Which 2022 NFL draft quarterbacks are really on the Steelers radar?

With just two weeks to go before the 2022 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers are eager to get the latest information on this year’s quarterbacks. If you have been in touch with us here at BTSC, you may have noticed that every quarterback with Pulse has been brought in for a top 30 interview or you may have met the Steelers with some skill.

There is no shortage of speculation from experts and fans about which signal callers the team might be interested in. The only thing that is not really in this group of quarterbacks is a real elite opportunity, but there are plenty of tools to work with. Draft is an early choice for the weekend.

But which team of these youngsters is ready to make that move? Let’s explore the first six opportunities of the 2022 class, and look at the possibilities for each to hear their name being called by the Steelers, as well as when that call might be.

Note: Opportunities are listed based on estimated availability.

Malik Willis, Liberty

Choice Opportunity: High, round1

It’s nothing new for the Steelers to talk about their charisma on a particular occasion, and the team has often been linked with the senior Bowl First Athlete Liberty standout. Willis is widely regarded as the highest reversal opportunity in the quarterback position in this draft, thanks to his rocket-launching right arm and excellent running ability. As for the Steelers, he will be an intriguing addition to a potential quarterback of the future, while Mitch Trobiski has kept the castle for a year. Pittsburgh’s interest in Willis may trigger a draft day deal to protect their boyfriend, but they wait, numbered by his random accuracy and limited experience. At 20 you can count on a slight drop in their lap.

Kenny Pickett, bit

Choice Opportunity: Low, round1

This may come as a surprise to some, but the big question for Pickett is, “What is he bringing to the quarterback room that Mitch Trobiski does not already have?” They are both prototype sized quarterbacks with good athleticism, but both have no elite craftsmanship and both were miracles a year before being announced for draft. ESPN’s Mel Kipper recently mocked Pickett for Pittsburgh, but said his ceiling was similar to Derek Carr’s and his base was Andy Dalton. Sounds like a lot of Trobiski to me, which is why I find Steelers targeting signal callers other than the hometown hero.

Desmond Rider, Cincinnati

Choice Opportunity: Middle, Round 1 – Early Round 2

This guy is the one who can make things messy. Ryder was almost certain by the time the Steelers made their second choice of 52 overall. I see the team taking three different approaches regarding the Cincinnati quarterback in athletics. One, the Steelers go ahead and pick him up at 20. Two, the Steelers trade with a WR-extend team (KC, GB) and select Ridder at the back end of the 1st round, while adding an additional choice or two. Three, they trade to get the best player at 20 (BPA) and then select the rider above 2 in the first round at 2:52. In my opinion both approaches are definitely more desirable. However, an approach often seems to be based on the Steelers ’latest draft trends.

Matt Corel, Miss Ole

Choice Opportunity: Much Low, round 2

Although I attended Coral’s Pro Day and took him on a pre-draft visit, I was not sold on Steelers interest in the Ole Miss Quarterback. It seems like they are doing their due diligence. Yes, Correll’s movement is well suited to attack coordinator Matt Canada’s organization and has excellent leadership skills, but the Steelers have not traditionally been measurable when looking at that position. I get the feeling of being involved in the team’s decision-making process. Some have compared Coral to the more athletic Drew Breeze, but this set may actually be closer to Baker Mayfield, and I guess the Steelers will pass.

Sam Howell, North Carolina

Choice Opportunity: Low, round 2

With measurable and strong Mayfield comps from national pundits the Steelers have shown little more interest in Howell than I expected. Here’s the thing about Howell: he has a lot of experience in college and exhibits better hand skills than Corel or Pickett. Like Corel, Howell’s size could be a major deterrent to his potential selection, as well as the Steelers liking Willis and Ryder. If the Steelers are determined to pick up a quarterback, they will position themselves to pick one of those two players. If he falls there and goes in another direction in Pittsburgh Round 1, I do not expect the team to take action to pick him up ahead of schedule, although I think he has a chance to pick at 52.

Carson Strong, Nevada

Choice Opportunity: High, round 2 or 3

With the exception of Willis, if the Steelers are available at 2:52 or 3:84, this is your chance to change the card. If they address other needs with their first one or two choices, it makes more sense. Strong has a large arm and ample pocket mobility that allows him to work in a matte Canada setting, although injury history is a concern. Also, he totally measures up to a prototype Steelers quarterback. Depending on what happens in the 1st or early 2nd round with other QB-requiring teams, the Steelers could add him to the 2nd round if they have a run in that spot. When most of those teams are seemingly positioned, they try to wait until round 3. Also, as we move into the draft later, it’s less costly for the Steelers to move a player they like. It should be attractive to Kevin Colbert and coach Tomlin.

Who will the Steelers pick in the three-day test? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section. Don’t forget to check out Steelers draft correction Let’s break down everything you need to know for the Podcast 2022 NFL Draft with me and Andrew Wilbur at the Steelers perspective.

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