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