The Pittsburgh Steelers landed Arkansas wide receiver Traylon Burks, Penn State safety Jaquan Brisker and USC outside linebacker Drake Jackson in a three-round mock draft released by Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports on Monday.
Wilson has the Steelers taking a wide receiver despite both Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett and Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder being on the board at No. 20 overall.
“He reminds us of some combination of Anquan Boldin, JuJu Smith-Schuster and AJ Brown,” Wilson wrote. “The Steelers just lost Smith-Schuster and James Washington in free agency and they’ll need to add some WRs in the draft. Burks isn’t a bad place to start.”
Wilson had the Steelers going with Burks ahead of Ohio State’s Chris Olave, who went two picks later. Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum, Clemson cornerback Andrew Booth Jr., Michigan safety Daxton Hill, Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean and defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt were among the other players available when the Steelers picked. But he said Burks’ top upside made him the pick.
“Burks is a contested and high-point catch machine,” he said. “Don’t be fooled by his 4.55 40 at the combine — he regularly outran defensive backs to the end zone in the SEC and that won’t change in the NFL. The scariest part of his game is that he’s not even close to his ceiling yet.”
The Steelers did not send their top brass to Arkansas’ pro day, as they did for most of the top quarterback prospects. It’s hard to envision the team passing on Pickett if he’s available at No. 20.
Brisker is much more realistic pick in the second round, as the Steelers have a need for versatile secondary defenders to put around Minkah Fitzpatrick. The team sent defensive backs coach Grady Brown to the Penn State pro day to watch him play.
The Steelers did not send a large contingent to the USC pro day, but Jackson fits a need for the Steelers, where they lack depth behind starters T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith at outside linebacker.