There’s one week left. Yes, the 2022 NFL draft begins on Thursday, August 28, 2022, but what is almost just as important is that it ends two days later. Once the draft is complete, all the speculation can be put to rest about who the Steelers are interested in and can simply be who they landed as the point of discussion. But with a few days left leading up to the draft, there’s still a lot of speculation and no true way of knowing how everything is going to fall.
With the Steelers doing their due diligence in looking at their options at quarterback for the 2022 draft, there are some fans who are wholeheartedly convinced the Steelers will go in that direction with their first selection. While there is debate on who that player may be, or where the selection may actually take place, many feel that the position is one where the Steelers are simply locked in.
There’s also another large portion of the fan base who would prefer the Steelers not take a quarterback, particularly in this draft class, and use their resources to get the best signal caller possible when one may be available in future years.
One scenario I have been curious about would be what would happen if there is a run on quarterbacks early the 2022 draft. While some experts feel the more likely scenario is all the quarterbacks dropping in the draft, you just never know when desperate teams will make desperate moves and desperate selections.
I have to admit I am not one who wants to Steelers trading away assets to make a huge move way up in the draft. A small move is a different story based on what the Steelers would have to give up, but moving into the top 10 could significantly hamper the Steelers 2022 and 2023 drafts. If the Steelers make that move, they have to be absolutely certain with the player they select.
But what if a good number of quarterbacks are off the board before the Steelers can really consider moving up? This is still speculation that the Steelers would even want to make the move for a quarterback, what’s more interesting is to see how the rest of the draft would play out. If four quarterbacks go in the top 10, that just means other players who are expected to be drafted higher will be available for other teams.
This is the exact scenario that played out in the mock draft done by Maurice Jones-Drew this week at NFL.com. Jones-Drew did not have any quarterbacks going in the top five, but had Malik Willis, Kenny Pickett, Desmond Ridder, and Matt Coral as four the next five selections and all going in the top 10.
To give a recap of Jones-Drew’s draft, the first five picks were Trevon Walker, Aiden Hutchinson, Kayvon Thibodeaux, Sauce Gardner, and Icky Ekwonu. In the next five picks, the only non-quarterback was Jermaine Johnson. Jones-Drew had the Saints trading up to pick 10 to grab Matt Corral as the fourth quarterback.
With so many quarterbacks going in the top 10, there was a number of players still available in the teens that were surprising. Evan Neal did not go in to pick 13 and Kyle Hamilton made it all the way to the Eagles at pick 15. With picks 11 through 19 seeing three wide receivers, they were many more options available for the Steelers by the time it rolled around them and pick 20.
With the signing of Terrell Edmunds, because it was only one year, would the Steelers be interested in making a small move in order to grab a player like Kyle Hamilton? It would be one thing to have to move up to the top five to draft him like it was believed several months ago, but to only have to move up five spots could bring a player such as this into play.
In Jones-Drew‘s mock draft, with so many quarterbacks going early, he had the Steelers staying put and finding a player they were able to take which very few believe would actually make to pick 20. Specifically, Jones-Drew had the Steelers selecting offensive tackle Charles Cross from Mississippi State. Rarely following outside of the top 10 in the majority of mock drafts, if the Steelers were to land Cross at pick a number 20 it might almost be too good to be true. This would also definitely be a scenario in which the Steelers were not worried about drafting a particular position and were simply going with the best player available.
Although there are a number of Steelers fans who are sure the Steelers are going to draft a quarterback at the top of the 2022 NFL draft, I’m not convinced. I think the Steelers will do so if things fall in the right way, but I’m just as excited to see how it would go if all the quarterbacks go flying off the board early. Just looking at the number of players who would then be dropping lower than expected for them to possibly be drafted by the Steelers, seeing a run on quarterbacks isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But, just like in any draft, the Steelers ultimately need to make the most out of their first-round pick.