The Pittsburgh Steelers certainly have needs on the offensive line entering the 2021 season, and Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com has them meeting that need head on in his latest mock draft.
Jeremiah predicted that the Steelers will select Michigan tackle Jalen Mayfield in the mock draft he released on Tuesday.
Mayfield (6-foot-5, 320 pounds) was a three-year letterman at Michigan, but does not have a ton of snaps under his belt as a collegiate. He appeared in three games at left tackle as a freshman in 2018, started all 13 games at right tackle in 2019, when he was an all-Big Ten honorable mention, and made two starts at right tackle in 2020 in an injury-plagued season.
The Steelers are likely to lose starting left tackle Alejandro Villanueva to free agency, but Mayfield’s lack of overall experience and the fact that his most recent playing experience has all been on the right side does not make him seem like a day one fit at that spot.
However, 2020 Week 1 starting right tackle Zach Banner is also an unrestricted free agent as he recovers from ACL surgery and Banner’s replacement, Chukwuma Okorafor, is entering the final year of his contract, so the Steelers certainly have short- and long-term needs at the tackle position.
Jeremiah had the Steelers choosing Oklahoma State tackle Teven Jenkins in the first version of his mock draft, with Mayfield going at No. 20 to the Chicago Bears. He has Jenkins going at No. 29 to the Green Bay Packers in his latest update, which includes new information gleaned from the Senior Bowl.
Jeremiah has Virginia Tech tackle Christian Darrisaw, who has also been repeatedly connected with the Steelers, going at No. 19 to Washington in this latest updated. Running back Najee Harris (No. 18, Miami) was also already off the board.