2022 Steelers draft analysis: Colbert’s final draft ignores key needs
4th Round – Slot Receiver/Returner – Calvin Austin III
Memphis, 5′ 8″, 170 lbs., 4.32 40-yard
This pick is mystifying to me. It’s a luxury pick when the Steelers have glaring needs that haven’t been addressed. The Steelers WR room already had Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, George Pickens, Anthony Miller, Miles Boykin, and Gunner Oszlewski and now they add yet another WR? What about a backup for Najee Harris? What about ANY help for the Steelers league-worst offensive line?
Austin is blazing fast but he’s a very undersized prospect for the NFL. Little guys rarely succeed at this level. This is the recurring theme in this draft. What does Austin give the Steelers that they already didn’t have in wide receiver/returner, Gunner Oszlewski?
Austin will have to work hard to make the final 53 and the 4th Rd is way too early for practice squad players. Still, he’s a potentially explosive player if the Steelers can find a way to use him and if he’s not overwhelmed by the speed and hitting at the NFL level.
In 2021 Austin had 74 receptions for 1149 yards at a 15.5 and 8 TDs. For his career, he rushed 8 times for 169 yards at an eye-popping 21.1 yards per with 3 TDs. He has added value as a punt returner with 29 returns for 323 at an outstanding 11.1 yards per and 2 TDs.
This one is a D for strategy and a B for value since most draft sites had a 3rd Rd grade on him. Based on the potential I’m giving this a player grade of B-.