Steelers pick Kenny Pickett 39 years after passing on Pitt QB Dan Marino

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Kenny Pickett didn’t need a private jet or any other mode of transportation to get from his college training facility to his new NFL training facility. He simply walked to the other side of the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex the Steelers share with the Pitt football program.

“It’s special. It’s really special,” Pickett said at his introductory news conference, via Brian Batko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I have a lot of friendships. I know a lot of people here, obviously, from playing at Pitt and being here for five years.”

Thirty-nine years and three days after the Steelers passed on University of Pittsburgh quarterback Dan Marino with the 21st overall selection that they selected Pickett with the 20th overall selection. Marino became a Pro Football Hall of Famer playing for the Dolphins.

“For me to be able to say that we drafted somebody who broke all of Dan Marino’s records in college is pretty special,” team president Art Rooney II said.

Pickett’s 42 touchdown passes in 2021 broke Marino’s single-season school record of 37 touchdown passes set during the 1981 season, and his 81 career touchdown passes broke Marino’s career mark of 79.

Pickett also threw for a school-record 4,319 yards last season.

While Pickett refuses to compare himself with Marino, the Steelers weren’t going to take a chance on passing on the next Marino.

“I’m glad they didn’t pass on me this year,” Pickett said. “It feels great to be here. I’ve talked to Dan a bunch, and I’m going to continue to talk to him and use him as a resource.”

Pickett gets to play in the same stadium and wear the same No. 8 he’s worn since 2017. He’s already a step ahead by not having to figure out where to live or how to get to the practice facility.

He joins a quarterbacks room that includes Mason Rudolph and Mitchell Trubisky, both of whom texted Pickett already. Trubisky tried to recruit Pickett to North Carolina when Pickett was a senior in high school.

Steelers pick Kenny Pickett 39 years after passing on Pitt QB Dan Marino originally appeared on Pro Football Talk