Mel Kiper 2-Round Mock Draft: Steelers go on offense in Rounds 1 & 2

the 2022 NFL Draft is just around the corner, and that means project analysts are going all-in on their project forecast simulations. Some fictional drafts and their authors get more attention than others, and ESPN’s two would certainly fall into that category. Be it Todd McShay or Mel Kiper Jr., both of these analysts are lightning rods when it comes to their rankings/predictions.

After McShay released his final draft last week, it was Kiper’s turn to produce content, and he did it in a full 2 ​​round draft. Of course, these are just Kiper’s thoughts and projections of how the draft might go, but for the Pittsburgh Steelers fan, you’re scratching your head wondering if this would be the best course of action. for the team if the board were to fall that way.

That said, let’s take a look at the first round of Kiper’s latest mock draft…

Round 1

1. Jacksonville JaguarsAidan Hutchinson, DE, Michigan
2. Detroit LionsAhmad “Sauce” Gardner, BC, Cincinnati
3. Houston TexansTravon Walker, DE, Georgia
4. New York JetsKayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Oregon
5. New York GiantsIkem Ekwonu, occupational therapist, NC status
6. Carolina PanthersMalik Willis, QB, Freedom
7. New York Giants (via CHI) – Jermaine Johnson II, DE, state of florida
8. Atlanta FalconsGarrett Wilson, WR, ohio state
9. Seattle Seahawks (via DEN) – Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
10. New York Jets (via SEA) – Drake London, WR, USC
11. Washington CommandersKyle Hamilton, S, our Lady
12. Minnesota VikingsDerek Stingley Jr., CB, USL
13. Houston Texans (via CLE) – Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
14. Baltimore RavensTrent McDuffie, BC, Washington
15. Philadelphia Eagles (via MIA) – Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
16. New Orleans Saints (via PHI/IND) – Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
17. Los Angeles ChargersJordan Davis, DT, Georgia
18. Philadelphia Eagles (via NO) – Nakobe Dean, ILB, Georgia
19. New Orleans Saints (via PHI) – Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama

20. Pittsburgh SteelersKenny Pickett, QB, Pitt

I’d feel a lot more comfortable taking Pickett here than I would in the top 10. Best case scenario it’s Derek Carr and his floor is Andy Dalton type, which doesn’t is by no means a bad quarterback. Pittsburgh can win with this. Still, these two were taken in Round 2 and had no Round 1 expectations surrounding them. If Pickett falls into the Steelers’ lap here, it would be hard to pass him up. And he has a few more advantages than Mitch Trubisky.

21. New England PatriotsDevin Lloyd, ILB, Utah
22. Green Bay Packers (via LV) – Christian Watson, WR, ND State
23. Arizona CardinalsTreylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
24. Dallas CowboysArnold Ebiketie, DE, Penn State
25. Buffalo TicketsDaxton Hill, DB, Michigan
26. Tennessee TitansJahan Dotson, WR, Penn State
27. Tampa Bay BuccaneersDevonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia
28. Green Bay PackersZion Johnson, G/C, Boston College
29. Kansas City Chiefs (via MIA/SF) – Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson
30. Kansas City ChiefsGeorge Karlaftis, DE, Purdue
31. New York Jets (via mock trade with CIN) – Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa
32. Detroit Lions (via LAR) – Lewis Cine, S, GA

There’s plenty of talent to choose from when the Steelers pick at No. 20, but Kiper feels the Steelers’ need at quarterback is too great to let Pickett down any further. With Willis off the roster at No. 6 at Carolina, Pickett is the second-best quarterback on the roster. But that doesn’t mean it’s the best direction for the team in the first round. There is still talent available in positions that need it on both sides of football. It’s hard to see the likes of Devin Lloyd, Devonte Wyatt and Tyler Linderbaum all on the board and left behind by the black and gold.

2nd round

33. Jacksonville JaguarsKenyon Green, G. Texas A&M
34. Detroit LionsDavid Ojabo, OLB, Michigan
35. Cincinnati Bengals (via mock exchange with NYJ) – Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida
36. New York GiantsJalen Pitre, S, Baylor
37. Houston TexansJaquan Brisker, S, Penn State
38. New York Jets (via CAR) – Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State
39. Chicago BearsKyler Gordon, BC, Washington
40. Seattle Seahawks (via DEN) — Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati
41. Seattle SeahawksQuay Walker, LB, Georgia
42. Indianapolis Colts (via WSH) – Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan
43. Atlanta FalconsBoye Mafe, OLB, Minn.
44. Cleveland BrownsTravis Jones, DT, Connecticut
45. Baltimore RavensChanning Tindall, LB, Georgia
46. ​​Minnesota VikingsPerrion Winfrey, DT, Oklahoma
47. Washington Commanders (via IND) – George Pickens, WR, Georgia
48. Chicago Bears (via LAC) — Tyler Smith, OT/G, Tulsa
49. New Orleans SaintsMatt Corral, QB, Ole Miss
50. Kansas City Chiefs (via MIA) – Skyy Moore, WR, West Michigan
51. Philadelphia EaglesDrake Jackson, DE/OLB, USC

52. Pittsburgh SteelersJohn Metchie III, WR, Alabama

Metchie tore his ACL in December, but he’s had a fantastic season, with 96 catches for 1,142 yards and eight scores. He can play in the slot and make a difference in midfield for the Steelers, which left JuJu Smith-Schuster walking in free agency. Metchie should be able to recover to play in Week 1 – and potentially help Kenny Pickett.

53. Green Bay Packers (via LV) – Alec Pierce, WR, Cincinnati
54. New England PatriotsLogan Hall, DL, Houston
55. Arizona CardinalsRoger McCreary, BC, Auburn
56. Dallas CowboysAbraham Lucas, occupational therapist, washington state
57. Buffalo NotesKenneth Walker III, AR, state of michigan
58. Atlanta Falcons (via TEN) — Troy Andersen, LB, Montana State
59. Green Bay PackersMyjai Sanders, DE/OLB, Cincinnati
60. Tampa Bay BuccaneersStrange Cole, G, Chattanooga
61. San Francisco 49ersCam Taylor-Britt, DB, Nebraska
62. Kansas City ChiefsJalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama
63. Cincinnati BengalsGreg Dulcich, TE, UCLA
64. Denver Broncos (via LAR) – Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State

The Steelers remain tight at the No. 52 pick and once again focus on the offensive side of the ball with the pick of Metchie III. After major knee surgery, many fans/pundits will be skeptical of the pick, but many have come back from those injuries with no hampering in their performance. The Steelers taking Pickett in Round 1 opened the door for teams like the Seahawks and Saints to take Desmond Ridder and Matt Corral in Round 2. Again, plenty of talent on the board, but you’d be hard-pressed to say the Steelers don’t need both quarterback and wide receiver help. Getting those positions in Rounds 1 and 2 isn’t horrible.

What do you think of Kiper’s latest draft? Would you be satisfied with the selections? Are there any players that have been passed on that you would have taken if you had developed this simulation? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest Steelers news and notes as they prepare for the next wave of free agency and the NFL draft.