Pittsburgh Steelers 3-Round 2022 Mock Draft

The Pittsburgh Steelers are in the middle of a franchise-altering offseason. Mike Tomlin’s squad enters its first season without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger under center. General manager Kevin Colbert has already announced that he’s stepping down after the 2022 NFL Draft.

Even though Colbert is on his way out the door, he wants to leave the franchise in good hands. That process includes putting together a strong draft class. The front office has several pressing needs to address, including offensive line, defensive line, and wide receiver.

Here’s how the first three rounds could shake out for the Steelers in April’s draft.

Round 1, No. 20 overall: Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ offense struggled in 2021, mainly because of Big Ben’s decline and inconsistent offensive line play. The front office failed to properly account for that deficiency in preparation for the season. Don’t expect them to make that mistake again.

The Steelers return Chukwuma Okorafor and Dan Moore Jr., the two starting offensive tackles from a season ago. Neither player was overly impressive in 2021, so it would be wise for Pittsburgh to upgrade the position. Trevor Penning is one of the top offensive lineman prospects in the NFL draft.

The Northern Iowa product posted the highest run-blocking grade in the history of Pro Football Focus (99.9). Even though he played against lesser competition, that’s still an impressive feat. The Steelers drafted Najee Harris in the previous draft to be the bell-cow. Now, it’s time to put a capable line in front of him.

Penning is physical and nasty as a blocker. That playing style fits perfectly with the Steelers’ identity under Mike Tomlin. The team got away from that in 2021, but it needs to get back to it now more than ever. If Pittsburgh is giving Mitch Trubisky a try, it must build a solid foundation around him.

Round 2, No. 52 overall: Perrion Winfrey, DT, Oklahoma

Potential Steelers NFL draft target Perrion Winfrey in action for Oklahoma
Oklahoma Sooners defensive lineman Perrion Winfrey rushes Western Carolina quarterback Rogan Wells | Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Let’s keep it in the trenches. The Steelers are usually a tough and rugged team on both sides of the ball. That’s their bread and butter. Unfortunately, the front seven got pushed around quite a bit during the 2021 season.

Pittsburgh struggled mightily against the run, allowing 146 rushing yards per game to opposing offenses. The team should have some durability concerns with defensive linemen Tyson Alualu and Stephon Tuitt. The front must strengthen the unit whenever possible to improve the defense in 2022.

Perrion Winfrey is one of the most intriguing interior defensive line prospects in the upcoming NFL Draft class. At 6-foot-4, 292 pounds, he is a good athlete who thrives as an interior rusher. Winfrey lined up at multiple positions on the defensive line during his time at Oklahoma. He has a violent pair of hands and excels at getting upfield and being a disruptor in the backfield.

Winfrey sometimes struggles against the run, but playing alongside a veteran like Cam Heyward could do wonders for him early on. He flashed explosiveness at the Senior Bowl and Scouting Combine. He could be an underrated get for Mike Tomlin.

Round 3, No. 84 overall: David Bell, WR, Purdue

It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Steelers go after a quarterback in the first three rounds. However, the plan for Mitchell Trubisky is still unknown. Assuming Pittsburgh wants to test this experiment out, Kevin Colbert should be looking to add talent to the receiving corps.

JuJu Smith-Schuster left for Kansas City in free agency. James Washington and Ray-Ray McCloud are gone, too. Diontae Johnson continues to get better, and Chase Claypool is a promising young player. However, the Steelers need more to compete with the best the AFC has to offer.

David Bell is a player who could go in the second round but also slide down to the third. If he does, Pittsburgh has to consider taking him. The Purdue star recorded 232 receptions for 2,946 yards and 21 touchdowns in three seasons. The Consensus All-American can line up inside or outside and could be a complement to the players already on the roster.

Bell made some spectacular plays in college, using exceptional balance and body control. He runs smooth routes and has proven that he can handle a lot of volume. The Boilermakers standout could fill the void left by Smith-Schuster.

All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference and College Football Reference

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