NFL Rumors: Steelers won drafting Kenny Pickett over waiting for 2023 draft
So much of the talk about the 2023 NFL Draft class has been about the four quarterbacks at the top of the class — Bryce Young, CJ Stroud, Anthony Richardson, Will Levis — and maybe a fifth if you want to include Hendon Hooker.
And given how little the league valued quarterbacks last year, as we saw with Malik Willis, Desmond Ridder and more falling, some might make the argument that the Pittsburgh Steelers were unwise to use a first-round pick on Kenny Pickett, even if he was the top QB in the class.
Former NFL offensive lineman and NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger, however, does not agree.
Breaking down this year’s draft class, Baldinger asserted that he would’ve taken Pickett over any of the quarterbacks in the 2023 class. That’s definitely an opinion that goes against the grain, but it does speak to some of the things that are underlying about this year’s QB prospects.
With every player, there are obvious concerns. It’s the size of Young, the lack of mobility (and perhaps cognitive testing) of Stroud, the rawness of Richardson, and a bevy of things with Levis. Pickett had concerns too, most notably about his hand size, but this vaunted quarterback class isn’t filled with can’t-miss types of players.
While Baldinger’s take is a bit rich for me, the Steelers won drafting Pickett in 2022. In what could be a true rat race to get one of these guys in 2023, Pittsburgh was able to stay put, draft their guy, and now can build out the roster around him this year and moving forward.