There sure is going to be a lot of talk this offseason about the Pittsburgh Steelers potentially selecting a quarterback in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, especially on the heels of what head coach Mike Tomlin said about the position during his Tuesday end-of-season press conference. With that, expect quite a few major mock drafts to include the Steelers drafting a quarterback in the first round. Additionally, expect several of those to specifically have the Steelers selecting University of Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett in the first round.
On Monday, Austin Gayle of Pro Football Focus mocked Pickett to the Steelers with the 20th selection, and he has him as the fourth overall quarterback selected in his latest offering.
Gayle goes on to speculate that Pickett’s status as a fifth-year senior and his being one of the older quarterbacks in the 2022 draft class shouldn’t reduce his chances of being selected in the first round.
“A consistent knock on Pickett will be that he’s a fifth-year senior and one of the older quarterback prospects in the 2022 class, but that shouldn’t keep him from being a top-20 pick in April’s draft, Gayle wrote as a reason for him mocking the quarterback to the Steelers. “A finalist for the Heisman Trophy, Pickett completed 334-of-499 attempts for 4,308 yards, 42 touchdowns and seven interceptions this season. He earned a career-high 92.3 PFF grade that ranked top-five among all quarterbacks in 2021. His PFF passing grade from a clean pocket was also among the best in all of college football at 94.3.”
Pickett, who will be at this year’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, AL a few weeks from now, is very likely to wind up being one of the top few quarterbacks selected in the 2022 NFL Draft. Overall, this year’s quarterback class seems to be watered down and that should help Pickett out, as well.
Does Pickett have enough mobility to be on the Steelers’ pre-draft radar? After all, Tomlin has talked about how important mobility is for a quarterback at the NFL level quite a bit these last several months. In fact, he mentioned that again during his Tuesday press conference.
“Man, quarterback mobility is valued. Not only by me, but everyone. It’s just a component of today’s game and increasingly so,” Tomlin said on Tuesday.
According to a report on Sunday from Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Steelers have already done a lot of ‘homework’ on Pickett. That’s not overly surprising, however, with Pickett already being in Pittsburgh and essentially right next door to the Steelers facility.
As for mobility when it comes to Pickett, he rushed 417 times for 801 yards and 20 touchdowns during his career at Pittsburgh.
We already have a few reports on Pickett that you can read by following the links below. We will also have more on him during the upcoming Senior Bowl, as well.