(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
The 2021 NFL Draft concluded last Saturday, but it's never too early for 2022 mock drafts, right? Several outlets have already released their way-too-early mock drafts for 2022, and Todd McShay of ESPN is the latest one to do so.
McShay has the Steelers selecting Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder at 16th overall in his 2022 mock draft. Ben Roethlisberger is 39 and this season will assumably be his last with the Steelers, so selecting a quarterback in the first round makes perfect sense. McShay projects the Steelers to finish the 2021 season around 8-9 or 9-8 being that he has them picking at 16th overall.
Below is McShay's summary on why Ridder would be a fit for the Steelers in the first round next year.
"Another QB! We just watched five go in the first 15 picks last week, and now we could see as many go in the first half of Day 1 again. Pittsburgh has Ben Roethlisberger back for one more season (2022 is a void year on his contract), so it should absolutely be in the QB market at the draft. Ridder has done a little bit of everything at Cincinnati, throwing for at least 2,100 yards and 18 TDs in three straight seasons. And the 6-foot-4 redshirt senior averaged 6 yards per carry and scored 12 times on the ground in 2020."
No one saw Zach Wilson going second overall in the 2021 NFL Draft last year at this time, so it should be interesting to see which quarterbacks breakout this year. Way-too-early mock drafts last year also had the Steelers selecting Wake Forest quarterback Jamie Newman in the first round, and he ended up being undrafted, which just shows how projections can drastically change.