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2024 NFL Draft

Bell: Steelers 7-Round 2024 Mock Draft 1.0

In the first Steelers seven-round mock draft, who does the team end up landing and what positions do they prioritize?



Pittsburgh Steelers CB Cam Hart
Notre Dame CB Cam Hart at the Senior Bowl,Feb. 3, 2024 - Alan Saunders / Steelers Now

We are now just a little over a week away from the NFL combine in Indianapolis and the Pittsburgh Steelers offseason is about to get a whole lot more interesting. The 2024 NFL draft cycle is in full swing and it feels like the appropriate time for a team-specific mock draft. As we get further into the process, we’ll have interviews, meetings and pro days to give clues on who the organization is interested in but for now, this thought exercise will have to do. Here we go.

Round 1: Pick 20: OT Amarius Mims (Georgia)

Last year, Steelers general manager Omar Khan traded up to get Broderick Jones and it wouldn’t surprise me if he went back to the well here in 2024. Despite being extremely inexperienced, his complete athletic profile and flashes of elite play warrant this type of investment. At 6-7, 340 pounds with plus length, Mims flashes excellent foot quickness to get out of his stance and redirection skills that few his size can match. In pass protection, he plays with good balance and has a surprisingly strong handle already on stunts in his direction.

As a run blocker, Mims’ athleticism in space shines and once he gets attached with defenders, he tends to stay engaged through the whistle. As you can imagine, those traits also translate well to the screen game. Because of his size, there are times where he can play too tall and his hand usage still needs general refinement. His tape has flashes of dominance, like the second half of the Ohio State game in 2022, but we just haven’t seen him play a ton due to injuries and a logjam at position.Plus, moving Jones back to his natural left tackle post is an added bonus in this equation. It won’t be easy for Pittsburgh to develop two young tackles on the fly but the reward for successfully doing so would be tremendous.

Round 2, Pick 51: C Zach Frazier (West Virginia)

Since the decline of Maurkice Pouncey, the organization has had a difficult time finding reliable play at the core of their offensive line. Doubling down in the trenches and grabbing a more proven offensive lineman in Zach Frazier would be a wise decision in the second round. Unlike Mims, Frazier’s physical appearance may not be as fearsome but everything about his play screams the look of an old-school Steelers lineman. In high school, he was a four-time wrestling state champion and when you pop on his tape, you immediately see how those traits have transferred to the football field. He consistently plays with good leverage and pad level, with a strong base.

In both phases of line play, Frazier’s grip strength is a notable plus. In the run game, Frazier has enough athleticism for basic reach blocks in a zone blocking scheme and can generate nice power from his lower half when asked to double team on gap runs. It’s been reported that he’s already running despite breaking his leg in game back in November, signaling that he should be full-go by training camp. He’s not the biggest, nor the most athletic but he has the look a pro-ready center destined for an eight-year run as a starting center. His tenacity and finishing ability would be a welcomed boost up front.

Round 3, Pick 84: CB Cam Hart (Notre Dame)

The NFL made the mistake of gifting Pittsburgh Joey Porter Jr. to start the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft but now, the Steelers need to find him a running mate. The good news is that this cornerback class is very solid, even if they elect to wait until this spot to take a corner. Cam Hart has the athletic profile and intangibles that the Steelers would be smart to bet on. He had a nice week at the Senior Bowl down in Mobile after coming at nearly 6-3, over 200 pounds with over 32-inch limbs. In press coverage, Hart showcases patience to stay square to the receiver and has more than enough speed to burn when tested vertically.

When asked to play in off-coverage, Hart has a controlled back pedal with the ability to trigger downhill in a hurry. Simply put, the tools are worth betting investing in. He broke out back in 2021 but followed that up with an inconsistent season, forcing him to return to school as a team captain. He does possess good spatial awareness in zone coverage, but his eyes can become hyper-fixated on the quarterback. Despite having a wide receiver background, Hart hasn’t morphed into a playmaker on the ball, even sometimes appearing panicked. The best version of this player would give the Steelers a rock-solid number two corner during his rookie contract, but he could provide value against tight ends early on in the meantime.

Round 4, Pick 120: IDL Tyler Davis (Clemson)

Even after hitting on Keeanu Benton last year, Pittsburgh needs to continue adding depth and talent to the defensive line. Tyler Davis has one of the more unique roads to the NFL in recent memory. He broke out as a true freshman way back in 2019 but due to a lengthy injury history, remained in school. In 2023, he looked pretty close to the player that many, including myself, thought would be the next great talented defensive lineman from the Clemson lineage. The first thing that stands out with Davis is that he has a lightning quick first step and is consistently the first one out of the gate.

He’ll use his natural leverage and heavy hands to generate power upon contact. Davis is a stout run defender, who routinely holds his own at the point of attack by locking out before shedding blockers on his way to the ball carrier. His lack of size and length is something that he’ll have to work to overcome at the next level, but his combination of floor and upside provide great value on day three of the NFL Draft. Between Cam Heyward entering the final year of his contract and Larry Ogunjobi’s inconsistent play, the team needs to add a piece or two this offseason, even if it’s not necessarily the biggest need.

Round 4, Pick 121: S Beau Brade (Maryland)

The middle of the Steelers defense was obliterated with injuries last season. Even with Damontae Kazee and Keanu Neal both technically under contract, they aren’t locks to return. Regardless, the Steelers should be looking to get younger, faster and preferably cheaper and Maryland’s Beau Brade would allow them to do so. This is a disruptive DB on film as a two-year starter with experience as a center fielder and as a box safety. If you let this dude play near the line of scrimmage, he’ll wreak havoc on the opposing offense.

The closing speed to ball carriers is impressive and he doesn’t display any semblance of fear regardless of opponent. When working in zone-coverage at the second level, he’s an expert at reading the quarterbacks eyes and anticipates route combinations well. Box safeties aren’t typically valued at the next level and if he’s going to get on the field early, he’ll need to clean up his tackling technique. If he lands in a spot with a creative defensive mind, he could become a solid contributor.

Round 6, Pick 197: WR Jordan Whittington (Texas)

We know that Pittsburgh is going to add a receiver this off-season but with Arthur Smith’s lack of 11 personnel usage, the need is lower on the priority list. Still, Jordan Whittington from Texas is a nice fit for what he wants at the position. He’s well built with a dense frame and plenty of experience working out of the slot. Whittington actually started his career at running back and his contact balance and toughness make him difficult to get on the ground.

Perhaps most importantly, he’s a willing blocker with the requisite size to make an impact there at the next level. He’s a true team-first player who was regularly seen making the extra effort for teammates on the perimeter. Whittington was a low volume player who wasn’t featured heavily in college and that won’t likely change in the pros. However, his physicality and competitiveness are traits that the room desperately needs at the moment.

Round 7, Pick 238: P Austin McNamara (Texas Tech)

Full disclosure: if this wasn’t such a shallow draft class, a punter would not be the pick here but alas, Pittsburgh is in desperate need for a reliable leg after the Pressley Harvin debacle. McNamara is a hang-time specialist, with nearly half of his punts being either fair caught or downed inside the 20-yard line. Selecting him here simply means they won’t have to outbid other teams for one on the undrafted free agent market.