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NFL Draft: Round 3 Steelers news, updates and open thread

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 04/29/2022 - 8:28pm
Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

Be sure to stay in tune with the Steelers for their Round 3 of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Day 2 of the 2022 NFL Draft is HERE!! No more mock drafts. No more breakdowns. No more educated guesses. No more scenarios.

No, it is time to sit back and see who the Steelers select in Rounds 2-3, as the Pittsburgh Steelers have the one pick in each round.

If you need information on the upcoming event, here is some solid stuff for you below:

2022 NFL Draft Schedule TV: ABC, NFL Network, ESPN, ESPN Deportes Online: Fubo (Click HERE to create a Fubo Account and stream the entire draft), Sling TV, YouTube TV, Direct TV stream, Hulu with live TV
ESPN app or ESPN+: Click HERE to watch LIVE!
Radio (Nationally): SiriusXM, Westwood One, ESPN Radio
Radio (Locally): Steelers Nation Radio— Viewers can listen anywhere in the world online via Steelers.com or on the Steelers Official Mobile App. Friday April 29, 2022

7 PM EST Rounds 2 & 3 (picks 33- 105)

Behind The Steel Curtain will be doing live broadcasts on the BTSC Radio YouTube channel Friday night for a recap and breakdown after each pick. Make sure you subscribe to the channel HERE and turn on notifications to be alerted to the live broadcasts. There will also be a breaking news podcast on our audio platforms immediately following each selection.

Saturday April 30, 2022

12 PM EST Rounds 4 through 7 (picks 106- 262)

Behind The Steel Curtain will be doing a live broadcast on the BTSC Radio YouTube channel following each pick. Make sure you subscribe to the channel HERE and turn on notifications to be alerted to the live broadcast. Just like the first two days, there will also be a breaking news podcast on our audio platforms immediately following each selection.

Steelers draft picks in each round:

Here are the selections the Steelers are scheduled to make in the 2022 draft:

Round 1

Pick No. 20 / Overall: 20 — Kenny Pickett, QB, University of Pittsburgh

Round 2

Pick No. 20 / Overall: 52

Round 3

Pick No. 20 / Overall: 84

Round 4

Pick No. 33 / Overall: 138 (Comp)

Round 5

No Pick

Round 6

Pick No. 30 / Overall: 208 (via KC)

Round 7

Pick No. 4 / Overall: 225 (via NYJ)

Pick No. 20 / Overall: 241

Knee Jerk Reactions to the Steelers taking George Pickens in Round 2

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 04/29/2022 - 8:05pm
Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

One BTSC writer shares his initial and real time unadulterated reactions to the second pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2022 NFL draft.

Knee-jerk Reactions are immediate responses to a situation without taking the time to analyze the situation. That’s something as sports fans that we typically do. Especially if you are a full blood Yinzer, or even just a part Yinzer. As is the custom, I compile my knee jerk thoughts and publish them immediately after each Steelers game. It’s my version of running my mouth first and apologizing later (or not at all). So with that being said, I’m going to employ that philosophy here during the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

  • And here we go with Night 2!
  • Bucs go defensive lineman. No surprise there
  • And the trades roll on! Green Bay trades up for... yet another receiver.
  • And yet another trade trade, this time between the Jets and Giants
  • And the first running back goes at pick 36
  • And now the Falcons trade up and the Giants move back again. That’s 12 trade in the top 38 picks.
  • Is anybody going to make their own pick in Round 2?
  • Andrew Wilbar is crying because the Vikings trade up to get CB Andrew Booth.
  • It took 10 minutes to actually announce the Vikings pick, so Andrew had even longer to cry.
  • Now the Browns are trading down despite it being their first pick. Or at least it was supposed to be.
  • Another defensive lineman off the board in Mathis. But there are a lot of options for the Steelers with 5 picks to go.
  • Even with some good names coming off the board, there are still a lot there.
  • And the Patriots trade up. My goodness!
  • The Steelers are on the clock! Wide receiver or defensive line?
  • And the pick in Georgia wide receiver George Pickens
  • Tall receiver who is the deep threat.
  • Pickett to Pickens? Some liked that idea yesterday.
  • It’s the Steelers. It’s a wide receiver. I trust them.
  • There will be some debate if he was the right receiver here, but it’s pretty much personal preference.
  • With Sky Moore going to KC, there’s gonna be a lot of eyes on Pickens.
  • The Steelers took a long look at Pickens at the Bulldog Pro Day.
  • Now it’s 30 more picks until the Steelers are scheduled to pick again.

There you have it, my knee jerks. Not a lot of time to process, as I am already looking on to round three and where the Steelers might go with their pick.

Check out more on this pick in the BTSC breaking news podcast:

Draft Results: Steelers select Georgia WR George Pickens with 2nd Round pick

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 04/29/2022 - 7:55pm
Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers have selected WR George Pickens with their 2nd Round pick in the 2022 draft.

Entering the 2022 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers had a number of draft needs they needed to address. Unlike in 2021, where the decreased salary cap caused the team to lean on their rookies early, the Steelers possessed a full allotment of draft picks without any glaring needs on their roster.

With seven total picks, the following positions could be viewed as a priority entering the selection process: quarterback, safety, offensive tackle, pass rusher, wide receiver and even inside linebacker. Those positions, and more, were positions of need to help the black-and-gold get to the next level in 2022. There have been numerous thoughts and debates regarding what the team will do in Round 1 of the NFL Draft.

Friday night the Steelers selected Kenny Pickett with the 20th overall pick out of the University of Pittsburgh, so the need at quarterback was off the board.

On Day 2, when the dust settled, the Steelers selected University of Georgia wide receiver George Pickens, with their second pick in the draft.

Steelers take George Pickens

— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) April 30, 2022

The move puts Pickens, who is coming off a national championship season with the Georgia Bulldogs, will be a welcome addition to the Steelers’ wide receiving corps who lost JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington and Ray-Ray McCloud in free agency.

For those who want to know more about Pickens, here is what the BTSC Big Board had on the former Bulldog:

Ryland B.: Pickens is a big, tall, and lanky receiver who the Steelers have shown some pre-draft interest in. He’s not the shiftiest guy in this class, but he’s a solid route runner with great long speed, making him a physical deep threat down the field. Pickens has natural hands, a wide catch radius, and great ball-tracking ability. Pickens has a nasty competitive streak as well. His biggest concern was an ACL injury, but Pickens was able to compete in the combine and ran an impressive 4.4 40-yard dash which quelled some of the concerns. He’s currently projected as a second-round pick, but Pickens has the potential to be an excellent boundary receiver.

For a scouting report on Pickens, here is an in-depth analysis per NFL.com:

Lanky perimeter wideout with exciting ball skills but in desperate need of additional play strength and a clean bill of health. Resilient to make it back so quickly after an ACL tear, but needs to show quick-cutting ability for route-running. Pickens possesses borderline elite ball skills with in-air adjustments, strong hands and an enormous catch radius. However, he fails to put defenders on his hip and command the catch space to make his work less cluttered. The routes need more polish and physicality but he has the athletic ability to become a viable target on all three levels as a likely Day 2 draft pick with a little wider gap between ceiling and floor than NFL teams might like.

Strengths

  • Battled back from spring ACL tear to play late in the 2021 season.
  • Off-hand and burst help defeat and overtake press.
  • Makes quick stop-and-turn on drive routes.
  • Creates throwing windows with suddenness at break points.
  • Feel for leveraging coverage away from the stem.
  • Plays with an appetite for the end zone.
  • Displays good focus in catching in a crowd.
  • Catches with sudden hands and elite catch radius.
  • Rises, extends and snatches throws way outside the frame.
  • Vice-grip hand strength rarely lets him down.

Weaknesses

  • Wiry frame lacks desired play strength.
  • Effectiveness can be diminished by physical press.
  • Must begin to fight back against route bullies.
  • Slight hitch getting in and out of stems.
  • Leaves coverage unstacked when he gets the early advantage.
  • Needs to learn to carve out and protect his catch space.
  • Allows trespassers to tilt 50/50 balls in their favor.
  • Has missed time due to injury, including the 2021 ACL tear.

What do you think about the pick? Let us know your thoughts by voting in the poll below:

For more information on the Steelers pick of Pickens, check out the Breaking News podcast in the player below:

NFL Draft: Round 2 Steelers news, updates and open thread

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 04/29/2022 - 5:45pm
Photo by Jeff Speer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Be sure to stay in tune with the Steelers for their Round 2 of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Day 2 of the 2022 NFL Draft is HERE!! No more mock drafts. No more breakdowns. No more educated guesses. No more scenarios.

No, it is time to sit back and see who the Steelers select in Rounds 2-3, as the Pittsburgh Steelers have the one pick in each round.

If you need information on the upcoming event, here is some solid stuff for you below:

2022 NFL Draft Schedule TV: ABC, NFL Network, ESPN, ESPN Deportes Online: Fubo (Click HERE to create a Fubo Account and stream the entire draft), Sling TV, YouTube TV, Direct TV stream, Hulu with live TV
ESPN app or ESPN+: Click HERE to watch LIVE!
Radio (Nationally): SiriusXM, Westwood One, ESPN Radio
Radio (Locally): Steelers Nation Radio— Viewers can listen anywhere in the world online via Steelers.com or on the Steelers Official Mobile App. Friday April 29, 2022

7 PM EST Rounds 2 & 3 (picks 33- 105)

Behind The Steel Curtain will be doing live broadcasts on the BTSC Radio YouTube channel Friday night for a recap and breakdown after each pick. Make sure you subscribe to the channel HERE and turn on notifications to be alerted to the live broadcasts. There will also be a breaking news podcast on our audio platforms immediately following each selection.

Saturday April 30, 2022

12 PM EST Rounds 4 through 7 (picks 106- 262)

Behind The Steel Curtain will be doing a live broadcast on the BTSC Radio YouTube channel following each pick. Make sure you subscribe to the channel HERE and turn on notifications to be alerted to the live broadcast. Just like the first two days, there will also be a breaking news podcast on our audio platforms immediately following each selection.

Steelers draft picks in each round:

Here are the selections the Steelers are scheduled to make in the 2022 draft:

Round 1

Pick No. 20 / Overall: 20 — Kenny Pickett, QB, University of Pittsburgh

Round 2

Pick No. 20 / Overall: 52

Round 3

Pick No. 20 / Overall: 84

Round 4

Pick No. 33 / Overall: 138 (Comp)

Round 5

No Pick

Round 6

Pick No. 30 / Overall: 208 (via KC)

Round 7

Pick No. 4 / Overall: 225 (via NYJ)

Pick No. 20 / Overall: 241

Steelers reportedly tried to move up to No. 15 with the Texans to take Kenny Pickett

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 04/29/2022 - 5:30pm
Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

The Steelers lucked out by not having to move to get their guy.

The Pittsburgh Steelers saw the 2022 NFL Draft break just the right for them, as it pertains to quarterbacks available. When it was their turn to pick at No. 20, all quarterbacks remained available for the taking, but that doesn’t mean the Steelers didn’t think about moving up to get their guy.

According to Nick Caserio, via Brooks Kubena, the Steelers tried to move up to pick No. 15 with the Houston Texans, but Houston wasn’t willing to pass on prospects to make the trade.

Nick Caserio says the Texans had a chance to move from No. 15 to No. 20 (Steelers), but they were going to miss out on a group of players they liked and it made most sense to take the pick there.

— Brooks Kubena (@BKubena) April 29, 2022

If this is true, the Steelers genuinely got lucky they were able to stay at No. 20 and still get the quarterback they wanted in Kenny Pickett.

Now, if the Steelers were looking to trade up for another prospect, a prospect not a quarterback, that might be a different story altogether. However, we, the fans, won’t know that unless it is made public by someone who was in either Houston’s or Pittsburgh’s war room during Round 1 of the draft.

The Steelers now move forward with their first round quarterback, hoping they found their next franchise quarterback. When will fans know the truth about whether Pickett fits the bill, or is just the start of a quarterback carousel in Pittsburgh? It might take some time, but Mike Tomlin has said there will be an open competition between Pickett, Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph this offseason.

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the rest of the 2022 NFL Draft on Friday night and Saturday.

What we got right in the BTSC Staff Mock Draft

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 04/29/2022 - 3:30pm
Photo by Mindy Small/Getty Images

Time to take a look back at what we got right, and wrong, in the annual BTSC Staff Mock Draft.

With the 2022 NFL Draft finally here, there were endless mocks and BTSC’s staff tried their hands at one as well nearly two weeks ago for unveiling on the BTSC Steelers Hangover. Quite a few things changed since the mock and trades were not a part of the exercise. In the end, a ton of fun was had and we only got one pick correct. I guess that’s why the teams make the picks and we report on it.

1) Jacksonville Jaguars - Dave Schofield

Mock Pick: Aidan Hutchinson - Michigan (No. 2 - Detroit)

Actual Pick: Travon Walker - Georgia (Jacksonville)

Although Travon Walker has emerged as a late possibility for the Jags, BTSC’s Editor adds a dominant pass rusher to the Jacksonville defense. The 6’7”, 260-pounder could still become the cornerstone of the Duval defense,

2) Detroit Lions - Jeremy Betz

Mock Pick: Kyle Hamilton - Notre Dame (No. 14 to Baltimore)

Actual Pick: Aidan Hutchinson - Michigan (Detroit)

Jeremy Betz: Really wanted to go Travon Walker, but DB is just too big a hole for the Coach Dan Campbell’s team to ignore.

Bryan Anthony Davis: Hamilton is an absolute playmaker. The 6’4” safety will keep offenses honest.

3) Houston Texans - Paul Yanchek

Mock Pick: Evan Neal - Alabama (No. 7 - New York Giants)

Actual Pick: Derek Stingley Jr. - LSU (Houston)

Paul Yanchek: Without a superstar QB (unless Davis Mills lights it up) the Texans will need a stud on the line to protect him and give him time.

Bryan Anthony Davis: The 6’8”, 337-pound Alabama tackle is massive, strong and accomplished against the best edge rushers in the NCAA. The real deal.

4) New York Jets - Tony Defeo

Mock Pick: Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner (No. 4 - New York Jets)

Actual Pick: Gardner (Jets)

The host of “The Steelers Friday Night Six Pack” and co-host of “The Steelers Hangover” At 6’3” and 190 pounds, Gardner brings the sauce to the Big Apple. He could be an elite corner for the Jets that ranked last in defense in 2021.

5) New York Giants - Chris Pugh

Mock Pick: Charles Cross - Mississippi State (No. 9 - Seattle)

Actual Pick: Kayvon Thibodeaux - Oregon (New York Giants)

Chris Pugh: Nate Solder had a hefty contract and was released, so the Giants need a replacement at tackle for him. Charles Cross is a great choice. Don’t be shocked if this is offered to a team looking to trade up past Carolina and Atlanta in order to get a quarterback.

Bryan Anthony Davis: At 6’5” and 307 pounds, Cross is physical and strong. Probably the most complete OT in the draft.

6) Carolina Panthers - Michael Beck

Mock Pick: Malik Willis - Liberty (Not selected in Round 1)

Actual Pick: Ikem Ekwonu - North Carolina State (Carolina Panthers)

Michael Beck: They are the second most interested team in a quarterback and they take one first.

Bryan Anthony Davis: A true playmaker who can pass. He could be the future face of the NFL. The 6’1” athletic specimen may need time to develop though.

7) New York Giants (from Chicago Bears) - Kevin Tate

Mock Pick: Kayvon Thibodeaux - Oregon (No. 5 - New York Giants)

Actual Pick: OT Evan Neal - Alabama (New York Giants)

The host of “We Run the North” penciled in a destructive 6’4” and 254 pound-pass rusher to revive a struggling defensive unit. Thibodeux is a perfect blend of explosiveness and power.

8) Atlanta Falcons - Joe Frost

Mock Pick: Ikem Ekwonu - North Carolina State (No. 6 - Carolina)

Actual Pick: Drake London - USC (Atlanta Falcons)

Joe Frost: I had wanted Cross here, but stupid Giants. Gotta protect that Mariota. He be fragile.

Bryan Anthony Davis: Even at 6’4” and 310 pounds, Ekwonu has quickness and could be an All-Pro LT anywhere he ends up.

9) Seattle Seahawks (from Denver Broncos) - Greg Benevent

Mock Pick: Jermaine Johnson II - Florida State (No. 26 - New York Jets)

Actual Pick: Charles Cross - Mississippi State (Seattle Seahawks)

The co-host of “What Yinz Talkin’ Bout” selected the Seminole for Seattle. JJ2 has a long 6’5” frame and is very quick at getting to the passer. He could be a guy to facilitate a rebuild of a once glorious defense.

10) New York Jets (from Seattle Seahawks) - Marky Davison

Mock Pick: Jordan Davis - Georgia (No. 13 - Philadelphia)

Actual Pick: Garrett Wilson - Ohio State (New York Jets)

Mark Davison: Keeping with Tony D’s Hot Sauce pick. Let’s keep adding to the defense. Because let’s face it, the Jets offense is boring to watch. Robert Sallah will love the addition of “New Fridge” to the team. The dudes a unit. Let’s go J-E-T-S... Jets, Jets, Jets!

Bryan Anthony Davis: Davis, at 6’6” and 341 is both an irresistible force and an immovable object.

11) Washington Commanders - Bryan Anthony Davis

Mock Pick: Garrett Wilson - Ohio State (No. 10 - New York Jets)

Actual Pick: Trade with New Orleans Saints - Chris Olave - Ohio State (New Orleans Saints)

Bryan Anthony Davis: The 6-0, 183-pound Buckeye is wicked fast, acrobatic and joins a WR stable that, besides Terry McLaurin, is like a 70-year-old granny... fairly barren.

12) Minnesota Vikings - Andrew Wilbar

Mock Pick: Travon Walker - Georgia (No. 1 - Jacksonville)

Actual Pick: Trade with Detroit Lions - Jameson Williams - Alabama (Detroit Lions)

Andrew Wilbar: Minnesota did add Za’Darius Smith to the mix, but the value with Walker is just too good to pass up. He will not slide this far in the real draft, and it would not shock me if Jacksonville pulls the trigger on him #1 overall.

Jeremy Betz: Classic BPA.

13) Houston Texans (from Cleveland Browns) - Kyle Chrise

Mock Pick: Drake London - USC (No. 8 - Atlanta Falcons)

Actual Pick: Trade with Philadelphia - Jordan Davis - Georgia (Philadelphia Eagles)

The host of “What Yinz Talkin’ Bout” has seen plenty of London on the Left Coast. The 6-4, 219-pound Trojan could be the focal point of a passing attack in Houston with a player that evoke memories of Deandre Hopkins.

14A) Baltimore Ravens - Jeff Hartman

Mock Pick: Matt Araiza - San Diego State (Not Selected in Round 1), George Karlaftis - Purdue (No. 30 - Kansas City)

Actual Pick: Kyle Hamilton - Notre Dame (Baltimore Ravens)

Jeff Hartman: Just like my brother used to do in the early days of Fantasy Football by taking Sebastian Janikowski in the first round to make everyone mad, I’m taking a kicker at 14 no matter what

Jeff Hartman: I hate the Ravens, so I took a kicker.

Andrew Wilbar: Give them Matt Araiza. He and Justin Tucker can fight it out. Araiza could honestly beat him out on a good day

Jeff Hartman: Baltimore takes Matt Araiza, placekicker

Andrew Wilbar: Hey, if Janikowski went in Round 1, Araiza definitely deserves it

Bryan Anthony Davis: Oh Boy!

Jeff Hartman: Your mistake was giving me Baltimore

Andrew Wilbar: Is this what the Steelers draft war room is like on draft night?

Chris Pugh: If it is, the Steelers are in trouble

Mark Davison: I hope so, Andrew.

Chris Pugh: If the Ravens need/want a mulligan, I believe they would go George Karlaftis from Purdue here to fill their need for an edge rusher

Jeff Hartman: You could go with that too, LOL.

Bryan Anthony Davis: I’m fine with the humor of the pick

Jeff Hartman: But in all reality, it will mess up the entire board

Bryan Anthony Davis: We will do both, so Karlaftis is the B pick. I picked the wrong day to quit drinking.

14B) Baltimore Ravens - Jeff Hartman

Karlaftis would deepen and diversify the Ravens’ pass rush by providing a punishing presence up front.

15) Philadelphia Eagles (from Miami Dolphins) - Big Bro Scho

Mock Pick: Derek Stingley Jr. - LSU (No. 3 - Houston)

Actual Pick: Trade with Houston - Kenyon Green - Texas A&M (Houston Texans)

The co-host of “The Scho Bro Show” gives Philly a potential lockdown corner with tremendous ball skills to a franchise that sorely needs one.

16) New Orleans Saints (from Indianapolis Colts through Philadelphia Eagles) - Geoffrey Benedict

Mock Pick: Kenny Pickett - Pitt (No. 20 - Pittsburgh Steelers)

Actual Pick: Trade with Washington - Jahan Dotson - Penn State (Washington Commanders)

Geoffrey Benedict: I’m going to steal Shannon White’s pick for New Orleans and draft Kenneth Shane Pickett out of the University of Pittsburgh with the 16th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Shannon White: Honestly, I was going to take him with the 19th pick for the Saints. Now I am not as certain. Dang you, GB!

Bryan Anthony Davis: Seriously, New Orleans could be the best spot for KP.

17) Los Angeles Chargers - Matty Peverell

Mock Pick: Devin Lloyd - Utah (No. 27 - Jacksonville Jaguars)

Actual Pick: Zion Johnson - Boston College (Los Angeles Chargers)

Matty Peverell: Sorry, I have been flying back from Singapore. My pick is Devin Lloyd, but I almost went with Tyler Linderbaum, so he wasn’t picked for the Steelers. I think for the Chargers these are quite likely given the depth at both positions/having Cory Linsely who is 32.

Bryan Anthony Davis: Singapore. I’m glad you escaped a caning.

Matty Peverell: Hahaha, it’s not that bad, BAD. It’s a good time there.

Bryan Anthony Davis: Lloyd can do it all. He’s a guy that can get to the quarterback as well as cover.

18) Philadelphia Eagles (from New Orleans Saints) - Owen David

Mock Pick: Chris Olave - Ohio State (No. 11 - New Orleans Saints)

Actual Pick: Trade with Tennessee - Treylon Burks - Arkansas (Tennessee Titans)

The Voice from Across the Pond adds a precise route-runner with 4.39 second speed to the Eagles. The Olave can help fortify a passing attack no matter who is slinging the pig.

19) New Orleans Saints (from Philadelphia Eagles) - Shannon White

Mock Pick: Jameson Williams - Alabama (No. 12 - Detroit Lions)

Actual Pick: Trevor Penning - Northern Iowa (New Orleans Saints)

Shannon White: With the 19th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, and their second pick of this round, your New Orleans Saints select WR Jameson Williams from the Alabama Crimson Tide to pair with newly acquired Kenny Pickett in an effort to bring excitement back to the Bayou.

K.T. Smith: Smart pick, Shannon. If you didn’t take him, I was going to run his name up like I stole something.

Bryan Anthony Davis: I was hoping he would drop to the Steelers. Williams is a potential game-breaker even after suffering a torn ACL in the National Championship Game.

20) Pittsburgh Steelers - K.T. Smith

Mock Pick: Devonte Wyatt - Georgia (No. 28 - Green Bay Packers)

Actual Pick: Kenny Pickett - Pitt (Pittsburgh Steelers)

Dave Schofield: Come on K.T. Smith, I know you won’t let me down!

K.T. Smith: Which gets us to our beloved Pittsburgh Steelers. There are no QBs worth taking here, nor, do I believe, are there any OTs. Bernhard Raimann and Trevor Penning are from non-Power 5 schools, and that’s not something Kevin Colbert does in Round 1. Tyler Linderbaum is tempting, but the Steelers are now fairly deep at G/C. Jameson Williams was a no-brainer at WR, but it’s a deep draft for receivers and we can get a good one later. They’re going to sign a safety in free agency, so that position is out. CB is another area to consider, but I don’t love Booth here. McDuffie from Washington is tempting but he’s not, in my opinion, the BPA, which is a luxury the Steelers can afford. So, without further delay…

With the 20th pick in this here draft, the Almighty Pittsburgh Steelers select DL Devonte Wyatt from Georgia, where they will turn him over to Brian Flores to slant, stunt and scheme the crap out of people. Let the havoc-wreaking commence…He’s a perfect scheme fit.

Dave Schofield: Yes!!!!!!!

K.T. Smith: He’s a perfect scheme fit. It reminds me of when they drafted Ryan Shazier. They already had Lawrence Timmons and Vince Williams but Shazier’s athleticism was too tempting to pass up. I think Wyatt can do similar things for the DL.

Dave Schofield: That is also the pick Jeff and I made in the mock draft done by the SB Nation editors.

What did you think of Round 1 of the draft? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for Days 2 and 3 of the draft!

Know your new Steelers enemies after Day 1 of the 2022 Draft

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 04/29/2022 - 2:30pm
Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

With the Steelers welcoming new players to hopefully strengthen their team, so will their chief rivals. Take a look at who the Steelers’ AFC North rivals added on Day One and who may haunt Pittsburgh in coming years.

Steeler Nation waited in torture on Thursday and Day 1 of the 2022 Draft waiting to see who the Steelers would select. After Kenny Pickett joined the black and gold, fans turned their attention closely to see who their AFC North rivals would select to improve their squad. Last year, Ja’Marr Chase, Rashod Bateman, Odafe Oweh and Greg Newsome II entered the fray the first day. Here are the guys the Steelers will see twice a year for a good while. Scouting analysis was provided by a team of BTSC staffers and fans called the BTSC Big Board Crew led by Andrew Wilbar.

Note: The Cleveland Browns do not have a first-round pick due to the trade for Deshaun Watson. Round 1, Pick 14 Baltimore Ravens select S Kyle Hamilton - Notre Dame

The good news is that the Philadelphia Eagles flew ahead of Baltimore to select Jordan Davis. The bad news is that a potential All-Pro Safety will be wearing purple and black in Charm City.

Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

6‘4“, 219 lbs

2021 Stats: GP 7, T 34, TFL 2, Int 3, PD 4

Necksnation: Hamilton is a generational talent who could become the highest-drafted safety since Jamal Adams. Despite the lack of positional value attributed towards safeties, Hamilton is worth spending a top-five pick on and should be a perennial pro-bowler in the NFL. He has great size for his position, measuring in the 99th and 92nd percentile in height and weight respectively, and he has good overall athleticism that gives him very high upside. He can be used in a myriad of ways, which will instantly make him highly valuable to an NFL defense, and he can make splash plays as well as routine ones with ease. Although he suffered a knee injury in the 2021 season, it isn’t an issue for him long term and he’s generally done a good job of staying on the field, playing 31 games in three seasons at Notre Dame. Hamilton could go as high as the second pick in the draft, with a likely floor of pick eight barring anything unforeseen, and he should make an NFL team very happy once he gets on the field.

Round 1, Pick 25 Baltimore Ravens select C Tyler Linderbaum - Iowa

The Ratbirds moved pack into the draft and then traded two spots down and picked a wrestler to man the center position for the Ravens.

Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

6’3”, 291 lbs

Necksnation: Linderbaum is one of my favorite prospects in this upcoming class. Although it is unconventional to target a center with a premium pick, Linderbaum should be well worth the investment, and he seems poised to carve out a long and successful career as a pro. Linderbaum is the best center prospect we’ve seen in a while, and he has a legitimate chance to be the first center selected in the top 10 since 1968. Although he is undersized, he is more powerful than you would expect, and his strength is a major asset to his game. He is a former wrestler who once beat current All-Pro tackle Tristan Wirfs in a wrestling match. He even won a hay bale tossing contest, throwing a 60 lb bale of hay two feet higher than Wirfs. Linderbaum also has exceptional athleticism. He was a four sport athlete in high school which has translated well to football, and he reportedly ran the fastest 10-yard split ever for an offensive lineman. His technique is sound as well. He demonstrated the ability to get upfield and make big blocks with consistency, and although he is sometimes driven back initially, he does a great job to recover and hold his block. He possesses good range which aids him as a run and pass blocker, and his power at the point of attack makes him a mauler in the run game. Linderbaum played every snap of his college career at center, which could hurt his stock a bit, but for a team in need of a center, it doesn’t get much better than this.

Round 1, Pick 31 Cincinnati Bengals select S Daxton Hill - Michigan

Adding Hill to Jesse Bates at the safety position makes the defensive backfield even more formidable for the AFC champs.

Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

6‘0“, 192 lbs

2021 Stats: GP 14, T 69, TFL 4.5, Sacks .5, Int 2, PD 8, FR 1

Noah E: If you are more of a casual fan or you don’t pay a ton of attention to the draft then you probably haven’t heard of Daxton Hill, but this guy is a baller. Hill is extremely versatile, he can play in the box, either safety spot or at slot corner, and do it at a high level. He’s physical and his ball skills are excellent, helping him to excel when he is tasked to cover slot receivers. He’s explosive and plays with a quick trigger which makes him aggressive in run support. Hill is disciplined in coverage and if a team were to want to make him a full-time corner he has the tools to do so. There are some major red flags though, the first being his knack for over pursuing. He needs to learn how to control his speed and if he can do that he will be a much better run defender. Something else that will definitely help him out in run support is wrapping up! It’s very important that he wraps up better at the next level because coaches are strict, and they know what they’re doing, so a problem like that could cost him a job. If he’s put in the right situation, the sky’s the limit.

Will Hamilton, Linderbaum and Hill be names in the Steelers-Bengals and Steelers-Ravens rivalry and victimize Pittsburgh for years to come or will they be just another victim of the black and gold? We will see.

Updating the Steelers QB depth chart after Day 1 of the NFL Draft

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 04/29/2022 - 1:00pm
Photo by Jeff Speer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Steelers needed to add players to the quarterback room, and they did so with their first pick in the 2022 NFL draft.

After drafting Kenny Pickett on Day 1 of the 2022 NFL Draft, the Steelers currently have three quarterbacks on the roster. The projected depth chart at quarterback for the Steelers is as follows:

Quarterbacks
  1. Mitch Trubisky
  2. Mason Rudolph
  3. Kenny Pickett

As is typically the case, the newly drafted rookie does not land on the top of the list. The Steelers only had two quarterbacks coming into the 2022 NFL draft after the tragic passing of Dwayne Haskins earlier this month. Even with the addition of Pickett, the room is still emptier than what the Steelers would like for training camp, so when it’s all said and done Pickett may not be the last name of the list.

Going into OTAs and minicamp before the Steelers head to Latrobe in late July, I still have Mitch Trubisky as the number one guy on the depth chart. The Steelers brought him in as a free agent and I think he’ll be the first player under center when practice starts at St. Vincent College. Additionally, I have Mason Rudolph right behind him as he very well could be the player that takes that first snap simply because he’s been with the Steelers since 2018. But when it all shakes out, I think it will be Trubisky ahead of Rudolph when the first meaningful depth chart comes out.

As for 20th overall pick in Kenny Pickett, the realistic place for him to be on the depth chart at this time is in the third position. Even 11th overall pick in 2004, Ben Roethlisberger, was the Steelers third quarterback going into the season. An injury early in training camp to Charlie Batch popped Roethlisberger up to the number two spot, and when Tommy Maddox went down in Week 2, the rest was Steelers history. So even Ben Roethlisberger wasn’t expected to be on the field early in his rookie season.

Although Pickett will start off behind both Trubisky and Rudolph, it does not mean he has to stay there. Is there a chance Pickett could be the starter for the Steelers early in 2022? Absolutely. Is he going to be forced into the situation? By no means. In fact, unless Pickett comes out and dazzles everyone to be the Week 1 starter in September, I don’t even look for him to get a helmet on game day with the current quarterback room, barring an injury. If Pickett isn’t the starter, the Steelers are likely going to take the philosophy of having the veteran quarterback ready to step in mid-game if needs be instead of the rookie. Once again, this is assuming a healthy and unchanged, other than another addition, quarterback room.

While this is likely the Steelers depth chart at the moment, there are a lot of things that could change between now and September. Do you think this depth chart is accurate at this time? How do you think it could change as the offseason and season roll on? Make sure to leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Stock Report: Stock which is rising, and falling, after the Kenny Pickett selection

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 04/29/2022 - 12:00pm
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Kenny Pickett is the new Steelers QB and First Round selection. What does his arrival mean for the Steelers?

There are many happy Steelers fans right now after the team made University of Pittsburgh quarterback (QB) Kenny Pickett the 20th overall pick of the 2022 NFL Draft. There are also many befuddled fans who liked other options better.

Nevertheless, Pickett is the guy, and his selection has a domino effect on the rest of the organization. Let’s take a look at whose stock is up, and whose is falling, after the Steelers’ first pick.

Stock Up: Kenny Pickett

There could have been no better outcome for Pickett than to leave Las Vegas and go right back home to the Steel City. The NFL’s steadiest organization already boasts a top tier Defense and young talent on Offense to surround the former Panther, and offers a chance to compete with Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph right away.

Other teams that could have been in on the talented passer couldn’t offer the kind of established environment that Pickett will have in Pittsburgh. His maturity and experience make him a threat to start from Day One. Perfect scenario for the 24-year-old.

Stock Down: Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph

Different reasons here, but both players’ stock has taken a hit after the selection of Pickett. For Trubisky, he is no longer the locked-and-loaded Day One starter that many viewed him as a day ago. The selection of any other QB probably wouldn’t have changed that perception, but now that status is up in the air.

For Rudolph, his spot on the team could even be in question at this point. Pickett is an immediate upgrade in mobility, decision making, pocket awareness, and accuracy, and, you could argue, makes Mason expendable. I still think he’ll be given an opportunity to prove he belongs with the other two guys, but for now, he’s probably headed to the store to pick up some extra antiperspirant.

Stock Up: Diontae Johnson

This comes from fellow BTSC contributor Geoffrey Benedict, but it makes a lot of sense. Kenny Pickett thrives as a quick strike passer on short and intermediate passes where Johnson thrives. I’ve mentioned that Trubisky and Pickett have similar play styles, and I think DJ fits better with either of those guys over a Malik Willis or Desmond Ridder who likes to push the ball down the field more. When the QB has to move outside the pocket and extend the play, Johnson’s shiftiness makes it hard for defenders to stay with him, and Pickett has that ability in spades.

In a league where Wide Receivers are cashing in, Diontae Johnson has to be excited at the opportunity to show his value as an outstanding route runner with lightning agility. He has a great chance to do so with Pickett behind center.

Stock Up: Offensive Line

We’ve talked ad nauseam as Steelers fans about the poor play from the Offensive Line (OL) in 2021 and how it needs to be much better for the Offense to make progress. It didn’t help that 2021 Ben Roethlisberger was so limited from a mobility standpoint. It’s pretty safe to say that won’t be an issue in 2022 with either Trubisky or Pickett taking snaps.

Pickett showed incredible ability at Pitt last season to navigate the pocket and work the perimeter of the field with his legs. That takes a load of pressure off of the OL to have to hold blocks for forever or risk your statuesque 38-year-old QB’s health. With a more athletic passer at the helm, the line should be able to utilize it’s youth and athleticism better, while play action schemes and bootlegs create space and time for the QB to operate.

Stock Down: Andrew Wilbar

If you think about our friend here at the site, and my fellow podcaster on the Steelers Draft Fix, please send him many happy thoughts and “Get Well” cards. The Steelers selection of Pickett over Willis will leave a scar for eternity unless a 7th Lombardi is added in the next 5 years. It will be difficult, but with a little help from all of us, we can help him get through this troubling time. We’re here for you, Andrew. We’re here for you.

Day 2 Mock Draft: Updated mock has Steelers getting a weapon for Kenny Pickett

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 04/29/2022 - 11:00am
Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers got their quarterback in Round 1, what do Rounds 2 and 3 have in store for the black and gold?

I can officially say I am at a loss of words. Last night was probably the craziest first round of a draft in the history of the event, and we are far from over. With so much that has changed in the past 24 hours, it is time for a revised mock draft.

From the unexpected trades of A.J. Brown and Marquise Brown to the surprise picks scattered throughout the first round, last night was simply unforgettable. The biggest surprise to many Steelers fans, however, was the decision the team made to draft Kenny Pickett over the more talented option in Malik Willis. His locality likely played a major role in the team’s ability to keep it under wraps.

After hitting on the first three picks in my 5.0 mock draft, It all went downhill from there. While there is no way to predict the madness similar to what happened last night, we do have a better idea of how NFL teams feel about their needs. I expect there to be movement early on, as there are still three quarterbacks that teams could ideally trade up for.

Tonight, I expect the Steelers to take a strong look at cornerback and wide receiver early on, especially if we see a run on those positions in the early portions of the round.

If you have any thoughts on who the Steelers should look at in rounds two and three of the draft, be sure to share them in the comment section below.

Round 2

33. Buccaneers- Perrion Winfrey | DL | Oklahoma
34. Dolphins- Nakobe Dean | ILB | Georgia
35. Titans- Arnold Ebiketie | EDGE | Penn State
36. Giants- Skyy Moore | WR | Western Michigan
37. Texans- Malik Willis | QB | Liberty
38. Jets- Cameron Jurgens | C | Nebraska
39. Bears- Christian Watson | WR | North Dakota State
40. Seahawks- Matt Corral | QB | Ole Miss
41. Seahawks- Travis Jones | DT | Connecticut
42. Colts- Nicholas Petit-Frere | OT | Ohio State
43. Falcons- Breece Hall | RB | Iowa State
44. Browns- David Ojabo | EDGE | Michigan
45. Ravens- John Metchie III | WR | Alabama
46. Lions- Troy Andersen | ILB | Montana State
47. Commanders- Jaquan Brisker | S | Penn State
48. Bears- Joshua Ezeudu | G | North Carolina
49. Saints- Andrew Booth, Jr. | CB | Clemson
50. Chiefs- George Pickens | WR | Georgia
51. Eagles- Roger McCreary | CB | Auburn

52. Steelers- Wan’Dale Robinson | WR | Kentucky

If the Steelers are looking for a versatile weapon who fits what Matt Canada is wanting to do on offense, look no further than Robinson, who can align as a slot receiver, boundary receiver, or even running back. Here is Robinson’s scouting report from the BTSC Big Board.

Necksnation: Robinson certainly looked impressive during his junior season after transferring to Kentucky, but there are concerns about how he will translate to the NFL. The first thing that jumps out about Robinson is his size, or lack thereof. Not only is he 5’8” and 178 lbs, but he has the shortest arms of any receiver to enter the draft since 1999 by nearly half an inch per arm. The good news is, he did test very well at the combine from an athletic standpoint, and for the most part it shows up on his tape. I would consider him to be a guy who is “quicker than he is fast.” In open field, he was frequently able to make defenders miss and gain lots of yards after the catch because of it, which resulted in a lot of big plays. Additionally, he is a smooth and quick route runner, frequently able to create separation and find holes in the defense. However, for a guy who relies so much on his athleticism, Robinson gets run down from behind more often than he should. He did run a good 40 yard dash, but there were numerous instances in his tape where he could have scored but didn’t because he was unable to maintain his top speed throughout the play. It is a bit of a concern, and it makes you wonder how he’ll fare against NFL defensive backs if he’s getting chased down by college defenders, but his speed should improve a bit as he transitions to the pros, and hopefully it won’t be an issue for him. Robinson is also more than willing to take hits over the middle and survive hits to make tough catches. This is definitely a strength to his game, but you can’t help but wonder if he’ll be able to take those same hits in the NFL with his small frame. Despite these concerns, Robinson’s natural quickness and ability to get open should make him serviceable at the next level. He’ll almost certainly never be a WR1, but he could be a solid WR2 with the ability to line up in the backfield (he had 134 total carries across his two seasons in Nebraska before transferring). He could also have value as a returner, an area where he wasn’t used often in college, but it seems like a natural fit for his skillset. At the end of the day, Robinson will likely never carry an NFL team’s passing offense, but he should provide some burst and versatility to a team, and should be able to carve out a decent career in that type of role.

53. Packers- Alec Pierce | WR | Cincinnati
54. Patriots- Kyler Gordon | CB | Washington
55. Cardinals- Myjai Sanders | EDGE | Cincinnati
56. Cowboys- Chad Muma | ILB | Wyoming
57. Bills- Kenneth Walker III | RB | Michigan State
58. Falcons- Desmond Ridder | QB | Cincinnati
59. Packers- Abraham Lucas | OT | Washington
60. Buccaneers- Trey McBride | TE | Colorado State
61. 49ers- Dylan Parham | G | Memphis
62. Chiefs- Jalen Pitre | S | Baylor
63. Bengals- Greg Dulcich | TE | UCLA
64. Broncos- Bernard Raimann | OT | Central Michigan

Round 3

65. Jaguars- David Bell | WR | Purdue
66. Vikings- D’Angelo Malone | EDGE | Western Kentucky
67. Giants- Alontae Taylor | CB | Tennessee
68. Texans- Tariq Woolen | CB/S | UTSA
69. Titans- Christian Harris | LB | Alabama
70. Jaguars- Channing Tindall | ILB | Georgia
71. Bears- Drake Jackson | EDGE | USC
72. Seahawks- Leo Chenal | LB | Wisconsin
73. Colts- Calvin Austin III | WR | Memphis
74. Falcons- Khalil Shakir | WR | Boise State
75. Broncos- Brandon Smith | ILB | Penn State
76. Ravens- Marcus Jones | CB | Houston
77. Vikings- Zyon McCollum | CB | Sam Houston State
78. Browns- DeMarvin Leal | DT | Texas A&M
79. Chargers- Jalen Tolbert | WR | South Carolina
80. Texans- Logan Hall | DL | Houston
81. Giants- Jamaree Salyer | G | Georgia
82. Falcons- Zach Tom | OT | Wake Forest
83. Eagles- Darrian Beavers | ILB | Cincinnati

84. Steelers- Decobie Durant | CB | South Carolina State

The Steelers typically prefer to find players from either a Power Five conference or the MAC, but we have seen the Steelers look into prospects at this school before, specifically 2016 draft pick Javon Hargrave. Durant is a fluid athlete whose upside could make him a worthwhile selection late on day two or early day three as a nickel corner. Here is his scouting report from the BTSC Big Board.

Andrew Wilbar: Durant brings an intriguing blend of ball skills and instincts at the cornerback position. Measuring in at only 5’10”, 180 pounds at the combine, Durant is almost certainly going to be a nickel corner at the next level. His hip fluidity and speed are both evident on tape, and his ability to close on the ball quickly is what got him in position to grab several of his interceptions during his four-year career with the Bulldogs. He has limited experience coming on the blitz but has shown potential in that area, although there is no production to back that claim. The concern lies in that he gives too much leeway to receivers on underneath routes, allowing them to create yardage after the catch if they turn upfield quick enough. Level of competition is another valid concern scouts will have, but if he can tighten up his spacing in coverage, I think he possesses starting upside at nickel corner.

85. Patriots- Romeo Doubs | WR | Nevada,
86. Raiders- Daniel Faalele | OT | Minnesota
87. Cardinals- James Cook | RB | Georgia
88. Cowboys- Tyquan Thornton | WR | Baylor
89. Bills- Bo Melton | WR | Rutgers
90. Titans- Velus Jones, Jr. | WR | Tennessee
91. Buccaneers- Isaiah Spiller | RB | Texas A&M
92. Packers- Jelani Woods | TE | Virginia
93. 49ers- Martin Emerson | CB | Mississippi State
94. Patriots- Joshua Paschal | DL | Kentucky
95. Bengals- Phidarian Mathis | DT | Alabama
96. Broncos- Charlie Kolar | TE | Iowa State
97. Lions- Cameron Taylor-Britt | CB | Nebraska
98. Commanders- Brian Robinson, Jr. | RB | Alabama
99. Browns- Matthew Butler | DT | Tennessee
100. Cardinals- Cameron Thomas | DL | San Diego State
101. Jaguars- Ed Ingram | G | LSU
102. Dolphins- Kellen Diesch | OT | Arizona State
103. Chiefs- Damarri Mathis | CB/S | Pittsburgh
104. Rams- Jordan Stout | P | Penn State
105. 49ers- Dominique Robinson | EDGE | Miami (Ohio)

Who do you expect the Steelers to draft tonight? Who is your dream pick? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comment section below, and stay tuned to BTSC for all the latest news surrounding the Steelers’ draft choices.

NFL Draft: Best of the rest entering Day 2

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 04/29/2022 - 10:00am
Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

Where could the Steelers turn in Rounds 2 and 3 after landing Kenny Pickett at No. 20?

Safe to say that the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft didn’t disappoint.

Five defensive players to get things started, marking just the second time in NFL history that such a trend has occurred. A.J. Brown and Hollywood Brown on the move. Seven individual trade-ups, many of which featured receivers being taken in the middle of the round.

And, of course, the Steelers shocking everyone and taking the only quarterback thus far: hometown stud Kenny Pickett.

With Pickett already on board, who are some other prospects the Steelers could favor on Day 2, which starts at 7 p.m. ET Friday? Which superstars somehow fell out of the first round and are still up for grabs?

Using rankings and scouting reports from our assiduous Behind the Steel Curtain big board, let’s break it all down for Rounds 2 and 3.

Top Overall 10 Prospects Remaining
  1. Malik Willis, QB, Liberty (BTSC Rank: #5)

Redshirt senior, 6-foot-0 1/2, 212 lbs

Andrew Wilbar’s Breakdown: In my summer breakdown on Willis, I talked about how special Willis had the chance to be, and I still stand by those comments. Every. Single. Bit. The numbers are not the prettiest, and having multiple 3 interception games is not something any quarterback wants on their résumé. However, Willis likely had the worst offensive line in the country, and it was on full display every single week. Willis was constantly running for his life before he had an opportunity to go through his progressions and make accurate reads. At the end of the day, not much has changed about my opinion of him. He is still an incredibly talented quarterback with a big arm and outstanding arm, but he needs to sit for a year. Sitting and watching on the sidelines will allow him to see the speed of the NFL game and the complexity of NFL coverages before having to face them himself. It will do wonders for his development. Footwork needs improvement, but that is a fixable issue. If a team is all in on Willis and willing to be patient, he could become one of the brightest young stars in the league.

Well, this is awkward.

We at BTSC were major fans of Willis, who was viewed as the best quarterback option in the 2022 class. Things shook out exactly as the Steelers wanted: no need to trade up, and the pick of the litter at #20. Rather than gambling on Willis’ dynamic dual-threat ability and howitzer of an arm, the team opted for Pickett, whom they got a more intimate look at and who has a higher floor.

For most experts, Willis isn’t ranked this high. For example, The Athletic’s Dane Brugler had Willis slotted at #32; Sports Info Solutions had pegged Willis at #42. Regardless, most figured Willis had as good a chance as any gunslinger to be selected in the top 32 picks.

It seems nearly a guarantee that the Liberty star will be taken by Pick 64. Fits include the Titans (#35), Seahawks (#40, #41), Colts (#42) and Falcons (#43). It’s hard to imagine Willis sliding beyond his native Atlanta.

2. Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson (#12)

Junior, 6-foot-0, 194 lbs

Andrew Wilbar: In my summer breakdown on Booth, I talked about his standout play in limited action in 2020. With Derion Kendrick transferring to Georgia, Booth became the face of Clemson’s secondary in 2021, and he lived up to the billing. While 3 tackles for loss, 5 passes defended, and 1 interception may not seem like insane stats for 10 games, he was consistently sound in coverage, bumping receivers off their route at the line of scrimmage and blanketing them downfield one-on-one. From an athletic standpoint, Booth is right up there with Derek Stingley and Ahmad Gardner. He has the size, the speed, the instincts, and the agility requisite from a press man corner. While turnover production is still a work in progress, he has not exactly had a ton of prime opportunities to force them. He is still developing his zone coverage skills, but Booth has the potential to become a top-tier corner in the NFL if drafted by the right team.

The majority of analysts had Booth as a first-rounder, if not the third-best corner in the class behind Derek Stingley Jr. and Sauce Gardner. Having started on a ferocious Clemson defense as the team’s best corner for two seasons, Booth has the blue-chip pedigree to compete with anyone. He’s particularly excellent at getting his nose to the football, coming up and laying the boom on players.

However, the fact that the CB wasn’t taken in R1 is probably an indictment of his medicals. Booth did not partake in the Combine in early March due to a quad injury. It was then announced that Booth underwent sports hernia surgery; this is on top of dealing with a concussion and hamstring during the 2021 season.

Which team will eventually snag the sliding Booth? It could very well be the Steelers (more on that below). Other suitors include the Buccaneers (#33), Vikings (#34), Giants (#36), Seahawks (#40, #41), Ravens (#45) and Lions (#46). It shouldn’t be long before Booth hears his name called on Friday; this feels eerily similar to Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah in 2021.

3. Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State (#21)

Redshirt senior, 6-foot-4, 208 lbs

Ryland B.: What are the Steelers missing most in their wide receiver core? I think the top two answers would be speed and toughness. And Watson has both in spades. The 6’4” receiver ran an elite 4.36-second 40-yard dash at the NFL combine at 208 pounds, and it shows on tape. Watson consistently showed the ability to take the top off of defenses and simply run past opposing defensive backs. But Watson is also one of the best-blocking receivers in this year’s draft. He has good strength, great effort, and even a pancake or two on tape. For a bigger receiver, Watson’s agility is impressive. He’s a smooth athlete who is surprisingly shifty in the open field, finding success on jet sweeps as well as on kick returns. His route running could be a bit more sudden, and his route tree was fairly limited at NDSU, but neither seem to be major concerns – and Watson certainly has the physical tools to excel in these areas. He has good hands and ball-tracking ability for the most part, although he has struggled in contested catches and concentration before although he showed great improvement last year. The biggest knock on Watson would be his level of competition at NDSU, and it seems fair that the FCS receiver may have a steep learning curve at the next level. But a 4.36 is a 4.36 at any level of football, and Watson remains my favorite round 2 target for the Steelers.

The gamut was truly run on receivers tonight, with Drake London, Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave, Jameson Williams, Jahan Dotson and Treylon Burks all being taken in the top 18. However, no wideout was picked in the latter 14 selections, with the Packers and Ravens among the teams to eschew the position.

Watson, too, should be swooped rather quickly on Friday. The NDSU product’s 4.36-speed and 38.5” vertical are enticing enough, even if his route-running needs polishing. Such traits should draw the ogles of teams like the Texans (#37), Bears (#39), Colts, Browns (#44), Ravens and Chiefs (#50).

#4. Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati (#24)

Redshirt senior, 6-foot-3, 211 lbs

Andrew Wilbar: Ridder’s best attributes are his arm strength and athleticism. He puts good velocity on all his passes, whether they be short, intermediate, or deep. His accuracy can be really good at times and really bad at other times. He has a tendency to overthrow wide-open receivers, although that issue was not as bad in 2021 as it was in years previous. He did not turn the ball over as much in 2020, and ball placement was a big reason why. Much like we talked about with Zach Wilson this past season, Ridder can effectively deliver the ball from many different arm angles, which allows him to make the most difficult throws with ease. There is a lot of upside with Ridder as a passer, but he is also lethal as a runner, as evidenced by his 2,000 plus rushing yards during his collegiate career. The other primary concern with Ridder, accuracy being the other one, is patience. Too often you will see Ridder tuck it and run if he does not like his first read, and it has cost Cincinnati some big plays that could have been had downfield. You can check out my summer breakdown of Ridder here.

Given that Pickett was the only quarterback nabbed in Round 1, Ridder will presumably be selected subsequent to Willis. Even then, his masterful 26-0 home record, footwork, processing and pocket presence are appealing, even if his accuracy and mechanics need work.

Ridder projects similar to Pickett: a high-IQ, gamer quarterback with immense competitiveness. At the same time, both lack “special” physical traits.

It felt plausible that a team could trade with the Vikings at #32 to select Ridder, as such a spot has become a quarterback haven in recent years. At this rate, the Titans, Seahawks, Colts, Falcons, Lions and Saints are all matches, but a team such as the Panthers could definitely trade up for the Senior Bowl participant.

#5: David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan (#25)

Redshirt sophomore, 6-foot-5, 250 lbs

Andrew Wilbar: Ojabo was not a key part of Michigan’s pass rush until 2021 when Ojabo emerged opposite Aidan Hutchinson with 11 sacks and 5 forced fumbles from the beginning of the season through the Big Ten Championship Game. In my personal opinion, Ojabo has a higher ceiling than Hutchinson. He has better speed, better bend, and more explosiveness off the line of scrimmage. At 6’5”, 250 pounds, Ojabo has ideal length and size to handle the edge, and I would expect him to get closer to the neighborhood of 260 pounds before he plays his first NFL game. While I think he could succeed in both 3-4 and 4-3 schemes, his best fit is in a 3-4 where he can get out of his stance quickly and beat the tackle around the edge with his speed. Some fans worry that he was the beneficiary of Hutchinson’s greatness, but Ojabo was often lined up against the opposing team’s better tackle and still made a major impact. Michigan moved him around to make Hutchinson’s job easier, but he still produced against the tougher assignments, and that is something that will not go unnoticed by NFL teams. Unfortunately, Ojabo suffered a torn achilles during his pro-day workout, making his draft status much more murky. If he happens to drop to day two, however, he could be the steal of the draft.

If not for his unfortunate Pro Day injury, Ojabo probably would have been a first-rounder in this year’s draft. Even with his ailment, there was thought that the Michigan product would be taken in the top 32 in order to provide him with a “redshirt” year given the fifth-year option on a contract.

As Andrew noted, Ojabo’s production was off the charts at the end of 2021, securing at least two hurries in five of his final six games, including the Big Ten Championship. Ojabo gels well with the Buccaneers, Texans, Jets (#38), Bears, Seahawks, Falcons, Saints (#49), Packers (#53) and Patriots (#54).

#6. Arnold Ebiketie, EDGE, Penn State (#26)

Redshirt senior, 6-foot-2, 250 lbs

Andrew Wilbar: I love my bendy EDGE rushers, and Ebiketie’s bend is one of the first things that stand out on tape. He combines that bend with excellent hand usage coming around the edge, making it difficult for opposing tackles to latch onto him and engage in a block. Ebiketie is also a transfer from Temple, so I would be remiss not to mention the toughness he displays on a weekly basis. If he can refine his technique a little and consistently finish prime sack opportunities, we could be looking at one of the most explosive pass rushers in the league.

Ebiketie’s stock had been building steam in recent weeks; some figured he could sneak into the first, but no such luck. The former Temple transfer is potentially the best pure EDGE left on the board considering Ojabo’s health.

All teams mentioned for Ojabo should have their eyes locked onto Ebiketie. In fact, the former Nittany Lion might be one of the first five picks in Round 2.

#7. Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan (#27)

Junior, 5-foot-10, 195 lbs

Shannon White: Moore is a local product, having played high school football for Shady Side Academy in Fox Chapel, Pennsylvania. Moore was listed as an athlete when he joined the Western Michigan football program, and had never played wide receiver before. That makes his incredible growth at the position even more impressive. The Broncos play in the MAC conference, a conference from which the Steelers have successfully found more than a few talented prospects.Moore officially measured in at 5’10” and 195 sturdy lbs. He has superior quickness, start-stop ability, and an almost instant acceleration. This allows him to easily gain consistent separation off the line of scrimmage, and his run after the catch ability makes him a threat to take it to the house every time he gets his hands on the football. Moore runs crisp routes, and can run the complete route tree. He has solid hands, and the toughness to work the middle of the field. If you can’t tell by now, I am completely infatuated with Moore’s potential within the Steelers’ offense.

Moore seemed poised to be picked in the first, but he and Pickens will have to wait a day to hug Commissioner Goodell. Having run a 4.41 40-yard dash, Moore provides burst and deep-threat speed.

Moore has inextricable links to the Steelers, having grown up in New Kensington, Pennsylvania. However, Pittsburgh will likely compete with Houston, Chicago, Indianapolis, Baltimore, Cleveland and Kansas City to take the Western Michigan wideout.

#8. Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia (#28)

Junior, 5-foot-11, 229 lbs

Andrew Wilbar: Dean is a bit undersized at 5’11”, 229 pounds, and he will definitely need to add more weight, but you cannot help but love what he did in 2021. From the beginning of the season through the SEC championship game, Dean recorded 61 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 5 sacks, and 2 interceptions, flying from sideline to sideline and wearing many hats for the Georgia defense. He would have run a fast 40 if he had been able to participate in the combine, but speed is not the only thing Dean brings to the table. Despite his size, Dean takes good tackling angles and displays a nice form and posture when going in to make a tackle. He is also an effective blitzer, displaying good instincts as well as the closing speed needed to turn a pressure into a sack. He just lacks the bulk to prevent bigger ball-carriers from shaking him off. Size is something teams will need to factor in, but Dean has all the tools you want.

As Andrew mentioned, there is some concern about Dean’s size, as well as the idea of taking a linebacker in the first round. Then again, Dean was the heart and soul of Georgia’s historic defense — which witnessed five players being taken on Thursday — and this scenario could have been an example of group overthink.

Count ESPN’s Mina Kimes among those to back the ‘Dawg ‘backer. Dean could find himself with the Titans, Giants, Texans, Jets and Eagles (#51).

#9. Travis Jones, DL, Connecticut (#29)

Senior, 6-foot-4, 325 lbs

Andrew Wilbar: Jones is one of the biggest small-school sleepers in this year’s draft. Based on how well he moves on tape, you would not believe that he is 330 pounds by just watching him. He plays with active hands, and he does a great job shedding blocks, even when double-teamed. He also displays excellent quickness out of his stance, getting upfield in a hurry and forcing the quarterback to escape the pocket. One of the more underrated parts of his game is his good hand placement. He consistently lays his hands on opposing linemen at a perfect pressure point, making it difficult for linemen to stay balanced and engage in a block. The main concern with him is that he has not been tested against major competition outside of a game here and there. If he has a strong Senior Bowl and combine performance, he could work his way into the top 50 picks.

Make that six straight picks on our big board to still be available entering Day 2.

Andrew outlined that Jones participated down in Mobile, and the showing undoubtedly boosted his stock. Jones joins Houston’s Logan Hall, Oklahoma’s Perrion Winfrey and Alabama’s Phidarian Mathis as top DL options for teams still looking to beef up their defensive lines.

The Bucs at #33 make sense, as Ndamukong Suh remains unsigned. If Todd Bowles & Co. pass on Jones, keep an eye on the Texans, Jets, Bears, Falcons, Ravens, Cardinals (#55) and Bengals (#63).

#10. Boye Mafe, EDGE, Minnesota (#35)

Redshirt senior, 6-foot-4, 261 lbs

Andrew Wilbar: Mafe is still relatively new to the game of football, and that is evident when you watch his tape. There are a lot of technical issues, from pad level, to hand usage, to leverage. Nonetheless, his athleticism is outstanding. When his hand placement is consistently good and he is breaking away from opposing linemen, watch out, because he can run down just about anyone in the backfield. While he could fit in both 3-4 and 4-3 schemes, he does not always look natural in a standup position. Thus, I think his best fit long-term is as a 4-3 defensive end. It will take time for Mafe to reach his full potential, but if he can reach that potential at some point, he will be an extremely dangerous pass rusher.

Mafe seeks to become the third straight Golden Gopher to be picked in the first two rounds, joining Rashod Bateman (2021, 1st) and Antoine Winfield Jr. (2020, 2nd). The edge rusher also posted a solid Senior Bowl week, leaving some thinking the Chiefs could nab him; KC opted instead for fellow Big Ten West pass-rusher George Karlaftis.

Having posted a 4.53 40 and a 38” vertical jump, Mafe is in greater than the 90th percentile for both measurements. Such athleticism should entice the squads already looking at Ojabo and Ebiketie.

Top 10 Steelers Fits on the Board

#1. Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson

Genuinely, I thought there was a chance the Steelers would trade back into the first with Booth still on the board. Pittsburgh has a very close relationship with Dabo Swinney and Clemson, and Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin paid a meticulous look at the Tigers during their mid-March pro day.

Booth fits exactly what the Steelers are looking for: a young, athletic, physical young corner that can learn behind Ahkello Witherspoon and Levi Wallace before ultimately molding into a premier CB. If Booth is somehow still available at #52, Pittsburgh should be sprinting in the pick. If not, I think a trade up for Booth would be an outstanding move.

#2. George Pickens, WR, Georgia (BTSC Rank: #49)

Wow, would this be a lot of fun.

The Steelers have been infamous for their “diva” receivers in recent memory, and Pickens does have similar attributes. It appears that his slide is largely due to his willingness to be coached.

At the same time, if there’s anyone I’d trust to harness Pickens’ elite combination of toughness, ball skills and physicality, it’s Mike Tomlin.

Get Pickens, and this draft class looks infinitely more optimistic.

#3. Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan

We know the Steelers love their local connections: just ask Kenny Pickett! Why not double down with the speedy, tough Moore?

Fundamentally, the Steelers need receivers — quite possibly multiple in this draft. With either Mitch Trubisky or Pickett under center, just Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool and Anthony Miller/Miles Boykin/Gunner Olszewski is far from sufficient. Moore can help take the edge off of defenses and is physical enough to work over the middle of the field, with 40% of his routes having been slants or hitches.

#4. Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan (#61)

There was speculation that Raimann could be taken in the first, but he’s instantly the best tackle left with Ikem Ekwonu, Evan Neal, Charles Cross, Trevor Penning and Tyler Smith gone. Despite signing Chukwuma Okorafor to a three-year deal, an upgrade for the Steelers at either tackle position is not out of play, especially given 2022 being a major litmus test for 2021 fourth-rounder Dan Moore Jr. Raimann would be tough to pass up.

#5. Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia

If Dean somehow remains on the board by the time the Steelers are on the clock, it would only be right to pick the Georgia star.

Pittsburgh sent the house to UGA’s Pro Day, including new senior defensive assistant Brian Flores. While smaller, Dean could easily prove to be a long-term defensive communicator alongside Myles Jack, who has struggled when wearing the green dot.

I’m especially in favor of drafting an ILB given that Pittsburgh is yet to make a decision on Devin Bush’s fifth-year option. At worst, selecting Dean gives Bush more incentive and, if Bush bounces back, creates one of the most formidable front sevens in the NFL.

#6. Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn (#40)

Despite having 28 7/8” arms, McCreary makes up for a lack of size with spectacular patience and reaction time, plus solid ball skills. At the same time, McCreary lacks elite closing speed and can give up ground as receivers hit the stem of their routes; this was particularly apparent watching McCreary against new Commander Jahan Dotson. Nonetheless, McCreary’s three years of starting against fierce SEC competition and 89.9 PFF grade, which ranked first among all FBS corners, make him an intriguing pick.

#7. Leo Chenal, LB, Wisconsin (#68)

Chenal put many of the qualms about his athleticism to bed by running a 4.53 40 during the Combine and is the epitome of a thumping, downhill linebacker — something Pittsburgh sorely lacked in 2021. Why not pair Chenal with fellow Badger T.J. Watt to wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks and running backs?

#8. John Metchie III, WR, Alabama (#42)

If not for a torn ACL against Georgia in the 2021 SEC Championship, Metchie could have slipped into Round 1. The receiver is physical with good hands and excellent route-running; it also seemed he had a knack for clutch catches, including this game-winner in Jordan-Hare Stadium in which he ran a whip route to perfection.

#9. Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn State (#46)

The only reason I put Brisker this low is that the Steelers don’t exactly need a safety, having both Minkah Fitzpatrick and Terrell Edmunds under contract. Then again, Edmunds signed just a one-year deal for under $3 million, and Fitzpatrick is due for an extension in the near future. Possessing Brisker would provide tremendous insurance at the position and could allow Austin/Tomlin/Flores to have some fun in different sub-packages to really throw off quarterbacks.

#10. Alec Pierce, WR, Cincinnati (#56)

Pierce, too, is a late riser. While Steelers fans long had visions of pairing Ridder and Pierce in the pro ranks, the best Pittsburgh can do at this point is take the latter.

With his 6-foot-3 frame, above-average hands and 4.41 speed, Pierce should be a playmaker in the league for a long time. He especially fits the Steelers given his ability to play in the slot. While not a true “Y” receiver, Pierce lined up in the slot on 14% of his passes in 2021.

Other Names to Watch

Marcus Jones, CB, Houston (BTSC Rank: #55)

Andrew Wilbar: Size will most definitely limit Jones to the slot in the NFL, but his closing speed and feistiness make him an interesting day two pick, regardless of his size. Versatility is the other big part of his game, as he can play a little free safety as well as return kicks and punts. I also love how smoothly Jones can flip his hips in coverage. His footwork is clean, and his backpedal looks incredibly natural. He has not provided much value as a blitzer thus far into his playing career, recording zero sacks in four seasons; however, his ability to make plays on the ball was on full display in 2021, as he recorded 5 interceptions and 13 passes defended in 11 games. If you are looking for an NFL comparison, look no further than former Steeler Mike Hilton, at least from an athletic standpoint. Hilton is definitely a better blitzer than Jones is, but Jones has the upper hand when it comes to ability in coverage. He is still raw and learning the nuances of the position, but the upside is through the roof if he is developed properly.

Tariq Woolen, CB, UTSA (#79)

Necksnation: Woolen has appealing physical traits, but is incredibly raw and will be quite a project for the team that drafts him. He converted from receiver to cornerback in 2020, and it shows on his tape, as he was burnt numerous times in man. In zone, his instincts are okay, but could use a bit of work, as he sometimes misreads his assignments. As a former receiver, Woolen does have impressive ball skills, but he sometimes struggles to make plays on the ball while simultaneously covering the receiver. He is certainly an aggressive defender while the ball is in the air, and he’s willing to make hits to jar the ball loose and get his hands in the way to prevent a completion, but this can be a double edged sword, and he gave up a few big plays because of this aggression. Additionally, I have some concerns about his competitive toughness. He often appeared unwilling to make tackles and defend the run, and while this may be partially due to his lack of experience at the position, it’s something that he’ll need to figure out in the NFL. On the bright side, his athletic upside is tremendous. Standing 6’4” and running a 4.26 40 yard dash, he absolutely has the physical tools to succeed, but his tape doesn’t back up his measurables yet. He seems like a good guy to take a flier on early in day 3, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable selecting him before then due to how much development he still needs.

Coby Bryant, CB, Cincinnati (#127)

Noah: Coby Bryant was the definition of lockdown this year for the Bearcats. He may not have had the career that his teammate Sauce Gardner did, but he was the Jim Thorpe Award winner for a reason. Bryant displays good footwork and his 9 interceptions in 4 years are evidence of his ball skills. He’s a smart player and has good athleticism despite being a tad slow at times. Bryant does a good job of watching the feet and not biting on fakes. He does have relatively short arms creating some inconsistency when wrapping up. Due to his lack of quickness Bryant has struggled when he’s covering routes that force him to move laterally across the field. He has the mental toughness and physical tools to be a very good player, but he needs to put it all together. He has the potential to be the steal of the draft if he can clean up some of the holes in his game.

Kyler Gordon, CB, Washington (#62)

Ryland B.: Washington has turned into a defensive back factory over the past few years, and Gordon, along with teammate Trent McDuffie, should further that trend. Gordon is a big, physical corner with good athleticism. He’s a very smooth mover with a great backpedal in bail technique, where he played the most. Gordon’s reaction time and quickness is pretty solid and he’s a willing run defender and high-effort player. He has special teams experience as well. Gordon is a good option for a team in need of a solid outside corner.

Cam Taylor-Britt, CB, Nebraska (#95)

Andrew Wilbar: Talk about a guy who consistently got in passing lanes and broke up passes in 2021. Taylor-Britt, despite decent athleticism, is probably best suited as a zone corner, as his instincts and fluidity would give him the upper hand. If he wants to make it as a zone corner, however, he must take better tackling angles. At Nebraska, he struggled to bring down opposing receivers after the catch due to that issue, and it is not an issue that will simply subside in the NFL. He has good straight-line speed, but his start-and-stop quickness when mirroring a receiver in man coverage leaves a lot to be desired. Overall, I like Taylor-Britt’s chances of developing into a start if put in the right situation. He just has several technical issues that developed into bad habits at the collegiate level. If he can break those habits, he will become a solid CB2.

Damarri Mathis, CB, Pitt (#111)

Andrew Wilbar: Mathis is an aggressive corner who is a little handsy at times. In fact, I remember the TV analyst of the Pitt/Clemson game mentioning that, when talking to people at Pitt, he realized the importance of officiating relative to the team’s success. He was apparently told that the way the refs officiate the game is huge for them, largely due to the aggressive style they play. There are times when Mathis may have gotten away with a little bit of grabbing, but overall, he has good awareness in man coverage, and he knows when to turn around and make a play on the ball. He is also plenty athletic, displaying the size, speed, and versatility to play both corner and safety at a high level. He is still somewhat raw technically, but if you want a guy in the middle rounds who has the tools to develop into a star corner, Mathis is your guy.

Jalyn Armour-Davis, CB, Alabama (#136)

Noah: Jalyn Armour-Davis may not be as skilled as some of the other guys in this class but I believe that playing for Nick Saban is going to greatly benefit him. He has the length and athleticism to be a really good player. His instincts are great and he is excellent at tracking guys down to make the tackle. However, he’s pretty stiff and you’d like to see him get his hips around a little quicker. He also gives receivers too much room sometimes and overall needs to tighten up his coverage. Being just a one-year starter there are some concerns about his experience and if he’s ready for the NFL yet. Armour-Davis is certainly a project but the reward could definitely be worth a day 3 pick.

Calvin Austin III, WR, Memphis (#74)

Ryland B.: Austin has literal track speed, and it translates into explosive plays on the football field. Austin is a smooth athlete, lighting-fast accelerator, and a great route-runner. He has quickness to make defensive backs look silly and the speed to run past a secondary. Despite his diminutive size, he has a great release with urgent footwork and violent hands. But size is still a major issue. Austin’s 5’9” frame just doesn’t have an elite catch radius despite his good hands, and at 162 pounds he doesn’t pack much physicality after the catch although he plays with good effort. Austin’s 4.3 speed makes him an intriguing NFL prospect, but his size may result in him only finding a gadget role in an NFL offense.

Wan’Dale Robinson, WR, Kentucky (#94)

Necksnation: Robinson certainly looked impressive during his junior season after transferring to Kentucky, but there are concerns about how he will translate to the NFL. The first thing that jumps out about Robinson is his size, or lack thereof. Not only is he 5’8” and 178 lbs, but he has the shortest arms of any receiver to enter the draft since 1999 by nearly half an inch per arm. The good news is, he did test very well at the combine from an athletic standpoint, and for the most part it shows up on his tape. I would consider him to be a guy who is “quicker than he is fast.” In open field, he was frequently able to make defenders miss and gain lots of yards after the catch because of it, which resulted in a lot of big plays. Additionally, he is a smooth and quick route runner, frequently able to create separation and find holes in the defense. However, for a guy who relies so much on his athleticism, Robinson gets run down from behind more often than he should. He did run a good 40 yard dash, but there were numerous instances in his tape where he could have scored but didn’t because he was unable to maintain his top speed throughout the play. It is a bit of a concern, and it makes you wonder how he’ll fare against NFL defensive backs if he’s getting chased down by college defenders, but his speed should improve a bit as he transitions to the pros, and hopefully it won’t be an issue for him. Robinson is also more than willing to take hits over the middle and survive hits to make tough catches. This is definitely a strength to his game, but you can’t help but wonder if he’ll be able to take those same hits in the NFL with his small frame. Despite these concerns, Robinson’s natural quickness and ability to get open should make him serviceable at the next level. He’ll almost certainly never be a WR1, but he could be a solid WR2 with the ability to line up in the backfield (he had 134 total carries across his two seasons in Nebraska before transferring). He could also have value as a returner, an area where he wasn’t used often in college, but it seems like a natural fit for his skillset. At the end of the day, Robinson will likely never carry an NFL team’s passing offense, but he should provide some burst and versatility to a team, and should be able to carve out a decent career in that type of role.

Tyquan Thornton, WR, Baylor (#83)

Andrew Wilbar: The most exciting thing about Thornton is his fantastic straight-line speed, especially when you combine that with his 6’3” frame. Typically, receivers who run below 4.3 in the 40 are undersized receivers who are limited to the slot. This is not the case with Thornton, however. He still needs to add weight to his slender frame, but he is a surprisingly physical receiver who does not shy away from contested catch opportunities. Not only does he get a quick release off the line of scrimmage, but he will also become more effective getting off press coverage at the line once he adds a little more muscle. There is definitely some rawness with Thornton, and there may be a little bit of projection here, but you cannot teach 6’3” and 4.28 speed.

Justyn Ross, WR, Clemson (#153)

Necksnation: Ross had an incredible freshman season, but injuries have derailed his career ever since. However, if he can stay healthy and reach the potential that he showed as a freshman, he could become a star in the NFL. Ross certainly has the size to succeed at the next level, and although he doesn’t have incredible speed, he provides a decent amount of chunk plays. You won’t see him making too many 70 yard receptions, but he does a nice job on intermediate plays to pick up 15-20 yards for his team. His diverse route tree allows him to gain separation in a myriad of ways, especially on short to intermediate routes. Additionally, he does a nice job of gaining a few extra yards after the catch, and he is more than capable of breaking some tackles in the process. He can also juke out defenders when necessary, although it isn’t necessarily his ideal way of getting by defenders, but it’s certainly an ability that he possesses. His ball skills are elite, and he makes plenty of difficult catches downfield and in the end zone. He did have some concentration drops, but overall, his hands are a strength of his game, and they really benefit him when he’s making contested catches. Ross has a lot of traits that could make him a WR1 in the NFL, but he will need a good amount of coaching to get back to where he was pre injury. That said, it is worth wondering if he is injury prone. He broke his foot in 2021, but more importantly, it was discovered that he had a congenital fusion in his spine, which could have stopped him from ever playing again. He is healthy now, but whatever team that drafts him should do so with the awareness that he may have limited durability. But if he’s able to stay on the field and live up to the hype of his freshman season, he could wind up as a major steal on Day 2, and he’s worth taking a gamble on sometime in the middle of round 3.

David Bell, WR, Purdue (#104)

Necksnation: Bell doesn’t possess the speed and athleticism that is becoming more and more common in today’s receivers. However, what he lacks in quickness he makes up for with physicality and contested catch ability. His production at Purdue was excellent, recording 2946 yards and 21 touchdowns in 29 games. Additionally, although he had the occasional concentration drop, he was generally one of the most sure handed receivers in the country, posting an outstanding 68% catch rate as a junior. That number would be good for a guy who primarily works underneath, but Bell runs routes over the entire field as an outside receiver. While Bell isn’t particularly agile, his routes are better than you’d expect for someone with his athletic profile, and his diverse route tree gives him some versatility. He does struggle to consistently gain separation, but luckily for him, his ability to make contested catches is his best trait. He does a fantastic job of high pointing the ball, and his impressive hands and ball skills make coming down with 50-50 balls look easy. He is a physical receiver who is willing to make tough catches over the middle, and although he isn’t a huge threat after the catch, he still produces a decent number of chunk plays by making difficult catches downfield. Bell’s stock has declined a bit over the last few months, which is largely due to his poor testing at the combine. His production and route tree make him seem like a fairly pro ready option, which is impressive for someone who won’t turn 21 until December, but his lack of athleticism may limit his upside. However, receivers like Keenan Allen have proven that you don’t need to be a speed burner to succeed in the NFL, and Bell could develop into a similar type of player at the next level.

Danny Gray, WR, SMU (#128)

Ryland B.: Yet another receiver who ran in the 4.3 range at the NFL combine, Gray could be a possible speed threat option for the Steelers in the middle rounds. He was more often than not the fastest guy on the field, and it really shows. Gray’s speed and change of direction really stand out on tape, and he’s a menace with the ball in his hands after the catch. I think there’d be even more touchdowns on tape if he didn’t deal with so many underthrows on deep routes. Gray has a tall, lanky frame and often struggled with more physical corners. He has a good release but would often get jammed in press, or struggle to separate in more physical coverage. Gray has good hands but has a bit of a habit to body catch, although he does have some good contested catches on tape. Overall, there’s some great potential with Gray, who could really succeed as a deep threat on the next level.

Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Ohio State (#72)

Andrew Wilbar: Despite tremendous talent, Petit-Frere struggled at times during the 2021 season, largely due to inconsistent footwork and technique. These issues were worse in 2020 when playing on the right side, and I think this illuminates the fact that he is a better fit at left tackle in the NFL. He is not as strong as his profile may indicate either, as he gets moved off his base and pushed back toward the quarterback too often. He also struggles to contain inside moves. Penn State’s Jesse Luketa made him look absolutely foolish on one specific rep that stood out, but there were other instances that were not quite as obvious as well. Although there may be a lot of issues with his game, he brings enticing upside due to his fluidity and mobility. He is a boom-or-bust option on day two.

Abraham Lucas, OT, Washington State (#75)

Ryland B.: Lucas has some definite issues in his game, but he’s an intriguing prospect in this year’s draft. His floor is fairly high thanks to his above-average technique. He plays with quick feet, and good reaction time and hand usage. He’s not an athletic freak but is a good mover with ideal size for the position. But despite his size at over six and a half feet and 319 pounds, he gets driven back far too much. His overall strength and anchoring ability needs a lot of work, and while Lucas will likely hold his own against speed rushers at the next level, bull-rushes will prove a major problem. That being said, Lucas definitely has the frame to gain some strength and an NFL weight room might greatly improve his strength. I see him as a mid-round pick with some starting upside.

Zach Tom, OL/OT, Wake Forest (#82)

Noah: Zach Tom scored a 99 which was the highest among all offensive tackles at the combine. He plays with a solid pad level and uses his lower body strength to keep defenders from getting to the quarterback. He has good grip strength and hand placement that really benefits him against stronger pass rushers. Tom uses his natural strength to his advantage in the run game but there’s definitely a lot to be desired as a run blocker. His size and overall skill set makes him better suited to be a guard at the pro level, but he has experience as a guard and the versatility to do it.

Daniel Faalele, OT/OL, Minnesota (#91)

Andrew Wilbar: I was a big fan of Faalele before he decided to return to school for the 2021 season, but some of his issues were exposed on a consistent basis over the past year, both during the season as well as during the week of Senior Bowl practices. Any 6’9”, 380-pound lineman who moves as well as Faalele does is going to draw intrigue, and rightfully so. He is a powerful individual who simply moves defenders in the run game, and it is difficult to move him off his base in pass protection. However, he had serious issues in college with twitchier edge rushers who could get low coming around the edge, and I am not sure how much can be done about that. When you are that size, quick pass rushers who can get low are going to give you fits. I think in Faalele’s scenario, the best thing would be to work on improving his footwork to the absolute best it can get. He cannot change the fact that he is 6’9”, but he can minimize the cons of being that size with better technique. He has the potential to be a dominant right tackle in the NFL, but he is very boom-or-bust.

Rasheed Walker, OT, Penn State (#118)

Necksnation: A year ago, Walker was projected to go in the top half of the first round, but his stock lowered considerably over the course of this past season. He was almost exclusively a left tackle at Penn State, playing all but two snaps at the position during his final two years of college. Walker certainly did look like a better prospect in 2020, but he was still able to put together some solid performances, including one against Michigan’s pass-rushing tandem of Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo. He has decent size, although he could benefit from gaining some weight between now and the start of the NFL season. He is a good athlete, which tends to be his calling card in pass protection as he frequently relies on his athleticism in favor of his power. As a result, he isn’t the most physical blocker, and although he’s solid in the run game, he could work on playing with more power and intensity. He does a very good job of getting off the line of scrimmage, and he has good burst and agility in general, which he uses to his advantage when moving upfield. Walker is a bit of a boom or bust prospect, and if a team is willing to take a gamble on the player that he looked like a year ago, he could end up being a steal on late-day 2/early day 3, but he does have a low floor.

Chad Muma, LB, Wyoming (#54)

Shannon White: [Muma] is a fundamentally sound tackler, displaying superior technique. He is extremely instinctual, from his first step and flawless angles to the ball carrier against the run, and the almost effortless depth he achieves in pass coverage. He has good size for the position at 6’3” and 245 lbs, which allows him to take on blockers and consistently disengage to make the tackle. He shows good burst and easy acceleration when blitzing the QB. Muma is a third generation athlete, as both his father and grandfather played football at Wyoming. He was a defensive back in high school, which helps explain his coverage instincts. He reportedly has excellent leadership skills, and knows how to command a defensive huddle. Another coach on the field, he could be seen throughout Senior Bowl week instructing other defenders with their assignments. Based on the strengths and weaknesses of the Steelers defense in 2021, and the potential impact his substantial abilities could bring to the equation, this BTSC writer believes that Chad Muma would be a perfect fit with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Darrian Beavers, LB, Cincinnati (#60)

Necksnation: Beavers fits the mold of a prototypical buck linebacker, and while he could become successful in that role, it may hurt his draft stock a bit. At 6’4’’ and 255 lbs, he certainly has the frame to be a run stuffing linebacker, and he showed an ability to do so plenty of times at Cincinnati. Although he didn’t pick up linebacker until after graduating from high school, Beavers spent five years playing linebacker at the collegiate level (two with Connecticut and three with Cincinnati), so he does have a decent amount of experience at the position. He tested well at the combine, and had a pretty week at the Senior Bowl, but the biggest question mark surrounding Beavers is his ability in pass coverage. He isn’t too bad in zone, but he shouldn’t be asked to play man very often, as he is likely to be exploited by a veteran QB. Overall, Beavers is a good downhill tackler and run defender who should have a solid career in the NFL, but I don’t ever see him becoming any more than a two down linebacker, and it would be unreasonable to expect otherwise. Still, I would feel comfortable taking him late in day two, since he certainly has the upside to become a quality starter in a primarily run defending role.

Brandon Smith, LB, Penn State (#69)

Andrew Wilbar: If you want to take a risk on a boom-or-bust guy early on day three, look no further than Brandon Smith. His tape is up and down, but it is easy to see his athletic traits. His 40 time was a bit slower at the scouting combine last month than the 4.38 he reportedly ran back in high school, but that is understandable when you consider the amount of weight he put on toward the end of his collegiate career. That weight needed to be added, though, as there were several occurrences on tape where he struggled to disengage from blocks and make more challenging tackles. If he keeps the added weight on, he may be able to handle the BUCK position in addition to being able to play a MACK or MIKE role at the drop of a hat. Part of the reason he struggled at times in 2021 was because he had a lot more on his plate. In 2020, he did not have to communicate as much, and he rarely had to deal with difficult run-stopping assignments. Before adding weight this past season, Smith’s frame was on the slighter side, and he was used primarily as a coverage linebacker. He was impressive in that role the majority of the time, but when his role increased in 2021, he seemed overwhelmed at times. Nonetheless, if you want to gamble on a guy with traits, Smith could pay big dividends.

Damone Clark, LB, LSU (#101)

Andrew Wilbar: Clark had an incredible statistical year in 2021, finally living up to his billing as a strong athlete. At 6’2 ½”, 239 pounds, he ran a 4.57 in the 40, had a 36.5 inch vertical, and a 7.12 in the 3-cone. Those are solid numbers across the board, but things have not gone well for Clark since. It was announced at the end of March that he is undergoing spinal fusion surgery, which is something that could provide chronic issues down the line. On the other hand, this concern lowers his price, making him a potential day three steal. If he can avoid any long-term spinal issues, he could be the future at BUCK linebacker for the Steelers. It would allow Devin Bush to roam free while Clark helps in run support and occasional blitzing. Injuries of that nature are always dangerous, but he is a nice schematic fit for a team like Pittsburgh.

Amare Barno, EDGE, Virginia Tech (#137)

Andrew Wilbar: Some players just defy the limitations for certain positions. With Barno, he has defied the speed limitations of the traditional EDGE rusher. He ran an insane 4.36 in the 40 at the combine, but the crazier part is that he just about plays to that speed on tape. Unfortunately, there is not much here other than raw speed. He does not have the strength to successfully convert his speed to power on bull rushes, and his change-of-direction skills are merely average. Hand usage and pad level need a good bit of work as well. Overall, he is a boom-or-bust prospect who would be best suited for a team that will allow him to be just a rotational pass rusher until he builds up his strength.

Myjai Sanders, EDGE, Cincinnati (#164)

Skyfire322: Sanders is explosive off the line, and while he’s not the fastest, he can get in the backfield and doesn’t give up pursuit. His hand speed and bull rush are second to none and is an excellent pass rusher. He does have the length necessary to create some separation off the line. However, his lower body strength isn’t the greatest, especially when double-teamed, so this could be an issue against a top-tier offensive line. He also tends to wrap up, which may hurt against more elusive runners, but teams can most certainly address these issues. Overall, while his numbers dropped in his senior season, his technique, football IQ, and ability to play both sides of the ball worked in his favor.

5 Winners and 3 Losers after the Steelers pick of Kenny Pickett

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 04/29/2022 - 9:00am
Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers have their man, and it is time to take a look at some winners and losers after Day 1 of the 2021 NFL Draft.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are a team who rarely finds themselves befuddled during the course of an NFL Draft. The 2022 NFL Draft was no different. When the Steelers’ pick came up at No. 20, they wasted little time making their pick.

University of Pittsburgh, QB, Kenny Pickett.

Immediately, from the moment the pick was made, a ripple effect took place throughout the Steelers organization. Some will benefit from the pick, while others will be on the losing side of the selection.

This is where the winners and losers column comes into play. I go through who could be labeled as ‘winners’ after the pick of Pickett, and those who could be labeled ‘losers’.

Let’s get down to it...

Winners

Kenny Pickett
Why: The fact Pickett is staying close to where he has called home the past five years is a positive. The fact he was the only quarterback taken in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft has to have the former Pitt Panther riding high. Pickett will stay where he is comfortable, but now is when the pressure really starts for the Heisman finalist. Nonetheless, every player who is drafted in the first round is an automatic winner at this point.

Matt Canada
Why: I think it is safe to say the Steelers have given Canada every opportunity to get his offense in place, and to be successful. The additions along the offensive line in free agency, the selection of Najee Harris in the 2021 draft and now Pickett being the top pick in 2022. If Canada’s offense doesn’t work now, the blame can’t be shouldered on anyone other than the person putting the players in the right place to succeed. Still, Canada has to be thrilled to have Pickett as his future quarterback in his scheme.

Diontae Johnson
Why: During Round 1 of the draft the BTSC staff were watching the selection process together via Zoom, and after Pickett was the pick Geoffrey Benedict said how this pick really benefits Diontae Johnson. He said a quarterback like Malik Willis would not have been the best bet for Johnson, but Pickett could provide the wide receiver a quarterback who is both willing, and capable, of pumping him the football like Ben Roethlisberger did for a long time.

Kevin Colbert
Why: This is Colbert’s last go around with the Steelers as the active General Manager (GM), and he went down with a big swing. Did he hit a home run? Did he swing and miss? We might not know for a while, but he sure went down swinging. I give him credit. He wanted to leave Mike Tomlin, and the next GM, with the next quarterback.

Mock Drafters
Why: Just like last year, Pickett has been mocked to the Steelers for a large majority of the offseason, and it is always nice to see those crazy mock drafters get a pick or two right once in a while. Figured I’d throw them a bone.

Losers

Mitch Trubisky
Why: So put yourself in Mitch Trubisky’s shoes for a minute. You’re brought in on the first possible day of free agency and you think you have a new lease on life as the Steelers’ quarterback. Fast forward a month, or so, later, and now the team you thought you’d be leading for the foreseeable future just spent a first round pick on a quarterback. Not ideal, and you have to wonder if Trubisky isn’t viewing any time he gets in Pittsburgh as nothing more than a tryout for another future team at this point in his career.

Mason Rudolph
Why: Last year the Steelers signed Rudolph to a one-year extension as an insurance policy. Rudolph wisely took the deal, but likely never thought he’d end up potentially being dropped to QB3 on the depth chart. This isn’t to suggest Rudolph can’t win a quarterback competition, but at the same time he has an uphill battle ahead of him. Fans are wondering if the Steelers will dangle Rudolph via trade, and that seems to be far fetched with only three quarterbacks on the current depth chart.

Malik Willis
Why: Willis has been predicted to go anywhere from the Top 10 to pick No. 32, but no one projected Willis to still be without a team after Day 1. Willis is a dynamic player, but also a project. The Steelers could have taken Willis if they liked him, but they took Pickett with the “higher floor” as Colbert said in his post-draft press conference.

For a more in-depth breakdown of the Winners and Losers, check out my “Let’s Ride” podcast in the player below:

All you need to know about the Steelers’ top pick, Kenny Pickett

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 04/29/2022 - 8:50am
Photo by Logan Whitton/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Pitt QB Kenny Pickett in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Here is all the coverage on their Day 1 pick.

The Pittsburgh Steelers made a bold, and strong, statement in the 2022 NFL Draft by selecting Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett in the first round. With the 20th pick, the Steelers took Pickett without thinking about other prospects who might have been available when it was their turn to select, but this doesn’t seem to bother Mike Tomlin or Kevin Colbert.

Without looking ahead, the Steelers did something they’ve been putting off for quite a while now. That would be having some sort of plan for life after Ben Roethlisberger. Pickett was the top quarterback taken in the draft, and while many pundits thought the pick was a reach, if the Steelers found their next franchise quarterback I doubt they care what the “experts” think about the selection.

Pickett was the first quarterback taken in the first round since the Steelers selected Ben Roethlisberger out of Miami (OH) in the 2004 NFL Draft.

With that said, be sure to check out all of our coverage on the University of Pittsburgh quarterback here in this stream, and be sure to check back so you don’t miss a thing on all of our draft coverage as the Pittsburgh Steelers continue to press on throughout Days 2 and 3 of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Grading the Steelers first round selection of Najee Harris

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 04/29/2022 - 8:00am
Photo by Logan Whitton/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers have selected Pittsburgh Panthers QB Kenny Pickett with the 20th selection of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Great news, Steelers Nation. The 2022 NFL Draft is finally upon us. Every rabid football fans version of Christmas in April. This is uncharted waters for many younger Steelers fans. For the first time in almost two decades, the Steelers will be on the clock when their first round selection rolls around with some real uncertainty at the quarterback position. It is sure to be both an exciting and unsettling experience.

I have been given the distinguished task of trying to apply a letter grade to each Steelers selection.

There are specific criteria necessary when attempting to accurately and fairly grade any draft pick. Only time will reveal the validity of any grade given, but I will utilize certain parameters as I attempt to apply an initial grade for each Steelers draft pick. I base each grade on projected roster fit, potential immediate impact, and assumed draft value. Draft value is achieved by evaluating each players actual selection against their projected draft position, whether that be player rankings or projected round.

The Pittsburgh Steelers selected quarterback Kenny Pickett with the 20th selection of the 2022 NFL Draft. The fact that a quarterback was their first-round selection came as no real surprise to any Steelers fan who have been paying attention during the pre-draft process. General manager Kevin Colbert and head coach Mike Tomlin never even tried to hide the fact they were doing their due diligence searching the 2022 quarterback draft class for potentially their next franchise guy.

What did come as a huge surprise for many was the signal caller that the Steelers eventually settled on. There seemed to be a burgeoning love affair blossoming between Liberty quarterback Malik Willis and the Steelers decision makers. In the end, the Steelers went with the player they knew best from this group of quarterback prospects.

Kenny Pickett will be 24 years old prior to the start of training camp. He is the most pro-ready quarterback in this class, in no small part due to his age and corresponding maturity.

Pickett stands 6'3" and weighs 220 lbs., giving him prototypical size for the position. He possesses solid athleticism and mobility, but his best attributes are from the neck up. Let's call it moxie, for lack of a better word.

Pickett has excellent vision and anticipation, allowing him to process through his progressions consistently. Kevin Colbert mentioned accuracy as a focal point for him in any quarterback evaluation, and Pickett has the best accuracy in this class in my opinion. Although Pickett doesn't have elite arm strength, he possesses more than enough arm talent to make the full spectrum of throws at the NFL level especially when you factor in the aforementioned accuracy, anticipation, and under discussed "touch" on his his throws.

There have been ample discussions about Pickett's less-than-ideal hand size for an NFL passer, but the Steelers obviously weren't concerned in the slightest about his tiny mitts. The Steelers apparently were more impressed by his competitiveness, and impacted by his impressive growth as both a player and leader for the Panthers, culminating with a magical senior season that saw him lead his team to an ACC Championship.

Pickett was a first-team All American, ACC Player of the Year, and he won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award. His incredible season saw him finish third in the 2021 Heisman Trophy voting. Equally as impressive to all of his personal accomplishments and accolades was the leadership he displayed in accumulating them. I truly believe that the Steelers valued that attribute more than most, especially for an unusually youthful Steelers roster on offense.

Based on the criteria mentioned earlier in this article, I give the Steelers first round selection of Kenny Pickett an initial draft grade of B+.

Pickett was projected to be taken in the first round, actually earlier than the 20th selection according to most projections. The Steelers confirmed that they have zero interest in a rebuilding period, or finishing towards the bottom of the AFC North. They remain committed to competing for the division, and determined to find their next quarterback capable of leading them there. Hopefully Kenny Pickett is that man.

Now we want to hear from the BTSC community and from Steelers Nation. What do you think about the Kenny Pickett selection and what initial grade would you give it. Please place your vote in the attached poll and share your reasoning in the comment section below.

I am pleased to welcome Kenny Pickett to the Steelers family on behalf of the BTSC staff and community. Go Steelers!

Steelers Press Conferences and Video after selecting Kenny Pickett

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 04/29/2022 - 7:00am
Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers have their top draft pick, and it’s Kenny Pickett out of Pitt.

The 2022 NFL Draft is officially underway, and on Thursday, Round 1, the Pittsburgh Steelers stayed at pick No. 20 to make their selection. Listening to Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert earlier in the week, it didn’t seem as if the Steelers would have their choice in quarterbacks in this draft class.

Boy were they wrong.

When the Steelers selected Kenny Pickett, quarterback out of the University of Pittsburgh, they had every other quarterback available to them. In fact, there was still a massive amount of talent on the board at other positions as well.

Nonetheless, the Steelers knew who they wanted, and they didn’t waste much time making the call. After the pick, Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert met with the media to talk about the pick, as well as some other video Steelers fans might enjoy watching.

As always, be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for Days 2 and 3 of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert Press Conference

#LIVE: GM Kevin Colbert & Coach Tomlin speak to the media following the selection of QB Kenny Pickett. https://t.co/cACBMeKrIw

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) April 29, 2022

Breakdown of the Kenny Pickett selection

.@missi_matthews & @WilliamsonNFL talk about the @steelers selection of @kennypickett10. pic.twitter.com/CeVTez4Mpw

— Steelers Live (@SteelersLive) April 29, 2022

The phone call from Mike Tomlin to Kenny Pickett

The call that made @kennypickett10 a Pittsburgh Steeler pic.twitter.com/vfFEgf8qF7

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) April 29, 2022

Steelers, both current and former, react to the Round 1 pick of Kenny Pickett

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 04/29/2022 - 6:00am
Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers made their pick for Round 1 of the NFL Draft, and people responded on Twitter.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have selected quarterback Kenny Pickett in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, and there were plenty of reactions regarding the pick on social media following the team’s decision.

After such a huge event like the NFL Draft, players, both current and former, certainly pay attention to what is going on with the team. After Pickett’s name was called by Franco Harris in Las Vegas, several current players, and some former, took to Twitter to talk about the selection.

Below you’ll see what some are saying about the pick. Keep in mind this story will be updated as more players, and the Steelers organization, post to social media as the three day draft process continues.

Let’s get to the tweets...

pic.twitter.com/0NfkUsJW5X

— TJ Watt (@_TJWatt) April 29, 2022

By the way your nickname is @BurgerKing hands from now on. I’m jk excited to get to work with you

— Cam Heyward (@CamHeyward) April 29, 2022

Boom @steelers

— Bruce Gradkowski (@bgradkowski5) April 29, 2022

“Two things I trust in life God and the Pittsburgh Steelers.”@Ike_SwagginU #Steelers #SteelersDraft pic.twitter.com/FJ2LfbBPL9

— Nick Lenzi (@nlenzi) April 29, 2022

https://twitter.com/steelers/status/1519867958281052161?s=20&t=P_uMSdfyIUyzNjZyWvQgfw

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception, @francoharrishof announced the pick of @kennypickett10.

#NFLDraft on NFLN/ESPN/ABC pic.twitter.com/RxgCIBr6YZ

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) April 29, 2022

"It's a dream come true." @kennypickett10 pic.twitter.com/G9CqChGItQ

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) April 29, 2022

The call that made @kennypickett10 a Pittsburgh Steeler pic.twitter.com/vfFEgf8qF7

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) April 29, 2022

2022 NFL Draft Day 2: TV schedule, start time, more

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 04/29/2022 - 5:30am
Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

All the information to watch or listen to Day 2 of the 2022 NFL Draft over a variety of platforms.

Day 1 of the 2022 NFL draft is in the books. The Pittsburgh Steelers went in the direction many expected in terms of position, but maybe not the player they thought they would take. With all the quarterbacks still available at pick 20, the Steelers chose Kenny Pickett as the top player at the position.

Surprisingly, there are several draft picks who some thought would not be available when the Steelers selected at 20 but are still on the board for Round 2. Will the Steelers make a move to go get a player? Will they trade back to gain more picks? The only way we’re going to find out is to tune in.

So you don’t miss any of the action, listed below is the schedule for this year’s NFL draft, which rounds will be drafted when, and the various place you can watch or listen to the draft.

Be sure to check out the DraftKings Sportsbook for all the latest odds.

2022 NFL Draft Schedule TV: ABC, NFL Network, ESPN, ESPN Deportes Online: Fubo (Click HERE to create a Fubo Account and stream the entire draft), Sling TV, YouTube TV, Direct TV stream, Hulu with live TV
ESPN app or ESPN+: Click HERE to watch LIVE! Radio (Nationally): SiriusXM, Westwood One, ESPN Radio
Radio (Locally): Steelers Nation Radio— Viewers can listen anywhere in the world online via Steelers.com or on the Steelers Official Mobile App. Friday, April 29, 2022

7 PM EST Rounds 2 & 3 (picks 33- 105)

Behind The Steel Curtain will be doing live broadcasts on the BTSC Radio YouTube channel Friday night for a recap and breakdown after each pick. Make sure you subscribe to the channel HERE and turn on notifications to be alerted to the live broadcasts. There will also be a breaking news podcast on our audio platforms immediately following each selection.

Saturday, April 30, 2022

12 PM EST Rounds 4 through 7 (picks 106- 262)

Behind The Steel Curtain will be doing a live broadcast on the BTSC Radio YouTube channel following each pick. Make sure you subscribe to the channel HERE and turn on notifications to be alerted to the live broadcast. Just like the first two days, there will also be a breaking news podcast on our audio platforms immediately following each selection.

Podcast Roundup: All the latest of the BTSC family podcasts

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 04/29/2022 - 4:30am

Get the latest BTSC podcast content in the ‘Podcast Roundup’.

The Pittsburgh Steelers seasons come and go with no real offseason, at least not for those diehard fans. For those fans, the preseason bleeds into the regular season, the regular season into the offseason, free agency and the NFL Draft. It is a vicious, never-ending cycle.

Nonetheless, we here at BTSC, and our podcast platform, are here with you every step of the way. In the past we have given you the podcasts in individual articles on the website but have decided to go with a ‘Podcast Roundup’ article which has the latest four podcasts for your enjoyment. The reasoning behind this is to take up less space on the site for the great written content we have at BTSC.

With that being said and typed, enjoy the shows below with a brief description of each show.

What Yinz Talkin’ Bout: We Mock Ourselves

What Yinz Talkin’ Bout is the conversation about the Steelers social media conversation. Hosts Kyle Chrise (@KyleChrise) & Greg Benevent (@GregBenevent) expose the hottest and most toxic takes on Steelers social media. This week, the mock wars are full of fear and loathing. We’ll break down the results of 269 Mock Drafts and tell you what the data says about the Steelers pick. Plus, the legacy of Duck Hodges.

Rundown of the show:

  • Toxic Takes
  • Much, Much More

Take a deep dive into the world of Steelers social media from a yinzer perspective as BTSC proudly presents a very unique show that highlights “What Yinz Talkin’ Bout”.

Breaking News: The Steelers select Pitt Quarterback Kenny Pickett in Round 1

Finally! The pick is in. The Steelers addressed the quarterback position with the choice of Kenny Pickett from the Pittsburgh Panthers with the 20th overall pick in the NFL Draft. Join BTSC Editor Dave Schofield with immediate reaction to the pick.

BTSC Steelers Draft Roundtable: Welcome to Pittsburgh, Kenny Pickett

There were so many possibilities for the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 20th selection in the 2022 NFL Draft. When the time came around for the selection to be read at the podium, the player announced was Pitt’s own Kenny Pickett. With help from some BTSC friends, Jeff Hartman, Dave Schofield and Bryan Anthony Davis break down the pick of Pickett on the latest episode of the BTSC Draft Roundtable.

Let’s Ride Friday: The Steelers taking Kenny Pickett was the ultimate ‘inside job’

The Steelers knowledge of Pitt’s Kenny Pickett and subsequent selection of the neighborhood QB may just be the ultimate “inside job”. This is the main topic that will be discussed on the latest episode of the morning flagship show in the BTSC family of podcasts, “Let’s Ride” with Jeff Hartman. Join BTSC’s Senior Editor for this and more on the Friday episode of “Let’s Ride”.

Check out the rundown of the show:

  • News and Notes
  • Reaction to the Steelers’ selection of Kenny Pickett
  • Hart to Heart
  • and MUCH MORE!

Jeff Hartman of BTSC walks you through everything you need to know regarding the black-and-gold.

Be sure to check out this and all episodes on the following platforms:

Apple Users: CLICK HERE

Spotify: CLICK HERE

Google Play: CLICK HERE

Watch Kenny Pickett react to being the Steelers top draft pick

Behind the Steel Curtain - Thu, 04/28/2022 - 11:01pm
Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers new quarterback was surrounded by family and friends at his home when he got the news he was Pittsburgh’s No. 1 overall draft pick.

The Pittsburgh Steelers shocked many in their fan base, and across the NFL landscape, when they selected University of Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett with the 20th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

As the draft went on, with numerous trades happening on the way to pick No. 20, the Steelers stayed put and wanted to see what would happen with the quarterbacks on the board.

Of course, everyone knew the prospects which could be the top option for the Steelers. Malik Willis, Desmond Ridder and Kenny Pickett were the biggest names of note, but most assumed Willis would be the pick if he and Pickett were available.

As the board unfolded, all quarterbacks were available when it was the Steelers’ turn to make their selection.

It was this tweet and video, by Johnny McGonigal, which tipped the hand before the pick was announced that Pickett was the Steelers selection. Take a look at the video below.

Kenny Pickett is a Pittsburgh Steeler

The moment he gets the call and finds out he’s being selected with the 20th overall pick in the #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/Zk38Gi2Ey9

— Johnny McGonigal (@jmcgonigal9) April 29, 2022

The celebration continued with Terrible Towels and chants of “He’s staying home!”, obviously talking about how Pickett will return to Pittsburgh where he spent five years in college.

They had Terrible Towels ready. They had Mike Tomlin on the phone. And they chanted: “HE’S STAYING HOME” pic.twitter.com/bm8gLers4l

— Johnny McGonigal (@jmcgonigal9) April 29, 2022

Finally, the announcement on the television with Pickett wearing the black and gold for the first time in his young professional career.

Kenny Pickett’s #NFLDraft party reaction to the announcement that he’s a Pittsburgh Steeler pic.twitter.com/HTnZXDBnGb

— Johnny McGonigal (@jmcgonigal9) April 29, 2022

Will Pickett turn out to be the next Steelers’ franchise quarterback? That has yet to be seen, but the one thing which won’t change is the massive amount of pressure on Pickett’s shoulders as he moves from Pitt to the professional ranks.

Let us know what you thought about the Pickett selection in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for Days 2 and 3 of the NFL Draft.

Knee Jerk Reactions to the Steelers taking Kenny Pickett in Round 1

Behind the Steel Curtain - Thu, 04/28/2022 - 9:50pm
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

One BTSC writer shares his initial and real time unadulterated reactions to the first round of the NFL draft in anticipation of the Steelers pick.

Knee-jerk Reactions are immediate responses to a situation without taking the time to analyze the situation. That’s something as sports fans that we typically do. Especially if you are a full blood Yinzer, or even just a part Yinzer. As is the custom, I compile my knee jerk thoughts and publish them immediately after each Steelers game. It’s my version of running my mouth first and apologizing later (or not apologizing at all). So with that being said, I’m going to employ that philosophy here during the NFL Draft.

  • As per usual Roger Goodell enters to a lot of boos.
  • The Jags ate well, Jaggy, but they are on the clock.
  • Travon Walker is the pick, not a huge surprise, as he vaulted to the top the past couple of days.
  • Lions grab Aiden Hutchinson with pick 2. A couple of edge rushers to start things off.
  • Stingley Jr. at number 3, a bit of a surprise there. Thought that would have been Sauce.
  • Defense is the name of the game, as Sauce Gardner makes it 4 straight.
  • Defense again! Another edge rusher!
  • The first offensive player finally comes off the board, as Ekwonu at tackle goes at 6.
  • Back to back tackles now.....interesting.
  • Falcons make it three offensive players in a row, with WR London. They did need a receiver.
  • Fourth offensive player in a row, and third tackle.
  • Jets add a WR, so the top 10 went 5 defense and then 5 offense. Weird.
  • Washington trades back and the Saints are up to 11. Saints grab WR Olave, and the Scho Bro mock draft pick is off the board.
  • Lions move up to 12, and grab a WR. Here is the WR run.
  • This is setting up to be an interesting pick for the Steelers, as there are a bunch possibilities.
  • Eagles trade up in front of Baltimore and grab Jordan Davis......Geoffrey Benedict got his wish and kept Davis out of Baltimore. This also ended 7 offensive players in a row chosen.
  • Ravens grab safety Kyle Hamilton.....doesn't matter, I still hate Wang Harbaugh.
  • Another offensive lineman at 15.
  • The Washington I Have No Idea Their Name Now's pick a WR. Still no QB's off the board
  • Chargers go OL....starting to get nervous about the Steelers pick.
  • Eagles trade for A.J. Brown and send pick 18 to the Titans. Definitely been a lot of wheeling and dealing so far.
  • Ends up being a strange swap as the Titans grab a WR after trading one away for the pick.
  • Saints grab a tackle at 19.
  • Steelers on the clock and can have their pick of any QB if they want one.
  • Steelers take Pickett. This will cause some uproar within Steelers Nation, but you could actually say that about any pick they make.
  • I think the Steelers were able to keep how much they liked Pickett quiet because they share the same facility with the Panthers. Everyone thought they loved Willis, but they were able to hide that they actually liked Pickett more.
  • Initial thoughts from some of the other BTSC writers is that Kenny Pickett will be a nice fit for Diontae Johnson and Pat Freiermuth.
  • The good thing is the Steelers did not trade up to get a quarterback, whether you like the selection or not.

There you have it, my knee jerks. I’m going to sleep on this and see how how I feel about it in the morning, and then on to day two.

For more information on the pick, check out the breaking news podcast below:

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