The Pittsburgh Steelers’ team needs are many as they prepare for the new league year to begin on March 16th. With the latest news of Aaron Rodgers’ monster extension, and the Russell Wilson trade, things have changed dramatically. One of the areas which has changed are team needs heading into the 2022 NFL Draft.
With that being said, Todd McShay of ESPN put out his second mock draft of the year, and his latest predictions reflect some of those changes both in trades, and team needs as players are acquired and released from their respective teams.
As for the Steelers, McShay doesn’t have them making any trade up in his latest selection process, but he does have them making an interesting decision at pick No. 20 in Round 1. When you look at what McShay has playing out, the Steelers would have options along the offensive line in Tyler Linerbaum and Zion Johnson, but McShay has the team passing on those options.
In fact, McShay doesn’t even have a quarterback taken in the Top 10 of the first round. The first quarterback taken is Kenny Pickett by Washington at No. 11. As more teams pass on signal callers, you’ll see the mock has the Steelers taking Malik Willis with their first round pick.
Take a look at how McShay has the entire first round playing out below:
1. Jacksonville Jaguars - Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Michigan
2. Detroit Lions - Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
3. Houston Texans - Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State
4. New York Jets - Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
5. New York Giants - Travon Walker, DE, Georgia
6. Carolina Panthers - Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
7. New York Giants (via CHI) - Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
8. Atlanta Falcons - Drake London, WR, USC
9. Seattle Seahawks (via DEN) - Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Oregon
10. New York Jets (via SEA) - Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
11. Washington Commanders - Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh
12. Minnesota Vikings - Jermaine Johnson II, DE, Florida State
13. Cleveland Browns - Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia
14. Baltimore Ravens - Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
15. Philadelphia Eagles (via MIA) - Devin Lloyd, ILB, Utah
16. Philadelphia Eagles (via IND) - Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU
17. Los Angeles Chargers - Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia
18. New Orleans Saints - Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
19. Philadelphia Eagles - David Ojabo, DE, Michigan
20. Pittsburgh Steelers - Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
We saw the arm strength in Indianapolis. We know he’s terrific on second-reaction throws. And it’s pretty clear he has the most upside of the class’ quarterbacks. Is he ready to take over right away? That’s another discussion, and the Steelers might want to sign a Mitchell Trubisky or Teddy Bridgewater to avoid the necessity of throwing Willis out there in Week 1. But Pittsburgh needs a franchise quarterback, and Willis has arm talent, great mobility and outstanding field vision. If developed effectively, he can keep the Steelers — who already have a good defense and some offensive playmakers — relevant in the QB-loaded AFC North.
21. New England Patriots - Nakobe Dean, ILB, Georgia
22. Las Vegas Raiders - Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
23. Arizona Cardinals - Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
24. Dallas Cowboys - George Karlaftis, DE, Purdue
25. Buffalo Bills - Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
26. Tennessee Titans - Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Kenyon Green, G/C, Texas A&M
28. Green Bay Packers - Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State
29. Atlanta Falcons (via mock trade with MIA/SF) - Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss
30. Kansas City Chiefs - Daxton Hill, S, Michigan
31. Cincinnati Bengals - Zion Johnson, G/C, Boston College
32. Detroit Lions (via LAR) - Boye Mafe, OLB, Minnesota
Willis is a prospect which almost every NFL fan knows about. They know about the arm strength which was on display at the NFL Scouting Combine, the electrifying athleticism and the character to back up the talent. But they also know all about the inaccuracies as a passer, his limited options while playing at Liberty and the the overall questions surrounding him as a franchise quarterback.
For many fans, watching the Ravens grab an offensive lineman like Penning, the Browns bolstering their defensive front and the Bengals getting Johnson might be disappointing. However, it should be noted if Willis does turn out to be the team’s next franchise quarterback the pick won’t be considered a waste.
What do you think not only of the Steelers’ selection, but the entire mock draft? Is there a player(s) you would want the Steelers to target who went after their selection? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the start of the new league year and the 2022 NFL Draft.