Jae Greenwald’s 2022 3-round Steelers Mock Draft
The Pittsburgh Steelers are on the clock.
Steelers fans across the nation, waving their Terrible Towels, gripped with anticipation as the future of their franchise could be changed forever based on the name that is called in these next couple of minutes.
Kiper, McShay, Jeremiah, all of the talking heads giving their last minute predictions of what is to come next and then you hear it – the whimsical chime that lets all Las Vegas and the millions, and millions, watching at home that the time is nigh.
Roger Goodell saunters up to the stage and says, “With the 20th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, The Pittsburgh Steelers select…”
First Round (20): Desmond Ridder – Quarterback (Cincinnati)
In this mock, I am assuming that both Pickett and Willis are off the board by the time the Steelers are on the clock at #20. Enter Desmond Ridder. A 4-year starter with the Cincinnati Bearcats with a 44-5 record as a starter, 28 career rushing touchdowns (school record for QBs), and overall an incredible athlete with undeniable potential.
Good News: Ridder thrived with the Bearcats working out of an RPO offense and Steelers OC Matt Canada has been introducing RPO to the Steelers offense since his arrival and with the addition of a mobile quarterback in Ridder, perhaps we’ll see a more dynamic offensive attack from Pittsburgh this year.
Above-average arm strength and mobility coming from the quarterback position should empower the young core of offensive weapons the Steelers have in Najee Harris, Pat Freiermuuuth, Diontae Johnson, and Chase Claypool.
Bad News: Ridder struggled the most when having to have to work from under center or look past his first read and scan the whole field. Most of this can be attributed to his accuracy issues and footwork issues – both of which Ridder will need to clean up to maximize his potential at the next level.
Like it or not Steelers Nation – the Pittsburgh Steelers brain trust has made it as clear as day that they plan on drafting a quarterback in the first round of the 2022 draft and they are not usually ones to deploy smoke screens in the draft process.
Whether it be Desmond Ridder, Malik Willis, Kenny Pickett, Matt Corral, or Sam Howell – all signs point to outgoing Steelers GM Kevin Colbert leaving the organization with the new face of the franchise coming out of the 2022 crop of quarterbacks (sorry Trubisky Truthers).
Second Round (52): Skyy Moore – Wide Receiver (W. Michigan)
This is one of those picks for me where I would be equally as elated on a human level as I would be on a fan level. Born and raised in the Pittsburgh area, the Shady Side Academy alum would play with and become incredibly close friends with Dino Tomlin, Mike Tomlin’s son all throughout high school.
When answering questions from the media at the combine, Moore said himself that landing back home with Pittsburgh would be a “storybook ending”. Come on home, Skyy!
Not just a human interest story, Skyy Moore is the real deal on the field and I would not be surprised at all of he is off the board by the time the Steelers are back on the clock at #52 overall. Over his career, Moore garnered 171 receptions for 2,482 yards and 16 touchdowns – while breaking out in 2021 with 95 receptions for 1,292 yards and 10 touchdowns.
A dynamic route runner, quick off the ball, and “oh #!%?” speed to burn you at any time, Steelers fans may see flashes of another familiar “undersized” receiver out of a small school in Michigan who can beat you one-on-one, work underneath, and burn you vertically.
With the losses of JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington and Ray-Ray McCloud this offseason, and a Diontae Johnson contract extension looming – the Steelers are once again in a position to reload at the receiver position. Fortunately for Pittsburgh, they have a good track record of doing just that and Moore would be an incredible option for the Steelers at #52 overall.
Third Round (84): Nick Cross – Safety (Maryland)
Easily the most glaring hole on the Steelers roster, as of writing this article, is that there is no starting strong safety. Terrell Edmunds continues to sit out on the free agency market, as well as Tyrann Mathieu, who some Steelers fans have been clamoring to don the Black and Gold since his surprising release from the Kansas City Chiefs earlier this offseason.
Even in a world where the Steelers end up signing the Honey Badger, Tyrann Mathieu is going to be 30-years old by the time the 2022 season starts and in a year or two, the Steelers will be in the same position of needing a long-term answer at the Strong Safety position.
While Cross primarily played in a single-high safety defense at Maryland – he proved himself to be an incredibly dynamic and versatile player. The former track star has consistently demonstrated his speed and length in coverage, usually schemed as the last line of defense for Maryland’s secondary.
However, Cross will more likely be asked upon to utilize his size, strength, and heavy hitting in the box – supporting the run. The thunder to Minkah’s lightning – allowing Fitzpatrick to play further back, use his athleticism and high football IQ to read opposing quarterbacks and make splash plays in the secondary.
What do you think about the players selected in this mock draft for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2022? What do you think the Steelers will do with the #20 pick? What would you would do with the #20 pick? Please leave your comments down below and thanks for reading!