Pittsburgh Steelers Mock Draft First Round Pick Samuel Cosmi

Pittsburgh Steelers 7-Round 2021 NFL Mock Draft

  • 2021 NFL Draft
  • Cornell Powell
  • Daelin Hayes
  • Damar Hamlin
  • Draft
  • Elijah Molden
  • Javonte Williams
  • Luke Farrell
  • mock draft
  • NFl Draft
  • Pittsburgh
  • Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Samuel Cosmi
  • Steelers
  • Trey Hill
By Mitchell Wolfe February 21, 2021 0 Comment
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The Pittsburgh Steelers have to rebuild certain sections of their roster, but also find players to help them win now. In this seven-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft, I try to balance those two missions.

As I often say once the NFL season is over, it’s the most wonderful time of the year: Draft SZN. For my favorite team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, draft season is a little different. Pittsburgh rarely picks in the top half of the first round. Therefore, the Steelers typically try to find some value picks in the latter half of the first round.

How the Pittsburgh Steelers will approach the 2021 NFL Draft

The Steelers’ general manager, Kevin Colbert, has been in this role since 2000 (he served as the Director of Football Operations from 2000-2010, but was the de facto general manager). Colbert is operating on a year-to-year contract basis now, mainly so he can retire when he wants. But he has certainly established a type of player the Steelers target and an overall draft strategy. Pittsburgh typically goes after bigger schools, more athletic players in the early rounds, then smaller school types in the later rounds.

This year, the Pittsburgh Steelers are in a state of limbo. On one hand, they have an elite defense, a veteran quarterback with multiple Super Bowl rings, and an excellent young receiving corps. But on the other hand, Ben Roethlisberger is most likely entering his last year in the league, the offensive line is aging rapidly, and many key players are entering free agency. Therefore, the Steelers need to draft players to help them win now; but they also need to find some players to develop for the future and replace aging veterans.

Author’s Note: This article was written before Kevin Colbert’s press conference on Tuesday afternoon. At this press conference, Colbert informed the media the further negotiations regarding Ben Roethlisberger would need to take place in order for him to return for the upcoming season. While he did not say Roethlisberger was not coming back, he certainly cast doubt on the prospects of Roethlisberger’s return.

Explaining my Pittsburgh Steelers Mock Draft

For this Pittsburgh Steelers mock draft, I used The Draft Network’s Mock Draft Machine. There are many simulators out there, but I personally like TDN’s the most. I did not engage in trades, mainly because the Steelers rarely trade on draft day. I also used the TDN Predictive Board, which may be a little out of date, so I was able to get some steals in the later rounds. Nevertheless, here is my first Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 NFL Mock Draft!

* designates a projected compensatory pick

Round 1 Pick 24: Samuel Cosmi, OT, 6’7’, 309, Texas

In the first round, there are a few qualities for Steelers’ selections: Power-Five school, underclassman, very athletic. Cosmi checks all these boxes, along with fitting a need. He’s a fourth-year junior from Texas, one of the biggest college football programs. His best trait is his athleticism but needs to improve his strength. Luckily, Cosmi is on the leaner side with a big frame ready to put on more weight. He has starting experience at left and right tackle, so he could compete to start on the right side; alternatively, if the Steelers let Alejandro Villanueva go, he could replace him on the left. Cosmi might experience some growing pains early in his first season, but his athletic tools should allow him to acclimate to the NFL by the end of his rookie season.

Round 2 Pick 55: Javonte Williams, RB, 5’10”, 220, North Carolina

To be honest, this pick was about a round too early for me. But I think Williams’ stock is due to rise. At his Pro Day or whatever semblance of a Combine takes place, I think Williams will test extremely well. Furthermore, I think the Steelers will be very intrigued by the aggression with which Williams runs. He is a powerful runner with surprising athleticism. James Conner’s contract is up, Jaylen Samuels and Benny Snell have disappointed, and Anthony McFarland Jr. needs more time. But Javonte Williams can play immediately and provide the Steelers with a powerful runner that can churn out yards after contact.

Round 3 Pick 87: Elijah Molden, CB, 5’10”, 190, Washington

The Pittsburgh Steelers draft Elijah Molden in the third round to be their new starting nickel corner. Sadly, Mike Hilton will most likely depart this offseason, along with Cam Sutton. Thus, the Steelers need a new #3 corner to play in the slot. Molden comes from Washington, one of the best schools at producing NFL-caliber defensive backs. He’s played a corner-safety hybrid for a while, so playing in the slot should be perfect for him. Furthermore, Molden also fits the size profile of the Steelers’ current starting corners, so maybe he could develop into a starting outside corner. But for now, Molden will contribute as a slot defender and a hybrid safety.

Round 4 Pick 128: Daelin Hayes, OLB, 6’3”, 261, Notre Dame

The fourth round of mock drafts is my favorite. You always get some really talented Day 2 players that fall for some reason. Daelin Hayes is the perfect example of this. With Bud Dupree also most likely departing to free agency this offseason, the Steelers could use some depth at outside linebacker behind TJ Watt. Alex Highsmith played quite well in his rookie season, but the Pittsburgh defense does not have much depth behind him and Watt. Hayes was one of the most dominant players during the week of practice at the Senior Bowl. Coming to Pittsburgh, he could be next in the line of great pass rushers in the Steel City.

Round 4 Pick 141*: Trey Hill, C, 6’4”, 330, Georgia

Trey Hill was another surprise, falling to the Steelers’ compensatory pick at the end of the fourth round. Due to Maurkice Pouncey’s retirement, Pittsburgh desperately needs a new center. Even before retiring, it was clear that Pouncey had lost a step in his later years. But Hill will provide the Steelers with another massive road grader in the middle of the offensive line. In the early-2010s, the Steelers rebuilt their offensive line in three successive drafts, taking Pouncey in 2010, Marcus Gilbert in 2011, and David DeCastro in 2012. Hill might be the third selection, along with players like Kevin Dotson from last year’s class, and Cosmi from this year, to rebuild the Steelers offensive line once again.

Round 6 Pick 217 (from Tampa Bay Buccaneers): Cornell Powell, WR, 6’, 205, Clemson

It wouldn’t be a Pittsburgh Steelers mock draft without taking a wide receiver. Obviously, Pittsburgh still has one of the better young receiving corps in the NFL, even if Juju Smith-Schuster leaves this offseason. Cornell Powell exploded onto the scene this year, after four years of obscurity at Clemson. He filled a similar role to current Steelers’ wideout James Washington, mainly attacking vertically. But he is also very effective in the intermediate areas, something the Steelers need to get back to this year. Like Smith-Schuster, Powell gives the Steelers a run-after-the-catch threat across the middle of the field.

Round 7 Pick 244 (from Miami Dolphins): Luke Farrell, TE, 6’6”, 258, Ohio State

If the Steelers want to get back to running the football and building a successful play-action attack of it, they need a tight end that can block. Vance McDonald called it a career, while Eric Ebron is, at best, a non-factor in the running game and a dangerous liability at worse. While Farrell does not have the athletic upside or catching ability of his younger teammate Jeremy Ruckert, Farrell is a very solid in-line blocker who can be an effective receiver, especially off play-action. He will allow the Steelers to move Ebron around as a matchup nightmare for defensive backs, while also being able to run the ball between the tackles due to his blocking ability.

Round 7 Pick 253 (from Baltimore Ravens): Damar Hamlin, S, 6’, 201, Pittsburgh

This might be my favorite pick of this Pittsburgh Steelers mock draft. I was shocked Hamlin’s name was still on the board at this point in the draft. But Hamlin can play either safety position, allowing Keith Butler to use Minkah Fitzpatrick and Terrell Edmunds in more creative ways. While Hamlin might not be as great as Fitzpatrick playing center field in single-high defenses, he is more than serviceable. Furthermore, his prowess playing on the back end will allow Minkah to freelance more and even play Edmunds in the box as a sub-package linebacker.

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I cover and write about the NFL, the NFL Draft, and the Pittsburgh Steelers for the Brawl Network. I am originally from Hershey, PA and was raised a Pittsburgh sports fan. I went to Boston College for undergrad and am currently finishing a Master's degree in Sports Business at Temple University, concentrating in Sport Analytics.

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