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New Insight and more from Steelers HC Mike Tomlin on 1st Round Pick QB Kenny Pickett: “His tape said enough”

YouTube: Mark Bergin

New Insight and more from Steelers HC Mike Tomlin on 1st Round Pick QB Kenny Pickett: “His tape said enough”

On May 5th, that just so happened to be former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback, Ike Taylor‘s birthday, as he decided to have a special podcast episode featuring head coach, Mike Tomlin. Taylor and Mark Bergin host a show called Bleav in Steelers which can be seen here.

On the episode, Taylor and Tomlin share the details of their close relationship and all they’ve been through over the years, including fond memories of the late Dan Rooney, the growth of defensive captain, Cam Heyward, and how Tomlin would sometimes let Taylor in on the Steelers draft process. Taylor played for Tomlin from 2007-2014, winning two Super Bowls with the Steelers and widely acknowledged as Rooney’s favorite player. Because of this, the trust was strong between the two, which got Taylor thinking about this past NFL Draft and the thought process behind drafting first round pick (20th overall), Pitt quarterback, Kenny Pickett.

Steelers Mike Tomlin Kenny Pickett

Steelers head coach, Mike Tomlin (left) and first round selection QB Kenny Pickett (right). | Photo via SteelersNow

Why the Steelers chose Kenny Pickett

When asked about why Pickett was the Steelers’ first choice, Tomlin responded with this:

“His tape said enough to be quite honest with you, but we knew so much beyond the tape because of proximity and it just made it that much more comfortable. I watched that guy sit on that patio and watch us work for three or four years. This dude loves football, man. He’s not a clock puncher. He’s always trying to get better. He’s very comfortable in his shoes, meaning the quarterback shoes. I watch them establish relationships with his teammates at Pitt. I thought it was cool a couple of years ago, I watched them forge this relationship with that safety tandem that they had: Paris Ford and D-Ham [Damar Hamlin], right, man, all three of them. They brought the offense and the defense together and they would watch us work. They would put in extra work. You could just tell that he’s a guy that was really comfortable with the responsibility that comes with being a quarterback. That intangible quality, that thing that we’re all trying to measure, he has. And we were close enough to him that we could confirm it. It wasn’t speculative. And so, man, we probably spent about 15 seconds on the clock, to be honest with you, after New Orleans made that pick right before us, it was an easy decision for us.”

Tomlin continued.

“Like a lot of people, we didn’t think that we had a legitimate chance to get them to be honest with you, particularly in recent years, the way the quarterback position has come off the board very early. Twelve months ago, the guy from BYU [Zach Wilson] was a fast ride and went very early. The guy from North Dakota State [Trey Lance] really played like 15 or so college games and went very early and so you had that level of anticipation based on recent circumstance. That didn’t get us too fired up until we start getting around 15 or 16. Then we started saying ‘hmmm, there’s something here [laughs].”

Taylor added that he felt that Pickett wasn’t going to drop all the way to the 20th pick as well, but had him as “the most ‘right now’ ready quarterback for the NFL” coming out of the draft. Pickett will get a chance to prove that this off-season, but he’ll have recently acquired Mitch Trubisky and four-year veteran Mason Rudolph standing in his way.

For more insight from Tomlin as to exactly why he and the Steelers chose Pickett, click here, and to watch the full Bleav in Steelers interview, click here.


So what do yinz think? Is Tomlin’s assessment of Pickett accurate? Or will we just have to wait and see? Click to comment below!


Managing Editor of, I’m a Steelers fan first, and a human being second. I BLEED black and gold! I love everything Steeler Nation and I’ve been with this staff since February 2018. I now reside in sunny San Diego, CA, but that doesn’t stop me from attending every game at Heinz Field, and a few away games as well if possible. I graduated from Old Dominion University in 2010, and if I’m not watching a Steelers game, you can catch me at the beach, stuffing my face with Golden Oreos, or in front of anything Marvel. I report breaking news, I'm the site's designer, and I’m a big Penguins fan too! Follow me on Instagram @bwall_24! And if you need a new website for your own business or personal brand, hit me up! I’m a full-time web developer as well! Check out Go Steelers!

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