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Day One of many 2022 NFL Draft is within the books and whereas there’s a lot to speak about with the group’s choice of QB Kenny Pickett, we have already got to consider Day Two of the draft.
Whereas the draft all the time proves unpredictable, we will take a pair guesses as to who could also be on the Steelers’ radar in Rounds Two and Three. Bunched by place however in no specific order, listed below are some names to bear in mind.
Skyy Moore/WR Western Michigan – One of the vital generally mocked names to the Steelers, he could possibly be in play at #52. Moore is an area native from New Kensington, a city lower than half-hour from downtown Pittsburgh. He’s brief however not small with huge, 10 1/4 inch palms, and might beat press protection, an space the place most school receivers battle. Pittsburgh wants a slot choice to interchange JuJu Smith-Schuster and haven’t correctly achieved so all through free company. The draft all the time felt just like the more than likely choice.
George Pickens/WR Georgia – A primary spherical expertise restricted final yr because of a March of 2021 torn ACL, he returned for the ultimate handful of video games final yr for the Bulldogs. His affect was comparatively restricted, although he caught a 52 yard move of their Nationwide Championship win, however he proved he was wholesome and examined nicely within the pre-draft course of. WRs Coach Frisman Jackson personally labored Pickens out throughout his Professional Day. There’s questions on rawness and rumblings over maturity however the expertise is tough to disclaim. He might not make it to #52 however it’s a believable state of affairs.
Danny Grey/WR SMU – Grey has professional 4.33 pace and the Steelers’ offense wants an infusion of big-play potential. These wheels performed nicely on the sphere in 2021, averaging practically 17 yards per catch and discovering the top zone practically 20% of the time (9 TDs on 49 receptions). Frisman Jackson was on the Mustangs’ Professional Day. An choice in Spherical Three.
Daniel Faalele/OT Minnesota – We solely noticed new o-line coach Pat Meyer at two Professional Days this yr: Texas A&M and Minnesota. The Aggies’ high man, OG Kenyon Inexperienced, went within the first spherical, leaving the Golden Gophers’ Faalele as the highest o-line prospect out there that Meyer had eyes on.
Faalele has Zach Banner measurement at 6’8, 390 kilos (frankly, that’s greater than Banner) however is a top quality athlete and mover in area. A former rugby participant, he predictably will get a push within the run sport and runs his toes. He’ll should work on coping with inside rushes and counters and sure isn’t able to play out of the gate. However he wouldn’t should in Pittsburgh as long as Dan Moore Jr. and Chukwuma Okorafor keep wholesome. This one makes lots of sense and will occur in both spherical.
Nicholas Petit-Frere/OT Ohio State – Much less talked about identify however he’s anticipated to be a Day Two decide. Ohio State’s beginning left sort out in 2021 and proper sort out in 2020, he presents measurement (6’5, 316) with good size (practically 34 inch arms). Comes from a high program and our Tom Mead preferred his stability and method dealing with bull and energy rushes. He did word Petit-Frere must work on his pad stage, typically enjoying too excessive. He could possibly be a swing candidate instantly, battling veteran Joe Haeg.
DeMarvin Leal/DL Texas A&M – If the Steelers wish to take a much bigger swing alongside the d-line given the unit’s age and Stephon Tuitt’s uncertainty, it could possibly be a man like Leal (final identify pronounced Lee-al). Steelers’ Line of defense coach Karl Dunbar attended A&M’s Professional Day to observe Leal and later spherical teammate Jayden Peevy. Leal is lengthy with good manufacturing, 8.5 sacks within the SEC final yr (5 of these sacks got here in convention play). Leal lacks a standout trait and isn’t an amazing athlete however he matches what the group seems for. May very well be in play at #52, although some suppose he’ll fall.
Thomas Booker/DL Stanford – Underrated identify for many of this course of however Booker earned buzz late for his construct and soccer IQ. Our Tom Mead praised Booker’s quickness and motor although finally graded him as a later day Three decide. Nonetheless, some draftniks imagine he could possibly be a Day Two participant and is sensible at #84.
Brandon Smith/LB Penn State – Mentioning an off-ball linebacker right here in Smith. He has measurement (6035, 244 lbs), athleticism (4.52 40) with good 2021 manufacturing. Devin Bush is probably going getting into the ultimate yr of his rookie deal whereas Myles Jack was inked to only a two-year deal. A number of others are additionally slated to hit free company in 2023: Robert Spillane, Marcus Allen, and Ulysees Gilbert III. So whereas the ILB room is crowded now, it may look so much emptier in ten months. Linebacker coaches Brian Flores and Jerry Olsavsky attended Penn State’s Professional Day.
Drake Jackson/EDGE USC – Massive-bodied EDGE rusher from a high program, although USC is trying to regain previous glory. Nonetheless, Jackson did his half with with eight tackles for loss and 5 sacks final season, first and second on the group respectively. He’s 6025, 273 kilos and Pittsburgh likes to draft their EDGE rushers huge. The great ones, anyway. I wouldn’t completely rule him out at #52 however #84 is sensible as nicely.
Marcus Jones/CB Houston – Introduced in for a pre-draft go to, he’s a plucky slot nook with nice ball abilities, a lot so the group briefly performed him at WR in 2021, Jones catching ten passes and one landing. He’s an electrical returner (although would wish a Johnnie Cochran ranges of persuasion to persuade Mike Tomlin to work there), and impactful DB with 9 profession interceptions, together with 5 final yr. He’s small with a slender chest and surgical procedure on each his shoulders. None of it’s nice but when Pittsburgh is in search of one thing nearer to Mike Hilton, he could possibly be their man. Spherical Three choice.
Jaquan Brisker/S Penn State – Brisker is a field checker. DBs Coach Grady Brown attended his Professional Day and there’s a robust connection between Steelers’ Day Two picks and positional coach Professional Day attendance. Brisker is a flexible security in a position to play on the LOS or because the deep, publish security. He performs downhill and might man-up in opposition to tight ends within the move sport. Tackling was a difficulty in 2021 however he battled a shoulder harm. Security stays a necessity; Terrell Edmunds’ low-cost one-year received’t preclude them from taking a longer-term man.
Nick Cross/S Maryland – Although we don’t imagine Cross got here in for a go to or had Brown at his Terps’ Professional Day, he checks a ton of bins. He’s younger (not even 21 and I imagine the youngest participant in the whole plausibly draftable class), athletic (9.87 RAS rating, highlighted by 4.34 40 and 10’10” broad), at a place of want. Oh yeah, he was roommates with Mike Tomlin’s son Dino in class, too. Can simply see Cross being the decide. Most anticipate him in Spherical Three however the Steelers have been recognized to take these guys a spherical early so #52 can’t be dominated out.
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