Why Pittsburgh’s Drafting Kenny Beckett on Willis’ Malik Shouldn’t Be A Surprise – Steelers Warehouse 2022-04-29 12:15:22


Pittsburgh Steelers is an organization that has thrived thanks to stability and consistency. They are a team that limits margins of error and likes to stick to conservative methods of doing business while occasionally tossing calculated risks here and there when they feel confident in their payoff.

That trend continued Thursday night into the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, and frankly, we should have seen it come from a mile away.

I’m as mistaken as anyone else Liberty QB Malik Willis was mistaken for the Steelers as their favorite QB of the future. The evidence of their perceived interest in Willis was overwhelming. They’ve visited him a few times at the Senior Bowl and really talked to his family which is what we got at Steelers Depot up close. They formally interviewed him in the NFL and sent home to his professional day, failing to hide any potential interest with smiles as wide as the Grand Canyon while he was performing in front of the NFL folks. They brought him for a pre-draft visit on the last day pre-draft visits were allowed into the building after all that previous exposure to see him again.

Given Mike Tomlin’s comments about QB hopping being so vital in today’s game and Lamar Jackson’s vision and the planning problems it creates for the twice-yearly defense at the AFC North, I felt Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers were sure to pick Willis who brought the best qualities as a runner as well as the strongest arm As a corridor in the fold to develop to the top potential QB in the league he needs to develop, but could become the X factor in the NFL with the traits he has.

While all of this data may be true, it honestly doesn’t match Pittsburgh’s business model.

Pitt QB pick Kenny Pickett 20th overall.

Kenny Pickett is planning an NFL game easier than Malik Willis at this point in time. It’s been billed as the most “pro-ready” QB in this draft category and is exactly what Pittsburgh wants. They don’t want a downfall but want something for sure that they know they can count on. Josh Carney from Steelers Depot recently Publish an article Addressing General Manager Kevin Colbert’s comments on Beckett’s familiarity with a professional system and how this would provide a smooth transition to the league:

“Yeah, we talk about it all the time. I mean, it’s coming from a professional system and sometimes the transition is easier. That doesn’t mean the player outside of it can’t make that transition. It might take a little bit longer and you have to be careful not to over-evaluate the player because Coming from a familiar system,” Colbert said regarding Beckett’s transfer to the NFL, According to a video clip posted on the Steelers’ YouTube page. “But I think Kenny, once again, getting out of this is going to help him. Going to Senior Bowl helped him. And again, it was another great week where we met the best players all in the same place. So it’s going to be familiar to him, but then again, I’ll He goes from being a great college player to being a great NFL player.”

I’ve said since the beginning of the draft process that owner Willis has the biggest upside to any QB in this draft class, but if you don’t think your team can develop it properly, you shouldn’t take it because it won’t work out. Frankly, the Pittsburgh Steelers with Pick Pickett showed that they agreed with that statement because they chose a “more ready QB” with limited upside on potential with massive physical tools, but it was an obvious project that needs to be brought in slowly. This isn’t just a Steelers game, they want to be in the midst of their playoff chase every year. They’re not about spending “free years” trying to make a list. Instead, they will make as much as they see fit which makes them competitive and gives them a chance to win now. This is true with Pickett’s choice previously mentioned by Tomlin and Colbert as Being in competition To start working with Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph.

This illustrates Pittsburgh’s intentions to compete in 2022, picking Pickett who is far less of a projection than Willis and has a realistic chance of pushing for a first week start. Is it the right step in the long run? Time will tell as we can point to Trubisky choosing Patrick Mahomes or saying Sam Darnold instead of Josh Allen as players who were more “pro ready” to get out of college over players who were considered “projects”, but with massive physical traits. Take Beckett was safe play, Tomlin said a lot At the press conference after the selection:

“We talked about his high floor. The high floor of HIs was due to the intangible. But also anticipation and professional, the accuracy was very clear and consistent when studying his bar.”

The Steelers aren’t a team known to take risks, and they haven’t come across that trend in this draft. While they may have been intrigued by Willis’ potential, Beckett provides plenty of “the sure thing” in their eyes. Colbert has preached the importance of accuracy in QB, and Beckett enjoyed his best statistical season last year completing 67.2% of his passes, scoring the second best reachable % of the draft class, and actually leading the draft class in the target percentage in the red by Data provided by Clayton Eckert from Steelers Depot In his recent studies From the 2022 QB category where he said:

This stands out [Pickett’s] Impressive accuracy and size in scoring situations where the defenses have less room to cover.

health? check. What about the Tomlin Mobility Factor? He has that too He was initially recruited By OC Matt Canada to Pitt to play in his offensive system, he will now run with the Pittsburgh Steelers that requires him to maneuver the pocket, create out-of-the-pocket as a lane, throw out play movement and throw off-pitch throws, as well as be able to create as a runner with his legs when the play goes down , which are all the traits Beckett displayed in his final season with the Panthers.

health? check. Mobility? check. What about personality/cultural fit? You don’t even need to ask that question because Pickett has basically been an honorary member of the Steelers organization for the past five years across the hall at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. Colbert and other members have been able to see Beckett in training and in the home game at Pitt for years up to this point, watching him develop as a player as well as the maturation process. Tomlin Stories sitting with Beckett after chatting about football and life. Canada plots to recruit Beckett to Pete and now has the same man under the position at the NFL level. Colbert and Tomlin made their intentions clear all the time and She expressed those loud and clear Thursday night:

“We are very excited to be able to draft Kenny Beckett with our first-round pick,” Colbert said in his opening speech After picking Beckett. “Honestly, I never thought he’d come to us at 20. Fun times for us and Kenny and the University of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh in general. It’s awesome. We couldn’t be more excited.”

“Boy, I’ve flown around the world or at least the United States here. Oh man, the past several months, just exploring and researching… we’re excited about it,” Tomlin said. “Being able to not only see what he’s capable of, but To see his process, his maturation process, his development process, just a great deal of relief. We are excited. “

QB Kenny Pickett isn’t the exciting choice that many Steelers fans, including myself, have been demanding in Malik Willis. He doesn’t have the physical traits or the massive positive side of Willis which is undoubtedly raw, but has a mystifying rooftop. However, Kenny Beckett is familiar, safe, and proven to almost everyone in the establishment. In a league where you’re more likely to swing and miss crafting a quarterback for the franchise than you’ll hit, Pittsburgh chose the option they know best and feel best translating into the professional game. They believe his physical attributes and intangible possessions are more than enough to serve as the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback for years to come.

The Steelers stuck to their guns and their way of doing things. They’ve got their pick of trash QBs, including WIllis, but they pick Pickett and how it fits right in with what they want to do as a team. Again, time will tell if pickett over Willis was the right choice, but given the fact that they are convinced to make the move with all options on the table, I sincerely applaud them for staying true to who they are as an organization.

What do you think about choosing QB Kenny Pickett? Do you see the reasons why Pittsburgh chose Beckett over Malik Wallis? Do you think it was the right decision in the long run? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below and thanks again for reading!