Kenny Pickett wants Jordan Addison to become a Pittsburgh Steeler.
And Addison sure seems to endorse the idea.
Speaking with reporters, including our own Joe Clark and Jonathan Heitritter, during this year’s NFL Combine, Pitt-turned-USC wide receiver Jordan Addison was asked about the chance to reunite with Pickett in Pittsburgh. His answer?
“If we reunite, that’d be good. That’d be real cool. Real easy transition. Come get me.”
Come get me. It doesn’t get much clearer than that.
In an unsettled class, Addison is competing at Indy to be the first wide receiver off the board. His group lacks a true #1, a player projected to go before anyone else. He has as good a shot as any name in this class though his main competition will come in the form of TCU’s Quentin Johnston and Boston College’s Zay Flowers.
Addison and Pickett had their most productive seasons together in 2021. Pickett returned to school in part to play with Addison and both broke out. Pickett threw a school-record 42 touchdowns that year, shattering Dan Marino’s 40-year old mark, while Addison was on the receiving end of 17 of those. Friday, Addison praised the player – and leader – Pickett became.
“I’ll say his leadership. He knows when to get the team going. And then his confidence, he’s got unlimited confidence and he thinks he the best one on the field. He just carried that swagger.”
The two went their separate ways after the year. Pickett went into the NFL draft and became the first quarterback taken, nabbed by the Steelers at #20. Addison took a huge NIL deal to transfer to USC and play with stud QB Caleb Williams, a future top pick. His 2022 numbers decreased but he was still productive, finishing his final year with 59 receptions for 875 yards and eight touchdowns.
Now, Pittsburgh could have the opportunity to reunite quarterback and receiver. It’s a move that’s drawn comparisons to what the Cincinnati Bengals did with Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase. Pickett nor Addison were as highly thought of coming out of the draft but the idea is the same. Draft a player who will have instant chemistry with your franchise, first-round quarterback. Wide receiver isn’t the Steelers’ biggest need but Addison would fill a hole in the slot with the versatility Pittsburgh’s offense requires, moving their players around and getting them involved in the receiver run and RPO game.
For Addison, heading back to Pittsburgh would just be picking up where he left off.
“[Pickett and I] had a really good relationship. Coming in, I wanted to make sure that I was looked at as a real focused individual, so once I got there, he noticed that. Say we’re going through routes on air, he wanted to make sure that I was the first receiver up so we can start that connection early and then we just transferred that off the field and we just built it close up.”
One question Addison will look to answer this weekend will be his speed. Pickett has noted Addison’s speed is overlooked and underrated. Some draftniks believe he won’t push into the 4.4’s. While it’s just one time, it’ll be important to determining his overall athletic profile.
“I’m gonna prove that tomorrow,” Addison said when questioned about his 40.
If the board breaks a certain way for the Steelers, if the top cornerbacks and offensive tackles are off the board, Omar Khan and company might see a familiar name staring them right in the face. Like last year, the team might lean on the knowledge and comfort they uniquely have in Addison. And it sure doesn’t hurt to make your quarterback happy about your draft pick.
Addison’s made the call. Come get him. In less than two months, we’ll know if the Steelers answer.