No one was sure how things would playout for the quarterback class in the 2022 NFL Draft. There were plenty of mocks that had as many as five quarterbacks going in the first round with teams trading up to snag prospects they liked. That was not the case at all. The Pittsburgh Steelers were the only ones to take the plunge on a quarterback in the first round, selecting someone they are very familiar with in Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett.
Another quarterback wasn’t picked until the third round of the draft when Desmond Ridder, Malik Willis and Matt Corral came off the board.
It was a little surprising to see how things turned out, but the Steelers are certainly ecstatic about how things transpired. There was a lot of talk about how they would need to trade up if they wanted to land their quarterback, but they stayed pat and Pickett fell right into their laps with the 20th overall pick.
Pickett’s hand size was a topic of discussion throughout the pre-draft process, but there is no denying the talent that he possesses. He took full advantage of his fifth year of eligibility at Pitt, as he finished third in the Heisman voting and earned his spot in New York City.
Just how good was Pickett last season? Pickett registered a 92.3 passing grade during his final season at Pitt, which was the best mark among Power Five quarterbacks according to PFF.
He was excellent en route to leading Pitt to the ACC Championship. Pickett completed 67.2 percent of his passes, throwing for 4,319 yards and 42 touchdowns compared to only seven interceptions.
Possessing some solid athleticism, Pickett can also make some plays with his legs. The fake slide that he pulled off against Wake Forest in the ACC Championship game for a 58-yard touchdown shows just how athletic he can be.
The Steelers were looking to add someone to the mix that could get the job done with their legs, which is likely why they signed Mitchell Trubisky in free agency as well. They are getting a very good prospect in Kenny Pickett to groom behind him, as the Steelers are making a transition out of the Ben Roethlisberger era, as the future Hall of Famer retired this offseason.