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2022 NFL Draft

New NFL Network Mock Draft has Steelers Taking a CB

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Steelers GM Kevin Colbert

Quarterback, wide receiver, offensive lineman, defensive lineman, safety or cornerback. There’s really five ways the Steelers can go in the first round in the 2022 NFL Draft. They’ve been mocked to take QB Malik Willis of Liberty, center Tyler Lindebaum of Iowa and (insert Georgia defensive player here). Now a new mock draft by Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Network, his third, has them landing CB Derek Stingley of LSU.

“This would be a fun fit in the Steelers’ secondary,” says Jeremiah of the Stingley pick. “When healthy and dialed in, Stingley is a top-five talent in this class.”

Steeler fans may not be happy to see the Steelers draft a cornerback with so many holes to fill. Mainly because the Steelers under Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert have been unsuccessful at drafting the cornerback position. It doesn’t take more than mentioning Artie Burns to send shivers down a fan’s spine. 

Other than Burns, failed early-round cornerbacks drafted by the Steelers within the last decade include 2015 second rounder Senquez Golson and 2011 third rounder Curtis Brown. Golson spent three seasons on IR with the Steelers while Brown played a total of seven games. Neither are still in the NFL. 

On the flip side though, one of their more recent cornerback draft picks, 2017 third rounder Cam Sutton, has proven to be a very reliable player in the Steelers’ secondary. Granted he has proven to be the exception and not the rule.

While Golson and Burns especially were highly touted prospects when drafted, neither were thought of as high as Stingley is though. As stated, Jeremiah thinks of Stingley as one of the draft’s top-five talents however his 2021 season-ending injury may scare off the top teams from drafting him. 

Some respectable mock drafts have him going as early as seventh to the New York Giants and as late as 21st to the New England Patriots with many expecting the Minnesota Vikings to land Stingley at 12.

Unlike last season where it was pretty obvious that the Steelers would end up drafting HB Najee Harris with their first round pick, there really is no consensus on who the Steelers will take or even what position they will take. 

Many thought prior to the Mitch Trubisky signing that the Steelers would draft their heir to Ben Roethlisberger for the quarterback position, but that signing suggests the team will go a different route. 

Of course, the thought of them being out of the race for a rookie quarterback went out the window when Tomlin, Colbert and Art Rooney II were spotted scouting Kenny Pickett at Pitt’s pro day. Tomlin was then spotted out to dinner with Willis that very same night in Virginia prior to his pro day.

As for the draft’s quarterbacks, the only one Jeremiah has going in the first round in his latest mock draft is Pickett, taken by the New Orleans Saints at pick 18. Willis and other potential first round quarterbacks in Matt Corral of Ole Miss and Sam Howell of North Carolina were passed by the Steelers in favor of Stingley.

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