The anticipation is killing us all. The 2022 NFL Draft is less than 24 hours away and the Pittsburgh Steelers are almost on the clock!
If you ask anyone in Steeler Nation, their choice for the Steelers at the 20th pick varies from person to person, but one thing seems to be sure; Pittsburgh’s brass looks set at drafting a quarterback early.
Earlier this week on Monday, Pittsburgh had their pre-draft press conference where both head coach Mike Tomlin, and general manager Kevin Colbert, both answered questions from the media about the current state of the team heading into draft night. Colbert confirmed that the team has seen many of the quarterbacks in this draft class up to seven times live and in-person each. Colbert also stated earlier in the off-season that he’d like for the team to enter training camp with four quarterbacks on the roster (they currently just have two), and both Colbert and Tomlin have been seen at multiple college Pro Days over the last several weeks to see several quarterbacks up close in person. Some of the quarterbacks include Malik Willis, Kenny Pickett, Desmond Ridder, and Sam Howell to name a few.
This brings us to the national media. The “experts” if you will.
It feels like wide receiver, cornerback, maybe defensive line or middle linebacker are in the air for Pittsburgh fans, but the media seems to be clinging on a little harder to the words of Tomlin and Colbert in regards to what they think the team will do in the first round of the draft. We took picks from ESPN, CBS, Bleacher Report, Fox Sports, and NFL.com to narrow down exactly who the national media overall thinks Pittsburgh will take in the first round come Thursday night. Check it out below:
ESPN‘s Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay said on April 19th, Pickett is the man for Pittsburgh:
Will Pickett go higher than No. 20? Probably. But without trades and with the Saints getting two instant starters and forgoing a quarterback in this scenario, Pittsburgh is the most logical landing spot for him. I wouldn’t be surprised if he beat out Mitch Trubisky.
Fox Sports‘ Betting Analyst, Jason McIntyre had this to say:
Maybe the Steelers get anxious that Seattle is going to take a QB and trade up for Willis. But regardless of what you think about him, he’s going in the first round.
CBS NFL Analysts Ryan Wilson, Chris Trapasso, Josh Edwards, Pete Prisco, and Kyle Stackpole were split on their decisions, but majority ruled as Willis came out as the favorite here too.
As recent as April 27th, it was almost a clean sweep for Willis among NFL Analysts Daniel Jeremiah, Charles Davis, Bucky Brooks, Rhett Lewis, Maurice Jones-Drew, Peter Schrager, and Lance Zierlein:
The Steelers did as much visible work on QBs as any team in the draft. Here, they make the first selection of a signal-caller in 2022. With veteran Mitch Trubisky already in Pittsburgh and likely to be the starter in 2022, Willis will get a chance to acclimate to the pro game. I could see Willis, Najee Harris and Diontae Johnson forming a really dynamic trio in the future. Kevin Colbert sets the table for the future at QB in his final draft as general manager.
Lastly, the Bleacher Report staff gave a bold prediction about Pittsburgh on who and how they acquire their first round draft pick, but it’s something that Colbert is open to doing…
Gary Davenport: Pittsburgh Steelers move into top 10 to grab a QB
It’s not unheard of for the Steelers to make a move up in Round 1—the team traded up for linebacker Devin Bush back in 2019. But it would be pretty unprecedented for Pittsburgh to mortgage a future first-rounder to make a big move up the board.
However, it’s the dawn of a new era in the Steel City, and while Mitchell Trubisky may be a decent stopgap quarterback, he probably isn’t much more than that. That’s going to spur the Steelers to play Let’s Make a Deal with one of the New York teams and shoot into the top 10 to grab either Kenny Pickett of Pittsburgh or Desmond Ridder of Cincinnati.
Agree or disagree with the national media? Who are yinz hoping Pittsburgh takes with the 20th overall pick on Thursday night? Click to comment below!