Great news, Steelers Nation. The 2022 NFL Draft is finally upon us. Every rabid football fans version of Christmas in April.
I have been given the distinguished task of trying to apply a letter grade to each Steelers selection.
There are specific criteria necessary when attempting to accurately and fairly grade any draft pick. Only time will reveal the validity of any grade given, but I will utilize certain parameters as I attempt to apply an initial grade for each Steelers draft pick. I base each grade on projected roster fit, potential immediate impact, and assumed draft value. Draft value is achieved by evaluating each players actual selection against their projected draft position, whether that be player rankings or projected round.
The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Memphis WR Calvin Austin lll with the 138th selection of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Calvin Austin lll is an undersized slot receiver with NFL caliber abilities. He is also fearless, versatile, and extremely fast. Just how fast you may ask? Track star speed actually, as he showcased as a second team All American track athlete at Memphis. He then went out and blazed a 4.32 forty at the Combine, which some scouts on hand claimed was even faster than the official time. He has explosive start stop ability and short area quickness.
It's a good thing that Austin is both tough and fearless, because he is undersized for a NFL wide receiver. As a former walk on, Austin has consistently improved at each stage of his football career. What he lacks in size, he makes up for with tenacity and heart. His lack of optimal size does limit his run after the catch abilities on occasion, but he is not afraid to put his head down and drive for the extra yard when the situation is warranted.
Austin will be limited to the slot in the NFL, but he offers Steelers Offensive Coordinator Matt Canada an extremely versatile weapon to be utilized in a variety of ways. Austin can be moved around the formation to create instant mismatches, and influence defensive positioning. Expect plenty of sweeps, screens, and possibly even carries out of the backfield. His speed and elusiveness gives him superior kick return capabilities.
Based on the criteria mentioned earlier in this article, I give the Steelers fourth round selection of Calvin Austin lll an initial draft grade of A-.
Austin was projected anywhere from the late third to the fourth round. I considered him a good fourth round value, especially where the Steelers were able to get him. The Steelers needed a slot receiver, and they got a good one in Austin. He could potentially be a great one if the Steelers are able to fully capitalize on his versatility and elite speed. He is a truly unique prospect. A combination of an elite track athlete with a former walk on football player's mentality.
Now we want to hear from the BTSC community and from Steelers Nation. What do you think about the selection and what initial grade would you give it. Please place your vote in the attached poll and share your reasoning in the comment section below.
I am pleased to welcome Calvin Austin lll to the Steelers family on behalf of the BTSC staff and community. Go Steelers!
What initial draft grade would you give this fourth round selection?
This poll is closed
A = Excellent selection
B = Above average selection
C = Solid selection
D = Below average selection
F = Terrible selection