New ESPN Mock Draft Has Steelers Trading Up for Tackle

Offensive tackle JC Latham

Getty Offensive tackle JC Latham.

One year after the Pittsburgh Steelers traded up in the first round for offensive tackle Broderick Jones, one ESPN analyst predicted they would do it again.

In a mock draft posted Monday, April 22, Jordan Reid predicted the Steelers would move up to the 16th overall pick in a trade with the Seattle Seahawks.

With that pick, Reid predicted, the Steelers will draft Alabama offensive tackle JC Latham.

“Pittsburgh traded up three spots in the first round in 2023 to land offensive tackle Broderick Jones,” Reid wrote. “Now I have it trading up four spots to get another one, focusing on building up that offensive line in front of the team’s two newly acquired quarterbacks in Russell Wilson and Justin Fields.”

Latham Would Solidify Tackle Position for Steelers

The Steelers would need a combination of luck and a trade partner to land Latham. If they did, the tandem with Jones could solidify the tackle position for the team in the long run.

Reid noted the Steelers could be interested in making a change with their current situation at tackle.

“Jones showed plenty of promise after taking over the starting right tackle role in Week 9, but his best projection might be on the left side,” Reid wrote. “Upgrading from Dan Moore Jr., flipping Jones to LT and drafting Latham would give the Steelers two really good bookends on their offensive line. Latham fits the profile of the Pittsburgh offense, too; he’s a bruising and physical blocker who generates movement with ease at the point of attack.”

Latham contributed immediately at Alabama, serving as a reserve offensive guard and special teams player as a freshman.

He won the starting right tackle job as a sophomore, where he started all 27 games over two seasons.

According to Pro Football Focus, Latham allowed only 2 sacks during his college career.

However, it’s possible Latham is completely out of range for the Steelers.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Latham attended pre-draft visits with several teams selecting in the top 10.

The Steelers did not host Latham for a top 30 visit. However, the team attended his pro day and met with him at the NFL Combine, according to A to Z Sports.

Reid Predicts Steelers Wait on Center

In his April 22 mock draft, Reid predicted the Steelers would use the second round to address a major area of need by selecting Michigan wide receiver Roman Wilson.

George Pickens is the Steelers’ No. 1 receiver, but a lack of depth on the perimeter is evident,” he wrote. “Wilson could quickly establish himself as the No. 2. He averaged 16 yards per catch over four college seasons, and his 12 TDs tied for ninth in the country in 2023.”

The Steelers’ most significant receiver move in the 2024 offseason so far is trading Diontae Johnson to the Carolina Panthers. Despite adding some depth in Van Jefferson and Quez Watkins, the team remains shorthanded.

On the In The Huddle podcast on April 9, the Washington Post’s Jason La Canfora said it’s not outside of the realm of possibility the Steelers still make a trade for a receiver.

“For me, there’s a piece of information we don’t have yet, which is do they trade for a wide receiver before the draft? It would not surprise me if they did that tomorrow, if they did it the Wednesday before the draft, if they did it while they were on the clock, if they did it in the run up to the draft that Thursday. I know that they’re really trying to make something happen there.”

Despite center being one of the most glaring needs on the Steelers’ roster, Reid predicts they’ll wait until the third round to address it.

He believes the Steelers will select Georgia’s Sedrick Van Pran-Granger with the 98th overall pick.

“Van Pran-Granger screams Pittsburgh Steeler to me. Wide bodied and savvy, he’s a model of consistency at the center position.”

The Steelers have been seeking an answer at center since Maurkice Pouncey retired in 2021.

Most recently, the team released Mason Cole, who started the past two seasons for the Steelers.

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