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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George Karlaftis #5 of the Purdue Boilermakers reacts after his sack. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

1.18, New Orleans Saints: Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa

The Saints could be in the quarterback market in this draft and the potential for a trade-up is there. They are currently in major cap issues and will have a ton of needs throughout the offseason. It seems like the Saints days of competing is over as they will need to retool their team. Their starting left tackle will likely leave in free agency so a replacement will need to be brought in.

Trevor Penning plays nasty and will try to bully each defender that he plays against. They missed out on Pickett in this scenario with the Steelers trading up, but they get a promising young tackle from a small school.

1.19, Philadelphia Eagle: George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue

George Karlaftis is another player that slipped in this mock draft. The Eagles really made some strides and nice selections in this scenario. They were able to get three solid difference-makers on the defensive side of the ball. Karlaftis is someone that many haven’t spoken about much leading up to the draft, but many expect him to go in the top 20 or earlier. He fell some here but it’s a great spot for him to land.

1.20, LA Chargers: Zion Johnson, OG, Boston College

Zion Johnson was projected to be an early second-round pick before the Senior Bowl happened. After that event, in which he showed great abilities and skill, he shot his name into the first-round conversation. Many expect him to go at some point in the later portions of the first round.

The Chargers were able to trade back and still address a need to protect Justin Herbert. Their offensive line is solid for the most part but adding this player only secures that group even more. This player has had many connections to the Steelers and could be in consideration if there is no quarterback available.