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2022 NFL Mock Draft 4.0: Four rounds, seven trades, and a new Steelers QB

The Steelers grab a quarterback in round 1 of my latest four-round mock draft.

NCAA Football: LendingTree Bowl-Eastern Michigan at Liberty Robert McDuffie-USA TODAY Sports

We are less than two weeks away from the 2022 NFL Draft, and the draft rumor mill is beginning to pick up the pace. After a blockbuster trade and several key free agent signings in the past two weeks, it is time for an updated mock draft.

This mock, like every year for mock 4.0, will go four rounds long. As I state before every mock draft, this is not based on what I hope happens; rather, it is a projection based on what I could see happening based on what I am hearing. My final seven-round prediction, mock draft 5.0, will come out the morning of the draft. I will give my best effort to predict every pick in this year’s draft while giving a detailed perspective for the Steelers’ selections.

The biggest change of events since mock 3.0 was the trade between New Orleans and Philadelphia. Because of this trade, both teams now have two picks in round one, and Philadelphia gains extra ammo in 2023, likely in hopes of moving up to grab a top quarterback in the event that Jalen Hurts underperforms in 2022. This also makes the projection for the Saints difficult, as reports have implied that New Orleans has faith in their ability to win now. If this is indeed true, quarterback seems somewhat of an unlikely route for them to take in the first round. With needs at wide receiver, offensive tackle, and defensive line, there are multiple directions they could go with those picks.

For the Steelers, not much has changed. The team is doing their due diligence on the quarterbacks in the draft, but whether they like them enough to take one of them at 20 or even move up for one of them remains to be seen. There are a plethora of areas the Steelers could look to address early on, and, being Kevin Colbert’s last draft, it would not shock me if Colbert decides to get outside his comfort zone and make a draft-night trade, whether it be up or down.

As always, discussion is welcomed and encouraged, so be sure to leave your thoughts on this projection in the comment section below.

Let’s get to the mock!

Round 1

1. Jaguars- Travon Walker | DE | Georgia
2. Lions- Aidan Hutchinson | EDGE | Michigan
3. Texans- Ikem Eckwonu | OL | North Carolina State
4. Jets- Ahmad Gardner | CB | Cincinnati
5. Giants- Kayvon Thibodeaux | EDGE | Oregon
6. Panthers- Charles Cross | OT | Mississippi State
7. Giants- Evan Neal | OT | Alabama
8. Falcons- Garrett Wilson | WR | Ohio State
9. Seahawks- Trevor Penning | OT | Northern Iowa
10. Jets- Jermaine Johnson | EDGE | Florida State

Takeaways from picks 1-10: Pick three is a shot in the dark at this point, as Houston is in need of almost everything. I still do not anticipate Carolina taking a quarterback at pick 6, especially with a prime opportunity to land a stud left tackle. Jermaine Johnson and Jameson Williams are both skyrocketing on draft boards, and according to recent rumors from Tony Pauline and Chris Mortensen, both are likely to wind up in the top ten. However, I pulled Williams out of the spot at pick 8, as Garrett Wilson seems to be the hot name currently associated with the Falcons.

11. Commanders- Kyle Hamilton | S | Notre Dame
**PROJECTED TRADE** (Vikings receive Saints’ 1st (16), 3rd, and 5th round picks)
12. Saints- Jameson Williams | WR | Alabama
13. Texans- Drake London | WR | USC
14. Ravens- Jordan Davis | DT | Georgia
15. Eagles- Derek Stingley, Jr. | CB | LSU
16. Vikings (projected from Saints)- Trent McDuffie | CB | Washington
17. Chargers- Chris Olave | WR | Ohio State

**PROJECTED TRADE** (Eagles receive Steelers 1st round pick and 2023 4th round pick)

18. Steelers- Malik Willis | QB | Liberty

For months now, the narrative has been that the Steelers would likely be picking too low to land Liberty quarterback Malik Willis. However, it is becoming more and more plausible by the day. The Panthers have expressed interest in trading out of the sixth pick, but it does not seem likely they find a trade partner. If they are stuck at six, I do not see them foregoing one of the top tackles in favor of a quarterback.

The Falcons could be in play for Willis at eight, but they seem to be dedicated to finding offensive help for Marcus Mariota instead. The only other team who is likely to consider quarterback before pick 20 is the Seattle Seahawks, and there is growing buzz about Seattle attempting to land Baker Mayfield. If Malik falls outside the top ten, New Orleans is the only other team in play, and they seem to be in win-now mode.

Could a team try to trade up to pick 19 and get ahead of the Steelers? It is certainly possible. The Titans have shown some subtle interest in Willis, and they definitely have the ability to trade up seven spots. A team like Atlanta could also look to move up from round two. Thus, I have the Steelers moving up two picks to secure their guy.

Willis is a magnetic personality. His teammates love him, and his toughness and work ethic has been on display throughout the pre-draft process. There are obviously concerns about his rawness, but when you combine his talent with the high level of character he possesses, the sky’s the limit. I will take my chance on a guy who, as Todd McShay has stated, will do anything to be great, or die trying. Those are the guys who make it in this league, and I believe Willis is in that same category.

19. Saints- Tyler Smith | OL | Tulsa
20. Eagles (projected from Steelers)- Devonte Wyatt | DL | Georgia

Takeaways from picks 11-20: If Drake London and Jameson Williams both drop outside the top ten, I believe there will be a mad dash amongst NFL teams to move up and secure one of them. The Eagles are the frustrating team, because their need at linebacker is clearly evident, yet Howie Roseman seems to ignore the position year after year. We know how much he likes his defensive lineman, and both Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave are free agents in 2023. Do not be surprised if they take a defensive lineman early and forego linebacker once again.

21. Patriots- Andrew Booth, Jr. | CB | Clemson
22. Packers- Christian Watson | WR | North Dakota State
**PROJECTED TRADE** (Cardinals receive Buccaneers’ 1st and 3rd round picks; Buccaneers receive Cardinals’ 2022 1st round pick 2023 5th round pick)
23. Buccaneers- Zion Johnson | G | Boston College
24. Cowboys- Devin Lloyd | ILB | Utah
25. Bills- Kyler Gordon | CB | Washington
26. Titans- Quay Walker | ILB | Georgia
27. Cardinals (projected from Buccaneers)- Jahan Dotson | WR | Penn State
28. Packers- Arnold Ebiketie | EDGE | Penn State
29. Chiefs- George Karlaftis | DE | Purdue
**PROJECTED TRADE** (Chiefs receive Panthers’ 2023 1st round pick)
30. Panthers- Desmond Ridder | QB | Cincinnati
**PROJECTED TRADE** (Bengals receive Jets’ 2nd (35) and 4th (117) round pick)
31. Jets- Treylon Burks | WR | Arkansas
32. Lions- Matt Corral | QB | Ole Miss

Takeaways from picks 21-32: I am a big fan of Christian Watson, and his stock is skyrocketing. He has as much upside as any other receiver in this class. I have a third-round grade on Gordon, but based on teams’ interest in him, the NFL must not feel the same way. Dean is trending downward and could slip out of the first round entirely due to size concerns, but going strictly by tape, he is a top-20 prospect.

Round 2

33. Jaguars- Kenyon Green | OL | Texas A&M
34. Lions- Nakobe Dean | ILB | Georgia
35. Bengals (projected from Jets)- Tyler Linderbaum | C | Iowa
36. Giants- Roger McCreary | CB | Auburn
37. Texans- Boye Mafe | EDGE | Minnesota
**PROJECTED TRADE** (Jets receive Cowboys’ 2022 2nd and 4th (129) round picks and 2023 4th round pick)
38. Cowboys- Daxton Hill | S | Michigan
**PROJECTED TRADE** (Bears receive Ravens’ 2nd and 4th (128) round picks)
39. Ravens- David Ojabo | EDGE | Michigan
40. Seahawks- Kaiir Elam | CB | Florida
41. Seahawks- Kenny Pickett | QB | Pittsburgh
42. Colts- Bernard Raimann | OT | Central Michigan
43. Falcons- Sam Howell | QB | North Carolina
44. Browns- Travis Jones | DT | Connecticut
45. Bears (projected from Ravens)- Alec Pierce | WR | Cincinnati
46. Vikings- Perrion Winfrey | DL | Oklahoma
47. Commanders- George Pickens | WR | Georgia
48. Bears- Dylan Parham | G | Memphis
49. Saints- Lewis Cine | S | Georgia
50. Chiefs- Skyy Moore | WR | Western Michigan
51. Eagles- Jalen Pitre | S | Baylor

52. Steelers- Logan Hall | DL | Houston

This is a rather unique selection for the Steelers, but we have yet to receive a definitive answer as to whether or not Stephon Tuitt will return in 2022. Corner is a possibility here, but in this mock, all the corners worth taking at this pick were already off the board. The situation is the same when it comes to the receiver position. Thus, I went a different route and gave the Steelers Houston defensive lineman Logan Hall.

Hall has been raved about my many draft pundits during the pre-draft process due to his combination of length and athleticism, but he has rarely been talked about as a potential fit for the Steelers. Ideally, if Hall is going to be a 5-technique, he should add more weight to his 6’6” frame, but regardless, he is incredibly strong for his size. He is also an excellent run defender, Displaying good gap discipline while recording 13 tackles for loss for the Cougars last season. This may not be what I want for the Steelers, but unless more clarity is given on Stephon Tuitt’s status, I would not be surprised to see the Steelers give defensive line strong consideration in the early portions of the draft.

53. Packers- Nicholas Petit-Frere | OT | Ohio State
54. Patriots- Jalen Tolbert | WR | South Alabama
55. Cardinals- John Metchie III | WR | Alabama
56. Jets (projected from Cowboys)- Channing Tindall | ILB | Georgia
57. Bills- Breece Hall | RB | Iowa State
58. Falcons- Kenneth Walker III | RB | Michigan State
59. Packers- Trey McBride | TE | Colorado State
60. Buccaneers- DeMarvin Leal | DL | Texas A&M
61. 49ers- Alontae Taylor | CB | Tennessee
62. Chiefs- Marcus Jones | CB | Houston
63. Bengals- Cameron Taylor-Britt | CB | Nebraska
64. Broncos- Troy Andersen | ILB | Montana State

Round 3

65. Jaguars- Greg Dulcich | TE | UCLA
66. Lions- Wan’Dale Robinson | WR | Kentucky
67. Giants- Cole Strange | C/G | Chattanooga
68. Texans- Martin Emerson | CB | Mississippi State
69. Jets- Abraham Lucas | OT | Washington State
70. Jaguars- Jaquan Brisker | S | Penn State
71. Bears- Drake Jackson | EDGE | USC
72. Seahawks- Troy Andersen | ILB | Montana State
73. Colts- Calvin Austin III | WR | Memphis
74. Falcons- Kingsley Enagbare | EDGE | South Carolina
75. Broncos- Zyon McCollum | CB | Sam Houston State
76. Ravens- Chad Muma | ILB | Wyoming
77. Vikings- Jamaree Salyer | G | Georgia
78. Browns- Khalil Shakir | WR | Boise State
79. Chargers- James Cook | RB | Georgia
80. Texans- Leo Chenal | ILB | Wisconsin
81. Giants- Darrian Beavers | ILB | Cincinnati
82. Falcons- Tariq Woolen | CB | UTSA
83. Eagles- Brandon Smith | ILB | Penn State

84. Steelers- Tyquan Thornton | WR | Baylor

The Thornton hype train is finally beginning to gain steam, but the train did not leave the station as quickly as anticipated despite his eyepopping 4.28 40 time. Many people were completely unfamiliar with him and assumed that his 40 time was simply a fluke, expecting it not to translate to game speed. However, if you watch his tape, that speed is noticeable.

Deep speed is something the Steelers currently lack in their receiver room, and if they want to keep the safeties high and prevent defenses from stacking the box to stop Najee Harris, they need to find someone who offers that capability. What surprised me the most when watching Thornton on tape is that he is not just a one-trick pony. He displays the ability to high-point the football and bring down contested catches, and his twitchiness in the open field makes him difficult to tackle. At 6’3”, 182, he will definitely need to add weight to that slight frame, but that is not a major concern at this point.

Thornton would be a great complement to what the Steelers already have in their receiver room, and he would keep defenses honest on a weekly basis. Having heard rumors that he is currently one of the hot names rising on boards, it would surprise me if he is still available when we get to day three.

85. Patriots- Jack Sanborn | ILB | Wisconsin
86. Raiders- Phidarian Mathis | DT | Alabama
87. Cardinals- Myjai Sanders | EDGE | Cincinnati
88. Cowboys- Sean Rhyan | OL | UCLA
89. Bills- David Bell | WR | Purdue
90. Titans- Darian Kinnard | OL | Kentucky
91. Cardinals (projected from Buccaneers)- Brian Robinson, Jr. | RB | Alabama
92. Packers- Cameron Thomas | DE | San Diego State
93. 49ers- Sam Williams | EDGE | Ole Miss
94. Chiefs- Matthew Butler | DT | Tennessee
95. Bengals- Charlie Kolar | TE | Iowa State
96. Broncos- Isaiah Spiller | RB | Texas A&M
97. Lions- Jalyn Armour-Davis | CB | Alabama
98. Vikings (projected from Saints)- Christian Harris | ILB | Alabama
99. Browns- Dominique Robinson | EDGE | Miami (OH)
100. Ravens- Damarri Mathis | CB | Pittsburgh
101. Eagles- Justyn Ross | WR | Clemson
102. Dolphins- Alec Lindstrom | C | Boston College
103. Chiefs- Nik Bonitto | EDGE | Oklahoma
104. Rams- Amare Barno | EDGE | Virginia Tech
105. 49ers- Ed Ingram | G | LSU

Round 4

106. Jaguars- Brian Asamoah II | ILB | Oklahoma
107. Texans- Thayer Munford | OL | Ohio State
108. Texans- Bo Melton | WR | Rutgers
109. Seahawks- Chris Paul | OL | Tulsa
110. Ravens- Daniel Faalele | OT | Minnesota
111. Jets- Matt Araiza | P/K | San Diego State
112. Giants- Nick Cross | S | Maryland
113. Commanders- Tariq Castro-Fields | CB | Penn State
114. Falcons- D’Marco Jackson | ILB | Appalachian State
115. Broncos- Ty Chandler | RB | North Carolina
116. Broncos- Jeremy Ruckert | TE | Ohio State
117. Jets- Jesse Luketa | EDGE | Penn State
118. Browns- Terrel Bernard | LB | Baylor
119. Ravens- Kerby Joseph | S | Illinois
120. Saints- Verone McKinley | S | Oregon
121. Chiefs- Danny Gray | WR | SMU
122. Colts- Joshua Williams | CB | Fayetteville State
123. Chargers- Zach Tom | OT | Wake Forest
124. Eagles- Tyreke Smith | EDGE | Ohio State
125. Dolphins- DeAngelo Malone | EDGE | Western Kentucky
126. Raiders- Max Mitchell | OT | Louisiana
127. Patriots- Adam Anderson | EDGE | Georgia
128. Bears (projected from Ravens)- Romeo Doubs | WR | Nevada
129. Jets (projected from Cowboys)- Christopher Hinton | DT | Michigan
130. Bills- Dare Rosenthal | OT | Kentucky
131. Titans- Bailey Zappe | QB | Western Kentucky
132. Packers- Luke Fortner | OL | Kentucky
133. Buccaneers- Dameon Pierce | RB | Florida
134. 49ers- JT Woods | S | Baylor
135. Chiefs- Coby Bryant | CB | Cincinnati
136. Bengals- Chasen Hines | G | LSU
137. Panthers- Isaiah Likely | TE | Coastal Carolina

138. Steelers- Isaac Taylor-Stuart | CB | USC

Taylor-Stuart is an impressive athlete who has the size, speed, and aggressiveness to succeed in press man coverage. He does a great job bumping receivers off their route at the line of scrimmage, and he has the necessary awareness to know where the ball is while his back is turned to the ball. There are occasional blown assignments, and the receiver talent in the PAC-12 was nothing to write home about during his career, but there are a lot of tools here that Teryl Austin would have an opportunity to work with. If the Steelers cannot find a corner early, I expect them to address it early on day three. If that is indeed the case, keep an eye out for Taylor-Stuart. A full scouting report on him will be coming soon on the Cornerback portion of the BTSC Big Board.

139. Ravens- Spencer Burford | OL | UTSA
140. Packers- Jack Jones | CB | Arizona State
141. Ravens- Zachary Carter | DL | Florida
142. Rams- Jelani Woods | TE | Virginia
143. Titans- Reggie Roberson, Jr. | WR | SMU

That is the conclusion of mock draft 4.0, which means that we have only one more mock draft before the big event. Which selections were your favorite in this mock? Which picks made the most sense for the Steelers based on how the board fell? Be sure to light up the comment section below with your thoughts on this and all things NFL Draft!