2021 NFL Draft
Experts’ Most Popular Steelers 1st-Round Mock Draft Picks
It’s been a few years since the Steelers ended up with a “normal” 1st round pick.
In 2019, the Steelers made the — by their standards — uncommon move of trading up to draft Michigan linebacker Devin Bush at the No. 10 spot.
In 2020 the Steelers did the practically unthinkable, acquiring Miami Dolphins safety Minkah Fitzpatrick in exchange for the team’s 1st round selection. The last time the Steelers had an uneventful 1st round was 2018 when they snagged Terrell Edmunds from Virginia Tech with the 28th pick.
Will the Steelers make a move this year? There has been some speculation about moving up to draft a quarterback, but with a lot of needs most prognosticators have the team sitting at 24th.
What kind of needs to the Steelers have? You can check out Alan’s three part series on exactly that here: Part 1: the starters, Part 2: the future, Part 3: the backups.
While every site and network has their own mock drafts, and if you scoured the internet, you could probably find someone making a case for the Steelers to draft every single player available (although we haven’t seen any Steelers trading for 1st overall to draft Trevor Lawrence fantasies… yet), we’ll keep things within the realm of reality and just sift through the most professional, trusted sources for this article.
In his latest mock draft, ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. has the Steelers picking tackle Teven Jenkins from Oklahoma State. ESPN’s other draft expert Todd McShay goes a slightly different route, with the Steelers taking running back Najee Harris from Alabama.
Over at CBS, experts Chris Trapasso, Josh Edwards and Ryan Wilson are all split on who the Steelers will pick. Wilson thinks the Steelers will grab Penn State edge rusher Jayson Oweh, Trapasso is also thinking edge rusher, except in this case Wake Forest’s Carlos “Boogie” Basham. Edwards on the other hand thinks the Steelers will go tackle, selecting Teven Jenkins. Brian DeArdo goes offense, with the team picking Najee Harris. In maybe the most exciting of all, Tom Fornelli has the Steelers trading with the Dolphins to move up and select North Dakota quarterback Trey Lance with the 18th pick.
NFL.com’s resident draft expert Daniel Jeremiah is also aboard the Teven Jenkins to the Steelers train. Analytics expert Cynthia Frelund thinks the Steelers should pick Michigan tackle Jalen Mayfield (although her pick is about need, not necessarily what she thinks the Steelers will actually do.) Good Morning Football host Peter Schrager, on the other hand, has the team picking Alabama center Landon Dickerson to replace the retired Maurkice Pouncey.
Pro Football Focus
PFF always stands out with their analysis (for better or worse) and their latest mock from Andrew Erickson is no exception. Not excited about the remaining offensive line candidates remaining on the board, he has the Steelers turning to Georgia edge rusher Azeez Ojulari, the highest-graded pass-rusher in the NFL Draft. PFF’s fan vote goes to Oklahoma State’s Teven Jenkins.
The Athletic’s resident NFL Draft expert Dane Brugler also thinks the Steelers will make a trade with the Miami Dolphins to move up to No. 18. However, Brugler expects the Steelers to go with Virginia Tech tackle Christian Darrisaw there as most don’t believe he will last to the Steelers original position of No. 24. Also at the Athletic, Chris Burke has the Steelers sticking at No. 24 and selecting USC G/T Alijah Vera-Tucker. Bruce Feldman thinks it will be offensive tackle Jalen Mayfield from Michigan. Finally, Ben Standig also thinks the Steelers will pick a tackle, but unlike his coworkers, he thinks it’ll be OK State’s Teven Jenkins.
Pro Football Network
This one stands out as Carlos Valdovinos has the Steelers going with a running back, but not the ones most commonly linked to the team. In his mock, Najee Harris is already off the board necessitating a decision between Clemson’s Travis Etienne and one half of North Carolina’s dynamic backfield in Jahvonte Williams. Valdovinos thinks Tomlin will prefer Williams, who will be the Steelers pick at 24. Although not an expert per se, PFN’s Mock Draft Simulator (which is a computer program) computes that the Steelers will go with Texas tackle Samuel Cosmi.
Of all the mock drafts we’ve seen, WalterFootball.com is the only one to have the Steelers going for a cornerback, and based off the team’s recent draft history, it’s hard to blame them. 6-foot-1 Aaron Robinson of UCF is their pick.
The Draft Network
Count one more for Najee Harris. At The Draft Network, Brentley Weissman has the Steelers picking the consensus top back from Alabama as the team’s running back of the future. TDN’s other draft experts, Drae Harris and Kyle Crabbs think Samuel Cosmi and Jayson Oweh respectively.
The Draft Scorecard
Of the 21 mock drafts we looked at, five players were selected by the experts more than once for the Steelers.
Teven Jenkins, OT: 4
Samuel Cosmi, OT: 3
Najee Harris, RB: 2
Jalen Mayfield, OT: 2
Jayson Oweh, EDGE: 2
Also mocked to the Steelers: QB Trey Lance, EDGE Carlos Basham, C Landon Dickerson, CB Aaron Robinson, EDGE Azeez Ojulari, T/G Alijah Vera-Tucker, RB Jahvonte Williams, T Christian Darrisaw
In all, the experts had the Steelers picking a tackle in 11 of the 21 drafts, making it by far the most popular position.