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2024 NFL Draft

Tony Pauline Has Steelers Bolstering OL in Two-Round Mock Draft

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Pittsburgh Steelers 2024 NFL Draft Prospect Washington Tackle Roger Rosengarten

Longtime NFL draft analyst Tony Pauline of Sportskeeda released his two-round mock draft on Wednesday, and he has the Pittsburgh Steelers bolstering their offensive line in Round 1 and 2. With the Steelers’ first-round pick at No. 20, Pauline tabs the highly-touted versatile Duke offensive lineman Graham Barton to Pittsburgh. Barton has been heavily linked to Pittsburgh throughout the pre-draft process.

“The Steelers will battle to move up to Broncos’ pick at 12 if (Toledo cornerback) Quinyon Mitchell is available, otherwise Barton’s versatility and intelligence are attractive,” Pauline wrote.

Pauline reported on Tuesday that the Steelers love Quinyon Mitchell and that they are hoping to move up for him. But the Philadelphia Eagles are doing the same.

“I’m told the Steelers and Broncos are talking trade as Pittsburgh is another team that is targeting Mitchell and would move up in the draft for him,” Pauline wrote.

Barton is an impressive player on film, and though many are projecting him to move positions because his lack of length leaves him in trouble on the outside at tackle, many believe he is a special talent who could play center. Former Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor, who helps the Steelers out with some scouting services, weighed in on Barton.

“This is what I think about when I think about Graham Barton — you mix a grizzly bear, you put in a ballerina, and you put in a lion,” Taylor said on the Bleav in Steelers Podcast. “Those people don’t come around too often.”

Longtime Steelers beat writer Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is hearing that the Steelers think Barton is a generational-type player. This has been confirmed by Steelers Now.

“It has been said to me by someone in the organization who would know that Graham Barton is a generational-type player,” Dulac said during an appearance on the Steve Jones Show. “If that’s what you think, then you take a generational-type player. Those type of players are Pro Bowl players. Those guys are guys you build your line around for 10 years like Maurkice Pouncey. You took Maurkice Pouncey at 18. There’s nothing wrong with taking that type of player at 20 if you believe in him. And if he is what they think he is, then to me, why would you pass him up? You just wouldn’t because that is your number one need.”

In the second round at 51st overall, Pauline has the Steelers selecting Washington offensive tackle Roger Rosengarten. Rosengarten hasn’t been heavily linked to the Steelers, but he would be a solid addition. He’s considered more of a right tackle, so the Steelers would be able to kick Broderick Jones to his natural position on the left side.

“He’s a pretty good athlete with range that was routinely on display in the Huskies vertical passing attack. The first step quickness sticks out on tape and is a useful asset for him in the run game, particularly when he’s asked to execute wide-zone blocks, something that Pittsburgh would be particularly interested in. Rosengarten comes equipped with quick hands and will flash independent usage even if a two-hand approach is what he seems most comfortable with right now,” Derrick Bell of Steelers Now wrote in regards to Rosengarten.

“The biggest thing working against Rosengarten is his narrow frame and shaky anchoring ability which shows up against power rushers that are able to get into his chest. He overcomes his lack of length well with craftiness and meets the threshold for the tackle position, even if it’s not ideal for what the Steelers typically covet at the position. Overall, the tools are enticing, and his athletic profile is one worth investing in. He’ll need time to continue developing and needs to continue to add mass in his lower half but there’s starter upside here which is difficult to find at the point in the draft.”