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2021 NFL Draft: Who Did the Steelers Draft in Rounds 1-3?

2021 NFL Draft
2021 NFL Draft
Bethany Cohen
ANALYST
Modified 02 May 2021
Feature

The Pittsburgh Steelers have made a statement with their first three draft picks in the 2021 NFL Draft. The offensive woes that they suffered last season, most specifically after week twelve, need to be fixed and it looks like that will happen sooner rather than later.

2021 NFL Draft: Steelers Draft Results 1-3

Round 1-RB Najee Harris (Alabama): After finishing the 2020 season last in the league with their ground game, the Steelers drafted Harris with the twenty-fourth overall selection. The best running back in college football last season, Harris is a versatile back who can make plays happen and create holes in opposing defenses. Najee Harris will also help the Steelers and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger as another option in the passing game as well.

Round 2-TE Pat Freiermuth (Penn State): The Steelers' only blocking tight end, Vance McDonald, retired after the 2020 season, leaving only Eric Ebron as the only tight end option. While the veteran Ebron is a fantastic receiving weapon, he hasn't been an option as a blocker. Pat Freiermuth has been compared to Rob Gronkowski for his size as well as his ability to be a blocker and an offensive option in the red zone.

Round 3- C Kendrick Green (Illinois): The Steelers were also looking for a force on the offensive line, specifically at center. With Pro-Bowl and SuperBowl champion veteran Maurkice Puncey retiring in the offseason, the Steelers do have a few options to fill in at center, but drafting a rookie like they did with Pouncey is key. Kendrick Green was a starter at the University of Illinois. Green finished his college career with thirty-three straight starts, including eight in the 2020 season, with three at the center position. He is a self-described "nasty" player which is definitely a good thing to have when you are talking about offensive line. With Roethlisberger and the two new offensive weapons, a strong, wall-like o-line will be necessary.

The Steelers are usually more of a defense-minded team when it comes to the draft, but this year it was clear that the offense was the reason that the Steelers couldn't move forward in the postseason. In rounds four through seven, the Steelers will now address additional needs, including at least one more offensive lineman, a linebacker and undoubtedly a quarterback for depth behind Roethlisberger and the recently resigned Mason Rudolph.

Published 02 May 2021
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