3 Players the Steelers Must Draft if Malik Willis is Off the Board at No. 20

Three players the Pittsburgh Steelers must draft if Malik Willis is off the board at No. 20 overall.
Three players the Pittsburgh Steelers must draft if Malik Willis is off the board at No. 20 overall. / Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers enter the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft in a new era, life without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Big Ben's retirement gives the team an obvious need under center, but in a draft class not laden with obvious NFL talent at the position.

Pre-draft rumors suggest Pittsburgh is very high on Malik Willis. However, the team's first-round selection isn't until No. 20 after over-exceeding expectations during the 2021 campaign. There's a distinct possibility that Willis is off the board before pick No. 20 thanks to other QB-needy teams like the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers picking before them.

Steelers Draft News

With that in mind, check out three options the Steelers must consider if Willis is off the board when the 20th overall pick rolls around.

Steelers NFL Draft

1. Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh Panthers

The first option is the other obvious choice for Pittsburgh, and that's none other than Pittsburgh Panthers quarterback Kenny Pickett. Although not a dual-threat option like Willis, Pickett is a QB that fits the Steelers' needs. He's arguably the most NFL-ready QB in this draft after finishing as the ACC Player of the Year tallying 4,319 passing yards and 42 touchdowns to 7 interceptions in 13 games played.

2. Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State Buckeyes

After losing JuJu Smith-Schuster, the Steelers may be in line for adding a third weapon to their strong receiving corps. Especially if their top QB choice is off the board. Chris Olave is a wide receiver the Steelers may pounce on at No. 20. He was a consistent threat during his time at Ohio State, racking up three consecutive seasons with 720+ receiving yards. Olave had a knack for the end zone, evidenced by his 32 touchdowns in his final three years. He also possesses an ability to play both inside and outside the slot, which is useful for Mike Tomlin's schemes.

3. George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue Boilermakers

After Stephon Tuitt missed the entire 2021 season, the Steelers recognized a need for depth on the edge. Enter George Karlaftis at No. 20. He's an obvious Round 1 talent who racked up a pair of monster seasons at Purdue. This included a combined 17.0 tackles for loss and 12.0 sacks between 2019 and 2021. Cam Heyward enters his age 33 season, and there's no reason the Steelers shouldn't consider keeping this defensive front a strength on the roster.

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Adam Taylor McKillop is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Adam Taylor also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username atmckillop. 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.