5 players Steelers should draft in the first round

Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Panthers. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Panthers. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
5 of 5
Pittsburgh Steelers mock draft, Kenny Pickett
PITTSBURGH, PA – OCTOBER 30: 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. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

1. Kenny Pickett

In many ways, Pickett would be a sentimental pick for the Steelers. He starred in college for Pitt and he’s already expressed a strong desire to stay in town for his pro career. The key for the Steelers’ brain trust is to eliminate sentimentality from their thinking process.

Pickett might be the most polished signal-caller in this year’s draft class, but his lack of upside has scouts understandably concerned. His small hands are absolutely going to impact his draft stock. Those measurements only compounded evaluators’ worries about his ability to really push the ball down the field with adequate velocity.

His inability to really throw the deep out should make the Steelers think twice about taking him even if he falls down to No. 20. If they believe that’s correctable, he could turn into a steal. There’s little doubt that he can throw short and intermediate routes with above-average accuracy and feel.

dark. Next. Pittsburgh Steelers 7-round mock draft

Pickett is likely going to go to a team in Round 1 that wants him to start right away. He should be the most productive rookie quarterback in this class. Questions about how much upside he has left in his game are what should really keep Steelers’ decision-makers up at night.