With Kenny Pickett finally putting pen to paper on his rookie deal, all 32 first-round picks from the 2022 NFL Draft are now officially under contract.
It’s not surprising to see some rookies wait until this point in the summer to sign their rookie deals — especially when we are talking about quarterbacks. After 31 other first-round picks from the 2022 NFL Draft class signed their contracts, Pittsburgh Steelers rookie, Kenny Pickett, was the last remaining to do so.
On June 23rd, Adam Schefter first reported that Pickett had put pen to paper and made it official. Pickett’s rookie contract is a four-year deal worth $14 million — fully guaranteed. Pickett receives a $7.4 million signing bonus and will have a fifth-year option for the Steelers.
To the surprise of many, Pickett was the only quarterback selected in the first two rounds of the 2022 NFL Draft. Despite the gap between quarterbacks, Pickett didn’t even finish as the top quarterback on the NFL consensus board. That honor actually belonged to Liberty’s Malik Willis, who was ultimately selected in the third round.
Now that each first-round draft choice has been signed their rookie deals, we can set our sights towards minicamp. With Kenny Pickett being the only first-round quarterback this year, there will be a lot of eyes on him during the preseason.
2022 NFL Draft QB class could be a letdown
With the Steelers the only team willing to spend one of the top-73 picks on a quarterback this year, an already questionable QB class could be a bigger letdown than we initially envisioned. Early in the pre-draft process, NFL analysts were at least hopeful that three (and potentially even four) quarterbacks could be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft.
In the NFL, your opportunities are typically tied to your draft position. Because of this, it’s going to be remarkably hard for a player like Desmond Ridder, Matt Corral, or Malik Willis to see the field in year one.
Of the group, Pickett certainly seems like he has the best chance of stepping onto the field early — especially considering the draft investment Pittsburgh made in him. But even then, there’s no guarantee that he starts this year.
Following the 2021 NFL Draft that included five first-round quarterbacks, fans got to witness four of them start for most of the 2021 season. That certainly won’t be the case this year.
This isn’t to say that some of these players can’t develop into starting-level quarterbacks somewhere down the line, but the NFL clearly showed you what they thought of this QB class based on where players were drafted.
There will be plenty of young, exciting rookies to watch from the 2022 NFL Draft class this year, but fans probably aren’t going to get any exciting rookie QB matchups this season. I don’t blame anyone who doesn’t have a lot of hope for this quarterback class.