The Pittsburgh Steelers are heading toward the 2022 NFL Draft, and one of the only things on my mind is how badly they need to hit a home run. With how good the rest of the AFC has gotten this offseason via trade and free agency, the Steelers really haven’t kept pace. The only way the Steelers can press the rest of the conference is by adding a number of big time rookies and upgrading their roster via the draft.
But what does winning the draft actually look like for the Steelers in 2022?
While there are a number of scenarios which can play out, the most obvious one to ‘win’ the draft would include landing that big name quarterback. Not only taking that signal caller, but mining a true franchise quarterback. Likely only one, or less, of these quarterbacks will amount to anything in their careers, so finding the right one would be an easy win for the black and gold.
The next step also feels somewhat obvious for this team. They have to hit on a wide receiver. They need a No. 3 receiver, and someone who can push both Chase Claypool and Diontae Johnson, both of which still struggle to eliminate the mistakes from their game. Finding a big time target who can make Mitch Trubisky, or a rookie’s, life easier is a major key. An easy victory if the Steelers can find a 1,000 yard receiver with consistent hands.
The Steelers must also address their cornerback depth. They don’t have enough quality corner play and need an upgrade still at the slot cornerback role. Sure, having Levi Wallace, Ahkello Witherspoon and Cam Sutton is nice, but it isn’t enough. The team needs to slow down the high powered offenses of the NFL and they need more cornerback help to do it.
Another major key is adding more reliable depth to both lines. Someone who can eventually replace Cam Heyward/Tyson Alualu/Stephon Tuitt. Offensively, bringing in another tackle to take over Zach Banner’s old spot backing up Chuks Okorafor and Dan Moore Jr. The Steelers don’t need immediate starters, but to improve the depth and potential of the roster.
So to recap, finding a franchise quarterback is the obvious key to winning the draft. Also, finding a consistent receiver who can also add some big plays would be a win in the second round. Next, adding a quality cornerback who can win the nickel job before pushing for more playing time would be ideal. Follow these moves up with offensive and defensive line depth. Putting the cherry on top of the draft is to again find contributions out of the seventh round picks. Just making the roster and playing is a win from those end of the draft picks. Basically three starters, two future starters and some depth is the dream scenario.
But what do you think? How do the Steelers win the 2022 NFL Draft, and is winning the draft enough to remain a contender? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.