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Steelers Revitalize The Trenches In The 2024 NFL Draft

The Steelers spent a handful of years ignoring the trenches, putting band-aids on bullet holes, and not being willing to prioritize the offensive line in the draft. Now, Omar Khan and Andy Weidl showed up and used two drafts to revitalize the whole unit. Last year, they selected Broderick Jones, and they just added three more guys that they think will be able to get that group where it needs to be. 

Troy Fautanu 

Many people thought the big man from Washington would be gone far before the Steelers picked him at 20, but according to Head Coach Mike Tomlin, the Steelers got the highest-rated player on their draft board. Tomlin also confirmed he was drafted to play offensive tackle, but he did not indicate which side. 

Troy Fautanu is coming off a National Championship appearance with the Washington Huskies in a season that saw him start all 15 games at Right Tackle. He allowed 15 QB Hurries and two sacks. 2023 saw Fautanu win the Joe Norris Award, Washington’s Offensive Power Player of the Year, and First Team All PAC 12 honors. He was a finalist for the Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award, losing to Taulia Tagovailoa

Fautanu is 6’4, 217 pounds, and makes up for his lack of height out on the edge with his ridiculous 34 ½ inch arms. Scouts call him a hard-nosed player with active hands and feet. He has heavy hands to deliver jarring and impactful blows and remarkable flexibility. He grew up a Steelers fan who idolized the legendary Troy Polamalu. This is officially the end of the Dan Moore project. 

Zach Frazier 

The Steelers haven’t had good play at the Center position since Maurkice Pouncey’s retirement after the ugly playoff loss. On day two of the draft, they decided to change that by taking the West Virginia Mountaineer, Zach Frazier. This guy has a frame like Wreck-It-Ralph, and the Steelers just got him in the second round. 

Frazier was First-Team All-Big 12 and a runner-up for the William V. Campbell Trophy, or the Academic Heisman. Many have also boasted about his football IQ. He started 12 games at center for the Mountaineers last season and only allowed four QB Hurries before a leg injury held him out of the Bowl Game. 

His wrestling background is something that feels like it would pay huge dividends at the Center position. It gives him a high degree of leverage and grip strength. Born and raised in West Virginia, he has a grinder’s mentality. If you could make a Steeler in a lab, it would be this guy. This is a home run pick for the Steelers. His NFL Player comparison is AQ Shipley, and he can play Guard or Center. He put up 30 reps on the Bench Press at the NFL Combine. 

Mason McCormick

Although they already filled the holes they had, the Steelers decided to look ahead at the expiring contracts of James Daniels and Nate Herbig this upcoming offseason and grabbed one of the most decorated linemen in the FCS, Guard Mason McCormick from South Dakota State.

McCormick helped the Jackrabbits win the FCS National Championship in 2022 and 2023, and he even started 57 consecutive games in college. In 2023, he was named to the First-Team Associated Press FCS All-American Team and First-Team All-Missouri Valley. In 2022, he won the same honors and also won the Adam Timmerman Award. He has been a Team Captain for the Jackrabbits since 2021. 

Old School Steelers

The Steelers made it a priority to get some protection for Russell Wilson and Najee Harris. With all the tweaks made in the offseason, this Steelers offense will look entirely different than it did last year. It’s the Arthur Smith era for the Steelers. As Mike Tomlin said, they want to roll teams. What is the best way to do that? Build the trenches. 

Read More NFL News From Stadium Rant Here: NFL News


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