SI Big Board: Prospects 40-31 Who Fit With the Steelers

Noah Strackbein

PITTSBURGH -- As the NFL Draft gets closer, the league begins to prepare their draft boards for April 23. Amongst the hundreds of players hoping to find a spot in the league are those who reign on top. 

Along with all 32 teams, Sports Illustrated has put together their Big Board of potential NFL picks. Within them, the Steelers are hoping plenty of names find their way to the 49th pick in the 2020 draft. 

Not everyone fits in Pittsburgh. Their needs have been somewhat filled during free agency, but that doesn't mean their roster is ready for the season or even the summer. 

With six picks in the draft, the Steelers will be looking to add the remaining voids to their team as they prepare to make a postseason run for the first time in three seasons. 

Amongst SI Big Board's prospects ranked 40-31, Pittsburgh won't find too many suitors. Still, there are names that will fit with that this team is planning to do this year. 

Zack Baun

Another Wisconsin Badger can only be a plus, right? T.J. and Derek Watt would love to see Baun end up in Pittsburgh, and if he slides far enough he certainly could. 

Although Devin Bush and Vince Williams are going to take the reigns in 2020, there's a need to add more inside depth. After the release of Mark Barron and the departure of Tyler Matakevich for Buffalo, the only backup at inside linebacker right now is Ulysses Gilbert. 

With Williams entering the season at 30-years-old, preparing for the future isn't necessarily out of the question. Even if he has a few years left in him, easing his workload and providing a depth option for him and Bush only assures there's more consistency on the inside. 

And that's just the beginning. Baun has the ability to play both inside and outside. The Steelers may not want to take away Ola Adeniyi's backup role this season, but if they can add depth at both linebacker positions with one player, how do you beat that?

Baun can easily be a first-round draft pick. If he's not, though, and the Steelers have the opportunity at No. 49, the thought of an even better linebacker core will be hard to resist. 

Denzel Mims

Mims ranks much higher than he's expected to be drafted. Due to a flooded wide receiver class, this first or second-round pick can easily slide to the third-round. 

Pittsburgh wants to bring in another wide receiver at some point. Well, really, they need to. After the release of Johnny Holton, the Steelers will only have four reliable receivers heading into training camp. 

They aren't looking for another JuJu Smith-Schuster - although they wouldn't mind one - but instead a security blanket. 

With the injuries that occured last season, everyone saw what happens when you have to drop down to a Holton starting level. Whether Ben Roethlisberger or Devlin Hodges is on the field, not having accountable options on the outside hurts anyone's chances. 

Drafting a wideout at some point in this draft is almost certain. Mims can slide through the opening rounds, and if he's sitting there at 102, Pittsburgh might not hesitate. 

J.K. Dobbins

J.K. Dobbins might not find his way out of the first-round of the draft, but if he does the Steelers will be licking their chops. 

The Ohio State star is another classic Buckeye running back with tremendous potential. A downhill runner with strength who can also find his way through any defender, Dobbins is the complete package. 

The Steelers have to have a running back on their big board somewhere. James Conner will remain the feature back, according to Colbert, but that doesn't mean they don't want someone who can fill in to help Conner last an entire season. 

They saw what an injury-ridden season looks like in 2019. No one wants to go through that again, and the only way to assure it doesn't is having a backup plan.

Adding another three-down back only boosts the backfield. Benny Snell Jr. can remain the power back and Conner the starter - all Dobbins would do is play the compliment role to assure Pittsburgh always has a threat in the backfield. 

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