Just a few days after longtime Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey announced his retirement, a major mock draft has the team selecting his replacement in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Matt Miller of NFLDraftScout.com updated his first-round mock draft on Thursday and has the Steelers choosing Alabama interior offensive lineman Landon Dickerson.
“With Maurkice Pouncey retired, the Steelers have to address the offensive line this off-season and they’re unlikely able to afford to do that in free agency,” Miller wrote. “Here they take the best lineman available. Even with an ACL tear suffered in the SEC title game, Dickerson has huge value at No. 24 overall.”
Dickerson can play center and guard, but would likely slot at center with the Steelers in order to help replace the departed Pouncey.
A 6-foot-6, 325-pound offensive lineman, Dickerson spent his first three seasons at Florida State before transferring to Alabama in 2019. He started four games at right guard and nine games at center in 2019 and started at center in 2020, where he was the winner of the Rimington Trophy as the country’s best center.
Concerns about the ACL injury suffered in December have depressed Dickerson’s draft value, but he is generally considered to be the best center in the class and no worse than a second-round pick.