While the number was likely low when he was first signed, the amount of people who believed that the signing of Mitch Trubisky was going to be more than a stopgap solution at quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers surely plummeted when they spent a first-round draft pick on Kenny Pickett a month and a half later.
Trubisky, a former second-overall pick, is a 50-game starter in his career, and is still on the young side, but he’s not far from the ‘bust’ label, either, considering that he was backing up Josh Allen in Buffalo last year. But could he be Pittsburgh’s best answer at quarterback to start the 2022 season, even if he might not be by the end of it?
“I think it’ll be Trubisky”, CBS insider Jason La Canfora said on the Poni and Mueller program on 93.7 The Fan earlier today when asked for his sense of who is going to be the team’s starting quarterback on opening day, saying that he doesn’t believe there’s going to be pressure to get Pickett on the field right away.
“I don’t think there’s going to be this massive push on him, like, ‘We’ve got to get Pickett ready for week one’”, he told his hosts. “I think it’ll be a pretty fair fight, and I think there’s a case to be made that his overall development could be helped by doing everything but starting the first, whatever it turns out to be, three, six, eight, 12 [games]”.
Pickett was selected 20th overall out of Pitt in a year in which no other quarterback was drafted within the first two rounds. It has been regarded as one of the weakest quarterback classes in decades, but Pickett was viewed as a pro-ready prospect. And it’s increasingly common for rookie quarterbacks to start right away.
But is it really in the team’s best interests for Pickett to be the first one out there? La Canfora seems to believe otherwise, suggesting that they let Trubisky “take some bullets”, questioning how improved the offense actually is from last season.
“Let’s kind of work some of those kinks out with Trubisky and let’s let this kid learn by observing and running the scout team and taking part in practices”, he said. “But let’s work out the kinks with the guy who’s a rental versus the guy that we purchased in the first round thinking we’re gonna own him for 10, 12, 15 years”.
That might sound like a harsh assessment of Trubisky, but it’s also not an unrealistic one. Most likely, he’s not going to resurrect his career and live up to his draft pedigree now that he’s in Pittsburgh and keep the Steelers’ first-round draft pick on the bench for so long that he is either traded or ends up signing elsewhere in free agency without ever holding a starting job because of the competition that is in front of him.