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Mock Draft Monday: The Steelers look to add a monstrous tackle

The Pittsburgh Steelers are heading into the 2024 offseason. With free agency as the next big event to shape next season’s roster, it will be followed by the NFL draft in April. The Steelers will have a number of decisions with players who were on the 2023 roster and will have the opportunity to add some free agent acquisitions before making their first draft selection. The NFL combine and player pro days will also shape the team’s big boards before the draft.

When talking about mock drafts or NFL free agency, one first has to first identify the team’s main needs for the offseason. Before any gains or losses in free agency, there are some who would like to see the Steelers go with either offensive line or defensive line with their first-round pick. Others feel inside linebacker or cornerback could be on top of the list. With plenty of chances for the Steelers to shape their roster prior to April, their goal is usually to get into position to draft the best player available rather than target a specific position. When it comes to what position the team will select with their first pick, it is certainly up for debate.

In one of the latest two-round mock drafts by, they have the Steelers addressing the offensive tackle position again this season before anything else. With the Steelers drafting a first-round offensive tackle for the first time in more than 25 years, doing it two drafts in a row could secure the ends of the offensive for years. Since the Steelers could go in any number of directions with their first selection, it is important to look at all the possibilities presented by various mock draft outlets.

Check out the Steelers 20th pick:

20. Pittsburgh Steelers | Taliese Fuaga | OT | Oregon State | JR |

Being early in the draft process, there may be some players most fans are not familiar with. If this is the case, here is a breakdown of Fuaga according to

Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State


  • Height: 6’6”
  • Weight: 330 lbs


  • First Team All-Pac 12 (2023)
  • Outland Trophy semifinalist (2023)
  • Second Team All-Pac-12 (2022)


  • Run game dominance
  • Strong, filled-in NFL frame
  • Heavy hands
  • Potential positional flexibility


  • Drifting, oversetting in pass pro
  • Inconsistent footwork
  • Over aggressiveness

Film Analysis: 

Taliese Fuaga has 1,564 snaps at right tackle for the Beavers offense. He plays with a physicality that sets the tone on run downs. Fuaga moves out of his stance with good quickness and pop. He displays the burst to reach and cut off blockers on zone concepts. Fuaga has heavy hands that can stun defenders and stymie their momentum once he’s latched. He is a good climbing blocker to the second level and into space. Whether facing linebackers or defensive backs, he gets out quickly and hunts down the target. 

He has sufficient arm length and uses it to his advantage in pass pro. Fuaga uses vertical, short, and 45-degree/diagonal set points. His lateral movement is efficient and effective to close the defender’s access points to the backfield. Fuaga will meet defenders at the apex of their rush with good posture and patience. His punch timing is sufficient and mixes ghost punches to throw off the timing of the defender’s rush. This allows him to recover if beaten by the initial rush. 

Fuaga’s footwork is inconsistent. He doesn’t always bring his feet with him in situations requiring him to redirect. Fuaga tends to drift and overset leaving room open for defenders to cross his face. He has moments of over-aggression where he leans into defenders from the waist up. This makes him susceptible to the push-pull technique. 

Fuaga has enough quickness to play right tackle at the next level. Projects as a starter at both OG and RT. He is an ideal fit for a run-first offense with a play-action passing game. If a team is set at OT, Fuaga could slide into a guard spot to upgrade their offensive line. 

Prospect Projection: Day 1 — Pro Bowl Caliber

For all you who are preparing yourself for the draft, what do you think of the selection? Would you be on board with the Steelers taking Fuaga with their first pick? Or do you feel there is a better player at this position, a different one who may still be available, or that Fuaga will not make it to the 20th pick? Personally, I think if Fuaga is available I picked 20, the Steelers should run to the podium. This is one of the rare mock drafts where he fell this far and it did give me a chance to highlight a different player, but I wouldn’t go into this draft banking on him being there when the Steelers are on the clock. So before the mad rush of mock drafts of the Steelers taking a center dominates the news cycle this week based on the release of Mason Cole, this was a good player to highlight. While he can be moved into guard, I think his best bet with the Steelers would be at right tackle. I think the Steelers would benefit from selecting such a player, but I also think their moves in free agency will define their needs much more come draft time. I believe this would be one of those players the Steelers would take if he were there at 20 disregarding some other need simply because the value would be so great. But with that in mind, the likelihood of Fuaga being there is small.


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