Bill Neal analyzes the Steelers’ 2022 Draft
:10—Alright you diehard Pittsburgh Steelers fans, as well as you non-believers throughout the AFC North Division and you just-don’t-care haters in the global NFL, here’s your play-by-play of our 2022 draft selections. Time will tell if the Steelers ‘Go or Not.’ (This comes with the caveat—I know better than the so-called experts…)
:09—Picking 20th in the First Round of the Draft the Steelers took Quarterback Kenny Pickett out of the University of Pittsburgh. Writer’s note: sure, he had a great 5th senior year but against who? A weak ACC Conference and a less-than-stellar Clemson Tigers team—Above-average arm but not like Malik Willis, nor the escape talent of Willis, who, it should be noted, lasted till the 3rd round selection of the Tennessee Titans—NFL-ready, I say yes but you truly never know until the whistle blows. As a great 21st-century philosopher stated, “Everybody has a plan until they get hit!” — Mike Tyson.
:08—In the 2nd round with the 52nd pick, the Steelers selected George Pickens out of the super-talented Georgia Bulldogs’ National Championship team, who by the way sent a record 15 players to the NFL in this draft. The 6’3”, 200-pound wide receiver caught 90 passes for 1,347 yards and 14 touchdowns in 24 games.
:07—In the 3rd round the Steelers addressed the D-line’s “stop the run” problems by selecting DeMarvin Leal out of Texas A&M. Leal finished his college career with 133 tackles including 25 for loss, 13 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and an interception. The man-mountain checks in at a robust 6’4” and 300 pounds.
:06—Round 4 and #138 overall pick brought receiver Calvin Austin lll out of Memphis. Austin played all four years with the Tigers, catching 156 passes for 2,541 yards, 22 touchdowns, with 323 return yards and two more touchdowns. Writer’s note: this second receiver chosen joins Diontae Johnson, Chase “you better wake up and smell the coffee” Claypool, and Cody White. Big mistake to let James Washington go and an even bigger mistake to keep Ray Ray McCloud around for so long. And we can only hope the best for JuJu Smith-Schuster, he was a good dude during his tenure here in the ‘Burgh.
:05—In Round 6 the Black & Gold’s #208 pick was Connor Heyward, tight end out of Michigan State. Yeah, yeah, nepotism, whatever. Cam’s little brother comes in with much to prove and even more to live up to. 6 feet tall and 230 solid pounds. 35 receptions… 326 yards… 2 TDs, I’m smelling special teams.
:04—Round 7 pick, #225, has linebacker Mark Robinson out of Ole Miss ranked 11th in total tackles in the SEC and 17th in solo tackles with 42. My guess? He will be a plus on special teams with Connor Heyward.
:03—And to wrap it all up in Vegas, the super dynasty placed a longshot bet on Chris Oladokun, QB out of South Dakota State. Writer’s note: the only thing I can say about this is if he makes the team and Mason Rudolph doesn’t, everybody better watch their backs!
:02—For the sake of conversation my bet is Mitch Trubisky is your starter until such time he melts down or Pickett throws 6 TD’s in a game, and, yes, Mason Rudolph will be on his way but with a $5 million dollar plus paycheck with him. Don’t cry for him, Little Johnny.
:01—The Penguins are in the playoffs for a 16th consecutive season, longest current streak in professional sports in the U.S. This is the last hurrah for Sid, Geno and Tanger, 3 Stanley Cup titles and another appearance in the Finals. Regardless of what this playoff season brings, thanks for an incredible run and tons of amazing memories!