NFL

Pickett first QB off the board, stays home after being taken by Steelers

By Sports Desk April 28, 2022

Kenny Pickett will get to stay in Pittsburgh, after being selected by the Steelers with the 20th overall pick.

No quarterbacks came off the board in the first 19 picks as defensive players and wide receivers dominated the headlines.

And, given the freedom to choose from what most considered to be an uninspiring litter at quarterback, the Steelers went with a player who already called Heinz Field home.

Pickett excelled in his final year playing for the University of Pittsburgh, leading the Panthers to an 11-3 record and an ACC title.

He completed 67.2 per cent of his passes for 4,319 yards, 42 touchdowns and just seven interceptions.

Arguably the most pro-ready quarterback in the class, Pickett delivered an accurate well-thrown ball on 82.70 percent of his passes last season, the highest ratio of anyone in the draft, according to Stats Perform data. His pickable pass rate of 2.11 percent was also best in class.

Pickett excels at throwing with timing and anticipation, frequently hitting his receivers in stride to maximise their potential to create yards after the catch.

He can make throws with pressure in his face and moves well in the pocket to escape pressure while also succeeding at breaking structure and creating with his legs.

A lack of elite arm strength to make deep throws outside the numbers is the concern with Pickett, but the Steelers were clearly not overly worried about that deficiency, catapulting him into a likely quarterback competition with Mitchell Trubisky in the first year of the post-Ben Roethlisberger era.

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