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PITTSBURGH -- After working through countless hypothetical scenarios, traveling thousands of miles and combing through piles of draft profiles, Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Omar Khan is anxious to get to the first round of the NFL draft on Thursday night.

"We try not to overthink this too much, but I'd say that it's close to being where we feel comfortable," Khan said of the team's draft board Monday. "We're going through a million scenarios right now. It's just part of the strategy process, and these next two days are going to feel like a year, but yeah, I'm ready to get there."

A year ago, Khan was active from the jump in his first draft as the organization's general manager, trading up to No. 14 to snag offensive tackle Broderick Jones, who wound up starting 11 games as a rookie. And while Khan didn't rule out making another move to climb up the board Thursday night, he did hint that he's not interested in moving back from the team's 20th overall pick -- even if it means acquiring more draft capital.

"In my opinion, you never trade away from a good player," Khan said. "But obviously if there's ever a scenario that makes sense for both sides, you have to look at it."

Though they'll add to the locker room with their seven scheduled picks -- four in the top 100 -- in this year's draft, Khan and the Steelers are ahead of schedule in their team building process thanks to an un-Steelers-like free agency. Not only did the organization add two big-name quarterbacks and trade away top receiver Diontae Johnson and 2022 first-round quarterback Kenny Pickett, but the Steelers also added top-tier inside linebacker Patrick Queen and landed cornerback Donte Jackson from the Panthers in the Johnson trade.

Because of those moves, coach Mike Tomlin isn't feeling the kind of desperation that can lead to ill-fated decisions throughout the weekend.

"We've been very active in free agency, and that makes you really comfortable as we lean in on draft weekend," Tomlin said Monday. "We've addressed a lot of needs and you don't feel overly thirsty in any particular area. I just think that that's a good feeling as you go into the weekend."

Though the team did address several crucial areas in free agency, there are still several areas to keep an eye on in Khan's encore.

Front and center

Nearly half of the Steelers' official pre-draft visitors were offensive lineman. And of those linemen, three -- Jackson Powers-Johnson, Zach Frazier and Graham Barton -- are widely considered the best center prospects in this group's class. The Steelers also brought in Hunter Nourzad, a versatile Penn State product with strong run-blocking ability who projects to be a Day 2 or 3 pick.

The Steelers have a clear need at the position after releasing Mason Cole, who started 34 games for the team over the last two seasons, prior to free agency, though Khan tried to downplay the urgency in Monday's pre-draft press conference.

"Certainly it's an important position, and I've mentioned this before but we have guys on the roster that have flexibility so we have options there," Khan said. "But there's some good players at the position, and we'll see where it shakes out."

Those in-house options include Nate Herbig, James Daniels and Ryan McCollum. Herbig, signed in free agency for interior depth a year ago, was the team's backup center in 2023 but has fewer than 50 career snaps at the position since entering the league in 2019. Herbig, though, was a top-rated center coming out of high school.

"Right now we have Nate Herbig," Khan said in February at the NFL combine. "And I always talk about offensive linemen that have position flexibility. That's always been important to me, and we have guys on the roster that are center-capable, but that's not to say we're not going to take a look in free agency, at the trade market and the draft process."

So far, though, the Steelers struck out finding a center in those first two options, leaving the draft as their best chance to add a premium player at the position.

"There's a handful of centers ... that are going to be starters in the NFL this year and in years to come," Khan said. "But it's no different than the other positions."

It's also worth noting that center isn't the only position of need on the Steelers' offensive line. Jones spent his rookie season at right tackle, but he figures to slide to left and take over Dan Moore Jr.'s starting spot at some point in the near future. That means there's a soon-to-be vacant spot on the offensive line, so it's no surprise that eight of the team's official pre-draft visitors have collegiate experience at right tackle -- plus international prospect Travis Clayton, a rugby player-turned-offensive tackle.

Names to watch: C Jackson Powers-Johnson, C Zach Frazier, C Graham Barton, OT Troy Fautanu, OT Tyler Guyton, OT Blake Fisher, OT Amarius Mims, OT Taliese Fuaga

Rolling in the deep (class of receivers)

After trading away Johnson and releasing Allen Robinson II, the Steelers also need a No. 2 receiver to complement the uber-talented George Pickens -- and it's a good year to need a wide receiver.

"The draft is probably unusually deep at that position and has been for the last several years," Tomlin said at NFL owners meetings. "I just think that receivers -- and those that cover them -- come probably a little bit more ready-made in today's game than maybe in years past."

While the Steelers, who have also been mentioned in trade rumors with the 49ers for receiver Brandon Aiyuk, won't be in the running for top pass catchers like Rome Odunze and Marvin Harrison Jr., the team did bring in six receivers for official visits: Adonai Mitchell, Luke McCaffrey, Malachi Corley, Tahj Washington, Xavier Legette and Ricky Pearsall.

The Steelers haven't drafted a wide receiver in the first round since selecting Santonio Holmes in 2007, and their list of visitors suggests they won't break the trend this year.

Mitchell, out of Texas, and Legette are two first-round prospects, but McCaffrey, Corley, Washington and Pearsall are all likely Day 2 -- or even early Day 3 -- picks. The Steelers have historically gotten production from receivers drafted after the first round, though recently, some of those players haven't shown consistent development. However, the Steelers also parted ways with wide receiver coach Frisman Jackson after the season and hired Zach Azzanni, who worked with talented receivers including Garrett Wilson and Courtland Sutton.

Names to watch: Adonai Mitchell, Luke McCaffrey, Malachi Corley, Tahj Washington, Xavier Legette, Ricky Pearsall, Brian Thomas Jr., Xavier Worthy

Building up the defense

A year ago, the Steelers used their pair of second-round picks on a cornerback and defensive lineman, who would each contribute in a major way as rookies. This time around, the Steelers need to add depth at both positions.

The Steelers used their 32nd overall pick from 2023  -- the first of the second round -- to nab Steelers legacy Joey Porter Jr. and finally land the kind of lockdown corner the team has searched for since releasing Joe Haden. Porter Jr. emerged as a consistent perimeter defender, but the team needs to fill the position around him after releasing veteran Patrick Peterson and not re-signing Levi Wallace. The Steelers already added Donte Jackson in exchange for Diontae Johnson, and 2023 seventh-round pick Cory Trice Jr. is on track to recover from a training camp ACL tear, but the cornerback position is still a top priority.

And with an aging anchor on the defensive line in Cameron Heyward, 34, the Steelers brought in seven defensive linemen for visits, with many of them projected to be defensive tackles at the next level. Keeanu Benton, selected No. 49 overall last year, started nine games as a rookie as the line experienced significant attrition. Adding more bodies to that group in an effort to shore up the line and create a foundation for a future without Heyward will be a focus of this year's draft.

Names to watch: Cooper DeJean, Max Melton, Nate Wiggins, M.J. Devonshire; Khristian Boyd, Jaden Crumedy, Braden Fiske, Maason Smith