The Pittsburgh Steelers treaded uncharted waters during round one of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Ben Roethlisberger‘s lengthy career meant that they haven’t even thought of using a first-rounder for another quarterback.
They selected Mason Rudolph in the third round of the 2018 draft and signed the late Dwayne Haskins.
Even Mitchell Trubisky was a free agent before signing with the Steelers.
But even if they have a potential starter in Trubisky, Pittsburgh went for a quarterback with the 20th overall selection.
With all of the play-callers available, they chose the one playing in their backyard.
— Kenny Pickett (@kennypickett10) April 29, 2022
Kenny Pickett tweeted, “I’m coming home!! #HereWeGo” after the Steelers selected him.
He was the only quarterback taken in the first round, and Pittsburgh didn’t trade up to get him.
During the Scouting Combine, Pickett made news because of his small palms.
Despite that physical deficiency, the Steelers went to his pro day and must have liked what they saw.
The quarterbacks in the 2022 draft class weren’t highly regarded, and Pickett being the only first-rounder doesn’t come as a surprise.
However, Pittsburgh believes they can develop Pickett to become Roethlisberger’s successor.
Low Confidence For Trubisky?
Pittsburgh drafting a quarterback in the first round means that they aren’t sold on Trubisky.
They would need another play-caller to possibly compete for the starting role because Rudolph isn’t the guy.
Still, they might allow the former UNC standout to prove his worth.
If he falters, there’s a high chance that Pickett will take over.
Some football experts do not even regard the former Pitt Panther as the best quarterback in the draft.
But the Steelers feel that he is the best fit, and he has the numbers to show it.
Last season, he became the ACC Player of the Year and First-Team All-American by throwing 42 touchdowns and only seven interceptions.
Pittsburgh hopes he can carry that accuracy when he looks for Chase Claypool, Diontae Johnson, and Pat Freiermuth downfield.