Now that the crazy part of Free Agency is over, it’s time for our Post Free Agency Steelers Mock Draft. In our previous mock draft, we had the Steelers selecting a Quarterback in Round One, a Cornerback in Round Two, and an Offensive Tackle in Round Three. Luckily, the Pittsburgh Steelers have covered all these areas during Free Agency.
It’s unlikely that he will be the QB for years to come but Mitchell Trubisky is now the play-caller for the Steelers. A team-friendly deal meant that the Steelers were able to add players to multiple positions. On the offensive line, the Steelers brought in James Daniels, Mason Cole, and brought back Chuks Okorafor. The offensive line still requires work but it is an improvement on last year. Lastly, the Steelers brought in the former Buffalo Bills Cornerback, Levi Wallace. Our original mock draft was bang on in terms of the needs of the Steelers, we just got it wrong at the stage of the offseason they would address it.
So, with the additions made in Free Agency, what direction will the Steelers go in during the draft season. Let’s take a look at how the first three rounds might look now for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Steelers Mock Draft Version 2
Round One | Pick 20 | Desmond Ridder | QB | Cincinnati
I know, I know, they have Mitchell Trubisky. What more could they want I hear you ask?? Given the number of Quarterbacks, the Steelers brass has been to see the answer is still a QB in the draft. As mentioned earlier, Trubisky is highly unlikely to be the long-term answer at QB. I hope I’m wrong, I really do but it is difficult to envisage. That being said, they will need to find a QB soon. They could wait until 2023, but the Steelers will never tank for a season and will be hoping that they have an even lower pick in next year’s draft.
If I had my choice here, the pick would be Malik Willis. Mobile, big arm, and the ability to extend plays. It’s like a young Ben Roethlisberger. Unfortunately, he might go as high as number two in the draft. For the Steelers to get him it would cost far too much in draft capital for a team that still has plenty of needs. So, Desmond Ridder. Now before you say it, I’m not settling.
Ridder is a Qb of the future who can sit behind Trubisky and even play in gadget-type plays. Mike Tomlin spent all year talking about mobility at Quarterback, and Ridder certainly fills that role. He also clearly likes Ridder. As well as having dinner with him before his Pro Day, Tomlin and seven others went to watch him throw. Tomlin had a formal visit with him at the NFL Combine and the Steelers sent numerous people to the Senior Bowl to watch him play. Are the Steelers fans of Ridder? You tell me.
As far as Ridder as a QB goes, there is certainly room for improvement. He is working on his base during the offseason to help improve his accuracy and power. That aside, he is a fantastic athlete. He is in the upper categories in all measurable athletic traits. A mobile quarterback is exactly what Tomlin wants.
Ridder was great at Cincinnati and, with a bit of fine-tuning, could be great in the NFL.
Round Two | Pick 52 |George Pickens | WR | Georgia
If he is still available at this point I will be shocked. I love that he is, and I would jump all over it. So, let’s keep everything crossed. So far this offseason, the Steelers have had to say goodbye to JuJu Smith Schuster, James Washington, and Ray-Ray McLoud. Pickens has the alpha mentality needed to be a number one receiver in the NFL. Diontae Johnson will still be the number one receiver but the addition of Pickens would allow Chase Claypool to move to the slot.
Pickens has the same no fear, leave it all on the field mentality that JuJu had. JuJu was the go-to guy on third down and that is a huge hole that needs to be replaced. His no fear, mixed with excellent size and length and his route running ability would make him the ideal replacement for JuJu.
Pittsburgh is certainly enamored with the Georgia receiver, they met with him several times at the Combine, and Steelers wide receiver coach Frisman Jackson put him through workouts. Imagine that offense, Diontae Johnson, George Pickens, Chase Claypool, Pat Freiermuth, and Najee Harris. If the offensive line and Trubisky can play at a competent level, this Steelers offense might be able to compete with the powerhouses of the AFC.
Round Three | Pick 84 | Lewis Cine | S | Georgia
Another player who might not be available, but one that the Steelers should be willing to move up for if they can. Just like they did in Round Two, the Steelers go back to the National Champion Well that is the Georgia Bulldogs. Pittsburgh needs someone to pair up with Minkah Fitzpatrick and the two-year starter for the Bulldogs was one of the leading tacklers each year. Last year, Minkah shouldered the weight of the Steelers’ inept run defense and racked up a record number of tackles. He needs someone to share that load with.
Like Fitzpatrick, Cine is aggressive at the point of catch and rips the ball away from opponents. He has excellent closing speed and the ability to change direction quickly which will help prevent the double move. Look at Trevon Diggs, yes he had loads of interceptions but how many times was he beaten by a double move? Interceptions are great but I would rather have a player that doesn’t give up the big play. That player is Lewis Cine. Add him into this already loaded Steelers defense and they could be the number one unit in the league.
So here you have it, our Post Free Agency Steelers Mock Draft. More strong additions to a team that needs them in multiple areas. Steelers are always a contender and in a loaded AFC, they need to load the ranks.