(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
The NFL Media live mock draft took place on the NFL Network yesterday and Aditi Kinkhabwala had the Steelers drafting Michigan offensive tackle Jalen Mayfield at 24th overall.
"Now I can't promise that this is what Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert are going to do, but if I had the power, the Pittsburgh Steelers absolutely 100 percent would take an offensive lineman," Kinkhabwala said on why she had the Steelers picking Mayfield in the mock draft. "And the best available offensive lineman right now on the board is Michigan offensive tackle Jalen Mayfield. And let me tell you, an offensive lineman is necessary to protect Ben Roethlisberger. To give Ben Roethlisberger time to get the ball downfield to his wide receivers and to create holes for any running back.
"I hear all those Steelers fans saying 'no, no, no the Steelers need to take a running back.' Barry Sanders is not in this draft, so someday needs to create holes for a running back. And right now, the Steelers only have one offensive lineman with any sort of resume to him."
Kinkhabwala's answer is not surprising, as she posted two tweets last week that were in favor of the Steelers drafting an offensive lineman in the first round instead of a running back.
Mayfield at 24th overall would be a reach and Alabama running back Najee Harris was still available in this mock draft for the Steelers, but Kinkhabwala is against the idea of getting a running back in the first round. Harris ended up getting selected by the Bills at 30th overall in the mock draft. Teven Jenkins was already off the board, as he got selected by the Colts at No. 21, so all the true first-round talents at offensive tackle were gone. I think Mayfield is more of a second-round pick, so I'd rather see the Steelers trade back and get some draft capital while picking up Mayfield in the second round or another player that would fill a need.
For the purposes of this mock draft they couldn't trade back, but if given the chance, that would be a logical move if you're against the notion of drafting a running back in the first round and all the first-round offensive tackle talent is off the board.