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When the Pittsburgh Steelers go on the clock in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft, there will be some big decisions to be made. The Steelers have multiple significant draft needs and should have their choice of several with that first-round pick.
One of those needs is offensive tackle. It seems highly unlikely that Alejandro Villanueva will be back and this leaves Zach Banner at one tackle and Chuks Okorafor at the other with very little depth behind them. This is the approach ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. took in his new mock draft when he gave the Steelers Oklahoma State Teven Jenkins.
The Steelers have serious salary-cap issues, which means they have had some tough losses in free agency and haven’t added any players from other teams, just yet. They did retain wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, however, and they could still bring back longtime left tackle Alejandro Villanueva, who is unsigned. I’d still address the offensive line here — tackle Matt Feiler left in free agency too, and center Maurkice Pouncey retired — and Jenkins is a tough pass-protector and mauler in the run game.
When Kiper calls Jenkins a mauler he’s not kidding. His ability to pass block is evident just based on his success in the Oklahoma State offense. But Jenkin’s nasty streak when run blocking is underrated and exactly what Pittsburgh needs.
Let us know what you think of Kiper’s new mock draft in the comments below.