Ranking every Steelers first-round draft pick of the Mike Tomlin era

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt (90)
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt (90) / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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10. Kenny Pickett, 2022 first-round pick

This is a hard ranking to make. Kenny Pickett only played one season with the Steelers so far, and I have to grade him based on that season alone. I did grade each first-round pick partially on how long they lasted with the team, so I did adjust any player's grade that is still on their rookie deal to accommodate this. I do expect him to move higher up this list as his career progresses, but for now, Pickett doesn’t look like a tremendous pick.

Pickett spent five seasons at Pitt, and for the most part, he was a safe but unspectacular quarterback. His final season saw him take off though, as he became the top quarterback in the ACC and a Heisman finalist. This launched him into the first round conversation of the draft.

The Steelers took him, and he saw the field early in the season. It was a bumpy road, as Pickett struggled with mistakes early on. Even after he cleaned that up, he still struggled to consistently put up top performances. While he made some clutch throws, he also missed a lot of easy ones.

Again, I expect Pickett to have a better second season, and assuming he continues to improve, he should go up this list. That is all projection though, and I have to grade him based on his performance so far. His rookie season wasn’t that great, and because of that, Pickett can’t be ranked highly on this list yet.