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2024 NFL Draft

Report: Steelers Do Not Want to Address Center in First Round

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Pittsburgh Steelers 2024 NFL Draft Zach Frazier

The Pittsburgh Steelers have a gaping hole at center right now, but veteran reporter Mark Kaboly of The Athletic doesn’t envision the team wanting to address a first round pick on the position. He thinks drafting a center and passing on an elite offensive tackle like Amarius Mims would be a disservice.

“I’ve been told that they don’t want to take a center in the first round. Now that changes if everything’s gone and that’s still the best guy available there, but they’d much rather get their center in the second round or potentially third round,” Kaboly said on 93.7 The Fan. “I mean, if you’re giving up a potential Broderick Jones part two to grab a center in the first round, there’s no guarantee you’re getting a Creed Humphrey. … So I’m going with tackle over center right now. Center’s tough.”

Centers Zach Frazier of West Virginia and Jackson Powers-Johnson of Oregon have been heavily linked to the  Steelers since January. Pittsburgh currently doesn’t have a true center on their roster right now, unless you take Nate Herbig’s 49 career snaps at center serious. Versatile Duke offensive lineman Graham Barton could also be an option in the draft.

“I don’t know why you get rid of Mason Cole until you’re absolutely sure that you have somebody replacing him. Maybe they like [Nate] Herbig enough,” Kaboly said.

The Steelers have an incredible history at the center position with past legends Mike Webster, Dermontti Dawson and Maurkice Pouncey. Webster and Dawson are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and Pouncey very well could be in Canton someday.

Pittsburgh is hoping they can find their next blue chip center in this year’s draft. West Virginia longtime play-by-voice Tony Caridi believes Frazier would fit the bill. He thinks he was born to be a Steeler.

“I would take 12 Zach Frazier’s on my team. I think he’d be a perfect fit for the Steelers,” Caridi said on 93.7 The Fan when asked his thoughts on the possibility Frazier could be drafted by the nearest NFL franchise to Morgantown.

As Kaboly alluded to, if the Steelers get the chance to select a blue chip offensive tackle, they most likely will pull the trigger. The Steelers haven’t bothered to hide their interest in Mims, bringing him into the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex for a pre-draft visit, sending general manager Omar Khan, head coach Mike Tomlin and others to his pro day in Athens, Georgia, and holding a formal interview with him at the 2024 NFL Combine.

The 6-foot-7 3/4, 340-pound Mims certainly has the size and athleticism to do the job, showcasing the latter with a 5.07-second 40-yard dash at the combine, an impressive time for this size.

Wide receiver and cornerback are also top needs for the Steelers in the draft. Tomlin hinted at the NFL owner’s meetings that the wide receiver position most likely will be addressed in the draft. This year’s draft is loaded at receiver, and it’s a position that the Steelers typically do well at in the mid-to-late rounds. Selecting Antonio Brown in the sixth round in 2010 is a prime example.

So far, the Steelers have brought wide receivers Ricky Pearsall of Florida, Xavier Legette of South Carolina and Malachi Corley of Western Kentucky and USC wide receiver Tahj Washington in for pre-draft visits.

 

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Dave
Dave
April 3, 2024 4:43 pm

Barton might be the highest RAS Center since Creed Humphrey or Pouncey before that. But Barton is the only Center worthy of pick 20. The team could choose Mims and follow with VanPran as another route to a great OL. An OL with Jones, Seaumalu, VanPran, Daniels, and Mims would be incredible.

Eugene
Eugene
April 3, 2024 6:13 pm
Reply to  Dave

I doubt any of those guys were rated higher than Lt Moore was in college

Eugene
Eugene
April 3, 2024 6:12 pm

A mistake

Edward Carmichael
Edward Carmichael
April 3, 2024 6:36 pm

as a true Steelers fan, Steelers Omar Khan has Spencer Anderson he can play every position on the Steelers offensive line including center