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2024 NFL Draft, Day 2 Mock Draft: Resetting the fuse on the fireworks of the Draft

Jeff Hartman warned us.

He said “Expect the unexpected in the 2024 NFL Draft.”

Threw out a YouTube short about it.

Dropped a special Pod about it too.

A week ago there was a lot of talk about this Draft being trade happy, with even the Steelers being rumored to be big movers. So what would the unexpected be then?

Well, the first 4 picks didn’t have a lot of surprises, and even the Giants at #6 taking Malik Nabers or Titans taking JC Latham at #7 wasn’t too farfetched of a thought.

It wasn’t until Michael Penix Jr was picked by the Atlanta Falcons at #8 that the excitement really started to ratchet up.

With the Board practially getting blown up at this point, the Draft was then guaranteed for more fireworks. Vegas sportsbooks could NOT have been happy.

The Denver Broncos didn’t disappoint. After QB JJ McCarthy went to the Minnesota Vikings at #10, trading up one spot with the NY Jets, who themselves took OT Ola Fashanu, the Broncos went after their QB of the future by taking former Auburn and Oregon QB Bo Nix.

The first defensive player didn’t come off the board until the Indianapolis Colts selected EDGE Laiatu Latu at #15, and began a short run of defensive players until the Steelers picked at #20.

The tension was palpable as Steelers fans were in shocked happiness/surprise that Quinyon Mitchell was somehow still on the Board and staring the Steelers in the face.

Instead, the Steelers opted to take Troy Fautanu, Offensive Lineman from Washington.

Uhhh… yeah Jeff, that was pretty unexpected if you ask me. Or several other Steelers fans.

I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that as the beginning of the Draft played out and worked towards the Steelers pick, most Steelers fans thought we were going to be coming out of the 1st Round with Quinyon Mitchell.

That he was still available, that too, was unexpected.

Expect the unexpected.

Well Jeff, now you’ve got my attention.

Now that the first round is in the books, it’s time for teams to regroup and start to recalibrate the remaining prospects on the Big Board.

Countless phone calls have probably been made to Carolina for pick 33 considering the remaining talent left. The Steelers have to wait until pick 51 for their next pick, IF they don’t decide to move up to get a player they want. They also carry two picks in the 3rd Round, #84 and #98.

Don’t count that option out, as Omar Khan has proven already that he is not afraid to move around the Board.

So now that we’ve hit the reset button, lets take a look at who the Steelers could be taking when they select in the 2nd and 3rd Round.

2nd Round, #51 Overall – Sedrick Van Pran, Center – Georgia

The Steelers add another former Bulldog to the Offensive Line when they take the athletic and experienced Van Pran.

Steel Curtain Network’s own Andrew Wilbar really likes SVP and has been talking him up all the way up through the run up to the Draft:

Van Pran may be the most under-the-radar superstar in this draft class. I was confident the Van Pran hype train would speed up by this point, but it hasn’t, and if it doesn’t soon, some team may be getting a steal. I am expecting Van Pran to test off the charts in Indy, as his explosiveness on tape is so evident.

Creating leverage at the point of attack seems so natural and effortless for Van Pran, as his core strength and initial quickness off the snap combine to be a lethal aspect of his effectiveness in run blocking. One of the best athletes we’ve seen in awhile at the center position, Van Pran displays excellent mobility and fluidity, and he has proven to be stellar as it pertains to pulling.

He will provide extra value for teams who require their center to get out in space. Teams that run a mixture of inside and outside zone concepts will love his ability to adapt to disguised blitzes and odd defensive alignments, while also being able to get to the second level as a run defender.

His footwork could still use a little cleaning up, and he can get off-balanced when his stance isn’t set quick enough, but overall, I love Van Pran’s upside at the NFL level. He has perennial Pro-Bowler potential.”

3rd Round, #84 Overall – Max Melton, Cornerback – Rutgers

Some Steelers fans were less than enthusiastic when the Steelers passed on Quinyon Mitchell to take Troy Fautanu in the 1st Round. I liked Fautanu after Dave Schofield convinced me of his position flexibility, but I also LOVED the thought of Mitchell and JPJ terrorizing WR’s across the league.

Melton here in the 2nd Round is an olive branch for passing up on Mitchell, gives the Steelers a Corner who is a scheme fit, and also locks up the outside of the secondary for the next couple of years.

It’s not Mitchell, but DO NOT sleep on Melton. he is a VERY good 1B option.

Max Melton is a highly instinctive CB who improved every year he played at Rutgers and flashed a 4.39 40 at the combine. He uses his dynamic ball skills and good size and length to beat receivers to the ball, and he’s very aggressive at the catch point.

He’s at his best when he instinctively gets a jump on the football in zone coverage. He’s good at reading the receiver, but at times relies on reading the receiver’s eyes instead of following the football.

He’s a physical defender in the run game, but needs to improve his angles of attack. He’s got the athletic bloodline as both his parents played sports at Rutgers and his brother, Bo Melton, is currently a wideout for the Packers. He’s at his best in off coverage and zone, but he has the versatility to carve out a significant role in the NFL.

3rd Round, #98 Overall – Maason Smith, Defensive Line, LSU

Being patient pays off this year for Omar Khan and the Steelers, as they get Smith to man the defensive line beside Cam Heyward.

The Steelers needed depth for the defensive line, and take what some have called a “Stephon Tuitt” clone. Smith has a massive wingspan and is very athletic for an End his size.

I’ll admit, the thought of those two playing beside each other would be pretty epic to watch, and the Steelers have been missing that type of dominating presence on the End since Tuitt left. They get that back with the pick here.

With multiple 6th round picks, it’s also not a stretch to say that the Steelers could also make a move up in any of these rounds to target a guy they like.

It will be interesting once again to see how the NFL Draft shakes out on Day 2, and just who will be joining the Pittsburgh Steelers!

Did you like the selections? Would you have taken someone else? Let me know in the comments below!


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