Steelers 2021 preseason recap, way-too-early 2022 mock draft

Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /
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Thayer Munford, Ohio State Buckeyes
Ohio State Buckeyes offensive lineman Thayer Munford (75) Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports /

Way-too-early Steelers mock 2022 NFL Draft

Pittsburgh is only kicking off the 2021 season, yet it’s always a good time for my first mock NFL Draft.

Looking at the current roster, I’ve identified offensive tackle, strong safety, cornerback and wide receiver as positions that might need starter quality competition in 2022.

Right tackle Chuks Okorafor seemed to be holding on by the skin of his teeth last year. In 1,003 snaps, he gave up three sacks, which isn’t horrible but he also had five penalties resulting in a weak 57.5 Pro Football Focus grade. He hasn’t been overly impressive in the preseason, either.

Zach Banner couldn’t handle speed rushers in college. There’s no reason to think that’s going to get better in the pros. Strong safety is on here because the Steelers didn’t pick up the option on the former first-round pick, Terrell Edmunds.

Why wide receiver? It appears James Washington really does want to be traded, Diontae Johnson led the league in dropped passes last year. That, and who knows what’s going to happen with the Steelers’ leading Tik-Tok Dancer?

Cornerback is here because of the slow defensive backs mentioned earlier.

According to Over the Cap, the Steelers should have a third-round compensatory pick for Bud Dupree and a fifth-round pick for Matt Feiler.

That gives them seven picks, overall, even with all the picks they’ve traded away.

1st Rd – Offensive Tackle – Thayer Munford – Ohio State – 6-foot-6, 315 pounds

Very good hand use, mirroring and kick slide. Good change of direction. Can be a road grader in run blocking. Shows plenty of athleticism for pulling and trapping. Looks for work once he’s dealt with his primary assignment. Gets to the second level. The technique greatly improved from sophomore to junior year. Had back surgery in 2018 and looked much better in 2019. An underrated player who posted a 91.8 Pro Football Focus grade in 2020. Should be “set and forget” at left tackle.