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 later this month, or both. With the NFL Scouting Combine and player Pro Days behind us, there was a lot 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 in the weeks leading into the draft, 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 a recent one-round mock draft by Aaron Wilson of The Pro Football Network, he has the Steelers addressing the wide receiver position. With the Steelers losing several players at the position and not adding a significant player yet, there is little doubt the Steelers will draft this position at some point this year. The only question is if the Steelers will use their first pick for a receiver. 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 | Jameson Williams | WR | Alabama | Junior |
Even with the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine and Pro Days 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 Williams according to thedraftnetwork.com:
Jameson Williams is an Ohio State transfer that saw minimal playing time due to a loaded WR room. He transferred to the Alabama program this year and emerged as a top WR for the program. In a year where there was inexperience amongst the Alabama receiver corps, Williams has emerged as the No. 1 guy. Williams is a smooth route-runner that has the quickness to win early in route progressions and quickly makes himself available for the quarterback. He’s a quick accelerator that pushes routes vertical then has the ability to sink his hips and quickly snap off routes. Excels at running deep routes. He understands how to properly leverage defenders on deep routes and then make a cut and use his speed to run away from them. Williams is a big play waiting to happen that seamlessly made the transition into the Alabama offense.
Ideal Role: As a Z or slot where he can use his quickness to get open quickly
Scheme Fit: In a spread system that aligns him in the slot or runs bunch sets that he can get free releases.
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 Williams with their first pick? Do you feel there is a better player at this position group when the Steelers make their pick? Does the ACL injury he suffered in the National Championship game scare you away?
Personally, I will first admit how difficult it is to find a mock draft each week covering a player which has not already been covered. A lot of the quarterbacks are popular picks, and since they have mostly been covered this job is getting much more difficult. Hopefully there will be enough in the next two weeks to finish out the series without repeating.
As for this selection, I have learned a valuable lesson when it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers and the wide receiver position. I don’t speculate. If I think there is a player the Steelers should take, usually they’re taking somebody else that they have an inside track on what they want. It is the one position I don’t question the Steelers about taking. Because of this, I am fine with whatever wide receiver the Steelers would like to take and in whichever round they choose to make the move. If I were to guess, I would say the Steelers will address the wide receiver position in the first two days of the draft, but not necessarily Round 1. I also would not be shocked if Williams is off the board before the Steelers are on the clock, making this a moot point.