SCU’s picks are in: Who do we have the Steelers taking first in the 2021 NFL Draft?
It’s finally Draft Day Steelers Nation and you know what that means: the end of mock draft season!
While we can say that tongue-in-cheek, the nonstop speculation ends with celebration by those who loathe them and for others, the fun that comes with guessing.
Over the last several weeks our SCU staff took their shots in the dark on who the Pittsburgh Steelers could be selecting in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Below is a small compilation of their mock drafts with their top overall pick.
Without further ado, its time for Roger Goodell to step to the podium.
With the 24th selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers select…
Note: Click on each contributor’s name to open their mock drafts in a new window, read their full thoughts, and see their other picks.
Najee Harris – RB (Alabama)
Selected by multiple contributors
Joe Kuzma says:
While the Steelers have looked at backs who could be taken anywhere in the draft, at pick 24 they could have their pick of the litter. If they go this direction, there’s no doubt in my mind that Najee Harris is their pick.
Zac Celedonia says:
The pretty much unanimous RB1 in this year’s draft offers a three-down back “bell cow” style the Steelers haven’t had since Le’Veon Bell. James Conner will always have 2018, but we haven’t seen Pittsburgh take over and control a game on the ground in what feels like centuries.
Harris can come in and immediately start, and immediately improve Pittsburgh’s run game woes… Totaling 43 receptions in 2020, Harris has also shown the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and be used as a receiver, another similarity to the aforementioned Bell.
Ryan Lippert says:
The Steelers haven’t had an elite running back since Le’Veon Bell’s departure and it has shown. Harris is the clear cut top back in my eyes in this draft class as he is a big back that will punish defenders but also has impressive speed and elusiveness in the open field.
Brian E. Roach and Zach Metkler also chose Harris
Joe, Brian, and Zach spoke at length about the Steelers possible first round selections, with a unanimous vote for Harris, on the SCU Mock Draft Round Table podcast.
Eric Stokes – CB (Georgia)
Selected by Christina Rivers, who says:
His ability to close on ball carriers and receivers in stride would give the Steelers a player that could replace Steven Nelson or Mike Hilton who both departed during the offseason. At 6-feet-1, his long arms help him in press and when extending to prevent the ball from reaching its target, and his foot speed would allow him to go head-to-head with top receivers in the league.
Azeez Ojulari – EDGE (Georgia)
Selected by Mike Pelaia, who says:
Ojulari is athletic, quick, and can get to the quarterback with ease. He’s a redshirt sophomore so he’s still a bit young into his collegiate career but certainly worthy of a first-round pick.
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah – LB (Notre Dame)
Selected by Gavin Bennett, who says:
JOK isn’t only explosive and versatile, he is a straight-up playmaker. He plays with an unmatched level of energy and hits without hesitation.
Asante Samuel Jr. – CB (Florida State)
Selected by Steve Dillon, who says:
While he does not fit the elite athletic profile that the Steelers look for in first-round picks, they have shown interest in Samuel and there is a good chance that he will end up being one of the higher graded prospects left on their board, and their highest-graded cornerback when they pick at 24.
He also will probably not make it back to them in the 2nd round if they pass on him here and the talent drop off at corner in this class is pretty steep.