It would be shocking at this point if Kenny Pickett beat out Mitch Trubisky for the Pittsburgh Steelers’ starting quarterback job in Week 1.

During an ESPN NFL Nation roundtable, it has become abundantly clear that Kenny Pickett is not beating out Mitch Trubisky for the Pittsburgh Steelers‘ starting quarterback job in Week 1.

A few NFL Nation reporters who cover teams with a rookie quarterback (Steelers, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Tennessee Titans) broke down the likelihood of each first-year pro winning the starting job out of camp, the chances they will ride pine all season long and when their first career start could be coming. None are expected to play a lot early, but the Steelers might be in trouble.

Let’s just say Brooke Pryor does not think 2022 will be the Year of Kenny Pickett for Pittsburgh…

Pittsburgh Steelers are likely starting Mitch Trubisky over Kenny Pickett Week 1

Pryor believes Pickett has a two-percent chance of winning the job out of fall camp. While it is not much worse than the five-percent the Falcons, Panthers and Titans beat writers all gave for Desmond Ridder, Matt Corral and Malik Willis respectively, it is still the worst of this quartet. Pryor gives Pickett a 40-percent chance of sitting all year, and feels his first start may come in Week 18.

Only Willis has a worse chance of sitting all year than Pickett at 75 percent. He is backing up Ryan Tannehill on an AFC roster that had the No. 1 seed a season ago. Plus, Willis played at Liberty, while Corral and Pickett played Power Five ball and Ridder quarterbacked the Cincinnati Bearcats to the College Football Playoff coming out of the Group of Five. Willis’ learning curve is very steep.

While it does serve the Steelers organization to proceed with caution when it comes to Pickett, he was seen as the most pro-ready passer in this weak quarterback draft class. He has been taking third-team reps behind the free-agent acquisition Trubisky and the long-time Steelers backup Mason Rudolph. Pickett’s NFL ceiling is not a very high one, so playing early is paramount for him.

Admittedly, the Steelers using kid gloves with Pickett is somewhat understandable. Unlike Atlanta and Carolina, they can compete for a playoff berth this fall. Trubisky showed in his first NFL stop with the Chicago Bears he can quarterback a defensive-minded team to the playoffs based on his athleticism. The Steelers have a great defense and need only slightly more than a game-manager.

However, we need to start hearing tales from the practice field about Pickett. This is because Corral and Ridder will play a good bit this year because their teams are awful. Even Willis may get some run because Tannehill has missed games due to injury. Ultimately, the longer Pickett holds a clipboard, the worse of an investment the Steelers will have made at the quarterback position.

If the Steelers drafted Pickett to play him right away, then this is a huge problem for Pittsburgh.

By admin