NFL Draft Betting: Will the Steelers Bolster the Offensive Line With First Pick in 2024?

Riley Thomas
Riley Thomas_riley8
NFL Draft Betting: Will the Steelers Bolster the Offensive Line With First Pick in 2024?

The Pittsburgh Steelers have been stuck in a rut, failing to win a playoff game since 2016. Even in two seasons with at least 12 wins (2017 & 2020), Pittsburgh still fell out of the postseason in their first game.

What will it take for the Steelers to take the next step? Quarterback play has been a clear problem, and the franchise looked to address this by trading for Russell Wilson and Justin Fields. The defense also made some quality additions by landing Patrick Queen and DeShon Elliott.

Pittsburgh will be looking to fill out the rest of their roster in the 2024 NFL Draft. FanDuel Sportsbook is offering lines for which position each team will select with their first pick. The Steelers have a clear favorite for their first selection, which is the 20th pick in the first round.

Let's look at the NFL Draft odds. Is there any dark horse position that should overtake the shortest line?

NFL Draft Odds

2024 NFL Draft - Position of Pittsburgh Steelers First Drafted Player
FanDuel Sportsbook Odds
Offensive Lineman-240
Wide Receiver+470
Defensive Lineman/Edge+1000
View Full Table

Offensive Lineman (-240)

As previously mentioned, there seems to be a clear favorite for Pittsburgh's first-round selection. The Steelers picking an offensive lineman carries the shortest odds (-240).

The odds suggest that the O-line could be a popular pick on draft night. FanDuel is offering lines for the first pick of 21 teams; an offensive lineman has the shortest odds for 11 squads. This is a pretty deep and talented offensive lineman class, with as many as 10 prospects being projected for the first round.

The talent is available for plenty of teams to take an offensive lineman first, including Pittsburgh. The biggest need for the Steelers could be filling left tackle. Dan Moore Jr. has started at left tackle for three consecutive seasons. Moore has been consistently mediocre and comes off his worst Pro Football Focus (PFF) grade yet (51.7).

Moore had his chance to become the franchise left tackle, and his play has underwhelmed. It feels like a matter of time before Pittsburgh spends high draft capital on this position, especially after spending 2023's first selection on right tackle Broderick Jones. JC Latham of Alabama, Amarius Mims of Georgia, and Tyler Guyton of Oklahoma could all be sound options.

Is there any other position worth betting on? What are the favorites outside of offensive line?

Wide Receiver (+470)

Next up is wide receiver at +470. Of course, this is a huge fall off behind O-line at -240.

This is a longshot, but the fit makes sense. The Steelers traded Diontae Johnson and cut Allen Robinson. This leaves George Pickens as the clear No. 1 wideout going forward.

Pittsburgh could use a second target, though. Van Jefferson and Calvin Austin III are expected to fill the second and third receiver spots as of now. Jefferson totaled only 209 receiving yards last season, and Austin logged 180 yards in his rookie campaign.

The need is present, but it will likely be about finding the ideal target with the 20th pick. There's a big drop after the top three wideout prospects Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers, and Rome Odunze. The next-best receivers are likely Brian Thomas Jr. of LSU, Adonai Mitchell of Texas, and Xavier Worthy of Texas.

Thomas would be an ideal fit, but if he's off of the board, Mitchell and/or Worthy feel like a reach at 20. I'm not a fan of the Steelers taking a receiver (+470); this could ride too much on one prospect being available.

Cornerback (+550)

Cornerback rounds out the three favorites for Pittsburgh's first selection. I believe the Steelers could be a year away from selecting a defensive back.

Following the 2023 season, Pittsburgh opted to release veteran cornerback Patrick Peterson. The Steelers found a quality replacement by trading for Donte Jackson, who has been a solid starter since 2020.

This move also proved that Pittsburgh is likely ready to make Joey Porter Jr. their top CB. Jackson as a second corner is not bad by any means, especially when you consider the Steelers' recent cornerback rooms.

Best of all, Jackson is on an affordable one-year, $6 million contract. If he performs well in 2024, Jackson could be Pittsburgh's second corner for the long haul.

Taking a cornerback with their first pick in 2024 simply feels unnecessary. The Steelers have greater needs. The right prospect would have to slide, such as Quinyon Mitchell of Toledo.

Unless you're putting a sizable bet on offensive line, I'm not sure if this market is worth a wager. The -240 odds for an offensive lineman lack intrigue, and wide receiver (+470) and cornerback (+550) are likely longshots.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.