Following a blowout loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Wild Card matchup Sunday, the Pittsburgh Steelers now find themselves at a critical juncture in a multi-year rebuild that will include the search for a new quarterback, addressing the lack of depth in the trenches on both sides of the football, and adding playmakers on both sides of the football.
Add in the fact that the Steelers will see more than 20 players hit the open market in free agency, and it’s quite clear that how the Steelers looked in the 2021 season could come nowhere close to resemblance in 2022.
That’s where the 2022 NFL Draft will come into play, and play a major factor in the possible success of the Steelers next season in what could be the final year of General Manager Kevin Colbert’s career in Pittsburgh.
If the first three rounds in late April go the way USA Today’s The Draft Wire projects in its latest three-round mock draft, the Steelers could be on the right track in a heavy rebuild rather quickly.
In The Draft Wire’s mock draft, the Steelers select massive, hulking Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis at No. 20 overall, addressing a lack of depth and run-stopping abilities along the defensive line.
“Quarterback and offensive tackle are huge needs, but the value just isn’t there in this scenario at either of those spots. Instead, the Steelers opt for a massive mauler for the defensive trenches, adding a dominant nose tackle in Davis, who would help return this unit to their former glory,” The Draft Wire writes regarding the Steelers’ first-round pick.
Davis is the type of planet theory guy that is a height/weight/athleticism specimen that absolutely dominated college football in 2021, helping lead the Georgia Bulldogs to a national championship.
Dancing Bear might not be apt enough of a description when trying to showcase how good Jordan Davis’s feet are for a dude the size of a medium sized Sedan. He flashes rare burst to close that makes him more than just a two gapping run stuffer. Can make plays up/down the LOS pic.twitter.com/TG4WpwnA2j
— Ryan Booher (@RyanBooher6) January 18, 2022
Getting him at No. 52 overall would be a huge win for the Steelers.
Finally, at No. 84 overall the Steelers grab Miami (Fl.) offensive tackle Zion Nelson. Nelson was projected as a top tackle in the 2022 NFL Draft coming into the 2021 season, but he underwhelmed a bit and officially decided to head back to the Hurricanes for the 2022 season after The Draft Wire put together this mock.
It’s clear though where the Steelers need to build in the draft, and The Draft Network has the right idea in the initial three-rock mock, doing defensive tackle, quarterback and then offensive line.