The Pittsburgh Steelers were much bigger players in the 2022 free agency market than what fans are used to seeing. Filling a number of needs during the first wave, there are still a few positions the Steelers need to address, either as free agency continues on, through the NFL Draft in April, or both. With the NFL Scouting Combine behind us, and player pro days ongoing, there already seems to be more information in regards to draft prospects this year.
When talking about mock drafts or NFL free agency, you have to first identify the team’s main needs for the offseason. After the first week of free agency, there are some who would like to see the Steelers still go with either offensive line or quarterback with their first-round pick. Others feel defensive line or cornerback could still be on top of the list. Two other current team needs include wide receiver and strong safety. With the opportunity for the Steelers to continue to shape their roster prior to April, their goal is usually to get into position to draft the best player available, rather than target a specific position. When it comes to what position the team will select with their first pick, it is certainly up for debate.
In the latest one-round mock draft by CBSSports.com, they have the Steelers addressing the defensive line. With the Steelers having a number of aging players as well as questions to the availability of Stephon Tuitt, infusing some youth at the position is something the Steelers will need to do sooner than later. Since the Steelers could go in any number of directions with their first pick, it is important to look at all the possibilities presented by various mock draft outlets.
Check out the Steelers 20th pick:
20. Pittsburgh Steelers | Devonte Wyatt | DT | Georgia | Senior |
Even with the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine behind us, there may be some players some fans may not be as familiar with. If this is the case, here is a breakdown of Wyatt according to thedraftnetwork.com:
Georgia’s Devonte Wyatt has been a four-year contributor for the Bulldog defense and has improved with each season. As a senior, Wyatt has seemingly put everything together and had a breakout season, which has earned him a trip to the Senior Bowl. Wyatt is an excellent athlete inside, displaying quickness and burst to penetrate gaps. He is a disruptive interior rusher with the quickness to win the edges inside and shoot gaps. Wyatt plays with good balance and has excellent change of direction and lateral mobility. He has very good speed overall to cross offensive linemen’s faces and is excellent with his hands, showing an ability to tie rush moves together inside. Wyatt is susceptible to power in the running game and there are times he loses gap integrity, especially when forced to face double teams. He has just average power overall and wins primarily with his first-step quickness and motor. A versatile defender, Wyatt can align anywhere along the line of scrimmage. having had success playing 0-tech all the way to rushing outside at 7-tech. A player whose best football is still ahead of him, Wyatt has the size, length, pass rush instincts, and athleticism to develop into a consistent interior rusher at the next level.
Ideal Role: Three-down interior defensive lineman who has positional versatility.
Scheme Fit: 4-3 3-technique
For all you who are finding yourself diving more into draft analysis, what do you think of the selection? Would you be on board with the Steelers taking Wyatt with their first pick? Do you feel there is a better player at this position group when the Steelers make their pick?
Personally, I would not be opposed to the selection. Yes, it would be the fourth Georgia defender taken in the Top 20, according to this specific mock, but if this is the way things play out I could see this as the selection. While a number of Steelers fans would prefer to see Wyatt’s teammate Jordan Davis as the selection, the fact he was taken three picks prior makes the selection understandable. While I don’t feel the Steelers need to go with a pick on the defensive line in Round 1, if they’re going to add a player at the position in this year‘s draft I prefer they do it early.