NFL Draft Dissection: How will WVU's Zach Frazier fit in with the Pittsburgh Steelers

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After West Virginia's Zach Frazier learned Friday he was set to join the Pittsburgh Steelers organization after being selected in the NFL, focus immediately shifted to his place with his new home.

Social media was filled with positive reactions to the Steelers' choice -- now let's take a look at how he fits into the fold in Pittsburgh.

The Steelers parted ways with veteran center and multi-year starter Mason Cole earlier this offseason, freeing up salary cap space and making room to draft a center that could be used as a foundation for the future. It had also been reported before the draft that Pittsburgh was "very interested" in bringing Frazier onto the roster.

“We’re extremely excited to bring Zach into the program,” Steelers offensive coordinator Arthur Smith said following the selection. “It is rare when you find a guy with that kind of pedigree and the amount of snaps he has in college. Certainly with his background in wrestling, he has been a high-achiever his whole life.”

Frazier joins a young but talented offensive line room in Pittsburgh that features a pair of first round NFL Draft selections playing offensive tackle -- the organization drafted Washington's Troy Fautanu in the first round yesterday, and also drafted Georgia's Broderick Jones with their first pick in 2023. This demonstrates a commitment from the Steelers to craft a cohesive, efficient offensive line from younger talent, hopefully building a group that can compete as one of the NFL's premier units in the trenches.

"Any great team I've ever been around, it always starts up front," Smith said during a recent interview.

“I just know how much offensive line means to the Pittsburgh Steelers, their long tradition of having great o-linemen and great offensive lines,” Frazier told West Virginia MetroNews on Friday. “It’s special. They already went to the offensive line in the first round. It’s special. I am excited.

At the center position in particular, which is often viewed as the leader on offensive line units and one of the most crucial pieces of the offense, Steelers General Manager Omar Khan seemed extremely focused during a recent interview on filling the gap appropriately. After experience with having his team led by some of the premier NFL players at the position, he understands the importance of getting the choice right. So fans can be assured drafting Frazier wasn't a decision made lightly.

“There’s a standard here,” Khan said. “I got spoiled. I was around Maurkice Pouncey and Jeff Hartings...there were plenty of great centers here. There’s a high standard, so we owe it to ourselves to look at everything to try to find the next great Steelers center.”

One important piece of the Pittsburgh offense will be whoever earns the nod at starting quarterback, which looks as if it will be decided by a competition between recent NFL veteran signees Russell Wilson and Justin Fields -- Wilson already seems optimistic about Frazier potentially protecting him next season, as he quickly welcomed the newcomer via social media.

Frazier also brings a local flair -- he comes to Pittsburgh as a native of a neighboring state and alum of a collegiate program that often finds themselves in support of the Steelers due to geographical location. He grew up just down the interstate from Pittsburgh proper, playing his high school ball 90 minutes away and his college ball just about an hour away.