Ryan Lippert’s 2022 4-Round Steelers Mock Draft
After a long off-season so far, one of my favorite times of the year is finally almost here!
The 2022 NFL Draft starts Thursday and is filled with very intriguing prospects at many different positions. This draft is crucial for the Pittsburgh Steelers as they are moving into a new era with a new GM, new quarterback, and new pieces in multiple other positions.
There are many different directions that they can go in this year’s draft, so without further ado, here is what I believe to be the ideal first four picks of the 2022 NFL Draft for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
First Round (20): Malik Willis – Quarterback (Liberty)
As I mentioned, we are entering a new era with a new starting quarterback for the Steelers. They signed Mitchell Trubisky this off-season and I believe he will get his shot as the starter, but they need a true franchise talent waiting and learning behind him.
The worst-kept secret of this draft cycle for the Steelers is that Mike Tomlin loves Malik Willis.
Yes, I understand that they may have to trade up to get him and I believe that is on the table, but after looking at the board, there’s a chance he falls right in their laps at 20.
Willis has some things to work on and isn’t a Day 1 starter but his ceiling is superstar level. He has a strong arm that can stretch the field and is very dangerous as a runner as well.
If he can sit a year and wait, he can step in and be the next franchise QB in Pittsburgh. However, if they can’t get Willis, I strongly believe that they should wait until next year’s draft as there aren’t any other quarterbacks that excite me.
Also Considered: Andrew Booth Jr. (CB, Clemson); Jordan Davis (IDL, Georgia)
Second Round (52): Skyy Moore – Wide Receiver (Western Michigan)
After losing star receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster to the Chiefs in free agency, while also seeing rotational receivers James Washington and Ray Ray McCloud leave, the Steelers must add a player to their receiver room. Luckily for them, this receiver class is loaded and they have been very successful at finding Day 2 talent at the position.
Moore is a very dynamic slot receiver who I believe would be an immediate impact player as a rookie.
He has speed, is a strong route runner, and has incredible hands. Moore had an incredible final season for Western Michigan, catching 95 passes for 1,292 yards, and 10 touchdowns.
Even better, Moore is a lifelong Steelers fan that would love the opportunity to wear the black and gold! If the Steelers can get Willis and Moore with their first two picks, they could have a very dangerous QB-WR duo for years to come.
Also Considered: John Metchie III (WR, Alabama); Jamaree Salyer (OL, Georgia)
Third Round (84): Coby Bryant – Cornerback (Cincinnati)
While the emphasis in this draft could be on the offensive side of the ball, there are some pieces that can be added on defense. The Steelers signed a solid cornerback in Levi Wallace in free agency and re-signed Ahkello Witherspoon, but could still add another player to the mix on the outside after moving on from Joe Haden.
Bryant would be a great value pick at this spot as he was one of the most productive defensive backs in college football this past season.
Despite being overshadowed by teammate Sauce Gardner, Bryant actually won the 2021 Jim Thorpe Award which is given to the best defensive back in college football.
This award was very much deserved as Bryant finished his senior year with 44 tackles, two interceptions, and one interception returned for a touchdown. I strongly believe Bryant will be a key rotational player as a rookie and possibly push for one of the outside starting spots early on.
Also Considered: Sean Rhyan (OL, UCLA); Wan’Dale Robinson (WR, Kentucky)
Fourth Round (138): Rasheed Walker – Offensive Tackle (Penn State)
This pick is more of a hopeful one to me as Walker could be gone earlier. However, he has been seeing his stock fall due to other offensive tackles rising.
Although they have made some key additions in free agency, the Steelers must continue to strengthen their offensive line. I believe this is especially true at tackle. Pittsburgh has a left tackle in Dan Moore Jr. that proved himself at times last season and have Chukwuma Okorafor on the right side that has been up and down.
While I believe both of these players could have some potential, they need some young depth behind them that can learn and progress to earn a starting spot if they feel the need to move on.
Walker is a big body at tackle, measuring in at 6’6″, 312 pounds that has the athleticism to be a very productive pass blocker.
He has gotten knocked for some struggles in the run game but that can be worked on at the next level. In Pittsburgh, Walker can be an immediate swing tackle that can be plugged in at either side with the potential to grow into a starter if he shows progression.
Also Considered: Mario Goodrich (CB, Clemson); Ed Ingram (IOL, LSU)