Carney: Pittsburgh Steelers Model 2022 Project (Version 2.0)

Prepare yourselves. Another dummy project is coming.

With just over three weeks left until the start of the 2022 NFL Draft, it’s time to ditch my second edition of the seven-round mock draft for the Pittsburgh Steelers, especially now that the initial free agency rampage is behind us.

Coming out of free agency, the Steelers clearly addressed some gaps in the roster before the draft, giving themselves some flexibility to head into the first round in Las Vegas. Knowing this, I have attempted to create the most recent mock draft of the existing list in Pittsburgh and have attempted to address some of the gaps that still exist in the list.

If you missed it, here is the first copy of my typical Steelers draft.

Things will change between now and the last mock draft in late April. enjoy the trip.

And as always, let me know what you think of my first mock draft in the comments section below!

Round 1 (#20 overall) – DESMOND RIDDER / QB / CINCINNATI – 6033, 211 lbs.

Analytics: My personal QB1 in the Draft category, Ridder brings great leadership to the position along with an awesome work ethic. Although his ceiling isn’t quite as high as someone like Liberty’s Malik Willis, Ridder is the most pro-ready quarterback in the 2022 NFL Draft class. It plays with rhythm in general, and has consistent and repeatable mechanics that generate easy energy. His wits are off the charts and he deals fairly quickly on the film. The concerns about his game in terms of accuracy and ball placement are certainly fair at this point in the process, but he would be an Alex Smith-like player for a long time in the NFL.

Previous selection: Zion Johnson, IOL Institute, Boston College

Others saw: Sam Howell, QB, UNC; Andrew Booth Jr, CB, Clemson; George Pickens, WR, Georgia

Round 2 (#52 overall) – DeMARVIN LEAL/DL/TEXAS A&M – 6037, 283 lbs.

Analytics: Leal may look a little petty on paper, but he does best as a three-tech defensive lineman, capable of beating offensive linemen with his speed of power and rare athleticism in general. Although he wasn’t as dominant at Texas A&M as many predicted he’d be in three seasons at College Station (only 13.0 career sacks, 25.0 tackle for loss), the short area blast and all-out blast he possesses will make him a welcome addition to an old defensive line for the Steelers. Its depth was tested heavily in 2021.

That choice could go against agreement overall, given the work the Steelers have done on the defensive line at free agency, keeping Montravius ​​Adams to pair with a potential return for Stefon Tweet, along with a return from injury for Tyson Alualo. The defensive line is aging, and Leal is a player with a high ceiling that the Steelers have shown an interest in, considering DL coach Karl Dunbar was at College Station on Aggies’ Pro Day.

Previous selection: Darian Beavers, LP, Cincinnati

Others saw: Leo Chenal, LB, WI; Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn State; Cair Elam, CB, Florida

Round 3 (#84 overall) – NICK CROSS/S/MARYLAND – 6001, 212 lbs.

Analytics: We know all about the Steelers and their love of SPARQ results in the safety position. Nick Cross in Maryland will be the most refined SPARQ safety point ever formulated, thanks to a RAS 9.91-based score of 4.34 40 yards dash, 37 inches vertical and an impressive 10’10 inch wide jump. Add to the fact that it’s a Maryland product and a lower-class man adds more intrigue and a fitting possibility to Cross in Pittsburgh.

Besides his impressive Test numbers, Kroos has scored six career interceptions in three seasons with Terrapins, and has started 27 career games overall. Its ability to play safe free, slot nook, and DIME booster should pique the interest of the Steelers in general.

Previous selection: Sky Moore, WR, Western Michigan

Others saw: Justin Ross, WR, Clemson; Darian Beavers, LB, Cincinnati; Brian Cook, C, Cincinnati

Round 4 (#138 overall) – Taupe / WR / SMU – 5117, 186 lbs

Analytics: SMU’s Danny Gray needs legitimate game-breaking speed in a wide receiving position, and provides that in abundance. Coming from AAC’s high-octane Mustang attack, Gray set impressive test numbers at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine, recording a 4.33 40-yard dash, 34-inch vertical and a 126-inch wide jump. The Steelers were certainly interested, meeting the SMU star in Indianapolis and then sending new WR coach Frisman Jackson to Dallas to put him in stand-up practice during Pro Mustang Day.

There is a real connection there, though, as Gray’s profiles are more of a number 3 in the long run. Right away, he’d be able to give the Steelers a real vertical threat in position Z, which could allow Chase Claypool to kick inward into a larger hole-style role, though Gray might see some time into the hole as well.

Previous selection: Max Mitchell, OT, Louisiana

Others saw: Max Mitchell, OT, Louisiana; Damion Pierce, RB, FL; Kobe Bryant, CB, Cincinnati

Round 6 (#208 overall) – TY CHANDLER/RB/North Carolina – 5107, 203 lbs.

Analytics: Sticking to the same choice here remains as the need for a backup for Nagee Harris in Pittsburgh is pretty sneaky in general. I had the chance to see Chandler in person at the East-West Shrine Bowl in Las Vegas earlier this year, and he was easily one of the best defenders out there.

A former 5-star recruit who landed in Tennessee before moving to North Carolina, Chandler exploded onto the scene in 2021, hitting 1,092 yards and 13 touchdowns as a senior in the Tar Heels. He explodes with the soccer ball in his hands as a runner, brings underrated power to the center, and can act as a triple back down due to his passing protection abilities and ability to mismatch as an off-field receiver.

He has limited wear on his body as well with less than 700 touches over his five seasons in college, which should be considered a plus, especially as a late pick. It’s not the most glamorous name, but it brings the much needed skill set into the position on day three.

Previous selection: Ty Chandler, RB, North Carolina

Others saw: Tyler Badie, RB, Missouri; Dingello Malone, Edge, Western Kentucky; Dare Rosenthal, OT, Kentucky

Round 7 (#225 overall) – JOSHUA ROSS/LB/MICHIGAN – 6003, 227 lbs.

Analytics: Even after adding Myles Jack in free agency and retaining Robert Spillane and Marcus Allen in restricted free agent bids this off season, the need for a true BUCK quarterback is still key in Pittsburgh. Ross definitely fits the bill. A physical defender on the slopes coming from Michigan, Ross produced very little for the Wolverines.

Although he lacks the blazing pace and versatility of today’s game, he’s an “intangible guy” who brings leadership and competitive fire, very similar to the BUCK linebacker started by former Steelers Vince Williams. The Steelers have already shown interest, taking the Steelers’ Pro Day squad from Kevin Colbert, Mike Tomlin and Brian Flores Ross to dinner after Pro Day in Michigan in mid-March, according to Pro Football Network’s Tony Bolin.

Previous selection: Jermaine Waller, CB, Virginia Tech

Others saw: Jeffrey Gunter, EDGE, Coastal Carolina; Chase Lucas, CB, Arizona State; Bailon Spector, LP, Clemson

Round 7 (#241 overall) – TYLER VRABEL / OL / BOSTON COLLEGE – 6056, 315 lbs.

Analytics: I could have gone in a number of directions here for the Steelers, but I decided to take a shot at a potential developmental swing with Boston College’s NFL strains Tyler Frabel, son of Tennessee Titans coach Mike Frabel. Starting for three years in British Columbia, Frabel watched time in the right and left tackle, and stood out in the running game for his strength and tenacity.

Although his foot movements are generally sound in protecting passes, he tends to get heavy at the top and stoop on his skates, which leads to some problems with rushes of speed from both sides of the defence. That’s late in the draft, you’re venturing into the traits and Vrabel definitely has the size and height to develop well into a swinging arena. NFL strains don’t hurt one thing either.

Previous selection: Conor Heyward, TE, Michigan

Others saw: Conor Heyward, TE, Michigan State; Lake Quentin, S, University of California; Johnny Peterchin, LB, Pittsburgh