Round 1, Pick 20: QB Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh (Grade: A-)
Pickett felt like the safest of options at the quarterback position in this year’s draft, especially considering he didn’t go until the 20th overall pick. Pickett does draw some similarities to Mitch Trubisky, as he is more accurate, but not as mobile and also doesn’t have top-tier arm strength, which is why it’s not an A+ grade. Pickett, however, could improve his arm strength and has the ability to run the Steelers offense. Based on recent reports, Pickett has a shot to compete and start in his rookie season.
Round 2, Pick 52: WR George Pickens, Georgia (Grade: A+)
This was great value in the middle of the second for the Steelers. They get much-needed help at the receiver position, having lost multiple key players in the receiver group this offseason. Pickens should fill in nicely in the core, as the Steelers try to find a new identity on offense with a new quarterback. Hopefully they can take the deep shot more often, as Pickens has shown he can be a deep threat at Georgia.
Round 3, Pick 84: IDL Demarvin Leal, Mississippi State (Grade: A+)
Leal had some first round buzz not too long ago and nobody expected him to make it to the third round, let alone the 84th overall selection. This is a major boost to the Steelers defensive line, as the team still isn’t sure what will be happening with Stephon Tuitt this year. Leal is either an immediate Tuitt replacement or a rotation piece during his rookie season. Either way, this makes the Steelers defensive line that much better.
Round 4, Pick 138: WR Calvin Austin III, Memphis, (Grade: A)
The Steelers load up on the receiving core, as Austin will fill in nicely as a WR4 in a offense that uses four receivers often. Austin should be a major deep threat option with his speed at the position. He adds to the Steelers offense in hopes that it becomes a powerhouse again.
Round 6, Pick 208: FB/TE Connor Heyward, Michigan State (Grade: A)
Heyward is an extremely versatile player and lines up at various positions on offense. He is also a top-notch special teams asset. Connor Heyward, the brother of Steelers defensive captain Cameron Heyward, finally made himself a member of the roster in this year’s draft.
Round 7, Pick 225: LB Mark Robinson, Ole Miss (Grade: C+)
Mark Robinson was an interesting pick, considering he only has one year of experience as a true linebacker. The Steelers got themselves a project piece here who should assist on special teams for now, as they hope he can develop as an NFL-level linebacker.
Round 7, Pick 241: QB Chris Oladokun, South Dakota State (Grade: F)
This was the only pick for the Steelers that should be marked as a straight-up poor selection. The Steelers already have three quarterbacks on the roster between Mitch Trubisky, Mason Rudolph, and Kenny Pickett. With needs on the offensive front and secondary, the Steelers instead chose to add a fourth quarterback to the roster.
Overall grade: B+
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