No matter what happens later this month in the 2022 NFL Draft, no one can accuse the Pittsburgh Steelers of not doing their homework in this year’s semester draft. They have taken every opportunity available to them to learn about the best prospects who have graduated from college this year, and the final stop is a visit to the traditional draft.
One of those big potential prospects, Desmond Ryder, recently appeared on the Adam Sheen podcast, and touched upon his trip to meet the Steelers at their facility, noting that it was his first visit with any team, albeit not his last.
“It was a great meeting and a great visit,” he told Shane. “It was my first time in Pittsburgh, so just being able to walk around and see the city, facilities, offices, and meet everyone, was a great experience. That was my first visit, and I thought it went well.”
The Steelers were front and center in his pro day, with all the potential players in the middle, and his stock has only gone up since then. Some even predict he could be in the top ten, although others don’t want him in the first round at all.
Earlier in the season, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin admitted the team was looking to target the quarterback in the draft. Although this should not come as a surprise, as was to be expected, it only reinforces the reality of their plans, and history tells us that they do not play smoke and mirror games about their intentions.
Reeder said he met “everybody from Mr. Rooney all the way,” referring to the team’s equipment managers and front desk workers. “I try to make my way into everyone, get to know them and get to know me.”
It remains to be seen what kind of impression he made within the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. It will certainly be interesting to see how the draft unfolds, and whether or not the team has set their sights on any particular quarterback, which could convince them to be aggressive and move higher.
However, if they feel strongly about the class, they are more likely to sit in their 20s and make a decision based on who’s available, and if there’s a quarterback they like out there, you’ll probably bet they take it.
But who is their favourite? Could it be a rider? Wills owner? Kenny Beckett? Sam Howell? Coral died? Carson Strong? Are they intent on trying to draft a quarterback in the first round, or might they wait until day two depending on who is available in other positions in the first?
After the tragic death of Dwayne Haskins, the Steelers are now left with only two quarterbacks – Mitch Trubesky and Mason Rudolph. Joshua Dobbs is no longer an option, having signed with the Cleveland Browns. Even if they didn’t take the quarterback in the first round, it would be surprising if they got out of the draft without a new arm.