NFL Draft

Perspective Of An Average Steelers Fan: 2022 Draft Class Tale Of The Tape


I’ve tracked the progress of the Steelers’ draft classes for the past few seasons. I compare Steelers rookies picked in the first three rounds against their contemporaries drafted in nearby rounds and playing similar positions selected by other teams. This season, we’ll track Kenny Pickett, George Pickens, and DeMarvin Leal to see how they stack up.

The players performances at the NFL Combine or Pro Days listed here. Not sure if it is a trend, but several players opted not to participate in all the drills. .

Let me know if there are other players you want tracked against these Steelers rookies in the comments section. I’ll update their performances at midseason.


Name HT WT Hand 40 yd Bench Broad Shuttle 3 Cone Vertical
Kenny Pickett 75 217 8 1/2 4.73 121 4.29 33.5
Desmond Ridder 75 211 10 4.52 127 4.29 7.15 36.0
Malik Willis 73 215 9 1/2
Matt Corral 74 212
Bailey Zappe 73 215 9 3/4 4.88 109 4.40 7.19 30.0
Sam Howell 73 218 9 1/8

All numbers from Combine or Pro Day

Quarterback Summary

Kenny Pickett came off the board first. Surprisingly, he was the only quarterback selected in the first round. Desmond Ridder (Atlanta), Malik Willis (Tennessee), and Matt Corral (Carolina) forced to wait until the third round. All three projected to be future starters and selected no later than the second round. Sam Howell waited until the fifth round for Washington to call his number. Another quarterback projected to be a starter and possible first round pick. New England got Bailey Zappe a projected back-up quarterback in the fourth. These quarterbacks should have chips on their shoulders. It’ll take a couple seasons to learn if the NFL underestimated their potential.


Name HT WT 40 yd Bench Broad Shuttle 3 Cone Vertical
Christian Watson 77 200 4.36 136 38.5
Wan’Dale Robinson 68 178 4.44 118 34.5
John Metchie 71 187
Tyquan Thornton 74 181 4.28 130 36.5
George Pickens 75 195 4.47 125 33.0
Alec Pierce 75 211 4.41 129 4.28 7.13 40.5
Skyy Moore 70 195 4.41 125 4.32 7.13 34.5

All numbers from Combine or Pro Day

Wide Receiver Summary

Many pundits described the 2022 wide receiver position as deep in 2022. Six selected in the first round. Seven more in the second. George Pickens went to the Steelers just after New England got Tyquan Thornton. Then Alec Pierce (Colts) and Skyy Moore (Chiefs) followed immediately after Pittsburgh’s selection. This should be a fun group to follow, especially as the leftovers passed over from the first round. Some of these players should make an immediate impact in 2022.


Name HT WT 40 yd Bench Broad Shuttle 3 Cone Vertical
Travis Jones 76 325 4.92   110 4.58 7.33 28.5
Alex Wright 77 271 15 111
DeAngelo Malone 75 243 4.58 23 119 4.34 7.04 35.5
DeMarvin Leal 76 283 5.00 106 4.49 27.5
Cameron Thomas 76 267 24
Zachary Carter 76 282 4.99 19 110 27.5
Myjai Sanders 77 228 4.67 120 4.37 33.0

All numbers from Combine or Pro Day

Defensive Line Summary

Teams selected 12 defensive linemen in the first and second rounds. This will be more difficult to compare since some play in the interior and others as traditional defensive ends or projected as edge defenders. The Steelers drafted DeMarvin Leal in the middle of seven defensive linemen selected in the third round. His profile projects Leal playing all along the line. With Stephon Tuitt’s status unknown and Tyson Alualu battling both age and injury, it will be interesting to see if Leal breaks into the rotation. His weight seems light, he may need to bulk up.

Day 3 Selections

Pittsburgh doubled up on two positions on Day 3. First, wide receiver Calvin Austin picked up in fourth round. Seven inches shorter than Pickens, he has 4.3 speed and may fit into the slot. Then, Pittsburgh took a flyer on South Dakota State quarterback Chris Oladokun.

Name POS HT WT 40 yd Bench Broad Shuttle 3 Cone Vertical
Calvin Austin WR 68 170 4.32   135 4.07 6.65 39.0
Connor Heyward TE 71 233 4.72 32.5
Mark Robinson LB 71 230 4.65 34 119 4.38 7.27 33.5
Chris Oladokun QB 72 212 4.71 111 32.5

All numbers from Combine or Pro Day

Pittsburgh also picked up Ole Miss linebacker Mark Robinson. He played running back until switching positions last year. Finally, there is utility player Connor Heyward. Brother of Cam Heyward, he’ll have an opportunity to break in on special teams. Or perhaps utilized as an H-Back.

It will be interesting to see how many of the third day selections are contributors to the Steelers by midseason.

Undrafted Free Agents

Also, the Steelers signed 10 undrafted free agents. Let’s see how many of these players make the practice squad or even end up on the 53-man roster as the 2022 season progress.

I’ve included links to Steeler Depot Player articles on these prospects when available:

POS Name School
CB Chris Steele USC
DB Bryce Watts Massachusetts
DL Donovan Jeter Michigan
G Chris Owens Alabama
OLB Tyree Johnson Texas A&M
OLB T.D. Moultry Auburn
OT Jake Dixon Duquesne
OT  Jordan Tucker North Carolina
RB Mataeo Durant Duke
RB  Jaylen Warren Oklahoma Sate

So, what do you think of the Steelers 2022 draft class?

Your Music Selection

I always like to include a bit of music. The Steelers completed their 2022 draft. But this means Kevin Colbert completed his final draft as Steelers General Manager. A fixture in Pittsburgh since 2000, I hope some of these players add to his legacy. Here is Never Ending Love Song performed by Delaney and Bonnie and Friends.

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