Fantasy football is all about winning. To win a dynasty championship or, more importantly, multiple championships, your dynasty teams are going to need to score points. When your dynasty team isn’t scoring enough points, fundamental changes are in order. Albert Einstein once said: The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. You can’t run back an average to below-average producing starting quarterback and expect to compete. You’ll need to upgrade on your quarterback option. The team issues probably run deeper than the quarterback though, are your receivers explosive? You may have gotten yourself a good running back in a previous draft. However, you will have to make some investments in your skill positions in the upcoming rookie draft. Also, a good dynasty manager knows when to make their process more successful. A massive team overhaul may not be necessary, but a couple of critical additions might get your team over the hump. The 2022 NFL draft will have some good young wide receiver options and possibly a couple of attractive quarterback options.
The draft order used in this article reflects the expectation of the Pittsburgh Steelers being defeated by the Kansas City Chiefs during Super Wildcard Weekend and the corresponding draft order. Credit for the simulation of the mock draft goes to fanspeak.com. The team needs are generated by the same site. Compensatory pick has been estimated.
2022 NFL Draft
The Pittsburgh Steelers enter the 2022 NFL Draft needing to improve their offense. At times it looks like they are running a junior varsity offense. The Pittsburgh Steelers need an influx of talent, and a bit of speed infusion is in order. There’s no time like the present to make a fundamental change. With his arm strength deteriorating, Ben Roethlisberger has been holding the receiving options back from making explosive plays down the field. The future Hall of Fame quarterback is expected to call it a career at seasons end. The Pittsburgh Steelers could lose wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster to free agency in 2022, and James Washington is as good as gone. The Pittsburgh Steelers will have six draft picks and should net a fourth-round compensatory pick for the loss of Bud Dupree. Plenty of ammunition to get the offense back on track.
1.12 – Tyler Linderbaum, C Iowa
The Pittsburgh Steelers have a rich history at the center position. The team selected Kendrick Green in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft. That draft selection was a mistake. No one expected Green to play close to the level of Maurice Pouncey in his prime. Although, something representing adequate play from the position would have been nice. Unfortunately, Green was terrible throughout the 2021 NFL season. The team simply cannot move forward with him in the starting lineup. The Steelers are grateful in this mock, they can trade up and grab the top center in the draft class.
Linderbaum is one mean, nasty bad dude. If he gets his hands on a defensive lineman it’s over. He’s also a former high school wrestler. That fact will aid him greatly in the tough, physical AFC North division. Linderbaum is an old-school road grader at the center position. He would allow the Steelers to try Green at his more natural position at guard. If the Pittsburgh Steelers are going to match up with the Cincinnati Bengals, they’ll need a far more capable offensive line.
2.40 – Desmond Riddler, QB Cincinnati
Ben Roethlisberger carried the Pittsburgh Steelers on his back at times literally throughout his career. The NFL though is a different league than it was in 2004. Mike Tomlin has mentioned the stress that a mobile quarterback puts on a defense a few times in his press conferences. With the Pittsburgh Steelers retooling their offensive line, they may be better served to have a more mobile quarterback behind center. Not only would it alleviate some pressure off the offensive line, but it would also open up some running Lanes for Najee Harris. This would be quite an organizational change, as the Steelers have traditionally preferred a traditional drop-back style quarterback under center.
Enter Desmond Ridder. The former Cincinnati Bearcat QB can move inside the pocket, and if need be pull the ball down and take off. Ridder will need to clean up some of his decision-making, as he sometimes makes questionable decisions that lead to turnovers. Turning the ball over isn’t going to fly under Mike Tomlin, so the young quarterback will need to reign that in. Mason Rudolph or a Free Agent addition will likely serve as the Steelers bridge quarterback in 2022 to Ridder.
Ridder would join an offense with Diontae Johnson, Najee Harris, Chase Claypool, and Pat Freiermuth. Ridder would have some decent help at the skill positions. Harris did the heavy lifting for the Pittsburgh offense in 2021, as he accounted for 31.1% of the Steelers offensive yards. Harris and Ridder could present quite the rushing duo for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
6.204 – Jerome Ford, RB Cincinnati
Harris is the Pittsburgh Steelers bell-cow running back. Aside from an injury, nothing is going to change on that aspect. The Steelers currently don’t have a capable backup option behind Harris. Benny Snell Jr. is mostly a special teams player, Kalen Ballage and Anthony McFarland Jr. don’t offer anything. Should the worst happen to Harris, the Steelers wouldn’t be able to run the ball on anyone. Also, Harris will need someone to provide some rest for him going forward.
Ford isn’t a starting running back in the NFL, but he’s got some speed to his game. As well as decent size for the position. He would provide a stiff challenge to Benny Snell to be the primary backup. That would also negate the need to resign the flat-footed Kalen Ballage.
7.223 – Josh Proctor, S Ohio State
Tre Norwood has played some good football for the Steelers. However, the team doesn’t have any players on their depth chart capable of stepping in and starting at safety in case of injury. What if the Steelers are unable to resign Terrell Edmunds?
Enter Proctor. He is coming off a serious injury and may need to begin his rookie season on the PUP list. But, there is some talent there with the young safety and this late in the draft teams are looking for potential. Proctor, when healthy, could give the Steelers a quality third safety.
Dynasty Impact and Analysis
Harris should see fewer defenders in the backfield with the Pittsburgh Steelers improving the middle of their offensive line. That has happened far too often to the rookie rusher in 2021. That in of itself would be a plus to his fantasy production in 2022. The Pittsburgh Steelers were not able to consistently run the football during the 2021 season. In comes, Linderbaum. Having a steady presence at the center position, who is able to play quality football makes life easier on everyone.
Ridder in the second round benefits Harris by confusing the defenders in the box. Johnson, Claypool, and Freiermuth would be able to see some big explosive plays in the passing game. That one second-round selection would be a bonus to the stock of all of the previously mentioned players. Ridder would be an excellent dynasty rookie selection from the rushing aspect of his game. The Pittsburgh Steelers have players in their offense who can be explosive, they just need a quarterback who is able to open up that aspect.
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