Despite finishing last season with a 12-4 record, the Steelers dropped five of their last six games including a first-round playoff game to the Cleveland Browns. Third in the league in fewest points allowed, the Steelers main needs are on the offensive side of the ball, where they ranked 12th in scoring. Let’s take a look at the first four picks of a mock Steelers draft, which is geared towards bolstering the offense.
Round 1, Samuel Cosmi (Offensive Tackle, Texas)
Looking to get back to smashmouth football, the Steelers choose to address the offensive line before considering a running back. The right side of the line is set with Zach Banner, but there are question marks on the opposite side. After questionable performances from Chukwuma Okorafor last year at left tackle, the Steelers best option would be to select Cosmi in a draft deep on the offensive line. Cosmi sticks out among offensive tackles due to overall athleticism which projects to becoming a strong contributor in the NFL. He has the type of potential to be a franchise lineman, protecting the backside of the quarterback.
Round 2, Javonte Williams (Running Back, North Carolina)
The running back position became a priority with James Conner leaving. Javonte Williams is an excellent player to fit the role. He combines agility with toughness and the ability to become an every down back in the NFL. Surely the Steelers could look in another direction with this pick, but with a glaring need at running back, it’s difficult to see the Steelers passing on Williams. He has excellent ability to spin and avoid defenders, with good size and speed. Last season Williams rushed for 1140 yards on 157 carries and 19 touchdowns.
Round 3, Quinn Meinerz (Center, Wisconsin –Whitewater)
After the retirement of Maurkice Pouncey, the Steelers are in desperate need to fill the hole at center. Typically, a position as important as center is addressed earlier, but the Steelers need at left tackle and running back were paramount. Meinerz would immediately battle J.C. Hassenauer for the starting role, but could also transition to guard and battle David DeCastro. Meinerz is strong, plays with great leverage and has immeasurable toughness, playing through a broken hand.
Round 4, Sage Surratt (Wide Receiver – Wake Forest)
The Steelers are expected to lose JuJu Smith-Schuster, but still have enough at the position to wait until a later round for selection. Surratt has great physical size and can play outside or inside. He projects to eventually fit the role that Smith-Schuster had with the Steelers. He is excellent at using his large frame and leverage to win at contested balls. There is some concern over Surratt’s lack of elite speed and quickness. Although no games were played last season, Surratt caught 66 passes for 11 touchdowns in 2019. There are some limitations, but Surratt is a big target that the Steelers can utilize downfield.