Mike Tomlin: Kenny Pickett will have an opportunity to compete to start

Miami v Pittsburgh

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After all the chatter leading up to Thursday night, there was only one quarterback selected in the first round of the 2022 draft.

Kenny Pickett will just have to use a different door on the building when he comes into his new football facility, as the Steelers drafted him at No. 20 overall.

As head coach Mike Tomlin put it in a press conference after the choice, “[W]e circled the globe — or at least the United States — here the last several months, man, just exploring and researching. And it’s funny, we ended up with a guy from next door.”

Tomlin touted Pickett’s “high floor” with the quarterback’s intangibles, anticipation, and accuracy “obvious and consistent when studying his tape.”

And while the Steelers have familiarity with Mason Rudolph already on the roster and signed Mitchell Trubisky in free agency, there’s a chance Pickett could be behind center Week One.

“He’ll be given an opportunity to compete, certainly,” Tomlin said.

Because Pitt shares a building with the Steelers, Tomlin noted he’s plenty familiar with Pickett already.

“I’ve known him for several years now,” Tomlin said, “whether it’s in the parking lot or what have you, wishing him good luck on a big game of the week, neighborly type things, in a very natural way, like I’ve done with those who have come before him.”

Now Tomlin will coach Pickett for the foreseeable future.