Analyzing and grading each of the seven selections made by Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2022 NFL Draft.
The 2021 season can be summed up as one of ups and downs for the Pittsburgh Steelers. They had some big wins including beating each the Browns and Ravens twice, ending the regular season with a 9-7-1 record resulting in a wild card berth.
However, they did experience their fair share of down moments as they lost to their divisional rivals the Bengals twice and got blown out against the Chiefs twice, including in the wild card game.
Overall, I wouldn’t define the season as a success because they didn’t make a playoff run. However, I also think they deserve credit for making the playoffs considering Ben Roethlisberger was on his last legs.
The Pittsburgh Steelers entered the 2022 NFL Draft in an interesting spot. With the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger they found themselves needing a long-term solution. They found it in this draft, selecting Kenny Pickett at 20 with Malik Willis still on the board.
So, without further ado, let’s look at the grades for the Pittsburgh Steelers draft, starting with Pickett.
Round 1, 20th Overall: Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh
This selection came as a slight surprise to me as the Pittsburgh Steelers were heavily linked to Malik Willis throughout the pre-draft process. However, with Willis falling all the way, it’s clear the NFL didn’t view Willis the same way that the media and many evaluators did.
Pickett was seen as a sure-fire first rounder and one of the most likely options for the Steelers throughout the pre-draft process so it’s not a bad pick by any means.
Kenny Pickett really raised some eyebrows last season shooting up draft boards. He had an outstanding season where he threw for 4,308 yards, 42 touchdowns, and seven interceptions over 13 games.
Pickett checks a lot of the boxes of what you want to see when looking for a potential franchise quarterback. He’s got a good arm as he’s capable of throws that not everyone can make, he’s accurate, and he’s a good athlete who can extend plays with his legs.
Concerns for Pickett and perhaps the reasons he wasn’t drafted higher are he was a bit of a late bloomer as it took him until his fifth year to be productive at Pittsburgh. The other concern that has been discussed a lot recently is his hand size as he measured in with 8 1/2 inch hands.
At the end of the day, there’s nothing that he does that may be considered elite at by NFL standards however he is good at enough important things that he certainly can be a solid starting quarterback in the NFL for a long time.
Final Grade: B-