The Pittsburgh Steelers had a deal in place with the Houston Texans to move up to the No. 15 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft as stated by Texans general manager Nick Caserio. And ultimately, it was the Texans who backed out of the trade and instead chose to select offensive guard Kenyon Green.
There were rumblings prior to the draft that the Steelers could move up to select a quarterback and the team even said afterwards that they didn’t think Pickett would make it to them. The New Orleans Saints were reportedly considering a quarterback and they had the pick right before the Steelers.
So even though the Texans turned down the Steelers offer, the first round ended up working out for the Steelers as they had their choice of quarterback at No. 20. They chose Pickett over Liberty’s Malik Willis, Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder and Ole Miss’s Matt Corral.
Now Pickett heads literally across the hallway from Pitt to the Steelers. He is set to compete with quarterbacks Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph for the starting quarterback position with the Steelers.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said yesterday that Pickett will be competing for the job. Pickett, who will turn 24 by the start of the season, was considered by many experts as the most pro-ready quarterback of the draft. The fact that the Steelers expect him to compete for the starting job shouldn’t come as a surprise to many.
Pickett has a little over four years of starting experience already. His first career start came in 2017 as a true freshman against the No. 2 ranked Miami Hurricanes in that season’s last game. Pickett led Pitt to a 24-14 upset of Miami.
He became the full-time starter as a Sophomore and had 12 touchdowns to six interceptions. He had similar seasons as a junior and a senior in 2020, but broke into the Heisman discussion as a redshirt senior in 2021.
Pickett finished third in the Heisman voting after leading Pitt to their first ACC Title. He had a 67.2% completion percentage last year with 4,319 yards and 42 touchdowns to just seven interceptions.