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2022 NFL Draft

Steelers Select Pickett, Metchie in Mel Kiper’s Mock Draft

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Kenny Pickett Mock Draft

The Pittsburgh Steelers are projected to select Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett (No. 20) and Alabama wide receiver John Metchie III (No. 52) in Mel Kiper’s latest two-round mock draft on ESPN.

It’s becoming more and more apparent that the Steelers are, at the very least, strongly considering a quarterback in the first round let alone likely taking one. The most notable mentioned for the Steelers include Pickett as well as Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder, Ole Miss’s Matt Corral and Liberty’s Malik Willis, though it is unlikely that Willis falls to No. 20.

In this mock draft Willis (No 6 – Carolina Panthers) is the only quarterback not on the board when it’s it the Steelers turn to pick and he is also the only other quarterback selected in the first round. Ridder (No. 40 – Seattle Seahawks) and Corral (No. 49 – New Orleans Saints) are taken in the second round.

“I’d feel much more comfortable taking Pickett here than I would in the top 10,” wrote Kiper. “Best-case scenario is that he becomes a Derek Carr, and his floor is an Andy Dalton, which isn’t a bad quarterback by any means. Pittsburgh can win with that. Still, those two were taken in Round 2 and didn’t have Round 1 expectations surrounding them. If Pickett falls into the Steelers’ laps here, he’d be tough to pass up. And he has a little more upside than Mitch Trubisky.”

Pickett is coming off a third-place Heisman voting finish after a breakout season that saw him lead Pitt to their first-ever outright conference title, not to mention first-ever ACC title. He finished the season having set school records in passing yards (4,319) and touchdowns (42) with only seven interceptions thrown. All while completing 67.2% of his passes.

In the second round, the Steelers end up with the 10th wide receiver taken in Metchie. He is coming off a torn ACL that he suffered in December, but it is still possible for him to be fully recovered by the time the season starts in the fall. Metchie had a breakout season as well catching 96 passes for 1,142 yards and eight touchdowns. He also had a strong sophomore season in 2020 with 55 catches for 916 yards, a 16.2 yards-per-catch average.

“Metchie tore his ACL in December, but he was having a fantastic season, with 96 catches for 1,142 yards and eight scores,” wrote Kiper. “He can play in the slot and make a difference in the middle of the field for the Steelers, which let JuJu Smith-Schuster walk in free agency. Metchie should be able to recover to play in Week 1 — and potentially help Kenny Pickett.”

The Steelers wide receiver group lost more than just Smith-Schuster this off-season as both Ray-Ray McCloud and James Washington left for new teams as well. The team has yet to adequately replace any of their three losses, and will likely look to the draft to do so according to head coach Mike Tomlin. The team typically chooses this route with their wide receivers, having drafted a wide receiver in one of the first three rounds in each year from 2017-2020.

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