2021 NFL draft: The Predicament of Pittsburgh picking a center in the first round

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Curt Popejoy
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The Pittsburgh Steelers were struck a blow this offseason when center Maurkice Pouncey decided to retire, leaving a significant void in the offensive line. There’s no denying the STeelers need to seriously consider drafting a center in the 2021 NFL draft.

But it’s not so simple. In fact, the predicament of drafting a center this year could have serious ramifications on the rest of the Steelers draft.

First, we look at the Steelers draft needs. Center and running back are at the top. After that, there is some debate but offensive tackle and a backup edge rusher or tight end make a lot of sense.

So if we assume center and running back are well ahead of the rest, when to draft either one? Looking at the center position, there are three, maybe four guys who can come in and start as rookies. One of them is Landon Dickerson who is coming off of a torn ACL and the other is Quinn Meinerz who played for a DIII school.

The situation is also made complicated by the fact it’s highly likely all three will be gone by the time the Steelers go on the clock in the second round. But Curt, the answer is just to draft one of them in the first round. Yes, this would be the simplest solution but spending a first-round pick on a second-round center them takes out of contention for one of the three big running backs in the draft and probably out of the top eight offensive tackles.

Perhaps instead the Steelers go ahead and pull the trigger on a guy like Najee Harris instead. Now you have to either hope one of those centers lasts or even trade up to be sure you secure one. And this still leaves them wanting at offensive tackle.

But I want to pass the question off to you. Should Pittsburgh go ahead and draft a center in the first round to get their guy even if it means losing out on an elite player at running back or offensive tackle or do you draft one of those guys and hope you can fill center later on?

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