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Pittsburgh Steelers Day 3 NFL Draft Targets

These Day 3 Steelers draft targets are high-upside players who could provide solid depth as rookies while continuing to develop.

Day 3 of the NFL Draft is typically when teams are looking to find depth pieces or raw, high-upside projects. The Pittsburgh Steelers have just three picks on Day 3 this year: picks 119 (round 4), 178 (round 6), and 195 (round 6). With limited capital to work with, the Steelers will have to use these picks very well to add some key depth and potentially a starter. Below are a few names to keep an eye on as Steelers Day 3 draft targets.

2024 NFL Draft: Pittsburgh Steelers Day 3 Targets

DB Tykee Smith, Georgia

With the Steelers needing to add some depth at the safety position, Georgia’s Tykee Smith is a name to keep an eye on. Smith is not a coverage safety; he is best suited to play in the box and get downhill against the run. Even with his coverage limitations, Smith could carve out a role on the Steelers’ defense. Free agent signing DeShon Elliott will play a similar strong safety role. But Smith could be more effective than Elliott in the box, while Elliott is certainly stronger in pass coverage. If the Steelers draft Smith, he would likely be used in a dime linebacker role and a depth piece as a rookie.

C Hunter Nourzad, Penn State

Of all these Steelers Day 3 draft targets, Penn State’s Hunter Nourzad is the most pro-ready. That’s important for Pittsburgh, as they need a starting center. Nourzad was a quality player in college. He is a very good athlete who can be effective as a puller. Arthur Smith’s offense would be a good fit for Nourzad. He may struggle with the size of NFL defensive tackles at first, but he has the athleticism and agility to help compensate for his lack of ideal strength. If the Steelers want Nourzad, they will likely need to use their fourth-round pick on him. Or, they could trade up into the fifth round, because Nourzad almost certainly won’t be available at pick 178.

DT Gabe Hall, Baylor

Gabe Hall is the perfect embodiment of a Day 3 developmental project. He has tremendous size, length, and athleticism for a defensive tackle. His quickness has proven beneficial as a pass rusher, but he needs a lot of work against the run. Pittsburgh’s defensive line is in a good spot for 2024, so they would be content drafting a project that may not contribute much as a rookie. Their defensive line is getting old, though. Allowing Hall to sit behind and observe Cam Heyward and Larry Ogunjobi would be very beneficial for his long-term development. Steelers defensive line coach Karl Dunbar has done a good job developing players in the past and would be ecstatic to work with a player with Hall’s potential.

LB Edefuan Ulofoshio, Washington

Similar to Hall, Edefuan Ulofoshio would be a rotational piece with some upside. The Steelers added Patrick Queen this offseason but could still use some extra depth at the position, especially with Cole Holecomb’s health still in question. Ulofoshio has the athleticism to be solid in coverage against tight ends. That would be valuable, as Holecomb is Pittsburgh’s best coverage linebacker but he might still be recovering from a season-ending knee injury from 2o23. Ulofoshio could also contribute on special teams as a rookie, which would be a major positive. The Steelers lost several key special teams players this offseason so they will need to find replacements.

WR Cornelius Johnson, Michigan

The Steelers will undoubtedly draft a receiver no later than the third round. However, given their lack of talent at the position, it would not be a surprise to see them double dip. These Steelers draft targets all have one thing in common, high athletic ceilings, and Johnson is no different. He is very fast and a good deep threat. Johnson is also adept at bringing in contested catches. However, due to his poor route running and general inconsistency, Johnson will be available on Day 3 of the draft. While they will likely select a slot-capable receiver early in the draft, the Steelers could look to add another physically imposing deep threat to pair with George Pickens later in the draft.

Main Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


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