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Wide Receivers the Steelers Should Consider on Each Day of the 2024 NFL Draft

After the Steelers made the unsurprising but quick move to deal starting WR Diontae Johnson to the Panthers for a 6th round pick and CB Donte Jackson, the team finds itself suddenly in need of WR help. Fortunately, the 2024 NFL Draft is absolutely loaded with playmaking talent at the position. There are intriguing options in every round for every style of play.

For the Steelers, finding a solid WR2 to play opposite rising superstar George Pickens is now a priority. As Free Agency continues, the team will likely add to the position, but the Draft is where the real upside is. Let’s take a look at some WRs on each day of the Draft that the Steelers could look at to fill their looming vacancy.

DAY 1: Round 1

Rome Odunze | Washington | 6’3″, 212lbs | Elite WR1

Odunze may well turn out to be the most dominant receiver in this draft class. Possessing elite size, speed, and body control, the former Husky projects as a day 1 starting receiver with superstar upside. If the Steelers are looking to add a true WR1 to the roster that can do a little bit of everything, they may look to trade up for the impressive Odunze. If he somehow falls outside the top 10 picks, expect Pittsburgh to make a serious push.

Adonai Mitchell | Texas | 6’2″, 205lbs | Dominant X Receiver

AD Mitchell is as smooth as they come at the receiver position, and he makes the game look easy. Too easy, sometimes, as there are concerns about his effort at times. However, Mitchell is an impressive weapon on the outside with legit 4.3 speed and George Pickens-like jump ball ability. There’s no such thing as a 50/50 ball with Mitchell, who is an expert at high-pointing the ball and out-leveraging defenders. If Pittsburgh wants another towering weapon on the outside, Mitchell should be in range around pick 20.

Troy Franklin | Oregon | 6’2″, 176 | Field-Stretching Speedster

Franklin didn’t have a super impressive Combine workout, but his tape is fantastic. He’s reminiscent of Davonta Smith, though he lacks the insane production Smith put up at Alabama. He’s slightly built, but his impressive speed and quickness allow him to get off the line of scrimmage and run by defenders with ease. He’s a smooth route runner, and though his hands can be a little shaky, he is an explosive big-play threat down the field and after the catch.

DAY 2: Rounds 2 & 3

Roman Wilson | Michigan | 5’11”, 185lbs | Expert Route-Runner

Wilson is the most direct replacement for Diontae Johnson maybe in the entire draft, although he is much faster than Johnson. If the Steelers are looking to add that level of route technician to the roster, Wilson is an ideal fit. Mike Tomlin had some interesting interactions with the former Wolverine at the Senior Bowl, and will be on the team’s radar in the late 2nd, early 3rd round. In addition to his route-running ability, Wilson brings reliable hands and excellent effort as well. The Steelers will be tracking him closely.

Xavier Legette | S. Carolina | 6’1″, 221lbs | YAC Monster

Deebo Samuel 2.0. Leggette is an easy comparison to the other former Gamecock who has put together an impressive career in San Francisco. Leggette’s impressive frame and running back build make him an incredible player after the catch. He’s a willing blocker and has inside/outside versatility. Legette will probably never be an elite route runner, but his uncanny size allows him to body-up defenders down the field and power through arm tackles in the open field. He would be an exciting fit in an Arthur Smith system that values YAC ability.

Jalen McMillan | Washington | 6’2″, 197lbs | Do-It-All Z Receiver

McMillan is one of my favorite film studies in this WR class. He can really do everything well, from working vertically down the field with deceptive speed to operating underneath as a savvy route-runner with elite hands. With the explosive Pickens taking the top of the defense and working the intermediate levels, McMillan could take some of the pressure off him by forcing defenders to cover the entire field.

DAY 3: Rounds 4-7

Bub Means | PITT | 6’1″, 212lbs | Big-Bodied Vertical Threat

Means is a physical, fast outside receiver with plenty of upside. If the Steelers are looking for a guy with the speed to take the top of the defense and the size to dominate in the Red Zone, the former Pitt Panther could be an interesting add early on Day 3. Some might have Means higher on their board, but he’ll need a lot of refinement at the next level to become a starting-caliber receiver. Fortunately, he has intriguing size, speed, and athleticism that coaches covet.

Javon Baker | UCF | 6’1″, 202lbs | Powerful Possession Receiver

Baker is an intriguing late round prospect with great size and good athleticism. He’s not going to wow you with his straight-line speed or his route-running abilities, but he is an extremely strong, reliable pass-catcher in the middle of the field. Some might view Baker as a big slot receiver at the next level, but he shows enough on tape to think he can be a solid outside receiver as well. For the Steelers, getting a guy like Baker who can move the chains on tough catches in traffic would be a fine addition to their WR room.

Jha’Quan Jackson | Tulane | 5’9″, 188lbs | Field-Stretching Slot Weapon

Jackson might have a little too much Calvin Austin III in his game to entice the Steelers on Day 3, but the speedy slot receiver has an opportunity to make his mark as a deep threat and YAC artist. He also displays solid return-man skills once the ball is in his hands. Interestingly enough for a player of his stature, Jackson is faster than he is quick, although he has enough shiftiness to make life tough for nickelbacks and linebackers in zone defense.


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