The Pittsburgh Steelers got off to a 7-4 start in the 2024 NFL season. After an injury to quarterback Kenny Pickett, they lost back-to-back home games against the Arizona Cardinals and New England Patriots, two of the worst teams in the league this season. They lost to the Indianapolis Colts in Week 15, then made the QB change to Mason Rudolph and rattled off three straight wins to clinch the final spot in the AFC playoff picture.
Pittsburgh faced the Buffalo Bills in the Wild Card round. With no T.J. Watt, who was out with an injury, the Steelers’ luck ran out, and they lost 31-17. After making the playoffs but losing in the first round, Pittsburgh will now be on the clock with the 20th pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.
Steelers draft order: 20th pick
1.01 Chicago Bears (via Carolina Panthers)
1.02 Washington Commanders
1.03 New England Patriots
1.04 Arizona Cardinals
1.05 Los Angeles Chargers
1.06 New York Giants
1.07 Tennessee Titans
1.08 Atlanta Falcons
1.09 Chicago Bears
1.10 New York Jets
1.11 Minnesota Vikings
1.12 Denver Broncos
1.13 Las Vegas Raiders
1.14 New Orleans Saints
1.15 Indianapolis Colts
1.16 Seattle Seahawks
1.17 Jacksonville Jaguars
1.18 Cincinnati Bengals
1,19 Los Angeles Rams
1.20 Pittsburgh Steelers
1.21 Miami Dolphins
Pittsburgh snuck into the AFC playoffs which meant the best pick they could have would be No. 19 overall. They lose the strength of schedule (SOS) tiebreaker with the Rams, so slot in at No. 20. The con about having a head coach that has never had a losing season is that the Steelers never get to have a top draft pick without making a trade up which the franchise is not known for.
The Steelers need a quarterback, but they likely aren’t going to spend this first-round pick on one. Pittsburgh’s biggest team needs include shoring up the offensive line and drafting another corner to be opposite of Joey Porter Jr. These needs could be met during free agency, but again, the franchise isn’t known for spending money on star players.
Steelers mock draft: Potential first-round pick
1.20 — CB Kamari Lassiter, Georgia
A lot of mock drafts have the Steelers taking a wide receiver, but after Chase Claypool and George Pickens, they don’t seem to be the best judge of mental toughness when it comes to wideouts in the draft. Pittsburgh can take advantage of a good cornerback class with their first choice.
Lassiter spent three years with the Bulldogs and has steadily improved. He only had one collegiate interception, but he had 86 career tackles, including 60 solo tackles. Lassiter had 14 passes defended and a sack over his three seasons at Georgia. These may not seem like massive numbers, but the Bulldogs have had several cornerbacks drafted in the last few seasons, so he largely played behind others. If Porter Jr. can step up as the No. 1 option, Lassiter would be a reliable WR2.
Pittsburgh could also look at Oregon CB Khyree Jackson, Penn State CB Kalen King and Duke IOL Graham Barton.