While he’s likely going to start the 2022 season on the bench as the backup quarterback to veteran Mitch Trubisky, Pittsburgh Steelers rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett — the lone quarterback selected in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft — is one of 22 players that NFL.com’s Judy Battista highlighted as those that will shape the 2022 season in the NFL.
Surprising, considering Pickett will be on the bench to start the year behind Trubisky, and might not make an impact until later on in the season once he’s inserted into the starting lineup, whether that’s after the bye week or later on in the season.
“Pickett was the only quarterback selected in the first round of what was considered a weak QB draft, chosen 20th overall, and he will eventually take over a team that made it to the playoffs last season despite Ben Roethlisberger literally limping toward retirement,” Battista writes regarding Pickett being tabbed as one of the 22 people in the NFL who will impact the season. “Pickett can move, he has good accuracy and he threw 42 touchdown passes in 2021. The concern about him has been related to ball security, and much of the focus of his rookie season — no matter how much he plays — is if the Steelers can fix that problem.
“Pickett was a play for the long term, but his development this season is a key storyline for one of the league’s most consistently competitive franchises.”
Pickett is the intended future in Pittsburgh, but how exactly he’s one of the top 22 people who will impact the 2022 season is a bit confusing from Battista’s perspective. Quite honestly, it makes no sense how his development for the future shapes the 2022 season across the league.
That said, he’ll certainly shape the Steelers’ future, especially with his development under center. Though that might not shape the NFL landscape in 2022, unless Pickett comes in early in the season and leads the Steelers on a run much like Ben Roethlisberger did in 2004, it is curious that Battista thought so highly of Pickett to include him on such a prestigious list with the likes of Tom Brady, Dak Prescott, Matt Ryan, Jalen Hurts and more, especially at the quarterback position.