PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers have selected Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett with the No. 20 pick in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
The Steelers aggressively pursued Pickett during the pre-draft process, with multiple visits with him during the Senior Bowl, NFL Combine, the Pitt pro day, and for a pre-draft visit in Pittsburgh. The Steelers share a facility with the Pitt Panthers on the South Side.
The Steelers had their choice of quarterbacks, with Pickett being the first one selected. Liberty’s Malik Willis, Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder, North Carolina’s Sam Howell and Mississippi’s Matt Corrall were all still on the board.
Pickett had an incredible senior season with the Panthers, throwing for 4,319 yards and 42 touchdowns. He set most of the team’s program records for passing in his five years at Pitt. Pickett was named ACC player of the year and was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy.
The Steelers used their first-round pick on a quarterback for the first time since 2004, when they took Miami University quarterback Ben Roethlisberger Pickett will join Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph in attempting to replace Roethlisberger.
A native of Oakhurst, New Jersey, Pickett was a three-star prospect, rated as the 738th-ranked recruit and 33rd-ranked quarterback in his recruiting class and originally committed to Temple and now Carolina-head coach Matt Rhule before coming to Pitt.
As a freshman, Pickett led Pitt to a massive upset over No. 2 Miami, throwing for 193 yards and a touchdown and rushing for 60 yards and two touchdowns to keep the Hurricanes out of the College Football Playoff.
After considering entering the 2021 NFL Draft, projected as a likely day three selection, Pickett counseled with Peyton Manning at the Manning Passing Academy and decided to return for one last ride with Pitt in 2021.