Steelers 2022 mock draft emphasizes offensive needs

Christian Watson #WO35 of North Dakota State. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Christian Watson #WO35 of North Dakota State. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /
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Chase Lucas #DB22 of the Arizona State Sun Devils. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

Steelers mock draft round 7 (via Jets): RB Keaontay Ingram

USC, 6’0”, 221lbs., 4.53 40-yard

This pick is an attempt to prolong Najee Harris’ career. The 381 touch workload he was asked to carry in his rookie season is not sustainable. The Steelers need a backup for Harris like Benny Snell and Kallen Ballage was supposed to be but are not. The Steelers need a good, dependable backup running back who can help cut down Najee’s snap count.

Keaontay Ingram was a 4-star recruit who chose to stay in-state, signing with Texas over offers from LSU and USC. That didn’t seem to be the best decision. Instead of being a feature back, Ingram became part of a running back by committee. Then, with the ascent of Bijan Robinson, Ingram decided to transfer to USC. He quickly became the bell cow there and was en route to his first 1000+ yard season before he got sidelined by an upper-body injury.

Ingram has a lot of traits the Steelers like. He’s a physical runner who can drag the pile forward. He has patience and vision in picking his openings. He shows good short-area quickness and change of direction. Due to the way his college career has gone he has low tread wear. Ingram’s a dependable receiver out the backfield and could be lined up in the slot.

While he’s a willing blocker he wasn’t called on much for those duties, so his technique needs some work. In 10 games in 2021, he rushed 156 times for 911 yards at 5.8 yards per carry with 5 TDs. He added 22 receptions for 154 yards for 7.0 yards each.

Ingram had an 87.3 PFF overall grade with a 91.6 grade for his running landing him in 4th place in the nation and above all 2022 prospects except Dameon Pierce and Zach Charbonnet. At the Combine, his 34.5 vertical and 10’-2” broad jump landed him in 6th place among RBs. He should has a good chance of making the roster and pushing Benny Snell for his RB2 spot.

Steelers mock draft round 7: CB Chase Lucas

Arizona State, 5’11”, 182 lbs., 4.48 40-yard

Lucas is a four-year starter who took the covid mulligan to return for one more year. He is an aggressive man cover back who can compete for the slot. He shows very good field awareness and may be able to play outside, as well.

In 51 games Lucas had 223 tackles, 12.0 for a loss, 2.0 sacks, 6 interceptions and 28 pass deflections. He posted an impressive vertical of 39.0” and broad jump of 10’-8” placing him at 3rd place at both at the Combine.

Lucas was a team captain and leader of secondary. The Steelers look like they’re going into the season thinking either Cam Sutton and/or Arthur Maulet can hold down Nickelback. I’m not so sure they will. Lucas can be put on the practice squad and called up if Sutton and Maulet fail.