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NFL Mock Draft: Way too early 2024 mock has Steelers looking defense

The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday in Week 8 of the NFL regular season, but there is a realization that is undeniable. This realization has nothing to do with the Steelers, but more so some of the fan base.

Some fans love the NFL Draft so much, they see the regular season as nothing more than how the draft order gets figured out.

This may sound crazy to some, but there is a reason Jordan Reid of ESPN has already put out a full first round 2024 NFL Mock Draft. With all that said, I decided to at least cover this first mock draft realizing we likely have some readers who do care about the draft…even at this juncture of the regular season.

So, with that in mind, let us provide your “fix” for the draft. If you don’t fall into that category, feel free to move on!

Here is how Reid got his draft order:

“To fill out the draft order, we leaned on ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI), which projected when each team might be picking based on simulations of the rest of the NFL season. Bears fans, rejoice — Chicago has the No. 1 pick in this mock draft, thanks to the March 2023 trade with 0-6 Carolina. That is one of three picks that has already been traded, with Houston (to Arizona) and Cleveland (to Houston) joining that list. The Jets’ first-rounder sticks in New York since Aaron Rodgers will not be playing 65% of the team’s offensive snaps this season.”

1st Round

1. Chicago Bears (via 0-6 CAR) – Caleb Williams, QB, USC
2. Arizona Cardinals (1-6) – Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State
3. Denver Broncos (2-5) – Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina
4. New York Giants (2-5) – Olumuyiwa Fashanu, OT, Penn State
5. Chicago Bears (2-5) – Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama
6. Washington Commanders (3-4) – Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame
7. New England Patriots (2-5) – Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia
8. Las Vegas Raiders (3-4) – Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama
9. Green Bay Packers (2-4) – JC Latham, OT, Alabama
10. Tennessee Titans (2-4) – Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson
11. Indianapolis Colts (3-4) – Keon Coleman, WR, Florida State
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-3) – Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State
13. Cincinnati Bengals (3-3) – Rome Odunze, WR, Washington
14. New York Jets (3-3) – Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia
15. New Orleans Saints (3-4) – Malik Nabers, WR, LSU
16. Arizona Cardinals (via 3-3 HOU) – Jer’Zhan Newton, DT, Illinois
17. Los Angeles Chargers (2-4) – Kalen King, CB, Penn State
18. Los Angeles Rams (3-4) – Patrick Paul, OT, Houston
19. Atlanta Falcons (4-3) – Bralen Trice, EDGE, Washington
20. Minnesota Vikings (3-4) – Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA

21. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2) – Cooper DeJean, S/CB, Iowa

Outside of Minkah Fitzpatrick and Joey Porter Jr., the Steelers’ secondary could be completely revamped in 2024 — and DeJean could help at multiple spots. He has played primarily at corner for the Hawkeyes, but he’s my top-ranked safety because of his versatility. His physical mentality fits perfectly with Pittsburgh’s culture, and his ability to generate takeaways would be welcomed. DeJean has seven picks over the past two seasons.

Team needs: CB, S, C

Want to know more about this prospect? Check out this NFL Draft profile from Pro Football Network:

  • Height: 6’1″
  • Weight: 209 pounds
  • Position: Cornerback
  • School: Iowa
  • Current Year: Junior

Some players you hear that they’re meant for the NFL from the very start. DeJean is one of those players.

DeJean was a four-star recruit and a top-150 national prospect coming out of Ida Grove, Iowa. He signed with Iowa as a safety but soon emerged as an All-American cornerback in 2022, racking up 75 tackles, three tackles for loss, five picks (three pick-sixes), and eight pass deflections.

In 2023, DeJean has been just as productive as he was a season ago. And as he trends toward the 2024 NFL Draft, many are wondering just how high he might go off the board in April. He’s an electric playmaker with rumored 4.3 speed — but how does it all add up?

It is way too early to talk about the details of this specific selection, but how would you feel if the Steelers took a defensive back in Round 1? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to SCN for all the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 8.


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