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2022 NFL mock draft: Pittsburgh Steelers select Chris Olave

The Pittsburgh Steelers give franchise quarterback Mitchell Trubisky a nice weapon with the 20th pick in our POD Community Mock Draft.

Michigan State v Ohio State Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers haven’t finished below .500 since 2003—an incredible mark of stability for one of the NFL’s most iconic franchises.

But that year holds important significance when it relates to today’s Pittsburgh Steelers. 2003 was the last season the Steelers had before they drafted Ben Roethlisberger. Now, heading into 2022, the Steelers are entering another Roethlisberger-less era. Following a shaky 9-7-1 season last year, there’s definitely a feeling from the outside that Pittsburgh could be headed into a rare rebuild. And with how much the AFC has been arming up this offseason, 2022 could be a particularly tough season for the Steelers.

In our 2022 Community Mock Draft, it is up to acting general manager “GM in exile” to live up to his name and prevent a tailspin for the Steelers. Here’s a look at the board prior to their 20th overall pick.

POD Community Mock Draft picks so far:

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan
  2. Detroit Lions: Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia
  3. Houston Texans: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon
  4. New York Jets: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
  5. New York Giants: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
  6. Carolina Panthers: Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State
  7. New York Giants: Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
  8. Atlanta Falcons: Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh
  9. Seattle Seahawks: Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
  10. New York Jets: Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
  11. Washington Commanders: Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU
  12. Minnesota Vikings: Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
  13. Houston Texans: Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
  14. Baltimore Ravens: Jermaine Johnson, EDGE, Florida State
  15. Philadelphia Eagles: Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia
  16. Philadelphia Eagles: Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
  17. Los Angeles Chargers: Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
  18. New Orleans Saints: Drake London, WR, USC
  19. Philadelphia Eagles: Daxton Hill, S, Michigan

With the 20th pick in the POD Community Mock, the Pittsburgh Steelers have selected Chris Olave, the wide receiver out of Ohio State.

Here’s GM in exile with the explanation:

After two years of selecting for the Saints, I find myself at the wheel of one of the most prestigious teams in the NFL. The Steelers have six Super Bowl titles in eight tries from 33 playoff appearances (third-most in NFL history). The team has those bad-ass helmets. The fans have the terrible towels. In my lifetime, they have had exactly three head coaches—all three own at least one ring. This team cares about its city and its people. Always has. They are just winners. It doesn’t get any better than this, I thought.

Then I saw the roster. Then I saw the draft position. I think the Steelers are in trouble.

They came in second in their division last year because Baltimore and Cleveland crapped the bed. They snuck into the playoffs and promptly got waxed. They should have lost to the Lions. It just wasn’t a good year by their standard. They have some starters (T.J. Watt and Minkah Fitzpatrick), but their roster is more tin foil than steel curtain.

The Steelers need a fresh start at QB (they have Mitchell Trubisky, Mason Rudolph, and Dwayne Haskins). They need up-the-middle-defense. Their second-best safety is Miles Killebrew. They really only have two wide receivers.

Drafting 20th means the Steelers will draft at a point where available talent doesn’t really meet need. If Willis is there, they will take him. He’s not available here and I see no reason to take a QB from the remaining choices. Safety? ILB? DT? OT? I don’t need to reach—I can find better value in the second and third rounds. Instead, I selected Chris Olave.

Olave brings good size and great speed. He’s a smart route runner with good hands. He could wear the black and gold for a long time.

Erik’s thoughts:

It’s hard to argue the value of Olave at this pick, but they need to have a plan for adding him. With Chase Claypool and Dionte Johnson on the outside, Olave would challenge Anthony Miller for slot duties.

The big questions are, can Tribusky get him the ball, now and in the future? There are some pretty big unknowns and that’s why I wouldn’t be surprised if Cincinnati's Desmond Ridder is in the mix here for Pittsburgh. Safety is also a glaring need, but with Daxton Hill off the board the pick prior to this one, I don’t see the Steelers reaching for one of the next guys.

You can follow along with every pick + grades in our Community Mock Draft tracker.

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