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2024 NFL Draft

Steelers Could Break a Nearly 20-year Streak in This Year’s Draft



Pittsburgh Steelers 2024 NFL Draft Target LSU WR Brian Thomas Jr.

The last time the Pittsburgh Steelers selected a wide receiver in the first round was Santonio Holmes out of Ohio State in 2006, but that nearly 20-year streak could be snapped this year.

So far, the Steelers have brought wide receivers Ricky Pearsall of Florida and Xavier Legette of South Carolina in for pre-draft visits. They also have a pre-draft visit scheduled with wide receiver Malachi Corley of Western Kentucky.

Washington wide receiver Rome Odunze met with several teams at the NFL Combine, and one of them Steelers, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Rapoport added that the Steelers, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars and Los Angeles Rams are potential trade up teams.

Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette believes wide receiver at 20th overall is a legit possibility for the Steelers.

“I think receiver is in play at number 20,” he said on The Joe Starkey Show Friday. “I still think an offensive lineman is gonna be their first pick, but if not the first round, I think second round, third round at the latest. One of their first three picks, they’re gonna get a receiver.”

Wide receiver, center and offensive tackle are widely considered the Steelers’ top three needs heading into the draft. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin hinted at the NFL owner’s meetings last week 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.

“You know, we’ve got a lot of options there,” Tomlin said about the wide receiver position. “There’s still a lot of capable guys on the market. The draft is probably unusually deep at that position and has been for the last several years. I just think that receivers and those that cover them come probably a little bit more ready in today’s game than maybe in year’s past. I think it’s the evolution of seven-on-seven football for high school kids. I just think their development, the skills relative to their positions come with a higher floor. Much like AAU Basketball probably transformed basketball. I think seven-on-seven has had a significant impact on the passing game and those that participate in it. And I think that’s why there’s always a lot of wide outs that appear to be game ready, corners that appear to be game ready. They’re playing football and working on skills relative to football over the course of a 12-month calendar during significant developmental age groups now.”

Aditi Kinkhabwala of CBS Sports thinks the Steelers are going to be patient and let the chips fall where they may in regards to the receiver position. Three weeks ago, it was reported and confirmed to Steelers Now that the Steelers and free-agent wide receiver Tyler Boyd had mutual interest, but nothing has happened just yet. Veteran receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is also still on the market.

“I think that the Steelers have the ability to sit and wait a little bit and see what they can do in the draft. I think there’s a lot of institutional confidence in their ability to draft wide receivers, and as we know, wide receiver is truly an easy position to have an immediate impact as a rookie. I think there’s no urgency to rush right now and lock yourself into a veteran player,” Kinkhabwala said on 93.7 The Fan, via

Mark Kaboly of The Athletic thinks Boyd is a long shot to land in Pittsburgh, as the two sides have not been able to compromise on compensation.

“The Steelers have not been willing to bump up their offer to free-agent wideout Tyler Boyd, making that signing a longshot,” Kaboly said.