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2024 NFL Draft

Steelers Have Several High-Upside NFL Draft Center Options

If the Pittsburgh Steelers want to find a quality center in the NFL Draft, they will likely be able to find one quite easily.



Pittsburgh Steelers

This week is the NFL Combine, and with it, the Pittsburgh Steelers and other teams get medical checks, official testing numbers, and more interviews with the prospects. It’s the most valuable week of scouting on the NFL’s offseason schedule. For Pittsburgh, though, the centers will take center stage after they released Mason Cole on Friday.

Does the team have free agency options to fill that void? Absolutely. But there are four talented centers ready to go in the 2024 NFL Draft that could fit what the team needs and give them a young building block along their offensive line.

Zach Frazier, Jackson Powers-Johnson, Graham Barton, and Sedrick Van Pran-Granger all check off boxes to at least fit into this category, though the first three have separation. It’s not hard to see why when you put on the tape, either.

Powers-Johnson has played himself into legitimate first round hype. His movement skills for someone of his size, over 330 pounds, is so rare. And yet, he has only started for one legitimate season. For someone that inexperienced at center to play the way he did speaks to coaching, but also the rare player he is coming out of college.

Frazier’s strong recovery from his injury and his ability to show his full health before the draft has him rocketing up draft boards. A player that was routinely linked to the Pittsburgh Steelers with the team’s second-round pick, the Steelers may need to use their first-round pick at No. 20 overall , trade back or trade up in the second round to make sure they get Frazier at this point.

And Barton, with all of his experience, has become one of the more polished players in this class. You can compare him closely to Northwestern’s Peter Skoronski from the 2023 NFL Draft. But his potential center capabilities make him extremely intriguing for a team like Pittsburgh. It’s more about where these guys will all fall.

Meanwhile, Van Pran-Granger comes in slightly differently than the other three. He will not go as high as them, for one, but he has excellent athleticism in space and fits Arthur Smith’s system well. The finishing ability is fantastic, and though he is a little rawer than the other three with some inconsistent hand usage, he has significant upside to become a big-time contributor for a team in his rookie contract. If this is the route they go, they should have some stopgap to give him time, but he’s talented.

It’s fairly easy to see the Steelers falling in love with a few of these players. Whether they take one in the first round or decide to loop back around, there’s a very good chance one of these three names ends up being on their roster in 2024.