Kenny Pickett 'Was Speechless' After Being Picked by Steelers in 2022 NFL Draft

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVApril 29, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAR 02: Kenny Pickett #QB11 of the Pittsburgh Panthers speaks to reporters during the NFL Draft Combine at the Indiana Convention Center on March 2, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Not only was Kenny Pickett the first quarterback taken in Thursday's NFL draft, he also gets to stay in the city where he played college football.

After the Pittsburgh Steelers selected him with the No. 20 overall pick, he said, "I'm pretty familiar with the area code," per Brooke Pryor of ESPN. "I had a pretty good idea of who it was. I was speechless."

The Pittsburgh Panthers product also called it a "dream come true."

Pittsburgh Steelers @steelers

"It's a dream come true." <a href="https://twitter.com/kennypickett10?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@kennypickett10</a> <a href="https://t.co/G9CqChGItQ">pic.twitter.com/G9CqChGItQ</a>

NFL fans have become accustomed to the quarterback position dominating headlines during the first day of the draft. It was just last year that the top three picks and five of the first 15 selections of the draft were quarterbacks.

A quarterback also went No. 1 overall in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Yet Pickett was the only signal-caller selected in Thursday's first round, which underscored the notion that this year's class was relatively weaker in comparison to previous ones. Malik Willis, Desmond Ridder, Matt Corral and Sam Howell are all still available and surely hoping to be left "speechless" by the team that eventually drafts them like Pickett was at No. 20 overall.

He's not exactly walking into a situation where he doesn't have a chance to see the field as a rookie either.

Pittsburgh signed Mitchell Trubisky this offseason, but the North Carolina product is best known for failing to live up to expectations when the Chicago Bears selected him with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft.

That Patrick Mahomes went eight picks later only magnified Chicago's mistake.

Pickett will surely start behind Trubisky, but he impressed during the 2021 collegiate season while leading Pittsburgh to an ACC championship by completing 67.2 percent of his passes for 4,319 yards, 42 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

If he flashes the potential that helped him put up those head-turning numbers, he could be competing for playing time right away on the Steelers.