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Steelers haven't drafted an OT in the first round since 1996. That could change this year.


(Photo by William Purnell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)


The Steelers surprisingly haven't drafted an offensive tackle in the first round since 1996 when they selected Jamain Stephens out of North Carolina A&T at 29th overall. Stephens ended up being a bust and started only 11 games in three years with the Steelers. Stephens showed up to camp out of shape in 1999 and Bill Cowher cut him shortly after.


Fast forward to 2021 and the Steelers have a big need at the offensive tackle position. Alejandro Villanueva is still unsigned as a free agent, but he'll turn 33 in September and his play noticeably declined last year. Their projected starters for 2021 are Zach Banner at right tackle and Chuks Okorafor at left tackle. Banner has just one career start at the right tackle position and is coming off an ACL injury, and Okorafor struggled at right tackle last year. So, there's some uncertainty at both tackle positions.


Over the past 20 years, the Steelers have been able to develop offensive tackles such as Marvel Smith, Max Starks, Willie Colon, Kelvin Beachum and Villaneuva. This year's class is also reportedly deep at tackle, so it'll be interesting to see if the Steelers and Kevin Colbert will continue the trend of drafting an offensive tackle in later rounds and not in the first round. However, an offensive tackle should be picked in the second round this year and not in the mid-to-late rounds. The last time the Steelers selected an offensive tackle in the second round was Mike Adams out of Ohio State in 2012.


The Steelers have been linked to Oklahoma State offensive tackle Teven Jenkins in a lot of mock drafts. Jenkins is massive at 6-foot-6, 320 pounds and reportedly has a "mean streak" to him and is a road grader in the run game, which is just what the Steelers need after ranking dead last in the league last year, averaging 84.4 yards per game.


If Jenkins gets selected before the Steelers pick at 24th overall, Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network sees Northern Iowa offensive tackle Spencer Brown as a fallback option for the Steelers in the second round.


“I know the Pittsburgh Steelers like him, and if the Pittsburgh Steelers, who need offensive line help, lose out on Teven Jenkins in round one, I think that is a guy they could look to in round two.”


Brown has a similar build to Villanueva, standing at 6-foot-8, 314 pounds and according to Nick Farabaugh of Steelers Now, Brown had meetings with the Steelers and the Steelers were at his pro day to watch him.

I think the Steelers will address the offensive tackle position in the draft at least in the top two rounds. They also have a big need at running back and will have to invest a first-round pick or trade up in the second round to get one of the top three running backs in this year's draft in Najee Harris of Alabama, Travis Etienne of Clemson and Javonte Williams of North Carolina.











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