFF said he allowed just one touchdown from 267 coverage snaps and brings the physicality Steelers fans will love. Watts put up an 84.9 run-defense grade over the last two years, second among Big 12 cornerbacks. Overall, Pittsburgh addressed a huge need, the offensive line, and are well on their way to completing a strong offseason. Wide receiver and slot cornerback remain questions for them as well.

Over the last two offseason, the Steelers have signed and/or traded for linebacker Kwon Alexander, tackle Dylan Cook, tackle Jesse Davis, safety Terrell Edmunds, outside linebacker Marcus Golden, safety Damontae Kazee, defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi and slot cornerback Chandon Sullivan between the end of the draft and the start of the preseason. So, expect the team to continue to bolster this group before the season starts.

After restructuring Alex Highsmith’s deal last week, the Steelers have plenty of salary cap space. So, if you’re still seeing big holes in the team’s offseason depth chart, don’t fret. The Khan Artist is still at work.