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Pittsburgh Steelers 2022 NFL Draft Projections, Positions Needed & Mock Draft

Pittsburgh Steelers 2022 Draft

Replacing Hall of Fame quarterbacks isn’t something the Pittsburgh Steelers have an easy time with. After selecting Mark Malone in the first round of the 1980 NFL draft to replace Terry Bradshaw, the Steelers didn’t pick another quarterback in the first round until Ben Roethlisberger-who retired this offseason-in 2004. Without an heir apparent in place, Pittsburgh is facing a major crossroads for the future of the franchise.

Should the Steelers pursue getting their man in this year’s draft class, which few think has a slam dunk option available at quarterback? They did sign Mitch Trubisky, a former No. 2. choice who didn’t exactly set Chicago, or the Bears, on fire. Trubisky was signed after playing in Buffalo last season,. Whether he’s a better option than Mason Rudolph remains to be seen.  A horrible offensive line needs to be overhauled, regardless. The Steelers have other gaping holes as well.

Pittsburgh Steelers 2022 NFL Draft Projections, Positions Needed & Mock Draft
Pittsburgh Steelers 2022 NFL Draft Projections, Positions Needed & Mock Draft

Pittsburgh’s finishing at 9-7-1, reaching the playoffs as a wild card despite a porous run defense. The Steelers getting spanked by the Kansas City Chiefs was an indicator they needed to bump new life into its roster. This offseason, the Steelers finally have some cap room to manipulate.

With about $22 million in space available, Pittsburgh is looking to find the future of the franchise.

Players leaving the Pittsburgh Steelers

Roethlisberger’s retirement leaves the biggest hole for Pittsburgh, leading the Steelers to three Super Bowl appearances and two titles. Roethlisberger set nearly every franchise career passing record, finishing with 64,088 passing yards and 418 touchdowns against 211 interceptions.

Cornerback Joe Haden is 32 and looking for a long-term contract. Pittsburgh’s unlikely to give it to Haden, who struggled with injuries last season, only appearing in 12 games and with no interceptions. Haden was a solid contributor during his five seasons in Pittsburgh, but age and asking price will probably combine to send hum elsewhere.

Defensive end Stephon Tuitt may never play football again. Following the death of his brother before last season, Tuitt took the year off to work through that and injuries. Tuitt, who has spent his entire career with Pittsburgh, may decide to not play football again. His last season in Pittsburgh (2020), Tuitt recorded a career-best 11 sacks in 15 games.

JuJu Smith-Schuster came back to Pittsburgh on a one-year deal last season, and the wide receiver may regret his decision. Smith-Schuster only appeared in five games due to injury, catching 15 passes for 129 yards. His production has faded since his career-best second season in 2018. and now he is off to the Kansas City Chiefs as a free agent.

Positions needed by the Pittsburgh Steelers

In desperate need of help along the offensive line, the Steelers saw Kendrick Green move from guard in college to center in Pittsburgh last season. A disaster, and the Steelers will be looking to solidify that position. The Steelers could also use help at both tackle spots, as Chuks Okafor and Dan Moore Jr. both had their share of issues last season.

Pittsburgh also could use some assistance on the defensive line. The Steelers’ run defense was the worst in their history. While Cam Heyward was excellent, he’s 32 and likely start declining in the next few seasons. The possible retirement of Tuitt would leave the cupboard bare for Pittsburgh.

The Steelers could also use help in their secondary. The departure of Haden leaves Pittsburgh leaning heavily on Ahkello Witherspoon, who the Steelers signed off the scrap heap last season. While he played well in the second half of the season, Witherspoon will need to show he can do it over the course of an entire season.

Pittsburgh may also be looking for help at punter. Rookie Pressley Harvin III had a hard time last season, averaging 42.6 yards. There was a lot of work for Harvin, who punted 70 times, eighth-most in the NFL.

Pittsburgh Steelers Mock Draft

The Steelers have seven picks available for the 2022 draft. In the first round, Pittsburgh will need to start building the protection for its (undecided) quarterback in 2022. Northern Iowa offensive tackle Trevor Penning, who is 6-foot-6 and weighs 330 pounds, will be a solid choice to start the process.

Northern Iowa had a so-so season in 2021, sixth in the Missouri Valley Conference with a 6-6 record. However, Penning was a bright spot. Strength and athleticism should translate to the next level. In the second round, the Steelers will try to address defensive line depth.

Connecticut junior Travis Jones had his best season as a collegiate player last year, racking up a career-high 48 tackles, including 16 solo tackles. He also had a career-high 4.5 sacks to provide a bright spot for a Huskies’ team that struggled regularly.

For the third round, Pittsburgh could grab another pass rusher in Minnesota’s Boye Mafe. The Steelers, who led the league in 2021 with 55 sacks, are always looking for more options in their pass-rush happy defensive attack. Mafe was explosive with the Golden Gophers last season, having finished with a career-high seven sacks and a forced fumble. Mafe also made 34 tackles, 26 of which were solos. Check Steelers’ NFL Draft odds and NFL Odds.

2022 NFL Draft Event Information

  • Date: Thursday, Apr. 28th (Round 1) | Friday, Apr. 29th (Rounds 2-3) | Saturday, Apr. 30th (Rounds 4-7)
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET (Thursday) | 7 p.m. ET (Friday) | Noon ET (Saturday)
  • Location: Allegiant Stadium, Paradise, NV
  • TV Channel: ABC | ESPN | NFL Network
  • NFL Draft Live Streaming: NFL Game Pass

2022 NFL First-Round Draft Order (with 2021 records)

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars
  2. Detroit Lions
  3. Houston Texans
  4. NY Jets
  5. NY Giants
  6. Carolina Panthers
  7. NY Giants (via Bears)
  8. Atlanta Falcons
  9. Seattle Seahawks (via Broncos)
  10. NY Jets (via Seahawks)
  11. Washington Commanders
  12. Minnesota Vikings
  13. Houston Texans (via Browns)
  14. Baltimore Ravens
  15. Philadelphia Eagles (via Dolphins)
  16. Philadelphia Eagles (via Colts)
  17. LA Chargers
  18. New Orleans Saints
  19. Philadelphia Eagles
  20. Pittsburgh Steelers
  21. New England Patriots
  22. Green Bay Packers (via Raiders)
  23. Arizona Cardinals
  24. Dallas Cowboys
  25. Buffalo Bills
  26. Tennessee Titans
  27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  28. Green Bay Packers
  29. Kansas City Chiefs (via 49ers)
  30. Kansas City Chiefs
  31. Cincinnati Bengals
  32. Detroit Lions (via Rams)

Teams with no First Round Pick

  • San Francisco 49ers
  • Chicago Bears
  • Denver Broncos
  • Cleveland Browns
  • Indianapolis Colts
  • Las Vegas Raiders
  • Los Angeles Rams
  • Miami Dolphins

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