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NFL Draft 2022: Steelers take Kenny Pickett at No. 20, first quarterback off the board

SportNFL Draft 2022: Steelers take Kenny Pickett at No. 20, first quarterback off the board


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Kenny Pickett was the first quarterback off the board on Thursday night when the Pittsburgh Steelers chose him No. 20 overall in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Pickett was a standout at the University of Pittsburgh and won’t have to go far to find Heinz Field and his new Steelers teammates. He will enter a quarterback room that already features Mitchell Trubisky and longtime backup Mason Rudolph. There will certainly be a quarterback competition in the summer.

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Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett throws a pass against North Carolina during the second half of an NCAA college football game Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021, in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh won 30-23 in overtime. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett throws a pass against North Carolina during the second half of an NCAA college football game Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021, in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh won 30-23 in overtime. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Pickett is the latest a quarterback has been taken since the 2017 draft when the Cleveland Browns selected Myles Garrett No. 1 and the first quarterback was off the board at No. 2. Ironically, it was Trubisky with the Chicago Bears.

The 23-year-old quarterback played five years with the Panthers. His best year came in 2021. 

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Kenny Pickett #8 of the Pittsburgh Panthers during warmups for the ACC Championship game at Bank of America Stadium on December 04, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Kenny Pickett #8 of the Pittsburgh Panthers during warmups for the ACC Championship game at Bank of America Stadium on December 04, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
(Logan Whitton/Getty Images)

He had 4,319 passing yards and 42 touchdown passes. He took a major leap in what he could bring to the table and increased his draft stock in the process. He was among the best quarterbacks in the draft even if he fell all the way to the 20th overall selection.

He finished the 2021 season as the ACC Player of the Year, ACC Offensive Player of the Year and the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.

Kenny Pickett #8 of the Pittsburgh Panthers warms up before the game against the Miami Hurricanes at Heinz Field on October 30, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Kenny Pickett #8 of the Pittsburgh Panthers warms up before the game against the Miami Hurricanes at Heinz Field on October 30, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
(Justin Berl/Getty Images)

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The Steelers were 9-7-1 last season. The offense was 21st in points scored and 23rd in yards gained.

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