The Steelers’ draft plans could change as a top quarterback returns to school and a top tackle declares for the class.
Star Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers said he will return to school for another season. That will deal a blow to the upper end of this quarterback class, and Ewers, for all of his flaws, had the chance to be someone scouts loved due to his physical tools. The Steelers could have looked at him as a Will Levis-type of mid-round project to look at but since Ewers is going back to school, he should be one of the early favorites to be a top option in the 2025 NFL Draft.
In Jordan Reid’s new mock draft for ESPN, the Steelers look to add a physically imposing tackle in Tailese Fuaga. Fuaga has grown to become a popular pick in the Steelers draft plans for most pundits because of his natural right tackle fit, which would move Broderick Jones back to left tackle.
“Broderick Jones has shown potential as a right tackle in Year 1, but his natural position is on the left side. I could see Pittsburgh sliding him over — left tackle Dan Moore Jr. gave up 12 sacks this season and 35 over the past three years — and drafting another first-round tackle. Fuaga is a physically imposing blocker who overwhelms defenders at the point of attack, and the Steelers could build their offensive line around these two reliable bookend tackles,” Reid wrote.
Washington tackle Troy Fautanu and wide receiver Jalen McMillan are entering the 2024 NFL Draft. Both are relevant for potential Steelers draft plans, but Fautanu is an extremely intriguing player who fits what they like on the line. He is a natural left tackle, so he is not as glove-like as Fuaga, but he plays with strong hands and controlled violence. Fautanu is athletic and gets in space well, and could fit the gap schemes that the Steelers have loved to run and work late into this season. He is a strong contender to be a first-round pick, and it would not be surprising if Pittsburgh were in on him.