PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers need to execute during the 2021 NFL Draft before anyone is handing them a chance at a Super Bowl this season.
With needs on the offensive line, running back, corner, and depth at multiple positions, the Steelers' only option is to find some diamonds in the rough and hope they have enough rookie pieces to contribute immediately.
For a team that needs to hit late in the draft, the Steelers will be looking for mid-round steals - and should be able to find some of these names after the second round.
Walker Little, Tackle, Stanford
Jim Mora highlighted Walker Little as an option for the Steelers in the middle of the draft. The Stanford tackle needs to work out some kinks but should be able to contribute in the NFL if healthy.
Without some of the injuries during his time in the NCAA, Little might be looking at a first or second-round grade in many's eyes. However, without a full four years of playing time, teams will be skeptical of what the future holds for the lineman.
Walker can fill in at left tackle and add depth behind whoever the Steelers start on Ben Roethlisberger's blindside. And there's little chance he's gone before the third or fourth round.
Hunter Long, Tight End, Boston College
The Steelers will be looking for a tight end to compliment Eric Ebron, and Hunter Long might be the deepest choice they're willing to wait for. The Boston College standout should be available in the third round, which seems like the perfect time to approach the position.
He might be a drop down from Kyle Pitts and Pat Freierman, but Long has attributes that will benefit the Steelers in 2021. An easy choice as their third pick if available.
Patrick Jones, Edge, Pitt
The Steelers don't usually draft many players out of their neighbor Pitt, but Patrick Jones might be an exception. The edge rusher is going to get caught in a weird draft for outside linebackers and likely fall into the middle of the rounds.
The Steelers need someone behind Alex Highsmith and T.J. Watt, and Jones brings the upside to take a chance and feel confident in his abilities. His 21.5 sacks and 32 tackles for loss should be enough for the Steelers to try and keep him in Pittsburgh.
Tyler Shelvin, Nose Tackle, LSU
The Steelers don't necessarily need a nose tackle after convincing Tyson Alualu to stay for another two years, but they could never have too much depth. With Isaiah Buggs and Carlos Davis being less than extraordinary in 2020, Pittsburgh might be in the market for a young depth piece.
Shelvin fell in draft boards after sitting out the 2020 season to prepare for the NFL Draft. Anyone who missed the year won't have the draft stock of those who played, but it's going to lead to plenty of steals during the middle rounds.
Shelvin should be one of those steals.
Jamie Newman, Quarterback, Wake Forest,
The Steelers don't need a quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft, but if they decide to select one, Jamie Newman is a hot name to watch.
The Wake Forest QB didn't help himself by sitting out the 2020 season, but he has potential. If he played, and played well, there's a chance he's considered above names like Kyle Trask and Kellen Mond. Instead, he'll slide to the middle-to-late rounds.
Newman presents a big body with a strong arm. Working behind Ben Roethlisberger, with coaches like Matt Canada and Mike Sullivan, there's potential for the development of the 6'4 quarterback.