Pittsburgh Steelers 2022 NFL Draft Recapby Michael Schiro May 2, 2022 0 comments
The Pittsburgh Steelers went into the draft with many question marks and holes in the roster. With seven draft picks total, the Steelers had a game plan and stuck with it. However, with only one top 50 pick, the team didn’t have an abundance of high draft picks. At the same time, this was one of the deepest drafts in years due to the pandemic and players choosing to opt-out of the 2020 season. The Steelers knew they didn’t have to burn draft picks by trading up to get the guys they wanted. Furthermore, general manager Kevin Colbert’s final draft before retiring was a success and left the team with a few building blocks for the future.
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Best Pick: Demarvin Leal (Round 3, Pick 84)
The big, agile, and versatile defensive linemen out of Texas A&M had a mid-second round grade. However, with him slipping to the mid-third round, the Steelers got an impact starter a round after he should of went. As a potential replacement for Cameron Heyward, Leal can step right in and split the snaps with Heyward. However, Leal can play inside and outside in the Steelers’ defense, allowing them to be even more versatile. At the same time, Leal gets the chance to learn behind many veterans that will grow his game. Furthermore, Leal receives the opportunity to play right away and develop his game while learning from pro bowl veterans.
For more on Leal, check out our scouting report on him.
Worst Pick: Calvin Austin III (Round 4, Pick 138)
While Austin could be a solid player in the NFL, the draft board had better slot receivers available. With the team drafting George Pickens in the second round, they needed a slot receiver. However, Austin doesn’t fit in the Pittsburgh system. Coming in at only 5’7”, Austin is short but explosive. At the same time, Austin could eventually become a good player, but his height makes it an uphill battle. Furthermore, Kyle Phillips would have been a better choice at 138, but the team chose the potential of Austin over the skill of Phillips.
For more on Robinson, check out our scouting report on him.
Sleeper Pick: Connor Heyward (Round 6, Pick 208)
Connor Heyward is the younger brother of defensive lineman Cameron Heyward. With the brother now being on the same team, they will have to decide if they share a house or not. On a more serious note, Heyward will play a Kyle Juszczyk role. With his ability to play tight end or running back, he will be moved around the offense. However, this does mean that Derek Watt could become expendable. While Heyward will be in charge of three positions TE, RB, and FB, he serves a multi-purpose role for the team. Furthermore, Heyward can be a safety blanket for Kenny Pickett with a potentially explosive chess piece.
The Pittsburgh Steelers had a great draft. The Steelers got a new X receiver in Pickens, a potential franchise quarterback in Pickett, and a stud pass rusher in Leal. The team addressing three important positions with star players was a good draft. However, the team failed to address defensive back in this draft, which could hurt the team next year. With an aging defensive back room, it is becoming an urgent priority the team must address.
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