Steelers trade up to get their new QB in this latest 2022 NFL mock draft

Kenny Pickett #8 of the Pittsburgh Panthers. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
Kenny Pickett #8 of the Pittsburgh Panthers. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
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Aidan Hutchinson #97 of the Michigan Wolverines walks off the field. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

1.01, Jacksonville Jaguars: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

The Jaguars head into this draft with their quarterback of the future in place. Last season was a disaster so the change of coaching and staff will hopefully do the trick. This pick could go a couple of different ways, but it seems like a tackle taken first overall seems obvious.

The Jaguars need a solid player to protect Trevor Lawrence’s blindside. Evan Neal is very athletic for his size, and this should be a slam-dunk pick for this franchise that is trying to fix itself yet again.

1.02, Detroit Lions: Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan

Detroit needs to draft the best player available, and they do that here. Their defense is still a mess but adding a player like Aidan Hutchinson will give them a great opportunity to build something.

This is a game-wrecking pass rusher that has a relentless motor. He only has one college season of disruptive tape but that was mostly due to prior injury years. This will be a cornerstone that the Lions can build around going forward.

1.03, Houston Texans: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon

This franchise might be in the worst position to succeed soon. They have no real direction, and they seem to be stuck now. They have a franchise quarterback, but he could potentially be out of the league at any moment due to potential legal actions in the future.

They are finally getting their first-round pick back, but they need young impact players to join the fold. Enter Thibodeaux, who has been in the spotlight since high school, and many expect him to just get better each year in the pros.

1.04, New York Jets: Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati

The Jets have some solid players in the safety department, but they still need work on the boundaries. This club is still rebuilding but they have some pieces moving forward. Many expect Derek Stingley Jr. to go here but the Jets decided to go for the player that has no injury history with a great track record to play the corner spot. This player has all the tools to become the next big-time player just like Darrelle Revis was. This is another option for the Steelers in the first round, but he won’t last long enough to reach pick 20.