With the 47th selection of the NFL Mocks Midseason mock draft for the AFC North, The Pittsburgh Steelers go with J.T. Tuimoloau, EDGE Ohio State. That is the second Buckeye we have seen go to the AFC North in this draft; there could be two or three more by the end of Day 2.
Tuimoloau is of a unique build. Standing at 6'4" and 277 pounds, he is an explosive, long-striding runner off the line. His size and power are intimidating, but he is also surprisingly agile and has a knack for finding the ball in tight spaces. While he may not have the same bend capacity as Verse, preventing him from being the top EDGE, he has a heavy hand and can chase down ball carriers and make plays. Thus, he carries a lot of appeal.
Tuimoloau's selection by the Steelers is due to his rare physical mass, long arms, and leverage. He is quick and can deceive offensive tackles with sudden jabs. He has a decent level of ankle flexion and can use his body to gain the upper hand. His frame and length give him great power, which he uses to push back blockers and create a pocket. He can stack, shed, and rip through blocks to close off gaps and set the edge. He is adept at bull-rushing and using his hands and feet to their maximum effect. His motor, intuition, and knack for the ball make him a formidable opponent.
Two important features have consistently been part of Tuimoloau's profile: Skill and the capacity to create plays. Tuimoloau was a five-star recruit in the 2021 class and one of the top-five national prospects in multiple rankings. In 2019, during his junior year, before the COVID-shortened 2020 season, he had 11 sacks and showed signs of potentially becoming an NFL player.
Steelers fans get all they could hope for with this pick; he has the playmaking soul of Troy Polamamu and will be as dangerous as TJ Watts.