Steelers shouldn’t trade up for a QB in the 2022 NFL Draft

Matt Corral #2 of the Mississippi Rebels. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Matt Corral #2 of the Mississippi Rebels. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Steelers have their heart set on selecting a quarterback early, but here’s why they shouldn’t trade up in the 2022 NFL Draft. 

There are a lot of ranging opinions about which quarterback the Pittsburgh Steelers should pursue in the 2022 NFL Draft, and nobody knows exactly how things will play out in round one. However, we do know that Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert have their hearts set on a quarterback this year.

Taking a QB for the sake of having one is a philosophy I oppose. However, if the Steelers are to take one with elite draft capital this year, we want that to be the right guy.

If you were to take a poll, most fans would probably tell you that they are in favor of drafting Liberty’s Malik Willis or Pitt’s Kenny Pickett. These two quarterbacks have been projected to be taken above Pittsburgh’s pick at 20 overall for over a month now, and the Steelers would likely have to trade up in order to land one. But should they?

I’ve logged dozens of hours of game film and research on the top quarterback prospects this year, and I’ve come to the conclusion that trading up for Willis or Pickett is not a wise decision.

Steelers should stay at pick 20

What I have found in all of my research is that there isn’t much separating the top five quarterbacks in the 2022 NFL Draft. It really comes down to a matter of preference. In fact, I have second-round grades on five QBs this year.

Because of this, I don’t see the sense in surrendering double the amount of elite draft capital for a QB who is in the exact same range as a prospect as the players who will be available to you at pick 20.

To be quite honest, Matt Corral is my favorite of the group. I think he offers the best blend of tools and upside. Corral played at the highest level of competition in college football and strung together two very impressive seasons in 2020 and 2021. He also helped elevate the play of Ole Miss to a level that we haven’t seen since Eli Manning was the quarterback for the Rebels.

Obviously, there’s no guarantee that Corral will be available when the Steelers are on the clock, but he’s not the only viable option outside of Pickett and Willis.

Desmond Ridder might have the best blend of everything in this class with his size, production, college success, and athletic traits. These factors should combine to give him a relatively high floor at the next level.

If it came down to it, I would gladly take Ridder with the 20th overall pick rather than surrender pick 20 and an additional future first-round pick to acquire Willis or Pickett. The same could be said about Sam Howell. While Howell has perhaps the biggest range of opinions, he has good upside thanks to his cannon arm, great velocity, and quality accuracy.

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At the end of the day, I just think it’s going to be very hard to justify moving into the top-ten picks for a quarterback who might not be any better than the guys who are projected to fall to the Steelers anyway. If they are set on taking a quarterback, I think it would be best to stand pat in the 2022 NFL Draft.