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2024 NFL Draft

Steelers Draft Grades: Mason McCormick Sets up Succession Plan at Guard

The Pittsburgh Steelers draft continues to add offensive linemen to the team, and Mason McCormick should be solid.

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Pittsburgh Steelers Mason McCormick
VERMILLION, SD - NOVEMBER 23: xxxxxxxxx (Photo by Dave Eggen/Inertia)

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers have beef up front. They added another offensive lineman in South Dakota State guard Mason McCormick. So, now the Steelers draft haul includes three athletic linemen that can move in space and offer them so significant versatility throughout their offense.

The 119th pick was right there in the sweet spot for a player like him, who has a little bit of rawness in his game but still has the athletic traits that stick out and could allow him to play early on. Something to note is that is arms are longer than your average guard or center at 33 7/8 inches, and he paired that with good athleticism. McCormick ran a 5.08 40-yard dash, had a 35 1/2-inch vertical jump and put up 32 bench press reps at his pro day.

McCormick is a strong, stout, well-built pass protector. His core strength might be his best trait, and he pairs that with fantastic grip strength to stop most interior pass rushers in their tracks. Most guys do not have the combo of pure strength and balance for where he will go, and he has some real upside to become a starter-level player in the NFL. He can get caught leaning a bit at times and his hand placement gets wide, opening up his chest and allowing defenders to push-pull him. But once he cleans up some of those technical issues, he feels like someone with some real starting potential in the NFL along the offensive line with some seasoning to his game.

This does throw a loop into everything at the guard spot. James Daniels and Isaac Seumalo are under contract, but Daniels has an expiring deal after the 2024 season, and Seumalo’s will expire in 2025. In other words, the Steelers just got some draft insurance in case Daniels walks. But even if he re-signs, Seumalo is not getting any younger.

McCormick has refinement that will need to be coached up, but his athleticism, space, and growth every single year highlight his ability to embrace coaching. Would it be all that surprising if he reached his ceiling as a starting level guard who can be an interior swingman? I don’t think so, and the schematic fit for what Arthur Smith wants to do, especially with how he asks his lineman to get out into space, makes so much sense.

The value works here, they got another quality player, and overall, the Steelers continue to beef up in the trenches to correct what was so wrong on the team for too long.

Grade: A-