Bengals: Grading every AFC North team’s 2022 draft

(Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Becker/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Kenny Pickett – Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Pittsburgh Steelers

Uncharacteristically, the Steelers came into the draft with numerous needs. The team is getting old, they had key losses in free agency and had failed to adequately prepare themselves for the day Big Ben hung it up.

Well, that day finally came. How did the Steelers respond? By signing first-round bust Mitch Trubisky and drafting the top quarterback in a draft NOT noted for its quarterbacks.

Kenny Pickett went 20th overall to Pittsburgh. Fitting since he played at the University of Pittsburgh, and Steelers offensive coordinator Matt Canada recruited Pickett to Pitt.

Whether it means anything depends on who you ask, but Pickett has the smallest hands of any quarterback in the NFL. By a lot.

Does it matter? I guess we will know when Pickett is getting strip-sacked and blasted from the blindside if he plays in 2022. The AFC North boasts some very good edge rushers that will put Pickett’s tiny mitts to the test.

Round 2 saw the Steelers take George Pickens at WR from Georgia. Pickens is an absolute monster, very strong and very hard to press. He should fit in well immediately with Chase Claypool and Diontae Johnson.

The only caveat with Pickens is he has had off-field issues. Claypool has also shown a penchant for being a little bit of a prima donna in his Steeler tenure so we will see if these two can work well together.

The Steelers added a true slot to replace JuJu Smith-Schuster in Round 4 with Calvin Austin III from Memphis. Austin is a 5’8″ 4.3 burner that I project to be a headache for slot corners in the North for several years to come. The only question will be, can anyone can get him the ball.