As a lead-up to the 2024 NFL draft, we’ve broken down the current depth chart of every NFL team and identified the biggest draft and team needs for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

You can find additional team-by-team draft needs articles and other draft content on our 2024 NFL Draft Hub.

Who Did the Pittsburgh Steelers Select in the 2024 NFL Draft?

The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Troy Fautanu (OT, Washington) with the No. 20 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

The Steelers also drafted:

  • Zach Frazier (C, West Virginia)
  • Christian Haynes (OG, UConn)
  • Roman Wilson (WR, Michigan)
  • Payton Wilson (LB, NC State)
  • Mason McCormick (OG, South Dakota State)
  • Logan Lee (DT, Iowa)
  • Ryan Watts (CB, Texas)

Pittsburgh Steelers Needs: Top Positions of Need in 2024

  1. Offensive Line
  2. Wide Receiver
  3. Cornerback

What Picks Do the Pittsburgh Steelers Have in 2024?

The Pittsburgh Steelers have 7 picks in the 2024 NFL Draft, including:

  • Round 1 (20)
  • Round 2 (51)
  • Round 3 (84)
  • Round 3 (98)
  • Round 4 (119)
  • Round 6 (178)
  • Round 6 (195)

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The preview is unlike anything you have ever seen, featuring stunning visualizations built with the reader in mind.

This preview shares insights into players, coaches, teams, and philosophies with one goal in mind: to prepare you for the 2024 NFL season by delivering the smartest information in the fastest, most direct way possible.

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Pittsburgh Steelers Draft Capital Stats

Our Sharp Draft Value Rank is a valuation of draft capital based on a combination of average performance delivered and average dollars earned on second contracts.

This is based on two public models: performance delivered based on draft slot (the AV model created by Chase Stuart) and contractual earnings in non-rookie deals based upon draft slot (the OTC model created by Brad Spielberger and Jason Fitzgerald).

  • Steelers Sharp Draft Value Rank: 16 of 32 teams
  • Steelers AV Model Draft Value Rank: 15 of 32 teams
  • Steelers OTC Model Draft Value Rank: 19 of 32 teams

Pittsburgh Steelers Draft Value vs. Other Teams:

The Steelers’ draft value is 4% lower than the league average of all 32 teams. 15 other teams have more draft value entering the 2024 NFL Draft.

Steelers Draft Value Infographic

Pittsburgh Steelers Draft Prediction:

Brendan Donahue has the Steelers selecting Graham Barton (OL, Duke) with the 20th overall pick in his most recent 2024 NFL Mock Draft.

Mock draft expert Ryan McCrystal believes the Steelers could target an offensive tackle like Tyler Guyton (OT, Oklahoma) with their top pick at No. 20 overall in the first round.

Pittsburgh Steelers Strength of Schedule, 2024

The Pittsburgh Steelers have the most difficult NFL strength of schedule for the 2024 NFL season.

2024 NFL Strength of Schedule Infographic

Pittsburgh Steelers Offense: Depth Chart, Analysis & Draft Needs

Rich Hribar breaks down the offensive depth chart by position for the Pittsburgh Steelers, identifying areas where the team could improve in the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft.

Steelers Offense Infographic

Quarterback Depth Chart, Steelers:

  1. Russell Wilson
  2. Justin Fields
  3. Kyle Allen

The Steelers have reworked their quarterback room on the cheap this offseason.

While both Russell Wilson and Justin Fields have their faults and were available at their respective costs for a reason, the monetary commitment paired with the potential upside here is an improvement of the low-ceiling passing game that Pittsburgh has had in recent years.

Pittsburgh quarterbacks were 27th in EPA per dropback last season (-0.10) after ranking 20th, 28th, 21st, and 30th in that department going back to 2019.

Wilson signed a one-year contract for just $1.2 million.

He will turn 36 in November of this season.

Wilson bounced back last season with a spike in touchdown variance, but the rest of his 2023 season looks suspect under the hood.

On the surface, it is reminiscent of the 2021 season that Carson Wentz had with the Colts and then was made available the following season.

Wilson posted a 5.8% touchdown rate (third in the NFL last season) but threw for only 6.9 yards per pass attempt (22nd), the lowest rate of his career.

We have spent a lot of time suggesting that a team should “let Russ Cook,” but no matter the coordinator, every offense with Wilson ends up looking the same due to his playstyle.

Wilson wants to extend plays and push the ball downfield by nature. He is a big game hunter, which current NFL defensive approaches across the league have calibrated to prevent.

He lives by the mantra of shooting a three-pointer or taking a layup.

Since he entered the NFL in 2012, Wilson has thrown the football on the intermediate level (10-19 yards downfield) just 17.0% of the time, which is 44th in the league. The league rate is 18.9% over that period.

His 14.9% deep throw rate is the third highest in the league, trailing only a one-year sample from Will Levis (22.4%), and… Justin Fields (15.1%).

Last year, Wilson threw the ball at or behind the line of scrimmage on 30.2% of his throws (second in the league) and deep on 14.5% (third).

No quarterback in the league threw the ball at the intermediate level at a lower rate (11.0%) than Wilson did.

Fields has nearly the same overlap, ranking ahead of only Wilson in throws to the intermediate area (13.5%) and second in deep throw rate (14.6%).  He threw the ball at or behind the line of scrimmage on 25.4% of his passes, which was seventh in the league.

Fields will still only be 26 years old this March and carries as much athleticism as any quarterback in the league.

Fields has rushed for 55.5 yards per game since entering the league, which is just short of Lamar Jackson (58.8 yards) over that span.

What hurt Fields was his development as a passer and failure to get away from negative plays.

Since entering the NFL, Fields has taken a league-high 135 sacks.

A league-high 28.3% of his pressures have resulted in sacks while the NFL average over that span is 20.0%.

Over the past three seasons, Fields has averaged a league-high 3.02 seconds per time to release the football while a league-low 34.1% of his throws in the NFL have come out before 2.5 seconds.

The NFL averages over that span are 2.65 seconds to throw with 46.9% of all passes coming out before 2.5 seconds.

In a way, the greatest strength for Fields also contributes to his largest weakness.

Over the past three seasons, Fields is 35th in the NFL in expected points lost on sacks, interceptions, and fumbles out of 38 quarterbacks.

One of the players below him is Wilson.

We also are going to see how each of these players fits into a new offense run by Arthur Smith.

Over the past three seasons under Smith, Atlanta had one of the least dynamic offenses in the NFL.

The Falcons ranked 30th in the NFL in dropback rate (55.1%) over those seasons.

They ranked dead last in the NFL in rate of passing plays in 11 personnel at 30.1%.

The league average over that span was 70.8%. The next closest team to them was at 47.4% rate of 11 personnel on passing plays.

All of that said, the Steelers have an extremely low bar to clear in improving their upside as a passing offense based on recent output.

Both Wilson and Fields were such low-risk swings to take that even if neither ends up working out in this trial season, they are not tied to either quarterback in 2025 with an option to reset the table.

As much as we do jab at Smith and suggest that his philosophies may be dated for today’s NFL, he has fielded efficient offenses in the past (there is a reason he keeps getting jobs) and has coaxed out the best season of Ryan Tannehill’s career by a mile.

Over his five seasons as a playcaller, Smith’s teams have never finished higher than 16th in passing yards, but they have finished in the top five in yards per pass attempt three times.

Running Back Depth Chart, Steelers:

  1. Najee Harris
  2. Jaylen Warren
  3. Cordarrelle Patterson
  4. Aaron Shampklin
  5. Jack Colletto (FB)

Arthur Smith could not have landed in a better spot to achieve what he looks to set out and do in the running game.

The Steelers were already 31st in the NFL dropback rate in 2023, one spot below the Falcons.

The Atlanta backfield led the NFL with 450 rushing attempts while the Steelers were sixth (404).

On those attempts, Pittsburgh was a boom-or-bust backfield.

They ranked sixth in yards per carry (4.5 YPC) and fifth in explosive run rate (11.9%), but also 18th in EPA per rush (-0.10) and 15th in success rate (36.6%) due to ranking 18th in the rate of runs that failed to gain yardage (18.3%) and 17th in the rate of runs to result in a first down or touchdown (21.5%).

Pittsburgh has a natural battery of Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren already in place.

Harris has gone over 1,200 total yards with eight touchdowns in each of his first three seasons in the NFL.

His touches have also decreased in all three seasons as Warren has warranted more work.

Harris has only averaged 4.2 yards per touch over his three seasons.

Out of 49 running backs with 100 or more rushes last season, Harris ranked:

  • 27th in yards per rush (4.1 YPC)
  • 33rd in EPA per rush (-0.13)
  • 35th in success rate (34.5%)
  • 28th in rate of runs for 10 or more yards (9.4%)
  • 31st in the rate of runs that failed to gain yardage (19.2%)

Among that same group, Warren ranked:

  • 3rd in yards per rush (5.3 YPC)
  • 18th in EPA per rush (-0.04)
  • 13th in success rate (40.3%)
  • 3rd in rate of runs to gain 10 or more yards (16.1%)
  • 19th in rate of runs that failed to gain yardage (16.8%)

The deployment of these two backs carried a lot of weight in how those efficiency metrics shook out.

Harris ran against light boxes on just 20.8% of his runs, which was 40th among that same group.

Warren was at 30.2%, which was 26th.

38.0% of the runs that Harris had were against eight or more defenders in the box while Warren was at 24.2%.

When Harris was in the game, the Steelers ran the football 54.7% of the time.

Only Tyler Allgeier (60.6%), Derrick Henry (58.2%), and Javonte Williams (54.8%) had higher run rates when on the field than Harris.

The Steelers ran the ball 36.9% of the time with Warren in the game, which was 41st among those same 49 running backs.

This is a backfield that worked in unison. The way Harris was used made Warren more efficient and vice versa.

What is interesting here is the contracts of both of these players.

Harris is in the final season of his rookie contract.

The Steelers can pick up the fifth-year option for Harris over the next three weeks.

That option will cost $6.8 million in 2025 if they do decide to pick it up.

Warren is also in the final of his rookie contract, but he can only become a restricted free agent after this season.

While the fifth-year option on Harris and the restricted tender Warren will likely receive can keep both on the roster in 2025, the likelihood that the team retains both backs beyond that is questionable.

Pittsburgh also added Cordarrelle Patterson to the fold here, who follows Smith.

Patterson just turned 33 in March, providing veteran depth in the backfield and a strong presence returning kicks, which should have more of an impact in 2024 due to the rule changes.

Wide Receiver Depth Chart, Steelers:

  1. George Pickens
  2. Van Jefferson
  3. Quez Watkins
  4. Calvin Austin
  5. Denzel Mims
  6. Marquez Callaway
  7. Dez Fitzpatrick
  8. Keilahn Harris
  9. Deuce Watts

George Pickens increased his production across the board in his second season compared to his rookie year.

Pickens caught 63-of-106 targets for 1,140 yards and five touchdowns in 2023, leading the NFL with 18.1 yards per reception.

With the trade of Diontae Johnson, Pickens should receive a larger boost in usage.

Pickens ran 188 routes last season with Johnson off the field.

He was targeted on 23.9% of those routes, accounting for 27.6% of the targets and averaging 2.94 yards per route run.

On 349 routes run with Johnson on the field, Pickens was targeted on 17.5% of those routes, accounting for 20.5% of the team and averaging 1.68 yards per route run.

We also could see a spike in quarterback play. At worst, the skill set that Pickens provides downfield does line up with where both Wilson and Fields want to throw the football vertically.

We will be getting a potential low-volume passing offense under Arthur Smith, but Pittsburgh already had that in 2023.

We should expect the Steelers to add a rookie, maybe as early as Round 1.

Behind Pickens, this depth chart was assembled by King Moonracer.

It is filled with players who have not done much in the NFL at multiple stops.

Van Jefferson has the best individual season among this group, posting 802 yards back in 2021.

Jefferson was with Smith in Atlanta for 12 games last season, catching only 12 passes for 101 yards.

The only wide receiver here under contract beyond this season outside of Pickens is Calvin Austin, who is entering his third season with 17 career receptions.


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Pre Order the Best Analytical 2024 Football Preview

Don’t miss out on Warren Sharp’s 500+ page preview of the 2024 NFL season.

The preview is unlike anything you have ever seen, featuring stunning visualizations built with the reader in mind.

This preview shares insights into players, coaches, teams, and philosophies with one goal in mind: to prepare you for the 2024 NFL season by delivering the smartest information in the fastest, most direct way possible.

Pre order the 2024 Football Preview now!