Carney: Pittsburgh Steelers 2022 Layout Project (Version 2.0)

Hurry up. Another layout is coming.

The 2022 NFL Draft is just over three weeks away, and it’s time to drop my second version of the Pittsburgh Steelers seven-round pick-up, especially after the initial frenzy of the free agency was left behind.

Coming out of free agencies, the Steelers very clearly touched on some holes in the list before the draft, giving themselves some flexibility before the first round in Las Vegas. Knowing this, I tried to build my latest layout based on the current list in Pittsburgh and tried to eliminate some of the holes left in the list.

If you missed it, here is my first version of my Steelers layout design.

Everything will change from now until my final layout in late April. Enjoy the ride.

And, as always, let me know what you think of my first layout in the comments section below!


Analysis: My personal QB1 in the draft class, Reader brings excellent leadership to the position along with a huge work ethic. Although his ceiling is not as high as that of Malik Willis of Liberty, Reeder is perhaps the most prepared defender in the 2022 NFL draft class. He plays with rhythm in general, and he had a consistent, repetitive mechanic that creates light power. His intelligence goes beyond scale and he handles the film pretty quickly. Concerns about his game regarding the accuracy and placement of the ball are certainly fair at the moment in the process, but he will be similar to Alex Smith as a starter for a long, long time in the NFL.

Pre-selection: Zion Johnson, iOL, Boston College

Others believe: Sam Howell, QB, UNC; Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson; George Pickens, WR, Georgia

ROUND 2 (№ 52 overall) – DEMARWIN LIL / DL / TECHOS A&M – 6037, £ 283.

Analysis: On paper Lil may seem small in size, but best of all he proves himself as a defensive lineman with 3 technologies that can defeat strikers with his speed and rare athleticism in general. Although he wasn’t as dominant in Texas A&M as many expected he would be in three seasons at College Station (a total of 13.0 career bags, 25.0 rebounds), the blast was short the zone and the overall explosion it possesses will make it a desirable addition to the outdated Steelers defensive line, the depth of which has been significantly tested in 2021.

This choice may run counter to conditional principles, given the Steelers ’work on the defensive line in a free agency, keeping Mantravi Adams paired with the potential return of Stefan Tuit, as well as the return of Tyson Alualu after injury. However, the defensive line is getting older, and Lille is a high-ceilinged player that the Steelers have shown interest in, given that DL coach Carl Dunbar was at College Station on Pro Aggies Day.

Pre-selection: Darian Beavers, LB, Cincinnati

Others believe: Leo Chanal, LB, Wisconsin; Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn State; Cairo Elam, CB, Florida

ROUND 3 (GENERAL № 84) – NICK CROSS / S / MARYLAND – 6001, 212 lbs.

Analysis: We know all about the Steelers and their love of SPARQ scores on security positions. Nick Cross of Maryland would be the safest SPARQ safety device ever developed, thanks to a 9.91 RAS score based on a 4.34 40-yard jerk, a 37-inch vertical and a stunning 10’10 “wide jump. Add before that the fact that he’s a product from Maryland, and the junior adds even more intrigue and potential to Cross in Pittsburgh.

Along with his impressive testing figures, Cross has recorded six career interceptions in three seasons with the Terrapins, and has generally started his career in 27 games. Its ability to play safety, corner slot and DIME support should be very intriguing to Steelers in general.

Pre-selection: Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan

Others believe: Justin Ross, WR, Clemson; Darrian Beavers, LB, Cincinnati; Brian Cook, S, Cincinnati

ROUND 4 (DISEASE № 138) – DENNY GRAY / WR / SMU – 5117, £ 186

Analysis: Danny Gray of SMU, who needs a grand speed in the wide position of the receiver, provides this in large numbers. Based on the AAC’s high-octane mustang attack, Gray showed impressive test figures at the 2022 NFL Scout Factory, showing a 4.33 40-yard line, a 34-inch vertical and a 126-inch wide jump. The Steelers were certainly interested in meeting SMU star in Indianapolis and then sending new WR coach Frisman Jackson to Dallas to hold his positional workouts during Pro Mustangs Day.

There’s a real connection, though Gray’s profiles are more № 3 receivers in the long run. Immediately he will be able to give the Steelers a real vertical threat in position Z, which could allow Chase Claypool to move inside into the role of a greater style, although Gray could also see some time in the slot.

Pre-selection: Max Mitchell, Louisiana

Others believe: Max Mitchell, Louisiana; Damion Pierce, RB, Florida; Kobe Bryant, CB, Cincinnati

ROUND 6 (DISEASE № 208) – TAI CHANDLER / RB / North Carolina – 5107, 203 pounds.

Analysis: Sticking to the same choice here, as the need for backups for Naji Harris in Pittsburgh as a whole remains a very big need. Earlier this year I had the opportunity to see Chandler in person at the East-West Shrine Bowl in Las Vegas, and he was easily one of the main defenders.

A former 5-star rookie who landed in Tennessee before moving to North Carolina, Chandler exploded on stage in 2021, making 1,092 yards and 13 touchdowns as the senior of Tar Heels. He explodes with football in his hands like a runner, brings underestimated power to the position, and can serve as a three-way down because of his ability to defend gear and the ability to mismatch as a backfield receiver.

He also has limited body wear: he has made less than 700 touches in five seasons in college, which should be seen as a plus, especially as a choice at the end of the round. He’s not the brightest name, but he brings a much-needed skill set to the day 3 position.

Pre-selection: Thai Chandler, RB, North Carolina

Others believe: Tyler Buddy, RB, Missouri; Deangela Malone, EDGE, Western Kentucky; Dare Rosenthal, OT, Kentucky

7 ROUND (# 225 SUBSCRIPTION) – JOSHUA ROSS / LB / MICHIGAN – 6003, 227 lbs.

Analysis: Even after Miles Jack joined the free agency and kept Robert Spillane and Marcus Allen in limited tenders for free agents this offseason, Pittsburgh still need a true BUCK midfielder. Ros definitely meets the requirements. A physical defender of the descent from Michigan, Ross has done quite a bit for Wolverine.

Although he lacks the highest speed and versatility for today’s game, he is considered an “intangible guy” who brings leadership and competitive fire, much like former BUCK starting linebacker Vince Williams. According to Tony Pauline of the Pro Football Network, the Steelers have already shown interest as a Pro Day contingent of Kevin Colbert, Mike Tomlin and Brian Flores took Ross to dinner after Michigan Professionals Day in mid-March.

Pre-selection: Jermaine Waller, CB, Virginia Tech

Others believe: Jeffrey Gantar, EDGE, Coastal Carolina; Chase Lucas, CB, Arizona; Baylon Spector, LB, Clemson


Analysis: I could go a few directions here for the Steelers, but I decided to try a potential developmental fight with the NFL’s bloodlines at Tyler Sparrow of Boston College, the son of Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Sparrow. Three years started in BC, Sparrow saw time in the left and right selections, standing out in the game with a run due to his strength and perseverance.

Although his foot work is generally good at defending the pass, he tends to gain weight and lean over the skis, leading to some problems with speed drivers on both sides of the defense. It’s the end of the draft you risk on the lines, and the Sparrow definitely has the size and length to beautifully turn into a fly gear. The NFL’s bloodlines don’t hurt either.

Pre-selection: Connor Hayward, Michigan, Michigan

Others believe: Connor Hayward, Michigan; Quintin Lake, S, UCLA; Johnny Petrichen, LB, Pittsburgh

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