Apr 28, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett is announced as the twentieth overall pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft at the NFL Draft Theater. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It took longer than normal but the first quarterback was finally selected at No. 20, with Pittsburgh signal-caller Kenny Pickett.

Pickett will not be going far. In fact, his home stadium will remain the same, as he was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was emotional upon getting drafted.

Between the selection itself and Pickett’s reaction to it, the response to Pittsburgh’s decision was generally positive.


The feeling wasn’t unanimous, though. Other draft observers felt that Pickett should not be selected with Liberty quarterback Malik Willis on the board.

There are some reasons to doubt Pickett. The size of his hands were seen as an issue heading into the draft. Though, to be fair, if the small hands didn’t bother him in Pittsburgh at college, it’s less likely to be an issue at the same stadium in the NFL.

Pickett completed 67.2% of his passes during the 2021 season for the Panthers. He threw for 4,319 yards with 42 touchdowns and seven interceptions for a passer rating of 165.3 — or 116.6 with the NFL formula.

He also showed off his legs — sometimes in controversial fashion.

Overall, Pickett ran for 241 yards with five touchdowns.

The first quarterback being taken at No. 20 is the lowest since the 49ers took Virginia’s Jim Druckenmiller No. 26 in the 1997 NFL Draft.

Pickett is the first quarterback the Steelers have drafted in the first round since 2004, when they drafted Ben Roethlisberger.


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