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Drafting QB Kenny Pickett Named Steelers’ Best Move Of The 2022 Offseason According To Bleacher Report

The Pittsburgh Steelers entered the 2022 offseason with a clear need: finding their future franchise QB to replace Ben Roethlisberger. They re-signed Mason Rudolph the year prior to make sure they had him on the roster for 2022 should Ben retire and then went about adding to the position by signing Mitch Trubisky in free agency and drafting Kenny Pickett in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft followed by adding Chris Oladokun in the seventh round.

Pittsburgh made a bunch of other notable moves outside of the QB position. They signed LB Myles Jack, CB Levi Wallace, DL Larry Ogunjobi, C Mason Cole, and G James Daniels in free agency who all figure to see starters snaps in 2022. They also drafted WR George Pickens in the second round, DL DeMarvin Leal in the third round, and LB Mark Robinson in the seventh round who all appear to be bargains based on their respective performances thus far.

However, according to Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report who recently published his piece highlighting every NFL team’s best move of the 2022 offseason, the selection of Kenny Pickett takes the cake for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“Kenny Pickett may not become Ben Roethlisberger, but he’s at least giving the Pittsburgh Steelers hope at quarterback,” said Ballentine. “The Steelers were the only team to use a first-round pick on a QB this year. Pickett already looks like their most exciting option. He’s gone 19-of-22 for 171 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in the preseason. Most importantly, he’s shown command of the huddle and calm under pressure, throwing a game-winning touchdown in the first week and leading a successful two-minute drive in the second week.”

 

Pickett has indeed impressed his two appearances this preseason against the Seahawks and Jaguars, showing rapid development from the shaky rookie he was coming into training camp. He led the second and third team offenses on scoring drives in Week 1 and then did the same thing in Week 2 right before the half with the first team offense against the Jaguars first team defense. Pickett has yet to air it out down the field, but you see him making reads, staying poised in the pocket amidst pressure, and completing accurate passes to his receivers to effectively move the offense down the field on scoring drives with the clock winding down.

Pickett’s preseason performance thus far has put him squarely in the conversation with Mitch Trubisky to be the Steelers starting QB Week 1 against the Cincinnati Bengals. The only cases against Pickett are Trubisky’s experience as a starter in the NFL and the poor play of the offensive line as a potential detriment to the rookie QB’s development. Still, Pickett did perform better under pressure last Saturday against Jacksonville than Trubisky for what it’s worth and has been the better QB on the field in two preseason appearances.

The preseason finale against the Lions may go a long way in deciding the Week 1 starter in Pittsburgh, but based on what we’ve seen so far, Pickett appears to be the man Pittsburgh was hoping he’d be when they drafted him #20 overall.

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