Did the Steelers reach for QB Kenny Pickett?

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If you just read the headline to this, you are probably in a full-on rage right now. But let’s all just take a breath. We are just posing the question and looking at the information available to us. Did the Pittsburgh Steelers reach for former Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett? Let’s look at the NFL draft.

For the last three months, every NFL draft pundit from ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. all the way down to the smallest bloggers had mixed feelings about the 2022 quarterback class. Most agreed the top quarterbacks were some combination of Pickett, Malik Willis, Desmond Ridder, Matt Corral and Sam Howell.

But where everyone was wrong was about their respective value. The Steelers drafted Pickett at No. 20 overall but wasn’t taken until pick No. 74, Willis didn’t come off the board until pick No. 86, Corral at No. 90 and Howell all the way down at No. 144. You have to mix in Bailey Zappe who went at No. 174 ahead of Howell.

The experts had Pickett, Willis, Corral and Ridder in a very tight cluster, all being selected by the end of the second round. If the rest of the league didn’t view these players as nearly as viable as the experts, where did the rest of the league view Pickett? It is hard to imagine the same league that viewed Willis as the No. 86 player considered Pickett 66 picks better.

If Pickett turns out to be a replacement for Roethlisberger, this discussion won’t matter. But given the way this class was spread out, things will play out. So I ask again, did the Steelers reach for Pickett? Let us know in the comments below.

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The good, the bad and the ugly of the Steelers 2022 NFL draft