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2023 NFL Draft

Steelers Draft Profile: A.T. Perry Wants to Make New Memories with Kenny Pickett



LAS VEGAS – It’s the play Pitt fans love and will not enjoy seeing highlights of, but Kenny Pickett’s slide during the 2021 ACC Championship Game is something those on the other side would rather forget.

Wake Forest wide receiver A.T. Perry knows couldn’t help but have that slide pop right into his mind when asked his feelings about now Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett. Perry is at the East-West Shrine Bowl in Las Vegas all week as just another step in his journey that he hopes takes him to be drafted by an NFL team.

Could that team be Pickett’s team? Could Perry become teammates with the man who beat him in the biggest game of his college career, partly aided by a slide that Perry seems to still be confused by? “The slide. The fake slide he scored on. It’s different. I’ve never seen that before,” said Perry.

Despite the fact that hearing Pickett’s name brings up some less-than-pleasant memories for Perry, he would relish the opportunity to play with Pickett, who he considers a great quarterback, and will now be entering his second season in the NFL after experiencing plenty of game action as the starter throughout his rookie 2022 season. Perry does admit he does not know much about the Steelers system, but says he would be willing to talk to Pickett and learn from him.

Joining the Steelers would create one more obstacle besides having to deal with the likely ribbing by Pickett about the slide and ACC title. Perry is used to getting the ball, and getting the ball often. He put up a couple monster seasons at Wake Forest once he established himself as the go-to option in the Demon Deacons’ offense. Perry recorded 1,096 yards in 2022 and 1,293 yards the season prior in 2021. He did it while making 81 and 71 receptions respectively.


Measured at the Shrine Bowl: 6-foot-3 3/8, 195 pounds, arms 33 3/4 inches, wingspan 82 5/8 inches, hands 9 1/4 inches.


Mike Asti at the Shrine Bowl: Perry exuded confidence all throughout his time at the Shrine Bowl. Perry says he can play both big and small and constantly referred to himself as “just different” when asked what set himself apart from other wide receivers. He excelled at getting separation and catching contested passes during practice, but admits he needs to pick up his speed a bit.


Alan Saunders: The Steelers’ big need at wide receiver is in the slot, and Perry played almost exclusively on the outside with the Demon Deacons. But many NFL slot receivers play outside in college and he has the kind of skill set and diverse route tree that could allow him to make that transition at the NFL level. For example, the snap at his routes is encouraging for his ability to create separation at all levels of the field. The Steelers could also move Diontae Johnson into the slot. There is also a chance they draft a wide receiver as a pure backup to Johnson and George Pickens, with an eye toward developing a player that could replace one when their contracts expire after the 2024 season.

Perry said he would think of being further down the depth chart of an NFL offense as similar to being redshirted in college. “Use that time to control what you can control,” he said, bringing up how he would try to learn from the veterans on the team to get better once he does get an opportunity.


Perry seems to be a player whose stock has moved up and down a good bit. His current overall rank, according to the NFL Mock Draft Database, is 134th, which would have him available when the Steelers draft in the fourth round with pick 120. But his consensus mock draft position is going to the New York Giants at No. 57 in the second round.

Steelers A.T. Perry

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