ESPN is playing the “what-If” game and redrafting the 2022 NFL Draft.
The sports network’s NFL reporters were asked to do another draft of the first two rounds, 64 picks.
You can see what ESPN did with the whole league here, but we are focusing on the Steelers and the players they selected.
The Steelers first picks would look at lot different this time around mainly because quarterback Kenny Pickett and wide receiver George Pickens would be off the board already before the Steeler picked at #20.
ESPN has the Steelers taking a player “of need”, cornerback Derek Stingley Jr.
“Drafting Stingley would check a major box in shoring up a spot that lacked a true lockdown player after the retirement of Joe Haden,” ESPN’s Brooke Pryor says. “Stingley finished the season on injured reserve with a hamstring injury, but he didn’t allow a touchdown as the nearest defender in coverage and showed potential.”
For their second pick, the Steelers would be taking wide receiver Rashid Shaheed.
Shaheed was signed with the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent in 2022.
Pryor says for the Steelers it was a “toss-up” between Shaheed and Romeo Doubs, who was taken in the fourth round by the Packers, but ultimately went with Shaheed because “of his late-season consistency and fleet-footed versatility.”
Shaheed finished the season with two touchdowns and 488 receiving yards.
So what about the players the Steelers did draft? First-round draft pick Pickett was taken four spots earlier by the Saints at #16 and Pickens was taken even earlier, #14 overall by the Baltimore Ravens.
Interestingly quarterback Brock Purdy, who was the last pick of the draft, was taken fourth overall by the New York Jets.
The PM Team’s Andrew Fillipponi was not happy about Pickett’s draft positioning, even though it was four spots higher.