Steelers should avoid trading up in the 2022 NFL Draft

National quarterback Kenny Pickett of Pittsburgh (8) Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports
National quarterback Kenny Pickett of Pittsburgh (8) Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports /
American team quarterback Malik Willis of Liberty University (7) Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports /

The Steelers have been linked to several draft prospects who would likely require moving up in the draft to acquire. Here is why they should stay at pick 20.

With the Super Bowl finally in the rear-view mirror, all eyes are now on this year’s crop of draft prospects as they prepare for the NFL combine next month. Steelers fans especially are anxious to see what college players the team hones in on as we move into a new era of Pittsburgh football. One thing that has been floated around draft circles is a potential trade to move up the draft board to select Ben Roethlisberger’s successor.

I would typically welcome an aggressive move from a Steelers front office known for being risk-averse, but this is not the kind of QB class worth making a big move up the board. Every prospect in contention to be one of the first few off the board have major concerns about their game.

Kenny Pickett is a solid prospect but is older and lacks stand-out traits, Malik Willis is uber-talented but very raw, and all the other prospects have some major flaw in their game as well.

That doesn’t mean none of them are worth taking a chance on if they were to fall to the Steelers at pick 20. But giving up assets to move up would be too much of a gamble to get behind. This team needs to fill too many holes to sacrifice draft capital at this point, and I still see them going with a veteran QB at least for this season.

I could entertain an argument for moving up to select one of the top corner or lineman prospects if one were to start falling, but even then, I think similar caliber players will still be there at 20. If Pittsburgh does move up at all in the draft, expect it to be in the 2nd or 3rd round instead of the 1st.  This class is full of guys who are going to be great value picks on day 2 of the draft, and if the right player is available a few spots above the Steelers, they should make a move.

If the Steelers do ultimately make a big trade up for a QB or any other position, they better hope that it works out in their favor. As great of an organization as they are, they are entering a whole new era with more uncertainty than fans are used to. How they handle the next few off-season’s will be huge in determining the direction of the franchise, and it starts with this draft.

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I am cautiously optimistic, but there are many potential pitfalls the Steelers must avoid. One of them, in my opinion, is making an unnecessary move up the draft board.