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Matt’s Mid-Season Mock

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Matt’s Mid-Season Mock

Yes I know, it is too early to be thinking about the 2022 NFL Draft. However, the Pittsburgh Steelers are definitely already thinking about it within their scouting department, and it helps me get over the ugly loss that took place last Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. Being in person for the game made it hurt twice as much…

The Steelers have 8 picks currently in the 2022 NFL Draft, and they appear they will have a lot of holes to fill. And to get it out of the way now, no I will not be mocking a quarterback to the Steelers high in this mock, so if you were hoping to see University of Pittsburgh’s QB Kenny Pickett, you will be disappointed.

 

First Round Pick – Kenyon Green, OG, Texas A&M

All of SteelerNation would absolutely fall in love with this pick if it were to happen. Green is arguably the best lineman in the draft, but likely being a guard in the NFL will likely push him at least to the middle of the first round. Green is an absolute mauler that has the power to overwhelm pretty much anyone who lines up opposite him. But he also is a very polished pass protector, as he has a wide, low base that gives him a very consistent pass set. Most of his starts have came at left guard, but this past season he made starts at every position along the offensive line besides center, doing very well at all of them I might add.

 

Second Round Pick – Trent McDuffie, CB. Washington

Joe Haden can’t play forever, so the Steelers need to start thinking of life after he is gone. McDuffie is one of the best natural corners in the draft and also happens to possess exceptional speed and quickness. Some people may peg him as a slot corner (5’11”, 190lbs) and that could cause him to fall down some draft boards. McDuffie never shy’s away from making tackles in the run game and possesses solid ball skills tracking the ball in the air. He also has experience in both zone and off-man coverage, which allows him to slide in easily to the Steelers scheme.

 

 

Third Round Pick – Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia

Devonte Wyatt may be the forgotten man along Georgia’s stout defensive line. Everyone talks about Jordan Davis for his massive size or Travon Walker for his ability to rush the passer of the edge. However, Wyatt is a key cog that lets it all work so well for the Bulldogs front 7. Watching Wyatt, I see a lot of current Steelers nose tackle Tyson Alualu. His ability to eat up blocks and double teams in the run game are huge for both of their games, and both also have deceptive burst with their pass rush. It is no secret the Steelers need help along their defensive line.

 

Third Round Pick (Compensatory) – Ainias Smith, WR, Texas A&M

Ainias Smith is the ultimate chess piece. At Texas A&M, he has been used out of the slot, spread out wide, and in the backfield. He excelled no matter where the Aggies put him, as he always makes plays once the ball is in his hands. Despite his small stature (5’9″, 190lbs), Smith is one of the most aggressive blockers you will see out of a wide receiver or running back in college. Some may consider him a “tweener” coming out, but there is no doubt a lot of offensive coordinators would love to have him at their disposal, including Matt Canada.

 

Fifth Round Pick (Compensatory) – Damone Clark, LB. LSU

When I watch Clark play, he reminds me a lot of former Steeler and fan favorite Vince Williams. An old school thumper that has good size and can be used both to stop the run and blitzing as a pass rusher. Clark has very good straight line speed that he has shown the ability to chase down ball carriers all over the field. Even with his plus speed, he has shown trouble when needing to change direction or cover running backs out of the backfield. Clark could provide some much needed physicality on early downs early on.

 

 

Sixth Round Pick (via Kansas City Chiefs) – Cordell Volson, OT, North Dakota State

Volson is one of the toughest, meanest, strongest run blockers in college football. Every run play he blocks through the echo of the whistle and rarely doesn’t push his man off the line of scrimmage. He has some work to do with his pass sets, as while he shows a good base and keeps himself in good position, he sometimes struggles with speed rushers or edge players that can change their rush direction quickly. He profiles as a good swing tackle early in his career with the ability to develop into a starting right tackle that can plow the way for the team’s running game.

 

Seventh Round Pick (via New York Jets) – Bubba Bolden, S, Miami FL

Upside is the first word that comes to mind when thinking of Bolden. He possesses very good athletic traits and is a very physical safety that has displayed the ability to play deep or down in the box. He is best when attacking forward and keeping things in front of him at this point, as when he has to flip and turn away he loses his angles at times. However, Bolden is still learning as he hasn’t had as much starting experience as most draft prospects. He could also develop into an ace special teamer for Danny Smith to utilize.

 

Seventh Round Pick – Tyler Johnson, EDGE, Arizona State

There are few players in the draft that have as much starting experience as Johnson has. Across his four years for the Sun Devils, he has played in 34 games and been productive as a pass rusher all four seasons. Across his 34 games played, he racked up 30.5 tackles for loss and 15.5 sacks as he consistently is able to get penetration. He has some versatility being able to rush from a stand up position or with his hand in the dirt, but hasn’t shown much in terms of dropping into space and can get moved off of his spot more than you’d like in the run game. He also has some significant injury concerns as he briefly retired due to a shoulder injury, but returned to football less than a year later and played 15 games since then without any reported setbacks.

 

Overall, there are a lot of holes to fill on the Steelers roster for the 2022 season as the roster sits today. The 2022 NFL Draft is going to be very important for the future of the team.

Who do you think the Steelers should target in the 2022 NFL Draft? Let us know below what you think of the mock draft above!

#SteelerNation

I’ve been a freelance sports writer for several years, centered around football, baseball, basketball, and fantasy sports. I’m born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio and a diehard Steelers fan. I love sharing my thoughts and opinions on all things sports, especially when it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers. I also received my BS in Chemical Engineering from The Ohio State University in 2016, and have a career in Material Research and Development. Follow me on Twitter!

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