The initial reaction following the Pittsburgh Steelers’ selection of Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett at No. 20 overall in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft Thursday night has been a bit of a mixed back.
With all the quarterbacks on the board for their picking after the board fell perfectly for them, the Steelers made it clear who their top signal-caller in the class was, going with Pickett to try and compete for the starting job in Pittsburgh not only this fall, but the years moving forward.
One guy who is rather high on the selection of Pickett is CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco, who handed out one of his highest post-draft grades on the selection of the Pitt star and Heisman Trophy finalist. According to Prisco’s draft grade, the selection of Pickett earned an “A,” giving the Steelers one of just four A’s in the first 20 picks from Prisco, joining the New York Giants’ two selections of Kayvon Thibodeaux and Evan Neal at No. 5 and No. 7, and the New York Jets’ selection of Garrett Wilson at No. 10 overall.
In total, Prisco handed out eight total “A” grades in the first round.
“I love this pick. They take the local kid to play quarterback and he will prove to be the best quarterback in this class,” Prisco writes. “Give him a few games, and he will have the job. Pickett has the tools to become a quality starter. This works in a lot of ways.”
The jury remains out on Pickett overall, depending on who the media member is and what they’re looking for — in terms of traits — from quarterbacks, but the fit is certainly ideal overall.
While it may not garner an “A” grade overall nationally, it’s a sound pick overall, even if Pickett’s ceiling of what he can be is limited. He has a chance to start right away in 2022 and become a quality starting quarterback in the NFL, much like Prisco writes. Will that be worth a first-round draft pick — and as the top QB off the board — in the long run? Time will tell.
It’s very clear though that the Steelers got their guy.