6 Senior Bowl participants the Steelers must draft in 2022

Malik Willis #7 of the Liberty Flames. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Malik Willis #7 of the Liberty Flames. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
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National defensive lineman Travis Jones of Connecticut (57) Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports /

The Steelers should target Jones

The hype started early for Travis Jones, and it never really went away. The former Connecticut linemen was throwing his weight around effectively down in Mobile and he left the week as one of the biggest winners as a whole. He has long arms, great size for a nose tackle, and he has the versatility to be on the field at all times if need be.

Evaluating and giving value to a traditional nose tackle is hard with the NFL geared toward sub-package football. While having a big run stuffer is nice, a guy like that only plays a third of the time, making it hard to justify selecting him in the first round. Jones is a different breed though, as he can serve as an effective run stuffer and pass rusher. He should have a home as both a traditional nose tackle and a versatile sub-package pass rusher.

His style of game is reminiscent of former Steelers nose tackle Javon Hargrave. Both are capable of taking up space and blockers on running plays while also providing value as pass rushers on the line. His stock has easily shot him into the second round, which would be a heavy investment if the team wanted him. That said, Jones was a man amongst boys at the Senior Bowl, and the Steelers at the bare minimum need to consider him in the second round.