The Pittsburgh Steelers 2022 NFL Draft class has certainly been remarkable on many levels. Not only did they have significant contributions from some of their rookie class, but if 2022 is just the beginning, it could be the start of something really big.
Looking at the Steelers rookies who contributed in one way or another last season, the list is long:
- QB Kenny Pickett (Round 1)
- WR George Pickens (Round 2)
- DL DeMarvin Leal (Round 3)
- TE Connor Heyward (Round 6)
- LB Mark Robinson (Round 7)
- RB Jaylen Warren (UDFA)
Those six players are the core of the team moving forward, and their contributions have certainly been needed over the past year. Nevertheless, despite playing key snaps and making major contributions to their respective units, these rookies were overlooked by the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) for the All-Rookie teams.
Jets’ Gardner PFWA Rookie and Defensive Rookie of the Year, Jets’ Wilson Offensive Rookie of the Year; 2022 All-Rookie Team named https://t.co/GoiL8MDcsW
— Professional Football Writers (@PFWAwriters) January 24, 2023
Before we get to the rosters, here are who the PFWA chose for their ‘Rookie of the Year’, ‘Offensive Rookie of the Year’ and ‘Defensive Rookie of the Year’:
2022 ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: CB Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, New York Jets
2022 ATTACKING ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: W. R. Garrett Wilson, New York Jets
2022 DEFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: CB Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, New York Jets
Now let’s take a look at the PFWA All-Rookie Team:
2022 PFWA ALL ROOKIE TEAM
QB – Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers
RB – Tyler Allgeier, Atlanta Falcons; Kenneth Walker III, Seattle Seahawks
WR – Chris Olave, Saints of New Orleans; Garrett Wilson, New York Jets
TE – Chigoziem Okonkwo, Tennessee Titans
C–Tyler Linderbaum, Baltimore Ravens
G – Zion Johnson, Los Angeles Chargers; Dylan Parham, Las Vegas Raiders
T – Braxton Jones, Chicago Bears; Tyler Smith, Dallas Cowboys
DL – Jordan Davis, Philadelphia Eagles; Aidan Hutchinson, Detroit Lions; George Karlaftis, Kansas City chiefs; Kayvon Thibodeaux, New York Giants
LB-Devin Lloyd, Jacksonville Jaguars; Malcolm Rodriguez, Detroit Lions; Quay Walker, Green Bay Packers
CB – Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, New York Jets, Tariq Woolen, Seattle Seahawks
S – Kyle Hamilton, Baltimore Ravens; Jalen Pitre, Houston Texans
PK – Cameron Dicker, Los Angeles Chargers
P – Ryan Stonehouse, Tennessee Titans
KR – Dallis Flowers, Indianapolis Colts
PR – Marcus Jones, New England Patriots
ST – Brenden Schooler, New England Patriots
To argue for one of the current Steelers rookies to make the above list, it really boils down to two players:
Kenny Pickett and George Pickens
The PFWA chose Brock Purdy over Pickett, likely due to his better TD:INT rations and the fact that he hasn’t lost a game as a starter since being called into the 49ers’ starting lineup. Likewise, both Olave’s and Wilson’s stats surpass Pickens’ work over the past season. For those suggesting Pickens had to work with a fellow rookie at the helm, it should be noted that Olave and Wilson had to work with Andy Dalton and Mike White/Zach Wilson for most of the season. Not necessarily the premiere passers-by in today’s game.
Nevertheless, the rookie class of Steelers fans have a good feeling about the young core moving forward. Even if they didn’t bring any hardware home at the end of the season.
Make sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes on the black-and-gold as they prepare for the rest of the off-season.