Pittsburgh Steelers 2019 mock draft: Picks, big board, seven rounds, team needs, multiple options for every selection

In Pittsburgh, Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown -- once key pieces for a Super Bowl contender -- are now relics of the past. The team has enough at receiver that this draft class should be largely about fortifying the defense, while adding a pass-catcher or two where it makes sense. And a Bell heir is already in place in the form of James Conner.

Check out which picks the Steelers currently have below, along with our projection of their top positional needs. I'll then build a war-room big board based upon players I think have some kind of chance of making it to their first pick before sharing multiple draft classes that make sense for the team from myself, Chris Trapasso and Ryan Wilson.

As for the actual draft, you'll be able to stream our live coverage right here on CBS Sports HQ (or download the CBS Sports app for free on any mobile or connected TV device) breaking down all the picks and everything you need to know during draft weekend.  

Current draft picks

1 20
2 52
3 66 from Oakland
3 83
4 122
5 141 from Oakland
6 175 from Oakland
6 192
6 207 Compensatory from Arizona                
7 219 from Tampa Bay

Team needs

The CBS Sports NFL writing staff recently compiled positional rankings to identify needs for each team heading into the draft. A helpful guide: any position group that had an average ranking worse than 16.0 (on a scale of 1 to 32) was considered a "need," while any that ranked worse than 23.0 (bottom-third of the league) was considered a "pressing need."

8.8 7.8 16.6 1.8 21.6 2.4 21.5 21.3

Needs: WR/TE, EDGE, LB, DB
Pressing: N/A

Anyone who watched the Steelers last year knows they need help on the second level. The signings of Mark Barron and Steven Nelson should help, but it's not enough -- especially over the middle. Devin Bush is our most commonly-mocked player here, but Byron Murphy, Greedy Williams, and Deandre Baker pop up as well. Pittsburgh could also use some help for T.J. Watt on the edge, and another receiver to pair with JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Washington over the long-term. And there's always the Roethlisberger succession plan to worry about. 

War room big board

The Steelers would likely love to land one of the top two inside linebackers or a top-tier edge rusher with their first pick, but it's likely those players will be off the board by No. 20. With 10 picks at their disposal, the Steelers have the flexibility to engineer a trade up if they want. Here's how I'd project the Steelers' draft board for their first pick, considering only players I feel have some chance of making it in range:

  1. LB Devin White, LSU (trade up)
  2. LB Devin Bush, Michigan (trade up)
  3. OLB Brian Burns, Florida State
  4. OLB Clelin Ferrell, Clemson
  5. TE Noah Fant, Iowa
  6. CB Byron Murphy, Washington
  7. CB Greedy Williams, LSU
  8. WR Marquise Brown, Oklahoma
  9. WR A.J. Brown, Ole Miss
  10. WR Deebo Samuel, South Carolina
  11. CB Deandre Baker, Georgia
  12. CB/S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Florida

Seven-round mock drafts

R.J. White:

1 20 TE Noah Fant, Iowa
2 52 S/CB Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Florida
3 66 WR Hakeem Butler, Iowa State from OAK
3 83 OLB Oshane Ximines, Old Dominion
4 122 ILB Tre Lamar, Clemson
5 141 G Ben Powers, Oklahoma from OAK
5 169 RB Travis Homer, Miami from LAR*
6 175 CB Kendall Sheffield, Ohio State from OAK
6 192 to L.A. Rams
6 207 to L.A. Rams from ARI
7 219 TE Alize Mack, Notre Dame from TB

I think the Steelers could be looking at inside or outside linebacker at No. 20, but with all the clear Round 1 talent at both positions gone, they pivot to taking a receiving weapon at tight end in Fant. He's not going to be a blocking option like Jesse James, but he's a heck of a receiver who makes the offense more dynamic. 

The Steelers start Day 2 with one of the excellent second-round options at free safety in Gardner-Johnson, who can also be an option as a slot corner if the defense sees that as a bigger need. There's enough receiver talent in the top 75 overall that the Steelers should feel comfortable waiting until the third round to take one, and here it's Butler who slips due to concerns about drops. It's also possible guys like Kelvin Harmon or J.J. Arecga-Whiteside are available at No. 66. The other third-rounder brings in some edge rush talent in Ximines, a small-schooler who will help the pass rush immediately and could develop into T.J. Watt's running mate. 

Lamar brings great size at inside linebacker and provides the team some depth at a position of need. Powers is probably a reserve option at guard rather than someone who can fill the hole left by Ramon Foster's eventual departure, and I wouldn't be shocked to see the team pick a starter at the position earlier in the draft instead. The Steelers trade two of their sixth-rounders to get another pick in the fifth for Homer, who can serve as good depth behind Conner and has the ability to function as a starter if needed. Sheffield has the traits to shine but needs to be coached up before being relied upon, while Mack is more depth at tight end.

More seven-round mocks:
(*) indicates pick acquired via trade

Round 1 ILB Devin Bush, Michigan 
CB Deandre Baker, Georgia
Round 2 S Darnell Savage, Maryland
WR Parris Campbell, Ohio State
Round 3 WR Andy Isabella, UMass
CB David Long, Michigan  
ILB Bobby Okereke, Stanford
OLB Ben Banogu, TCU
Round 4 DE Anthony Nelson, Iowa
OL isaiah Prince, Ohio State
Round 5 WR David Sills, West Virginia
S Saquan Hampton, Rutgers
Round 6 RB Bryce Love, Stanford
LB Deshaun Davis, Auburn
WR Diontae Johnson, Toldeo 
TE Tommy Sweeney, Boston College
OL Nate Herbig, Stanford
TE Keenen Brown, Texas State
Round 7 CB Jordan Brown, South Dakota State
ILB Emeke Egbule, Houston

Check out more first-round mocks from CBS Sports.

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