Heading into the NFL draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers biggest holes remain at offensive tackle, cornerback, and wide receiver. In a majority of mock drafts, the Steelers are predicted to take a tackle or cornerback at pick No. 17.
In a mock draft posted on Tuesday by ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr., Pittsburgh elected for help at wide receiver by selecting Zay Flowers out of Boston College.
Kiper predicted Flowers as the second wide receiver taken in the entire draft after the Houston Texans selected Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba at pick No. 12.
“Flowers is actually my top-ranked wideout. I love his explosion and ability after the catch. The 5-9 Flowers is a dynamo out of the slot, but he had plenty of grabs lined up outside too,” wrote Kiper. “Quarterback Kenny Pickett had a special connection with former Pitt teammate Jordan Addison, but I think Flowers would be the better pick for the Steelers.”
Players that were still an option outside of Flowers at pick No. 17 include offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr. (Ohio State), cornerbacks Deonte Banks (Maryland) and Emmanuel Forbes (Mississippi State), wide receiver Jordan Addison (USC), edge rusher Lukas Van Ness (Iowa), and defensive linemen Calijah Kancey (Pitt) and Bryan Bresee (Clemson).
Kiper predicted that the Steelers would wait until pick No. 32 to address the need at offensive tackle by selecting Oklahoma’s Anton Harrison.
PFF’s Big Board ranked Harrison as the No. 24 overall prospect. Harrison would be the favorite to start at left tackle but could end up on either side of the offensive line for the Steelers.
Pittsburgh would fill their remaining need at cornerback with their third selection by taking Kansas State’s Julius Brents at pick No. 49.
Brents fits the style of play that the Steelers desire from their cornerbacks as a sure-tackling, bump-and-run type of guy as he is a lengthy 6-foot-3 prospect that can learn behind newly-acquired veteran Patrick Peterson.