(Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)
The Steelers double-dipped at the wide receiver position in the 2022 NFL Draft -- selecting George Pickens out of Georgia in the second round and speedster Calvin Austin III out of Memphis in the fourth round. It was the first time since 2006 that the Steelers selected two wide receivers in the first four rounds -- Santonio Holmes ( Round 1) and Willie Reid ( Round 3).
Austin is only 5-foot-9, 162 pounds, but he's explosive. He ran a 4.32 40-yard dash at the combine — third-fastest among all receivers — and had 137 catches for 2,202 yards and 19 touchdowns the past two seasons at Memphis. Austin joins fellow Memphis product Anthony Miller in the Steelers' wide receiver room.
“It seems like over the last few years, the offensive skill position at Memphis, they’ve had a lot of dynamic playmakers. And he’s just the latest,” Tomlin said on Saturday during his post-draft press conference with Kevin Colbert.
Steelers wide receivers coach Frisman Jackson is excited to add Pickens and Austin to the receiver room: “We added two pieces to the puzzle and hopefully they’re big pieces."
Austin could possibly replace the Ray-Ray McCloud role in Matt Canada's offense. I'm sure Canada is going to love to ultilize him on jet sweeps. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Austin had eight rushes in his four-year career at Memphis and three went for touchdowns, including touchdown runs of 69 and 83 yards.
Austin is also a dynamic punt returner, averaging 11.1 yards per return at Memphis, along with two touchdowns.