The Pittsburgh Steelers are at a crucial point in their franchise history. Legendary quarterback Ben Roethlisberger just retired, leaving Pittsburgh in a state of transition as they enter the 2022 season.
Despite Roethlisberger’s retirement, the Steelers field a playoff-caliber roster that has a couple of major holes. One of those holes is on the offensive line, and general manager Kevin Colbert should be looking to fill it in the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft. That’s where Trevor Penning comes in. The Northern Iowa tackle is one of the better offensive line prospects in this draft class and the perfect fit for the Steelers.
Why Trevor Penning Is Best Steelers Fit In 2022 NFL Draft
3. He fills a positional need
The Steelers quietly had one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL last season. Roethlisberger was constantly under siege by opposing pass-rushers, and the ground game was mediocre at best. Pittsburgh already started addressing the problem by signing guard James Daniels, but there’s still a ton of work to be done.
The Steelers are currently set to enter the season with Dan Moore and Chukwuma Okorafor as their starting tackles. Moore was horrible last season, and Okorafor wasn’t any better. Penning would step in as a starter over both at either tackle position. Pittsburgh can’t afford to go another season with horrible offensive line play, as bad play at the position completely stunts the development of quarterbacks.
The Steelers should be looking to get a guy like Penning before they go after a potential franchise signal-caller.
2. He will fall to the 20th overall pick
Penning is a great player, but it’s pretty unlikely that he’s selected before the Steelers go on the clock in the first round. There areplenty of premier offensive linemen in this class that will go before him, which should allow Pittsburgh to select him without making a trade.
That’s huge, as the Steelers only have seven draft picks this year. They’ll also need to get a quarterback in the coming years, making future picks exceedingly valuable. Pittsburgh can’t really afford to trade up, but that won’t be a concern here. Getting value at a position of need is always good, and that’s what would happen if Pittsburgh selects Penning at No. 20.
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1. He has tons of room to grow
Penning played his college career at Northern Iowa, an FCS school. He obviously dominated the competition at that level, showing that he is capable of so much more.
Standing 6’7” and weighing 325 pounds, Penning already has an NFL-level frame. He has a strong background in basketball and track, showing that his movement skills are insane for a man of his size. Finally, Penning is only 22 years old. That’s fairly young for an offensive tackle entering the NFL, so he should be able to improve quickly throughout the early stages of his career.