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2024 NFL Draft

Steelers Land Graham Barton, Roman Wilson in New Mock Draft

The Pittsburgh Steelers landed Graham Barton and Roman Wilson in a new mock draft done by ESPN on Wednesday.



Pittsburgh Steelers WR Roman Wilson

Offensive Line and wide receiver are inarguably the Pittsburgh Steelers biggest needs heading into the NFL Draft, at least as it stands right now. And in ESPN analyst Field Yates’ newest mock draft, the Steelers follow that exact trend, going out and drafting Duke offensive lineman Graham Barton and Michigan wide receiver Roman Wilson in the first two rounds.

“Although wide receiver was a thought here after the Steelers traded Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh’s history of finding talented wideouts beyond the first round and the position’s depth in this class made me go another direction. Barton is among the most versatile linemen available, having played left tackle his final three seasons at Duke after playing center as a true freshman. I view him as an interior player in the NFL and a center for the Steelers, as he is arguably the most impressive run-blocker in the class. His versatility, core power and handwork all stood out to me when watching tape,” Yates said of the Barton selection.

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.

And on Thursday, he 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.

The first obvious sign of interest was when Wilson had himself an impressive week at Senior Bowl practice. He started off the season on a hot streak and seemed primed for a statistically dominant season, but as the Wolverines shifted towards more of a rushing attack, his numbers just naturally fell. But that has not discouraged the Steelers.

And before Wednesday’s practice that week, Wilson got a challenge from Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. Tomlin pulled Wilson and Toledo CB Quinyon Mitchell aside, two of the most dominant players from day one of the Senior Bowl, and told them to go against each other throughout practice. They did just that, creating a highlight reel play for Wilson.