Pittsburgh Steelers Draft Options: Day Three
The first two days of the 2022 NFL Draft are already in the books. Saturday is the longest day and while it may seem the most insignificant, there are plenty of opportunities to grab draft gems. Here are some names to watch for the Steelers, who hold fourth, sixth and two seventh-round picks.
Chris Oladokun/QB South Dakota State: Taking two quarterbacks would be a bold and unusual move, but not unprecedented. Pittsburgh will enter camp with four QBs on its roster and currently only have three. The Steelers showed a lot of interest in him ahead of the draft, including a pre-draft visit. He’s athletic with a decent arm but struggled to find a home, playing for two high schools and three colleges (USF, Samford, SDSU).
Hassan Haskins/RB Michigan: Haskins has the size, power and Wolverine pedigree the Steelers covet. Pittsburgh reportedly had a Pro Day dinner with Haskins. For my money, he is the best pass protector in this class, shows lateral quickness and should also be a capable teammate. The fourth round may seem a bit high for him, but I don’t know if it will last until the sixth.
Pierre Strong/RB State of South Dakota: Second Jackrabbit on the list. Rare for Pittsburgh to recruit FCS-level runners, it hasn’t happened since the 80s, but Strong is a well-built, explosive runner with great production and ran well against FBS clubs, helping his team upset Colorado State in convincing fashion to open the 2021 season. Pittsburgh had scouts and staff on its Pro Day.
Leddie Brown/RB West Virginia: Added another real throwback to the list. Brown has the size, production and playing in the Power 5, all the team is looking for. Steelers assistant coach Blaine Stewart worked Brown on his professional Mountaineers day. He also catches the ball well and lacks any semblance of speed, so there’s every reason to believe the Steelers want to draft him.
Connor Heyward / H-Back State of Michigan: The easiest name to put on this list. Cam Heyward’s younger brother, Connor is a jack-of-all-trades with no defined role in the NFL. But he’s a good athlete for his build with natural hands and a big gripping radius who should excel on special teams. That probably wouldn’t come before one of the team’s seventh-round picks, they have two, but the Steelers love drafting lines.
Rasheed Walker/OT Penn State: It’s hard to find offensive linemen who fit in well on Day 3 given the team’s apparent lack of interest. Walker is a big, long tackle who plays with a medium streak. His 2021 season wasn’t quite the year he expected to be and his standing is limited, but it’s a draft that could sit for a season.
Jamaree Salyer/OG Georgia: Mainly a left tackle in college, he played a guard role and could step into it at the next level. Again, Pittsburgh with a presence at his Pro Day and he would be a solid value in the fourth round.
Jeffrey Gunter/EDGE Coastal Carolina: Gunter is a good sized EDGE rusher who doesn’t come from the Power 5 but has put together some good production. As a senior, he posted 8.5 TFLs and 5.5 sacks. He’s won the ball with nine forced fumbles throughout his career. The Steelers’ Dan Rooney Jr. attended his pro day, so there’s at least some interest. Pittsburgh could use another EDGE rusher.
Mark Robinson/LB Ole Miss: Simple dot connection here. Robinson was brought in for a pre-project visit. Borderline draftable player but he’s new at linebacker having played RB early in his career at both Presbyterian and briefly at Ole Miss after his transfer. Maybe a flyer from the last ride. The ILB room may seem much emptier this time next year.
Baylon Spector/LB Clemson: Throwing out a name that we haven’t discussed much. Spector brings some size, good athleticism and production with nearly 200 career tackles, including 21.5 for losses. Brian Flores attended his Tigers’ Pro Day and you’d think the team would come out of the draft with at least one Clemson product.
Damarri Mathis/CB Pitt: Undersized but ultra-athletic, he projects himself as a solid nickel wedge in the NFL. A local product that the team must also know well. He had a pair of assists for the Panthers in 2021. I could see him being taken as high as the team’s fourth-round pick.
Coby Bryant/CB Cincinnati: Another potential fourth round option. Bryant has been overshadowed by Top Five Sauce Gardner, but Bryant has intercepted six passes over the past two years for the Bearcats. He’s not a top athlete, but he plays with good technique and has proven himself. Teams didn’t often target Gardner.
Josh Jobe & Jayln Armour-Davis/CB Alabama: Grouping the two together. Some corners of Bama that the team examined during Pro Day with DB coach Grady Brown in attendance. Jobe is comfortable as a press man but struggles more off. Armour-Davis was a one-year factor with three interceptions in 2021.
Joey Blount/Virginia S: Blount is an athletic downhill safety and leader of the Cavs defense. Injuries are the biggest concern here and perhaps the main reason he didn’t attract much buzz ahead of the draft. But Pittsburgh also brought him in for a visit after a great Pro Day practice session. Round six could be the sweet spot for him.
Scott Nelson/S Wisconsin: An overlooked and underrated safety, Nelson has size and high-end testing, two things the Steelers love. Pittsburgh hosted a virtual tour with him as part of the pre-draft process. His production is a little lighter but he is an option in the 6th/7th turn.