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Steelers stellar rookie class overlooked for All-Rookie teams

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By: Jeff.Hartman

Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Despite having a stellar crop of rookies in 2022, none received any accolades for the season.

The Pittsburgh Steelers 2022 NFL Draft class has certainly been noteworthy on many levels. Not only did they have major contributions from several of their rookie class, but if 2022 is just the beginning, it could be the beginning of something really great.

When looking at the Steelers rookies who contributed in some way 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 have the make-up of being a nucleus for the team moving forward, and their contributions were certainly needed this past year. Nonetheless, despite playing significant snaps, and having major contributions to their respective units, these rookies were overlooked by the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) for the All-Rookie teams.

Before getting 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 OFFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: WR 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:



QB – Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers

RB – Tyler Allgeier, Atlanta Falcons; Kenneth Walker III, Seattle Seahawks

WR – Chris Olave, New Orleans Saints; 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

Special Teams

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 make a case for any of the Steelers current rookies to make the above list, it really comes down to two players:

Kenny Pickett and George Pickens

The PFWA chose Brock Purdy over Pickett, and that is likely to do with his better TD:INT ration, and the fact he hasn’t lost a game as a starter since being inserted into the 49ers’ starting lineup. Likewise, the stats put up by both Olave and Wilson trump the work done by Pickens this past season. For those who suggest Pickens had to work with a fellow rookie at the helm, it should be noted Olave and Wilson had to work with Andy Dalton and Mike White/Zach Wilson for the majority of the season. Not necessarily the premiere passers in the game today.

Nonetheless, the Steelers rookie class has fans feeling good about the young nucleus moving forward. Even if they didn’t bring home any hardware at season’s end.

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black-and-gold as they prepare for the rest of the offseason.

Originally posted on Behind the Steel Curtain – All Posts