Kenny Pickett, the quarterback from the University of Pittsburgh, was the first quarterback taken off the board. The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted him with the 20th Overall pick.
Pickett was the only quarterback drafted in the first round this year which is unusual for the most recent drafts. In the 2021 draft, five different quarterbacks were taken in the first round. This was the first time since 2013 for only one quarterback to be selected.
In his last season at the University of Pittsburgh, the 6-foot-three quarterback threw for over 4300 yards, 42 touchdowns, and only seven interceptions. Look for Pickett to have an immediate impact with the Steelers, as they are already built to have a winning team.
With Ben Rothlisberger retired, that leaves the starting quarterback position wide open for Pickett to earn this offseason. With wide receivers like Dionte Johnson, Chase Claypool, and rookie George Pickens, Pickett is bound to put up big numbers.
In my opinion, Pickett may not be the best Quarterback in the draft, but he will for sure have the best rookie year.
Malik Willis was drafted in the third round, 87th pick, out of Liberty. Malik Willis is arguably the most talented quarterback in the draft. When the Tennessee Titans drafted him, NFL fans were surprised because the Titans already have a solid starter in Ryan Tannehill.
Since the Titans already have a top 15 quarterback, I do think that Malik Willis will be on the bench all year. This is a similar situation to what the Kansas City Chiefs did with Patrick Mahomes and Alex Smith.
Malik Willis will take the year to grow and learn the ins and outs of the NFL and eventually become a full-time starter, just not yet. He has the potential to have the best career out of any of the rookie quarterbacks.
Matt Corral was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the third round, pick 94. Many expected Coral to go much earlier than that; however, an injury in the Sugar Bowl game caused him to miss offseason showcases which ended up hurting his draft stock.
The Ole Miss quarterback last season was able to throw for over 3,300 yards, 20 touchdowns, only five interceptions, and ran for an additional 11 touchdowns. I expect Coral and Pickett to fight over the rookie of the year award.
Although Matt Coral will not start for the Panthers right away, I firmly believe that he will earn the starting spot within the first five games of the season. Sam Darnold is currently the starter, but he has struggled his first few seasons in the league.
Pickett to Have the Best Rookie Year
Pickett will strive under head coach Mike Tomlin and the Steelers offense. With a good shot at making the playoffs his rookie year, the best quarterback in the draft should be a no-brainer.
However, do not be surprised if Matt Coral gives a solid competition to Pickett for the rookie of the year award.