The Steelers have the opportunity in the 2022 NFL Draft to make several improvements across the board, but arguably don’t have a desperate need to find talent in this year’s class.
That’s by design under general manager Kevin Colbert, who has made several moves in free agency to improve what was a playoff team last season (and lost some significant talent to the free agency process as well).
The Steelers — who have seven picks in this draft, starting with the 20th overall selection — have several areas they can target, most notably defensive line, but also including receiver and defensive back. The question of quarterback will also be one the team must address in this class after Ben Roethlisberger’s retirement, with several first-rounders likely available when Pittsburgh has its first pick.
It’s undocumented territory for the Steelers, one they must navigate successfully if they want to remain competitive in a tough AFC North division. With that, The Sporting News breaks down the Steelers” 2022 NFL Draft and how they might use their picks in 2022:
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Live Pick Tracker | TV schedule | 7-round mock draft
Steelers draft picks 2022: When does Pittsburgh pick?
- Round 1, Pick No. 20: —
- Round 2, Pick No. 52: —
- Round 3, Pick No. 84: —
- Round 4, Pick No. 138: —
- Round 6, Pick No. 208: —
- Round 7, Pick No. 225: —
- Round 7, Pick No. 241: —
Steelers 2022 NFL Draft order
Steelers NFL Draft needs
- Quarterback: The Steelers’ QB room is tenuously set with Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph, though neither exactly screams “franchise quarterback.” Do the Steelers think they can find one in the draft? Pitt’s Kenny Pickett and Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder are options, but Pittsburgh may end up using a stopgap year at the position before reevaluating the 2023 class.
- Cornerback: The Steelers have Cameron Sutton, Levi Wallace and Ahkello Witherspoon, all good options that make the need to draft here a want, not necessarily a need. Still, despite Pittsburgh’s notoriously bad drafting at this position in recent years, it can still do something to upgrade the position — perhaps in the later rounds, considering recent history.
- Safety: Colbert has said the Steelers have a starter at all 22 positions — except for strong safety. So, expect the Steelers to make a move on the position somewhere in the draft to fill a hole beside Minkah Fitzpatrick. Reaching for Michigan’s Dax Hill at 20 may be a little early, but would he be there at 52? It’s a gamble the team has to consider.
- defensive lines: The Steelers defense gave up a horrendous 146.1 yards per game rushing in 2022, necessitating an influx of talent from the draft. Jordan Davis is a space-eating monster in the middle, but his Georgia teammate Devonte Wyatt may garner more attention as a smaller, more athletic three-down lineman.
- Receiver: JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington and Ray-Ray McCloud left in free agency, leaving only two proven receivers on Pittsburgh’s roster: Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool. The Steelers need a receiver in this draft, especially with Trubisky or Rudolph taking over full time as starter.
Pittsburgh Steelers mock draft 2022
Here are the latest 2022 NFL Draft projections for the Steelers, according to Vinnie Iyer’s seven-round mock draft:
|5||138||Rashed Walker||WO||Penn State|
|6||208||Leon O’Neal Jr.||yes||Texas A&M|
|7||225||Jerrion Ealy||RB||ole miss|
|7||241||Reggie Robertson Jr.||WR||SMU|
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism