The Pittsburgh Steelers were forced to ensure multiple changes over the offseason, and now are prepared to enter the 2021 NFL Draft with the hope of adding prospects who can make an immediate impact. The front office is holding onto the 24th overall pick, as well as selections in the later rounds.
Pick 24, Round 1: RB Najee Harris, Alabama
In the first round, Harris is likely to fall right into the Pittsburgh’s laps at the 24th overall selection. With James Conner in Arizona, the Steelers desperately need a playmaker in the backfield. Harris is the workhorse back Pittsburgh has been looking for since Le’Veon Bell. Harris is not only an excellent between the tackles back, but he also excels in the passing game which will be a dynamic piece for the offense. Other prospects that could be eligible here include offensive tackle Tevin Jenkins, running back Travis Etienne, cornerback Asante Samuel Jr, and linebacker Nick Bolton.
Pick 55, Round 2: C Landon Dickerson, Alabama
Center is a big need after Maurkice Pouncey announced his retirement. The Steelers can land what I believe is the best center in the class in Dickerson. He would also be a familiar face for Najee Harris, who the team selected in the previous round. Dickerson would be an ideal Round 2 target. Other center prospects include Creed Humphrey, Quinn Meinerz, and Josh Myers.
Pick 87, Round 3: CB Benjamin St-Juste, Minnesota
After the Steelers released Steven Nelson, there is a need at the cornerback position. Luckily, this is a deep class for cornerbacks and St-Juste would likely make an immediate impact for Pittsburgh. He is a physical presence on the sideline with elite size and speed. Other cornerback prospects that may be available would be Kelvin Joseph, Trill Williams, Paulson Adebo, and Tyson Campbell.
Pick 128, Round 4: OT Walker Little, Stanford
Little could fall this far within the fourth round, and if he is, the Steelers have to take a chance on him. Pittsburgh re-signed Zach Banner, but are they sure he will be healthy during the 2021 season and beyond? We haven’t seen much of him prior to the injury, so it would make sense for Pittsburgh to insure the tackle position. With Little being a slight reach to fall this far, other prospects available at this position include Josh Ball, Stone Forsythe, Jaylon Moore Western, and Robert Hainsey.
Pick 141, Round 5: S Jamien Sherwood, Auburn
Terrell Edmunds is entering his final year and not living up to his first-round status. Sherwood has great upside at the safety position with his size and ball skills and could be a steal for the Steelers. He can also play a hybrid linebacker role in Pittsburgh or utilized as a feature safety next to Minkah Fitzpatrick if Edmunds can’t improve.
Pick 217, Round 6: LB Isaiah McDuffie, Boston College
McDuffie provides linebacker depth and help Pittsburgh alongside a returning Devin Bush, Robert Spillane and Vince Williams. McDuffie is likely a steal for any team that selects him. As a former safety, he should play well in a zone scheme such as Pittsburgh’s and has some of the best ball skills for any linebacker in the class.
Pick 246, Round 7: EDGE Joshua Kanidoh, Florida State
Kanidoh, listed as 6’7″, would be a huge addition to the defense as Alex Highsmith will likely start on the other side of T.J. Watt. If developed appropriately, Kanidoh could round out a great trio of pass-rushers for the Steelers.
Pick 255, Round 7: DT Isaiahh Loudermilk, Wisconsin
Loudermilk has decent upside at the defensive tackle position and will help with the depth of the Steelers. With the only players on the current depth chart at the position being Chris Wormly, Carlos Davis, and Tyson Alualu, Loudermilk would be a solid addition to find the team’s next nose tackle.