3 Most Likely Steelers Draft Targets With the 20th Overall Pick
By Larry Rupp
The Pittsburgh Steelers snuck into the 2021-22 NFL Playoffs before they immediately falling to the Kansas City Chiefs in the Wild Card Round. Head coach Mike Tomlin's squad has the pieces in place to be a contender next year, but some tough roster decisions also need to be made this offseason.
One way the Steelers can improve before kickoff next September is by making the right choice in the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft. With that being said, here are three of the most likely draft targets for Pittsburgh with the No. 20 overall pick.
Pittsburgh Steelers NFL Draft
1. Kenny Pickett, QB (Pittsburgh)
Quarterback Kenny Pickett has to be mentioned when looking at potential Steelers draft targets. The Pittsburgh Panthers starter could stay in town and become the heir to veteran Ben Roethlisberger. Pickett found a way to improve with every college season he played and shined this past fall while leading his squad to a Peach Bowl bid. Overall, the 23-year-old completed 67.2% of his pass attempts for 4,319 yards and 42 touchdowns (7 interceptions) during the 2021 season. He excels when passing from a clean pocket and his arm talent rivals any other QB prospect's in the class. The Steelers would be smart to grab him if he falls to No. 20. Malik Willis or Matt Corral could also be options here if Picket is off the board and Pittsburgh is set on selecting a QB.
2. Tyler Linderbaum, OL (Iowa)
Pittsburgh could always swing a trade or sign a free agent at the quarterback position instead. In that scenario, the Steelers should opt to upgrade their offensive line. Kendrick Greene spent his rookie season starting at center, but looked shaky and may be better off getting moved to guard. That's where Iowa's Tyler Linderbaum could fill in. The Hawkeyes' star is heralded as a once-in-a-decade prospect and has the skillset to start right away. His mobility is top notch for a player that stands at 6-foot-3 and weighs 291 pounds. That'll come in handy when running screen plays or outside runs. Drafting Linderbaum would provide some much-needed improvement at the center position.
3. Ahmad Gardner, CB (Cincinnati)
Veteran cornerback Joe Haden is set to enter free agency this offseason and it leaves Pittsburgh rather shallow in the secondary. Cam Sutton seems to be locked into a starting cornerback position next year, yet that is about all. The Steelers could opt to draft a ballhawk in the first round and Ahmad Gardner of Cincinnati sticks out in that case. The Bearcats' standout is regularly able to bump receivers off their route at the line of scrimmage and has shown he has the speed to keep up with even the fastest pass-catchers. Gardner racked up 16 pass breakups and 9 interceptions across three college seasons. His upside alone makes him worth a top 20 pick.
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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.