Opinion: Steelers get an A+ after the draft


The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted 7 players in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Ethan Spozarski, Sports Editor

The 2021 season for the Pittsburgh Steelers ended with a playoff loss, leaving a few questions that had to be answered. And this past weekend, the draft looks to have answered those questions. 

Eighteen-year franchise quarterback Ben Rothlisberger retired following the 2021 season, which left the team without a starting QB. The Steelers have had issues with their linebackers, and putting up the offensive numbers that they did so well with two seasons ago. 

The Steelers with their first-round pick drafted QB Kenny Pickett from Pitt. Pickett is the most NFL ready quarterback of all the prospects heading into this year’s draft. Pickett threw for 4,319 yards, completed 67 percent of his passes and threw for a career high 42 touchdown passes. Pickett is a mobile quarterback who can scramble if he needs to.

The Steelers also drafted quarterback Chris Oladokun with their last pick in the seventh round. He has a really good arm and is accurate with the football. 

These qualities should help both picks become great fits for Matt Canada’s offense. 

Two more great picks are receivers George Pickens and Calvin Austin III. Pickens is tall and is great for contested catches. He is also physical, so he can be put in the slot and will be a great run blocker. Austin is only 5’ 9”, but he is fast. He can be put at any spot on the field, and the team can run any play with him as well. 

Last season the Steelers’ linebackers proved to be quite ineffective. They chose not to pick up the fifth-year option on Devin Bush’s contract. Bush has been in the league for three seasons. He had an amazing rookie season. Following that he had a good second year until he tore his ACL. Since the injury he has proven to not be the star he once was.

At the start of free agency the Steelers signed LB Myles Jack. 

The Steelers also drafted defensive lineman DeMarvin Leal and linebacker Mark Robinson. 

In three seasons with Texas A&M, Leal has 59 solo tackles, 74 assisted tackles and 13 sacks. Robinson in one starting season with Ole Miss had 42 solo tackles and 91 total, and 3.5 sacks. Both will help a defense that has a few stars and some up and coming players as well. 

And finally the most interesting pick is Connor Heyward, the younger brother of defensive lineman and all-pro Cam Heyward. He plays at TE, but can be used in so many different situations on the offense and on special teams.

As we enter the time period before training camp in July, it will be interesting how these players develop into the system early on.