NFL Draft

Pauline Believes Steelers Are ‘Sure Bet’ To Draft QB, Panthers May Take OT At #6

On Saturday, Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline published some rumors ahead of the 2022 NFL Draft this Thursday. Pauline writes that the belief around the league is that Kenny Pickett, Malik Willis, and one of Desmond Ridder or Matt Corral will be selected in the first round on Thursday. He also lists the Steelers, along with the New Orleans Saints, as a “sure bet” to take a quarterback in the first round.

Given that nine of the 23 players the Steelers have met with on Zoom or in-person have been quarterbacks, it’s no surprise the growing sentiment around the league is that Pittsburgh will select a quarterback in the first round. Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert also both attended Malik Willis’ Pro Day at Liberty, Ridder’s at Cincinnati, Pickett’s at Pitt, and Corral’s at Ole Miss. Colbert was also in Chapel Hill to see Sam Howell’s Pro Day at North Carolina. History indicates that the Steelers’ first-round pick will come from a Pro Day that Tomlin or Colbert attended, which lends further credence to the idea that Pittsburgh will be selecting a first-round quarterback.

In addition to Pittsburgh and New Orleans being likely to select a quarterback, Pauline believes that the Seattle Seahawks may trade into the back of the first round to select a quarterback. Seattle holds the ninth overall pick, but according to Pauline, the belief from league insiders is the team will select Northern Iowa OT Trevor Penning. The Carolina Panthers, who many expected would look for a quarterback in the draft, are rumored to be interested in Mississippi State offensive tackle Charles Cross. Pauline writes:

“Cross is the top offensive tackle on some boards around the league, and many teams rate him ahead of Evan Neal. No one I spoke with expects Cross to get past the Carolina Panthers at No. 6, something I reported last month.”

If Carolina takes Cross and Seattle takes Penning, the next possible spot for a quarterback would likely be the Washington Commanders with the 11th pick.

New Orleans being one of the teams Pauline believes will select a quarterback could make for an interesting situation in Pittsburgh. The Saints hold the 16th and 19th picks in the first round, while Pittsburgh holds the 20th pick. It’s possible that Pittsburgh tries to move ahead of New Orleans to ensure they get their quarterback of the future. However, with two first-round picks this year, New Orleans has more ammo to possibly move up into the top ten to select their future signal-caller. If no quarterback goes in the top-ten, there’s a chance that a player like Kenny Pickett could be available for Pittsburgh if they stay at No. 20.

If Pittsburgh opts against a first-round quarterback, Pauline notes that Notre Dame S Kyle Hamilton could possibly drop in the No. 15-20 range. While Pittsburgh is on the low end of that range and it’s extremely unlikely he drops to No. 20, it’s something to possibly monitor. Pittsburgh met with Hamilton during a pre-draft visit on April 19.

To Top
error: Alert: Content is protected !!