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2024 NFL Draft

Steelers Land Uber-Talented Center in Latest Mock Draft

The Pittsburgh Steelers could end up adding their center of the future in Jackson Powers-Johnson in the 2024 NFL Draft.



Pittsburgh Steelers OL Jackson Powers-Johnson

The Pittsburgh Steelers seem primed to address the center position in free agency or the NFL Draft. And while there is a good crop of free agent centers, the top of the NFL Draft has multiple centers that stick out positively. In the latest mock draft by the Athletic, Nick Baumgardner has the team selecting Oregon’s Jackson Powers-Johnson with their first-round pick, arguably the best center prospect in the class.

“Jacksonville, at 17, could use a center, as could a few teams behind Pittsburgh (including Miami at 21). The best offensive player at the Senior Bowl, Powers-Johnson will be position-limited in the NFL, but his athleticism, power and IQ — at just 21 years old — make him a candidate to walk in and start next year,” Baumgartner wrote.

It’s rare for a center to go in the first round, but 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.

Powers-Johnson had a fantastic week at the Senior Bowl. On his lone full day, Powers-Johnson showcased elite core strength, and even reset his hands twice after getting beat initially underneath his pads. But he is a former wrestler and understands how to maximize leverage and win at the point of attack. It should be no surprise that he has already made a name for himself.

But while he played center for only one year, he even got some reps at guard and showed out there. That was for the first in two seasons, but that type of mentality and performance is what Powers-Johnson brings to the table.