The Pittsburgh Steelers have a talented defense but you can never have enough depth on that side of the ball. With that in mind, Virginia linebacker Jordan Mack might be a perfect mid-round target for the Steelers in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Over Pittsburgh’s illustrious history, they’ve always developed talented linebackers. Currently, Pittsburgh can hang their hat on landing a linebacker like Devin Bush in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Pittsburgh traded up to select Bush to become one of their defensive leaders. Of course, since Ryan Shazier’s unfortunate injury, the Steelers have been trying to find a formidable inside linebacker.
That is where Mack’s name comes into the conversation for the franchise. The Virginia linebacker is currently projected to go in the third or fourth round of next year’s draft as a fourth-year senior.
In his final season at Virginia, Mack tallied 69 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles. Altogether, Mack has combined for 289 tackles, 24.5 tackles for loss, 14.5 sacks, and six forced fumbles through his collegiate career.
The selection of Mack would provide the Steelers with a formidable duo of linebackers in Mack and Bush, though Mack might need some time to develop into a starting linebacker in the NFL.
Depending on what happens to end the year, Pittsburgh doesn’t currently own a third-round pick. On the other hand, the Steelers own the 180th overall pick in the fourth round in next year’s draft.
If Mack is able to slip into the fourth round, the Steelers should consider adding him to the roster. At 6-foot-2, 230 pounds, Mack is a perfect-sized linebacker in today’s NFL. He is a tough-nosed linebacker that has great instincts when he sees the football. During his collegiate career, he has shown an ability to be able to overcome blocks and make tackles while helping the Cavaliers reach the ACC Championship Game.
The one area where Mack needs to improve upon in the NFL is in pass coverage. In today’s NFL, you have to be able to cover running backs or tight ends in the passing game.
For Mack to become an every-down linebacker, he will need to develop his ball-skills in the passing game. At the least, Pittsburgh has shown that they are capable of helping linebackers develop over the years.
In addition, Bush has shown in his rookie season that he is an all-around linebacker. Therefore, having Mack alongside him in the defense won’t be the worst possible thing for the defense.
When the Steelers begin taking a deeper look at next year’s draft, inside linebacker should be a position of need. Considering that, Pittsburgh should contemplate adding Mack to their linebacker corps in 2020.