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2024 NFL Draft

Bell: Pittsburgh Steelers 7-Round 2024 Mock Draft 2.0

Steelers Now analyst Derrick Bell predicts his second seven-round Steelers mock 2024 NFL Draft.



LSU Steelers WR Brian Thomas
Brian Thomas, LSU Athletics

The Pittsburgh Steelers organization has been hot on the scouting trail, attending Pro Days and scheduling additional visits to gather information on this draft class. After a busy first week of free agency, things have cooled off quite a bit. With the roster beginning to take shape, it’s time to take a step back and try to predict how they’ll fill the rest of the roster out. Our second seven-round Steelers mock draft of the cycle will be more predictive in nature. Here we go!

Round 1, Pick 20: WR Brian Thomas Jr. (LSU)

When the Steelers met with essentially all of the top wide outs at the NFL combine, it raised eye brows initially but after trading away Diontae Johnson to Carolina, things became a bit clearer. Brian Thomas Jr. is your classic height/weight/speed phenomenon who was absolutely dominant for the Tigers offense last season as a junior. Most of his production came as a vertical threat where he routinely broke games wide open, registering 12 catches, 502 yards and 10 touchdowns on go-balls according to PFF. His size and frame are what new offensive coordinator Arthur Smith has preferred at the NFL level.

While this hopefully won’t be the case entering draft weekend, the Steelers have a couple of glaring holes on the roster right now with receiver being near the top of the list. The Steelers reshaped their quarterback room with two passers who love to throw the ball down the field but in order for that to come to fruition, they need to add another dynamic playmaker on the perimeter. The 21-year old Thomas took significant steps forward in 2023, particularly against press coverage. While he likely won’t be able to handle the full route tree as a rookie, he should be able to provide ample splash plays which is right in line with what they need offensively.

Pittsburgh Steelers 2024 NFL Draft Zach Frazier

West Virginia center Zach Frazier warms up before a game against Oklahoma State at Milan Puskar Stadium on Oct. 23, 2023. — Kelsie LeRose / WVSN

Round 2, Pick 51: OC Zach Frazier (West Virginia)

Based on their inactivity at the position in free agency, the Steelers brass must really love this center class. West Virginia’s Zach Frazier will undoubtedly be high on their radar, given his comfortability in the zone rune game and competitive toughness. For example, Frazier was seen crawling off the field after breaking his leg last season and his speedy recovery since has been equally as impressive. He brings a well-rounded game including a solid anchor in pass protection, strong hands and repeatedly plays with good leverage.

After releasing Mason Cole prior to free agency, it seemed like Pittsburgh was going to be intent on finding a center better suited for Smith’s scheme. Frazier’s wrestling background should be able to help him acclimate quickly to the next level. He’s not a freak athlete and doesn’t have a true trump card to rely on which may lower his ceiling a bit, but the former Mountaineer has all the goods to become a solid pro in the league for quite a while. It shouldn’t surprise anyone if they even trade up a couple spots to ensure that they land him.

Round 3, Pick 84: DB Javon Bullard (Georgia)

By addressing their two biggest needs already in this mock, the board opens up a bit which is where Javon Bullard comes into play. General manager Omar Khan doubled up on Bulldogs last cycle and he goes back to the well once again in 2024. Two seasons ago, Bullard logged a bevy of snaps in the slot before sliding back to his safety spot this past fall. Truthfully, no matter what position you list him at, he’s just a football player and someone that you want on your team no matter what. His ability to click and close, positional versatility and toughness would be a welcomed addition to the defensive back room.

As the time of this writing, the Steelers need a slot defender more than they need a safety but as we saw last season, having guys that can wear multiple hats comes in handy once attrition begins to set in late in the season. Bullard’s undersized for a traditional safety but his speed is valuable in pursuit and is capable of holding his own against tight ends in coverage. There are few defenders in college football that had more put on their plate over the past two seasons, yet Bullard continued to rise. Per usual, Pittsburgh was well-represented at the Georgia Pro Day and there’s a good chance that they were keeping an eye on him.

Pittsburgh Steelers 2024 NFL Draft Prospect Washington Tackle Roger Rosengarten

Washington Huskies tackle Roger Rosengarten during the 2024 Senior Bowl on Feb. 3, 2024 at Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile, Alabama. — Alan Saunders / Steelers Now

Round 3, Pick 98: OT Roger Rosengarten (Washington)

In a perfect world, the Steelers would prefer to find a starting caliber right tackle and side Broderick Jones back over to his natural position. Washington’s Roger Rosengarten could allow them to do that down the line. He’s a pretty good athlete with range that was routinely on display in the Huskies vertical passing attack. The first step quickness sticks out on tape and is a useful asset for him in the run game, particularly when he’s asked to execute wide-zone blocks, something that Pittsburgh would be particularly interested in. Rosengarten comes equipped with quick hands and will flash independent usage even if a two-hand approach is what he seems most comfortable with right now.

The biggest thing working against Rosengarten is his narrow frame and shaky anchoring ability which shows up against power rushers that are able to get into his chest. He overcomes his lack of length well with craftiness and meets the threshold for the tackle position, even if it’s not ideal for what the Steelers typically covet at the position. Overall, the tools are enticing, and his athletic profile is one worth investing in. He’ll need time to continue developing and needs to continue to add mass in his lower half but there’s starter upside here which is difficult to find at the point in the draft.

Round 4, Pick 119: CB Renardo Green (Florida State)

Even after trading for Donte Jackson who is entering the final year of his contract, the Steelers don’t have much proven depth on the roster. Renardo Green followed up his strong fifth-year senior campaign earning an invite to the East-West Shrine Bowl. He’s an ideal scheme fit, having logged plenty of man coverage reps in college, with plenty of those coming in press where he can mirror receiver’s movements with his quick feet. Arguably his best game in 2023 came against LSU receivers, Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas Jr., who will both be first-round selections in April. Green is an explosive mover in short spaces, has the speed and fluidity to carry his assignments vertically on the perimeter.

There’s also a bit of a connection here, with the Steelers hiring Anthony Midget as their assistant defensive backs coach recently, after spending the past season on the Seminoles coaching staff. Green is an older prospect in a loaded cornerbacks class which could drive down his value but there’s enough tape out there to suggest that he can eventually be a starting cornerback at the next level. Pittsburgh has honed in on acquiring a bunch of press capable guys in the last twelve months and they should continue taking swings until they find a long-term solution opposite Joey Porter Jr.

Pittsburgh Steelers RB isaac Guerendo

Isaac Guerendo, Louisville Athletics

Round 6, Pick 178, RB Isaac Guerendo (Louisville)

At six-foot, 221 pounds, Isaac Guerendo certainly looks like a traditional Steelers running back. However, what sets him apart is his athleticism, as evidenced by his 4.33 40-yard dash and former track background. As part of a dynamic duo, he only accumulated 132 carries during his final collegiate campaign but those resulted in 11 touchdowns and 14 explosive runs of 15+ yards. Guerendo is a one-cut runner who thrives in a zone blocking scheme, making him a glove-like fit for Pittsburgh’s offense.

His production won’t blow anyone away, as it doesn’t even stack up very well against the rest of the class. Having said that, there’s not very much wear and tear on his tires, giving him a chance to have a more productive career in the pros. The Steelers offense is going to be relying heavily on Najee Harris, Jaylen Warren and the run game next season but Guerendo’s explosiveness could add another big-play element to the room. As a rookie, he would be an ideal fit for RB3 and kick return duties.

Round 6, Pick 195: Khristian Boyd (Northern Iowa)

The starters along the Steelers defensive line are all set to return, but further adding depth should be a priority during draft weekend. One player that they have shown interest in that makes a lot of sense is Khristian Boyd, arguably the biggest combine snub of this cycle despite having a very strong week during the East-West Shrine practices. Boyd has a quick first step and is at his best when allowed to get up field and wreck havoc. A few days ago, he set the school record with 38 reps on the bench press and that brute strength shows up on the field as well.

He carries a well-earned reputation as a stout run defender who can stack and shed blockers and hold up against double teams. His pass rush productivity spiked this past season, with him prioritizing power moves. He’s not the biggest, nor longest but there’s enough juice in his profile to see him as a rotational player at the next level. The step up in competition will be something that needs to be taken into account but if he can add a go-to pass rush move to his repertoire, he could take his game to another level.