By Jeremy Hritz
Over the course of the next week, I will be profiling all of the Steelers draft picks and undrafted rookie free agents. The goal is to give you a comprehensive look at all of the new players to familiarize you with what they have to offer and what they can possibly contribute in the 2022 season.
With the 20th selection in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers chose who they hope is the heir apparent to 18-year franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in Kenny Pickett. Pickett, who won the hearts and minds of the people of Pittsburgh through his play at Pitt last season, stays home and has the opportunity to build upon his legacy and make amends for the Steelers historical gargantuan miss on Dan Marino in the 1980s.
|Height||6’3||School||University of Pittsburgh|
|Age||23||Hometown||Oakhurst, New Jersey|
|40-Yard Dash||4.73||20-Yard Shuttle||4.29|
High School Passing Statistics
College Passing Statistics
Pickett has a natural feel for the game of football, and regardless of the situation, is able to tailor his pass to the route, down and distance, with the right amount of touch and zip as needed. Possesses mobility to outmaneuver pressure to buy time to make plays down the field and enough speed to gash a defense for a long run. Highly seasoned and experienced, playing within a Pro Style Offense, Pickett is NFL-ready.
Areas for Growth
Good NFL arm, but not elite; solid velocity but not exceptional. College game did not feature the deep ball consistently. Critics of Pickett are concerned he has reached his peak levels of performance, and that any more improvement will be minimal, at best. A bit of an older prospect, as he will turn 24 this June.
Where Does He Fit Into the Depth Chart?
Both Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin stated that Pickett will have the opportunity to start the 2022 season, but for right now, you can pencil him in as QB#2 behind Mitchell Trubisky. It is a safe bet to predict that Pickett will jump to #1 before the season concludes.
Projected Contribution in 2022
While Trubisky will get the start in September, look for Pickett to be named the starter at least by midseason. The Steelers will not overload their new signal caller, and will instead prioritize the running game and limit the responsibilities he will have in leading this offense. It would be unfair to expect Pickett to perform at a high-level in his rookie season, and at best, an effective game manager, peppered with some big moments and a few miscues would be realistic. Major strides would be expected in 2023 if he is to truly be the next franchise quarterback in Pittsburgh.
Did You Know?
Pickett’s father was an All American linebacker at Shippensburg University (PA) and was inducted into their sports Hall of Fame. No question football is a family thing.