Just like that, it’s over. The 2022 NFL Draft is in the books and we’ve been busy all weekend recapping the Pittsburgh Steelers’ seven selections. I know we’ve thrown a ton of content at you all over the place so I wanted to make one post quickly recapping each selection and what you need to know. Consider this your one-stop shop of a Steelers’ recap.
Here’s each pick the team made.
1st Round (#20) – Kenny Pickett/QB Pittsburgh
2nd Round (#52) – George Pickens/WR Georgia
3rd Round (#84) – DeMarvin Leal/DL Texas A&M
4th Round (#138) – Calvin Austin III/WR Memphis
6th Round (#208) – Connor Heyward/FB-TE Michigan State
7th Round (#225) – Mark Robinson/LB Ole Miss
7th Round (#241) – Chris Oladokun/QB South Dakota State
Let’s break down each guy.
Round One – Kenny Pickett/QB Pitt
Quick analysis: No surprise the Steelers went QB in the first round. It was just a matter of who they’d take. They landed on Pickett, the man they knew and were the most comfortable with. Pickett will wear #8 for the Steelers. It was a historically unusual QB class with Pickett being the only quarterback drafted within the top two rounds. Malik Willis, Matt Corral, and Desmond Ridder each went in the third while Sam Howell had to wait until the fifth round to hear his name called.
Mike Tomlin has already confirmed Pickett will compete for the starting job along with Mason Rudolph and Mitch Trubisky.
Some links on Pickett.
2022 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Pittsburgh QB Kenny Pickett
Study: Kenny Pickett’s Stellar Red Zone Numbers
Why Pittsburgh Drafting Kenny Pickett Over Malik Willis Shouldn’t Be A Surprise
Watch: Mike Tomlin Makes The Call To Kenny Pickett
Evaluating the Value: QB Kenny Pickett
Round Two – George Pickens/WR Georgia
Quick Analysis: Potential first-round talent who slipped into the mid-second partially due to missing most of his 2021 season with a torn ACL suffered last March. But Pickens worked hard and impressed the Steelers by returning to the field to finish out the Bulldogs’ season, helping them win a National Title. Pittsburgh repeatedly mentioned Pickens’ strong Pro Day workout, which WRs Coach Frisman Jackson put him through, left a positive impression on the team. Pickens is only 21 and may need to mature but he has a long frame who gets out of his breaks and makes tough, contested catches.
Some articles on Pickens.
2022 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Georgia WR George Pickens
Study: George Pickens Route Tree Breakdown
Matt Canada Praises George Pickens For Returning Late Last Season After Knee Injury: ‘Showed His True Character’
Evaluating the Value: WR George Pickens
Round Three – DeMarvin Leal/DL Texas A&M
Quick Analysis: Not a surprise selection given DL Coach Karl Dunbar’s Pro Day trip to watch Leal. He is a versatile lineman who played up and down the line. He will have to add weight and get stronger to hold up against the run but he shows bend with a hot motor and good production in the SEC.
Some links on Leal.
2022 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Texas A&M DL DeMarvin Leal
Mike Tomlin ‘So Excited’ About Steelers Landing DL DeMarvin Leal: ‘Excelled At The Highest Level In College Football’
DeMarvin Leal Not At All Surprised In Steelers’ Interest, Says He ‘Hit It Off’ With DL Coach Karl Dunbar At Pro Day
Evaluating the Value: DL DeMarvin Leal
Round Four – Calvin Austin III/WR Memphis
Quick Analysis: Arguably the only unexpected selection of the draft, Austin is good value in the late fourth round. Undersized at 5076, 170 pounds, he’s a dynamic space player with 4.32 speed and a 39 inch vertical. Though small, he plays big and has a defined role as a receiver, not just a gadget guy. He primarily played outside in college but will likely see most of his work in the slot with Pittsburgh.
Some links on Austin.
2022 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Memphis WR Calvin Austin
Concerns About Lack Of Size ‘Music To My Ears’ For New Steelers’ WR Calvin Austin III
Frisman Jackson: ‘Austin’s Fearlessness, Toughness Show Up On Film’
5’8 Calvin Austin III Plays Bigger Than Size, Says WRs Coach Frisman Jackson: ‘Plays Like He’s 6’1, 6’2’
Evaluating the Value: WR Calvin Austin III
Round Six – Connor Heyward/FB Michigan State
Quick Analysis: Pittsburgh loves drafting siblings. Younger brother of Cam, Heyward was announced as a tight end but is a H-Back type, something Kevin Colbert said post-draft. A jack-of-all-trades, he moved from RB to TE as a senior for Michigan State. He can catch the ball well and should be an asset on special teams. Heyward will compete with Derek Watt this summer though it’s possible the team keeps two fullbacks.
Some links on Heyward.
2022 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Michigan State H-Back Connor Heyward
All Brotherly Love, But Cameron Heyward Warns Connor He’ll ‘Throw Him On His Ass’ In Practice
Steelers Expect Connor Heyward To ‘Play With A Chip’ Coming To Team ‘Where Your Big Brother’s The Big Brother’
Evaluating the Value: FB Connor Heyward
Seventh Round – Mark Robinson/LB Ole Miss
Quick Analysis: One of the team’s pre-draft visits, Robinson is new to playing linebacker after switching from RB. He notched 91 tackles this past season and though he’s undersized and didn’t run particularly well (4.65 40), he’s an impactful hitter with some Vince Williams’ vibes. He may start his career on the practice squad.
2022 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Ole Miss LB Mark Robinson
Upside And Intrigue Key Factors In Steelers’ Selection Of Ole Miss LB Mark Robinson, Brian Flores Says
Evaluating the Value: LB Mark Robinson
Seventh Round – Chris Oladokun/QB South Dakota State
Quick Analysis: The second quarterback taken and last player selected in the Kevin Colbert era. Oladokun began his college career at South Florida before transferring to Samford and finally, to South Dakota State. He’s got a good arm and is an above average athlete but doesn’t have much experience under center and left the pocket too quickly.
Some links on Oladokun.
2022 NFL Draft Player Profiles: South Dakota St. QB Chris Oladokun
Evaluating the Value: QB Chris Oladokun
Chris Oladokun Already Quite Familiar With Steelers’ Standout Wide Receiver
Undrafted Free Agents
Here’s the list of the ten UDFAs the Steelers signed post-draft.
Offensive tackle Jake Dixon – Duquesne
Running back Mataeo Durant – Duke
Defensive lineman Donovan Jeter – Michigan
Outside linebacker Tyree Johnson – Texas A&M
Outside linebacker T.D. Moultry – Auburn
Guard Chris Owens – Alabama
Cornerback Chris Steele – Southern California
Offensive tackle Jordan Tucker – North Carolina
Running back Jaylen Warren – Arizona State
Click the UDFA tracker for some of the prospects coming in on a tryout basis during rookie minicamp.
The Terrible Podcast
Check our Dave and me recapping Day One and Day Two of the draft. The Day Three recap will come Sunday morning.
Mike Tomlin/Kevin Colbert Press Conference
Links to what Tomlin and Colbert had to say after the draft.
Kevin Colbert Emotional Reflecting On 22-Year Tenure: Adding To Trophy Room ‘Means A Lot, But It Doesn’t Mean It’s Over’
Kevin Colbert: Signings Of Daniels, Cole ‘Comforting’ With Interior OL Options, ‘Lessened The Desire’ To Add Via Draft
Mike Tomlin Not Overly Concerned With OLB Depth Exiting Draft, Says It’s Something ‘We’re Capable Of Addressing’ Later On
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