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A look at the Steelers 2022 NFL Draft Class

The 2022 NFL Draft is now in the books, and the Steelers selected five offensive players and two defensive players to add to the mix. They will gather on the field for the first time when the team holds their rookie minicamp May 13-15.

Here is a look back at what the team did in this year's draft.

Kenny Pickett
Quarterback
University of Pittsburgh
First Round - 20th Overall

The Steelers didn't have to look far to find their first-round pick, selecting University of Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett with the 20th pick overall in the 2022 NFL Draft.

"We're super, super excited to be able to draft Kenny Pickett with our first-round pick," said General Manager Kevin Colbert. "Honestly, never thought he would make it to us at 20. Exciting times for us, for Kenny, for the University of Pittsburgh, and for Pittsburgh in general. It's great. We couldn't be more excited."

Pickett said when the Steelers called him and he saw the number show up on the phone, he had a pretty good idea who was calling.

"I was speechless," said Pickett. "It's a lifelong -- 23 years of hard work to get to this point, and that all came in a phone call. It was probably one of the best moments of my life, and I'm so excited to get started and get to work with the guys who are next door to me my whole career with the Pittsburgh Panthers.

"I had a pretty good feeling when I got to 20 that that would be the call. As soon as the Saints pick went in, I got the call. My dad saw, my fiancée saw, so we were all incredibly excited for it. I honestly just broke down. Like I said before, I'm just repeating myself, but it's my life's work in one phone call. It's really special."

Pickett finished his career as Pitt's all-time leader passer with 12,303 yards, one of the many school records he holds.

His senior season was one of his strongest, leading Pitt to an 11-2 record and the school's first ACC Championship.

George Pickens
Wide Receiver
Georgia
Second Round - 52nd Overall

The Steelers stuck with offense for their second-round pick, selecting Georgia wide receiver George Pickens with the 52nd pick overall in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Pickens said he was thrilled to get the call from the black and gold, not knowing where the future was going to lead him when the night began.

"With the draft you never know," said Pickens. "I am just glad to be a Steeler. I knew it was a possibility. But you never know.

"It's an honor. Everything right now is an honor to be a Steeler."

Pickens missed some playing time in the 2021 season after suffering a knee injury in the spring, playing in just four games and finishing with five receptions for 107 yards. In three seasons, though, he finished with 90 receptions for 1,347 yards and 14 touchdowns.

DeMarvin Leal
Defensive End
Texas A & M
Third Round - 84th Overall

The Steelers switched to the defensive side of the ball for their third-round pick, selecting Texas A&M defensive end DeMarvin Leal with the 84th pick overall in the 2022 NFL Draft.

"We had a very nice grade on him," said defensive coordinator Teryl Austin. "The fact that he was sitting there really surprised all of us, so it was a no-brainer for us to choose him."

Leal started 12 games his junior season, finishing with 8.5 sacks and 12.5 tackles for a loss, leading the Aggies in both categories.

"Really liked him as a football player," said Austin. "Really versatile. Plays multiple positions across the line. We think has an opportunity to be a good player for us. He offers us some versatility. Has the frame to get a little bit bigger. He does some things pass rush wise, run game wise, that we really like and we value here."

Leal will be pegged as an end but Austin definitely stressed his versatility multiple times in what he can bring.

"Initially we'll probably look at him at an end spot. It all depends," said Austin. "He has some flexibility. If you are playing base defense, you can look at him as an end. When you are playing your nickel defense you may look at him at a different position. That is all to be determined as we get moving."

Calvin Austin III
Wide Receiver
Memphis
Fourth Round - 138th Overall

The Steelers selected receiver Calvin Austin III from Memphis in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft, the 138th pick overall.

Austin said he wasn't sure what the interest level was from the Steelers heading into the draft, but did speak with them beforehand, including at the Senior Bowl.

"Just from the Senior Bowl and conversations throughout, I would say there was a little interest," said Austin. "The talk that we had I could tell it was personal and there was a connection.

"I am extremely blessed right now. To be with a great organization like the Steelers, with Coach (Mike) Tomlin, Mr. (Art) Rooney, it's just a blessing."

Austin was a first-team All-ACC selection in 2020 and 2021, contributing not just on offense for Memphis but also on special teams. He finished his career ranked second in school history with 22 receiving touchdowns, fourth in receiving yards with 2,541 and fifth in receptions with 156. He also returned punts, including 29 for 323 yards, an 11.1-yard average, and two touchdowns.

While at Memphis he said he worked about 80% on the outside but has the versatility to go beyond that.

"That is what makes me versatile," said Austin. "With my size you would think I am just a slot receiver, but I can go in and do both. I can do outside, inside. I have experience in both."

Connor Heyward
Tight End/Fullback
Michigan State
Sixth Round - 208th Overall

The Steelers selected Michigan State tight end/fullback Connor Heyward in the sixth round of the 2022 NFL Draft, the 208th overall pick. Heyward is the younger brother of defensive tackle Cameron Heyward.

"Obviously people understand who he is," said General Manager Kevin Colbert. "First and foremost, that's not why we drafted him. Connor Heyward was a running back at Michigan State, and really I give Coach Tucker and his staff credit for taking Connor and using him in a different manner as an H-back tight end/fullback.

"Connor has got exceptional ball skills, receiving abilities, for a big man. We're excited to see what he can do as a tight end, as an H-back, as a special teamer. I don't want to discount, this guy one time against the University of Maryland put up I believe it was 140-some yards in a game, so he's very, very talented. He's very versatile."

Tight ends coach Alfredo Roberts said the team will start Heyward out as a tight end.

"I had an opportunity to look at him as a tight end, as a move guy, and he offers some value," said Roberts.

Heyward does have position flexibility, including fullback and being a threat on special teams.

"I see myself as all of those and so do they," said Heyward. "They like my versatility. They have a plan for me. No matter what it is, I am going to embrace it. I am excited to be a Steeler.

"I know special teams is an important thing. I know what it takes to be successful on special teams. I know special teams can keep you in the NFL longer. You can't shy away from that. That is something you have to want to do."

Mark Robinson
Linebacker
Ole Miss
Seventh Round - 225th Overall

The Steelers selected linebacker Mark Robinson from Ole Miss in the seventh round of the 2022 NFL Draft, the 225th pick overall.

"Excited to have Mark," said Brian Flores, senior defensive assistant/linebackers coach. "We brought him in for a visit. I spent a lot of time with him. Excited to bring him on. He's excited about this opportunity. It's a great opportunity for him."

Robinson was a running back for most of his college career, playing linebacker for just one year.

"That is part of what we like about him," said Flores. "There is some upside here. Somebody who hasn't played the position for a long time. He showed speed, athleticism, toughness, physicality. A lot of things we liked. He is a fun guy to watch on film.

"I think he has some upside. Anything that is a new position there was a little bit of a learning curve early in the season. As you watched him progress you saw him improve, get better. That is what you are looking for. You like to see that as a coach. He is a hard-working kid. I got that feeling meeting him. It's important to him. That is a big part of making progress as a player. I know he will work to get better."

Chris Oladokun
Quarterback
South Dakota State
Seventh Round - 241st Overall

The Steelers added another quarterback in the 2022 NFL Draft, selecting South Dakota State quarterback Chris Oladokun in the seventh round of the 2022 NFL Draft, the 241st overall pick.

The team also selected Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett in the first round, with the 20th overall pick.

"It's pretty surreal to me," said Oladokun. "I am really thankful for the opportunity to be a part of the Pittsburgh organization. I am super grateful.

"With them taking Pickett in the first round…I took a visit to Pittsburgh and enjoyed it. When they took him, I didn't know if I was out of play or not. I am just glad to be a Steeler now."

Oladokun has thrown for 3,164 yards, 25 touchdowns, and seven interceptions in 2021 at South Dakota State. He rushed for 166 yards and also had two touchdown receptions.

"Every single day I am in there I am going to be the best teammate I can be," said Oladokun. "Hold myself accountable. Hold other accountable. Just do what I have been doing my whole life, working hard, being a leader and perfecting my craft every day. I am excited to be a Steeler."

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