SCU Steelers 2024 mock draft comparisons

The 2024 NFL Draft is just days away which makes it a great time to look at what some of the most popular and/or respected analysts around the league, according to fans, are predicting for the Pittsburgh Steelers this year. We went outside of local Pittsburgh media to offer the comparisons.

Steel City Underground will be offering draft coverage leading up to, and through the entirety of, the draft as well via our site and the numerous podcast services we broadcast to, so stay tuned.


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The comparisons

With so many outlets trying to guess, to the best of their ability, who might be selected from eligible players to join the Steelers via the draft, selection of the “experts” wasn’t necessarily easy.  We chose the following analysts and outlets for our comparison this year:

ESPN‘s Mel Kiper, NFL Network’s Peter Schrager, NFL Draft analyst Chad Reuter, and PFF’s Sam Monson.

We also chose to focus on the top part of the draft, namely the Steelers’ predicted first two picks off the board.

Of note, mock drafts do not necessarily consider whether teams will make trades during rounds, up or down or even for future draft considerations.

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Round One: Pick 20 overall

Kiper: IOL Graham Barton, Duke

Schrager: WR Brian Thomas, Jr., LSU

I’m still keeping an eye on Steelers GM Omar Khan to make a splash at wide receiver this offseason. Could that be a trade for Brandon Aiyuk? If not, Thomas is a special talent who helped himself at the combine as much as any player at the position.

Reuter: CB Terrion Arnold, Alabama

Monson: OT Amarius Mims, Georgia

Pittsburgh grabs the incredible ball of clay that is Amarius Mims and now has Georgia bookend tackles with his former teammate Broderick Jones on the other side.


The Steelers top needs arguably are at Center, Wide Receiver, Cornerback, and Offensive Tackle. In what order the Steelers might choose to fill those needs is hotly debated. Pittsburgh was active during free agency and the scouting/pro days periods, and that may, or may not, indicate where their focus will be with their first-round pick.

There are fans out there that are convinced, like Schrager mentioned, that Aiyuk could, instead, be a surprise move that sees Pittsburgh trade their first round pick to the 49ers to seal that deal.

Personally, I feel the Steelers value that opportunity to keep their pick at No. 20. I’ve hedged between center and cornerback for a few weeks for my predicted position of the pick, and I’ve kept my eye on visits the team has had. With just a couple days left, I’m pretty comfortable saying the offensive line will get a new member in the first round of the draft.


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Round Two: Pick 51 overall

Kiper: WR Jalen McMillan, Washington

George Pickens is the Steelers’ clear No. 1 wideout with Diontae Johnson traded to Carolina, but who’s their No. 2? Van Jefferson? I’m not sold. McMillan was overshadowed by Rome Odunze at Washington, but he’s a dynamic slot receiver.”

Reuter: IOL Jackson Powers-Johnson, Oregon

Monson: WR Ricky Pearsall, Florida

(Schrager did not recently mock round 2)

Thoughts: While a top receiver is a coveted pick, the Steelers have found success in later rounds with finding guys who fit into their system. Adding a “slot receiver” as the second round pick doesn’t feel like the strongest option, although Pittsburgh typically goes with the best player available when they draft. The Steelers underutilized Calvin Austin last season, and he could fit into Arthur Smith’s scheme at slot rather than outside.

I could see Pittsburgh opting to go for a defensive back to pair-up with Joey Porter, Jr in the second round, instead.

Final thoughts

Out of 100 mock drafts, 99 of them will be busted right out of the gate. Now, run 1000 of them. That’s just the nature of how these things typically go.

Omar Khan has the mind for figures and enters his second year as the general manager for Pittsburgh at the draft. The Steelers appear to be in good hands leading up to night one of the big draft event. Now, all we can do as fans is wait and see how it all shakes out.

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