2022 NFL Draft: 3 options at quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers

Malik Willis #7 of the Liberty Flames. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
Malik Willis #7 of the Liberty Flames. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /
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NFL Draft
Kenny Pickett #8 of the Pittsburgh Panthers. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh

While the former two picks are probably a little more appealing to Steelers’ faithful due to their impressive physical attributes. Kenny Pickett feels like the safest prospect in the draft.

Unlike Corral’s incredible accuracy or Malik’s elite athleticism, Pickett doesn’t really have anything that instantly stands out. But he also doesn’t make too many mistakes, with all signs pointing to him being able to come in and compete right away.

He has legitimate game experience, having spent each of the last four seasons starting at the University of Pittsburgh. Accumulating more than 32 wins as a starter, and taking home the ACC Championship in his final year with the Panthers.

What’s more impressive is that he improved each season, and even finished as the school’s all-time leader in passing yards (12,303) and touchdowns (81). Beating out former Pitt legend, and NFL Hall of Famer, Dan Marino.

While he really only garnered national attention due to his sensational senior year at Pittsburgh. In which he threw for 4,319 yards, 42 touchdowns, and just 7 interceptions while completing over 67% of his passes. He still has a much larger sample size than most college quarterbacks entering the NFL Draft.

And if 2021 was any indication of what he could be at the next level, then there’s no reason to believe he can’t evolve into a franchise quarterback for a winning football team.

He’s mature, has immaculate vision, and excellent decision making. While his arm strength may not blow you away, he’s still extremely accurate and has reliable timing with the football. Specifically on short and intermediate routes, which should pair up nicely with the myriad of pass-catchers the Steelers have at their disposal.

Even though he may have ‘small hands‘ as noted at the combine. So does Joe Burrow (9.0″), Patrick Mahomes (9.25″), and Aaron Rodgers (9.38″). All of whom have either been to or won a Super Bowl.

Obviously, the fact that he would have the smallest hands in the National Football League at 8.5″ is a reason for some concern. Especially since he did struggle with fumbles and bad-weather games throughout his college career. I think that this has been largely overblown, and if anything, will only give the Steelers a better chance of landing the 6’4″ QB when it’s their turn to pick.

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Outside of the evident appeal for a local college hero to dawn Steelers’ threads as Roethlisberger rides off into the sunset. Pickett honestly looks to be the most NFL-ready quarterback in this draft, and there’s a very real chance that he’ll still be available for Pittsburgh at No. 20 in the NFL Draft. Simply put, Picket and the Steelers feel like a match made in heaven.