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2024 NFL Draft

Mel Kiper Projects ‘Mike Tomlin Guy’ Jalen McMillan to be Steeler

Mel Kiper believes that the Pittsburgh Steelers could land a ‘Mike Tomlin guy’ in Washington wide receiver Jalen McMillan.



Pittsburgh Steelers 2024 NFL Draft Prospect Washington WR Jalen McMillan

On Wednesday, ESPN Draft analyst Mel Kiper released a new mock draft, and the Pittsburgh Steelers ended up with two players that fit their top two needs at center and wide receiver. Kiper has the team selecting Duke’s Graham Barton at 20th overall and following that up at 51st overall with Washington wide receiver Jalen McMillan. But it was the McMillan pick that Kiper ended up loving.

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

“George Pickens is the Steelers’ clear No. 1 wideout with Diontae Johnson traded to Carolina, but who’s their No. 2? Van Jefferson? I’m not sold. If they can add a difference-maker in Round 2, Russell Wilson would have a really solid group of pass-catchers. McMillan was overshadowed by Rome Odunze at Washington, but he’s a dynamic slot receiver. He missed a few games with injury last season, but he had 1,098 yards and nine touchdowns in 2022,” Kiper said.

Mcmillan is a silky smooth operator with a keen understanding of how to attack the leverage of defenders. McMillan 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 entire class. And Kiper believes McMillan is perfect for Mike Tomlin.

“The guy I gave them fits them because he’s all Mike Tomlin, he screams a Mike Tomlin guy is Jalen McMillan. And that’s why I gave him to Pittsburgh. He is 6-1, 197-pound receiver. You talk about speed and how it translates. This guy, you know, people thought he wasn’t that [fast]. He ran 4.47, vertical 37. He’s got length. So he’s another deceptive player. People didn’t think he would run that. 4.55, 4.58. No, 4.47. So once he did that, he’s a second-rounder for me. He got a little banged up this year. He was great early and a key contributor later in the year. He’s just always open,” Kiper said on a conference call with reporters.

The Steelers have shown a ton of interest in wide receivers at that spot, and someone like McMillan would make sense. But to this point, they have not shown much interest in him. McMillan would be a natural fit in the offense, though, and the Steelers could still bring him in for a pre-draft visit in the not-so-distant future with the bevy of wide receivers they had visits with already.