The Pittsburgh Steelers have their draft board set, and it’s only a matter of hours before the team is on the clock to make their first selection of the 2022 NFL Draft. The speculation and mock drafts will finally end from most outlets, and we will begin the process that leads up to training camp in late July. But there is still a little time for a bold prediction.
Back in March, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin gave Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis a huge endorsement. A debate about cereal and whether it should be considered a soup was a conversation going around the Georgia Pro Day. So in response to a question about whether Tomlin was in the ‘Jordan Davis Camp’ on his opinion of cereal being a soup, Tomlin replied:
“I’m in the ‘Jordan Davis Camp’ regardless,” Tomlin answered.
Tomlin would later go on to say in the interview that he doubted that Davis would be in the black and gold in 2022, because he believed that Davis would have already been selected by the time the Steelers got onto the clock.
Mike Tomlin says he thinks Jordan Davis will have already hugged Roger Goodell by the time the Steelers are picking. pic.twitter.com/HFqh1F9q9V
— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) March 16, 2022
It was thought at one point that Davis would surely be a top 10 selection, but over the past month or so, Davis has began to creep a little bit lower, and lower in the draft. Most consider the Steelers to be the very bottom of how far Davis could fall. Concerns over his stamina, and his ability to play all three downs have caused some teams to shy away from him at the top end of the draft.
Davis has reportedly dropped about 20 pounds, and wants to play at about 320 pounds instead of 340. His hopes are that he will be able to stay on the field more without the added weight. While he was listed on Georgia’s website at 341, he said that his weight actually jumped up as high as 370 at some points of his college career.
The only team that appears to be standing in the way of the Steelers getting Davis is the Baltimore Ravens. Of course it had to be the Steelers biggest rival that would also covet the defensive lineman. This has happened a few other times in Draft history by division rivals, like in 2002 when the Steelers eyed Ed Reed, but the Ravens selected him six picks beforehand. Or in 2016 when the Cincinnati Bengals selected cornerback William Jackson one pick ahead of them. The Steelers instead scrambled to pick Artie Burns.
Now the Ravens pick at #14. The Steelers at #20. There has been rumors that the Ravens themselves might be interested in moving into the top 10 if Oregon edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux falls out of the top 5. The Ravens have tons of draft capital to make a move including two third round picks, and five fourth rounders. So a move wouldn’t be out of the question for them.
But if they hold tight, the Steelers should be on the phone with the Washington Commanders who have pick #11, or the Minnesota Vikings at pick #12. There has been reports that the Steelers may have already spoken with the Vikings in the situation they’d like to move up. That came prior to all of the calls they made this week to every team to found out their interests.
To move up from #20 to #11 or #12 would likely cost the Steelers a second round pick this year, or next, along with a 3rd this year, and a 5th next year. It would have to be a similar trade to the one they made for Devin Bush in 2019 when they went up from #20 to #10.
It seems like the news is trending positively for Stephon Tuitt to return to the Steelers this season, but the comments have been so vague, it’s hard to truly get a read on the situation. But even if he does come back, he sat out for an entire season. Who knows what level of play he’s going to be able to put on the field. Will his heart even be in it? Time will tell. But beyond that, he’s 28 years old, and so is his back-up Chris Wormley. Tyson Alualu is likely retiring after this season when his contract is up, and from there you have two guys that have shown signs with Montravius Adams, and Isaiahh Loudermilk, but not on a consistent basis. Not to mention Cam Heyward is 32, and while he’s still playing at an elite level, father time is going to catch up with him sooner rather than later.