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2024 NFL Draft

Steelers Focus on Filling Massive Needs in ESPN Mock Draft

The Pittsburgh Steelers land two offensive lineman and other talented players in a new mock draft by Mel Kiper and Field Yates.



Pittsburgh Steelers 2024 NFL Draft Prospect OL Graham Barton

On Monday, ESPN Draft analysts Mel Kiper and Field Yates released a new three round mock draft, and the Pittsburgh Steelers ended up with four players that fit their top two needs at center and wide receiver while adding a tackle and defensive tackle later. They have the team selecting Duke’s Graham Barton at 20th overall and following that up at 51st overall with Washington wide receiver Jalen McMillan. Then, in the third round, the team drafts Ohio State defensive tackle Michael Hall and TCU tackle Brandon Coleman.

“The Steelers still have a center need, and Barton is the best in the entire class. He played center as a true freshman for the Blue Devils before moving to left tackle for his final three seasons. His footwork, mobility and tenacity all stand out.” they said on their first-round pick.

In the past Barton has played at left tackle and center, but he played at center in 2020. That is only one year of experience, though most teams say Barton will shift inside. The Steelers are unlikely to draft a guy who will project as a guard, so if they draft Barton, it will be because they view him as an interior offensive lineman or believe he can stick it out at tackle.

Barton showed out at his pro day. Scouts had him marked at between a 4.94 to 4.97 40-yard dash, while he posted a 4.55 20-yard Shuttle time and 7.31 3-Cone time at his size. In other words, Barton tested like an elite athlete. And that could absolutely boost his stock, especially with so many teams that need interior offensive linemen in the class. All of that makes him a possible pick at 20th overall, especially when he is five-position versatile.

As for the selection of McMillan, Kiper likes the fit for the Steelers.

“I went with this match in my two-round mock too. McMillan could help fill the void of Diontae Johnson — who was traded to the Panthers — in making plays out of the slot,” he said.

McMillan is a silky smooth operator with a keen understanding of how to attack defenders’ leverage. He is a three-level threat out of the slot: an option route guru and dangerous when given a runway to work vertically. Injuries wiped out his entire 2023 season, but his tape as a junior further cements him as the most undervalued receiver in this class.

Hall is a different type of defensive tackle than the Steelers have drafted recently, as an undersized, explosive player. But they have a pass rush need, and Hall played out of position by playing far more nose tackle than someone his size should play, so there is a thought that there is far more upside in his game. That is the rationale behind the duo’s pick.

“The Steelers don’t need a Week 1 starter at defensive tackle, but Hall would provide pass rush juice and could eventually pair with Keeanu Benton when Pittsburgh no longer has Cameron Heyward,” Yates wrote.

Coleman has flown under the radar as one of the more underrated tackle prospects in the entire class. Most people may not have even heard of Coleman, but he is a much better technician than given credit for, especially for the range where he will likely be drafted. It would not be a surprise to see Coleman start in year one at some point wherever he lands, because the tape shows he is capable.

“Pittsburgh would add versatility and experience with Coleman while continuing the remake of its offensive line. He didn’t allow any sacks last season,” Yates wrote.

Some think Coleman might have to slip inside, so that is something to watch. Blake Fisher, who the team hosted for a 30 visit last week, is a more traditional Steelers tackle in every sense of the word. But Coleman feels like a late riser that is going to be a day two pick.