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2021 NFL Draft

The Athletic’s Dane Brugler Mocks Steelers Picking Najee Harris in First-Round, Punter in Sixth

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There’s been no shortage of two and three round mock drafts making their way around the internet. So how about a full 259 pick, 7 rounder?

The Athletic’s Dane Brugler released his latest complete 7 round NFL mock draft on Friday and with it a familiar name in the first-round for the Steelers. No, he doesn’t have the team trading up for Justin Fields like another recent mock. Brugler makes the case for Alabama running back Najee Harris as a player who can contribute from day one.

“Harris is highly skilled at toggling between patience and power to press holes and maximize each run. And with his ability as a pass-catcher, he gives the Steelers an immediate impact player who can help the organization contend this season.”

Although the Steelers have historically shied away from drafting a running back in the first round, Harris has been mocked to the Steelers on multiple occasions this spring and recently ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper, Jr. switched his forecast to the bruising Alabama tailback.

For round two, Brugler thinks the Steelers will grab their center of the future, Quinn Meinerz, the talented lineman from Division-III Wisconsin-Whitewater. Meinerz has been flying up draft boards after a strong Senior Bowl, despite opting out his senior season, and playing at a small DIII school.

With two of the Steelers’ biggest needs out of the way, Brugler goes with Florida offensive tackle Stone Forsythe in round three.

The Steelers have two selections in the fourth-round and Brugler thinks they’ll go cornerback with the 128th overall pick, grabbing Oklahoma’s Tre Brown. Then with the 140th overall, Brugler forecasts Duke edge rusher Chris Rumph II.

After a fifth-round devoid of action, Brugler makes the ever controversial special teams prediction for the Steelers in round six. His choice is Kentucky punter Max Duffy with 216 overall. The rugby-style punter won the Ray Guy award for the nation’s best in 2019 and was an Associated Press First-Team All-American. The six-foot-one Duffy will be 28 as a rookie.

With two selections in the seventh-round, Brugler goes with Houston wide receiver Marquez Stevenson at 245 and Texas A&M linebacker Anthony Hines III at 254.

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