The 2022 NFL draft is now only one week away. With the Pittsburgh Steelers currently holding the 20th overall selection, exactly who will be their choice on the opening night of the draft is up for debate. A lot of different scenarios could play out before the Steelers are on the clock, so it’s difficult to know with any certainty based on the other team selecting before them.
In the annual mock draft held by the SB Nation community, those who manage the various NFL sites made the selections for the teams they cover. By the time the Steelers were on the clock, the following players had already been selected:
1. Jacksonville Jaguars/Big Cat Country: Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Michigan
2. Detroit Lions/Pride of Detroit: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon
3. Houston Texans/Battle Red Blog: Kyle Hamilton, Safety, Notre Dame
4. New York Jets/Gang Green Nation: Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State
5. New York Giants/Big Blue View: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
6. Carolina Panthers/Cat Scratch Reader: Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
7. New York Giants (via CHI)/Big Blue View: Sauce Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
8. Atlanta Falcons/The Falcoholic: Jermaine Johnson, EDGE, Florida State
9. Seattle Seahawks (via DEN)/Field Gulls: Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
10. New York Jets (via SEA)/Gang Green Nation: Drake London, WR USC
11. Washington Commanders/Hogs Haven: Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU
12. Minnesota Vikings/Daily Norseman - Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
13. Houston Texans (via CLE)/Battle Red Blog: Travon Walker, DE, Georgia
14. Baltimore Ravens/Baltimore Beatdown: Charles Cross, OT, Miss. State
15. Philadelphia Eagles (via MIA)/Bleeding Green Nation: Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia
16. New Orleans Saints (via IND/PHI)/Canal Street Chronicles: Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh
17. Los Angeles Chargers/Bolts From the Blue: Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
18. Philadelphia Eagles (via Saints)/Bleeding Green Nation: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
19. New Orleans Saints (via Eagles)/Canal Street Chronicles: Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
With the 20th pick in the 2022 SB Nation mock draft, Behind The Steel Curtain selected: Devonte Wyatt, defensive tackle, Georgia.
The rationale behind this pick had mostly to do with all those selected before the Steelers. With the top two quarterbacks off the board, it’s debatable whether or not the Pittsburgh Steelers think enough of Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder to pull the trigger at number 20. Additionally, with a run of three straight wide receivers ahead of this selection, it didn’t appear to be the best option for the Steelers to go that route. After conferring with senior editor Jeff Hartman, we concluded that the wisest option was to go strictly “best player available” and selected Wyatt.
At 6‘3“ and 307 pounds, Wyatt would help to infuse some youth into the Steelers defensive line room. With defensive captain Cameron Heyward turning 33 next month and Tyson Alualu turning 35 and coming off a season where he only appeared in two games due to an ankle injury, the Steelers could use a high-end talent at the position. Add in the uncertainty with Stephon Tuitt after not appearing in 2021, this position group has the potential to be a huge strength or a glaring weakness going into 2022. The addition of Devonte Wyatt would help solidify the group moving forward.
In recent days, there has been some reports from some lesser-known outlets about character issues with Wyatt and that some teams may be removing him from their draft board. Since these incidents were over two years ago, teams had to be well aware of them before the draft process began. Uncertain about how the Steelers feel about things, Wyatt appeared to be the best option available for the Steelers when it was time for us to make the selection. But when it comes to character issues, the Steelers will have certainly done their due diligence in making sure they are making the best selection possible for the draft.
For a more thorough breakdown of Devonte Wyatt as a prospect, check out the following film room from earlier this month by K.T. Smith:
Best players remaining:
- George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue
- Bernhard Raimann, T, Central Michigan
- Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia
- Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan
- Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson