The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted seven rookies in the 2022 draft class. They also signed ten more undrafted rookies to their roster as well as two rookies from their rookie tryout. Of those nineteen rookies, I breakdown the five standouts who could make a real impact on the 2022-2023 season for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
1. Calvin Austin III
This may surprise a lot of people having Austin at number one, but when you take a deeper look at him, you can see why he has a case to be made for an elite player in the NFL. The Memphis product is an explosive speedster that can go from 0 to 100 in a moment’s notice. It is likely that Austin will be fourth in the WR pecking order, but the Steelers should be able to find ways to incorporate his immense talent.
2. WR George Pickens
The speedy Georgia Bulldog receiver joins a Steelers team that was in need of an athletic receiver like Pickens. After losing Juju Smith-Schuster, the Steelers needed a speedster to fill his role. Pickens should have plenty opportunities to shine on this team with Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool likely receiving the full attention of the opposing defenses.
3. DE Demarvin Leal
The Texas A&M standout was drafted by the Steelers 84th overall and joins a much-needed Defensive front. With the retiring of Steelers great, Stephon Tuitt, there is a void to fill on the defensive line. In steps Leal, a hard-hitting, havoc-wreaking DE who will have plenty of opportunities to shine alongside Tyson Alualu, Cam Heyward, and the newly acquired – Larry Ogunjobi.
4. TE Connor Heyward
Speaking of Cam Heyward, the Steelers completed another brother pair by adding Cam’s brother to their roster during the 2022 draft. TE Connor Heyward, a Michigan State Spartan product, showed extreme skills in college and has bloomed in minicamp. Heyward has the potential to make a big impact on the offensive side of the ball.
5. QB Kenny Pickett
With the departure of Steelers legend, Ben Roethlisberger, a large hole needed to be filled. With the uncertainty of Mason Rudolph’s ability to lead the team, they brought in ex Chicago Bears QB – Mitchell Trubisky. They then drafted the Pittsburgh native, Kenny Pickett, 20th overall in the 2022 NFL draft. This offseason will be massive for finding their starting QB for the 2022 – 2023 season. Pickett has the potential to become a massive star for the franchise if/when given the chance.
Any way you look at it, the offseason is going to crazy and huge for the impact on the 22-23 season. With so many questions at key positions, Pittsburgh has a lot of figuring out to do this summer.
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