We now have less than three weeks remaining before the 2022 NFL Draft takes place in Las Vegas, and because of that, we should start seeing a heavy flow of mock drafts from several of the top major media and analytical sites. On Monday, Football Outsiders weighed in with a three-round mock draft courtesy of Mike Tanier. In it, he has the Pittsburgh Steelers selecting a quarterback, but in the second round, and after they selected an offensive lineman in the first round at 20th overall.
Tanier has the Steelers selecting Texas A&M interior offensive lineman Kenyon Green in the first round. That selection comes on the heels of two quarterbacks being mocked off the board in the first 19 selections.
Green, who played both guard positions during his college career at Texas A&M, measured in at the annual scouting combine at 6037, 323 pounds with 34 1/8-inch arms and 10 3/8-inch hands. He did 20 reps on the bench at the combine and his best 40-yard dash time during the pre-draft process was reportedly 5.24 seconds. He is globally considered to be one of the top five interior offensive line prospects in this year’s draft class.
While Green certainly is a top interior offensive line prospect in this year’s draft class, it doesn’t seem as though the Steelers had anyone of significance at his Pro Day this year. Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert and head coach Mike Tomlin both certainly were not at that Pro Day, and that is a heavy strike against Green potentially being the team’s first-round selection this year.
In the second round of his Monday mock draft, Tanier has the Steelers selecting Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder at 52nd overall. Ridder shouldn’t need any introduction to Steelers fans at this point. Both Colbert and Tomlin were at the Cincinnati Pro Day this year, and Ridder is one of the team’s pre-draft visitors this year. Tomlin reportedly had dinner with Ridder and a few other Cincinnati draft-hopeful players prior to their Pro Day taking place.
This year’s pre-draft process has shown that draftniks and fans are all over the place when it comes to the ranking of the 2022 draft class. The fact that Tanier has Ridder staying on the board until the 52nd overall selection really illustrates that. Ridder is the fourth quarterback selected in Tanier’s mock draft behind Malik Willis, Kenny Pickett, and Matt Corral.
As for Tanier’s third-round selection for the Steelers, he has them picking Wisconsin linebacker Leo Chenal at 84th overall.
Chenal is really an athletic specimen and one who produced heavily in 2021. He measured in at the scouting combine at 6025, 250 pounds and ran his 40-yard dash in 4.53 seconds, in addition to posting a vertical jump of 40.5 inches and a broad jump of 10’8″. At his Pro Day, Chenal registered a short shuttle time of 4.24 seconds and a 3-cone time of 6.98 seconds. He also did 34 reps on the bench.
For his college career, Chenal registered 178 total tackles, with 25.5 of those resulting in lost yardage. He was credited with 11 sacks, one interception, one pass defensed, and three forced fumbles in 25 games played.
On the surface, it only seems like the Steelers sent area scout Dave Petett to the Wisconsin Pro Day this year, so that needs to be acknowledged.
Below is the synopsis that Tanier gave for his three Steelers selections.
“Green completes the rebuild of the Steelers interior offensive line begun by the additions of Mason Cole and James Daniels.
The Steelers would prefer Malik Willis or Kenny Pickett to Ridder, who might not last until the middle of the second round. If the cookie crumbles in this particular way, Ridder is enough of a high-floor prospect to push Mitch Trubisky sooner than later.
When in doubt, mock a linebacker to the Steelers before the end of Day 2: the Myles Jack/Devin Bush combination looks better on paper than it may look on the field.
It’s hard to tell what direction the Steelers think they are trending in right now, but this mock battens down a few of their hatches.”