Steelers replace Maurkice Pouncey in new ESPN mock draft

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Curt Popejoy
·1 min read
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The Pittsburgh Steelers are going to be staring down some serious gaps in their roster this season thanks to free agency. None more significant than the retirement of Maurkice Pouncey. Pittsburgh doesn’t have a reliable replacement on the roster so the team is going to have to either sign a veteran in free agency or draft one early in the 2021 NFL draft.

Mel Kiper put out a new mock draft and he decided for the Steelers to roll the dice and go for former Alabama center Landon Dickerson. Here’s what Kiper had to say about the pick.

The Steelers have major cap issues and a long list of free agents that includes edge rusher Bud Dupree, wide receiver JuJu-Smith Schuster and tackles Alejandro Villanueva and Zach Banner, so their needs will be clearer once we get through free agency. But a center makes sense because of Maurkice Pouncey’s retirement — Dickerson could be an immediate replacement. I really like his game. The Florida State transfer injured his knee in the SEC title game and didn’t play in the College Football Playoff, but the Alabama coaches rave about him on and off the field. He can be the anchor the Steelers need.

Drafting Dickerson is a huge risk/reward pick for the Steelers in 2021. Dickerson, when healthy is the top center prospect in the draft. His game is a blast to watch and his energy makes the entire offense better. But Dickerson tore his ACL late in the season and so his availability for this season is in question. Would the Steelers spend a first-round pick on a guy knowing he might not be able to contribute fully as a rookie?

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