Steelers aggressive free agency could continue to Draft
by Matt Izatt on 03/17/2022
2022 NFL Draft: Realistic Draft Options for the Steelers
After many aggressive moves in free agency, one thing is clear: Kevin Colbert wants to go out with a bang.
The Steelers found themselves with more cap space than they’ve had in forever and used it to plug nearly every hole on the roster. They even have room for a couple more splash moves. After that, however, it’s time to look towards the draft. With every hole plugged, it’s likely that the Steelers simply pick the best player available. Here’s a look at some of their best and most realistic options.
QB Kenny Pickett, Pitt
Kenny Pickett is a consensus fan favorite pick. The story of a hometown hero going to play for the team that plays right next door to him is tantalizing. Pickett is a great high floor prospect who can make nearly every throw on the field while also adding a new dimension to the offense with his legs. His biggest knock is that his hands measure in at a measly 8.5 inches — the smallest of any QB since Michael Vick. This leads many to worry about issues with him fumbling, especially in Pittsburgh weather. Even then, though, Pickett has undeniable talent, and could most likely win the job in camp.
CB Andrew Booth Jr., Clemson
Booth is a phenomenal value pick with his draft stock dropping due to not attending the combine. A standout corner in his time and college, Booth has the length and athleticism to take it to the next level in the NFL. With Joe Haden leaving, this would be a phenomenal fill-in for the departed star corner. His biggest drawback is his height, coming in at 6′ even. Even despite that, Booth absolutely has all the tools to take it to the next level, especially with Pittsburgh’s loaded defensive coaching staff.
C Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa
Tyler Linderbaum is interesting. His recent leg injury in the Citrus bowl sidelined him for the combine, and could potentially cut into his pro day. There are also (very warranted) concerns about his size. His arm length is 37”, which is an inch smaller than Kendrick Green. That doesn’t change the fact that he is the best center prospect in years, however. Despite his size, Linderbaum absolutely knows how to hang with the big boys. He can absolutely dominate in the trenches, but also has the speed to block on the second level. The Steelers could get a hidden gem if he fell to 20, which it’s looking like he most likely will.
OG Zion Johnson, Boston College
Zion Johnson saw his stock skyrocket at the senior bowl and combine. He has played snaps at both guard and tackle, but he excelled at guard especially. It also helps that he was a Steelers fan as a kid. His combine numbers were great for a guard, so that is definitely the position he would be drafted for.
With alleged issues inside the organization with third year starter Kevin Dotson’s work ethic, Zion Johnson could slot in as his replacement, giving a ton of help to Kendrick Green in the process.
DL Jordan Davis, Georgia
My personal favorite.
Jordan Davis seems to be the most sure fire prospect in this draft. In his tenure at Georgia, he absolutely dominated as a run stuffing nose tackle. He raised his stock even more when he played a key part in Georgia’s national championship run. Then he raised it more by cutting his weight down. Then he raised it even more by having an absolutely otherworldly combine performance for his position. With a 4.78 second 40 time, Davis is blistering fast for a man his size. Steelers have been looking for a nose tackle to eat blockers like Casey Hampton did for nearly a decade now. Jordan Davis is that guy. Unless Davis suddenly got lazy or had a freak injury, he is nearly bust-proof. Pittsburgh may have to trade up a few picks to get him (his most likely suitor is the Los Angeles Chargers at 17), but a generational nose tackle is well worth that price.
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