The Pittsburgh Steelers are passing on Liberty quarterback Malik Willis and taking Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett with the No. 20 overall pick according to Daniel Jeremiah’s final mock draft for NFL.com. With the draft now just a few hours away, it’s looking likely that the Steelers will draft their heir to Ben Roethlisberger.
The quarterbacks the Steelers have been linked to include Willis and Pickett, but also Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder, Ole Miss’s Matt Corral and North Carolina’s Sam Howell. Ridder has shot up the draft charts since the NFL season ended while it there is no consensus on if Corral will be a first round pick or not. Howell is the most likely quarterback to fall into the second round and might be available for the Steelers at pick No. 52.
In this mock draft, Pickett is the first quarterback taken off the board. Only Willis is the other quarterback taken off the board in the first round, and he goes to the Detroit Lions at No. 32. The debate between the two quarterbacks is that Willis has the higher ceiling while Pickett is more pro-ready and has a higher floor. Jeremiah’s reasoning for the Pickett pick reflects that opinion.
“The Steelers should know everything there is to know about Pickett, the former Pitt star,” wrote Jeremiah. “He could come right in and compete with Mitchell Trubisky for the starting position this fall.”
The 2022 NFL Draft is set to start tonight on ESPN, ABC and NFL Network with the first round at 8:00 p.m. The draft is being held in Las Vegas this year.