2023 Offseason Questions: Would Kenny Pickett Really Rank 5th In This Year’s QB Class?

The Steelers are now in their offseason after failing to reach the playoffs in 2022, coming up just a game short of sneaking in as the seventh seed. They needed help in week 18 and only got some of it, so instead they sat home and watched the playoffs with the rest of us.

On tap is figuring out how to be on the field in January and February instead of being a spectator. They started out 2-6, digging a hole that proved too deep to dig out of even if they managed to go 7-2 in the second half of the year.

Starting from the end of the regular season and leading all the way up to the beginning of the 2023 season, there are plenty of questions that need answered, starting with who will be the offensive coordinator. Which free agents will be kept? Who might be let go due to their salary? How might they tackle free agency with this new front office? We’ll try to frame the conversation in relevant ways as long as you stick with us throughout this offseason, as we have for many years.

Question: Would Kenny Pickett really rank 5th in this quarterback draft class?

As measured by draft value, the 2022 quarterback class was among the worst in many, many years. Only one player at the position was drafted in the first two rounds, with Kenny Pickett taken only with the 20th selection in the first round. It was the latest that the first quarterback came off the board in decades.

According to ESPN Draft Random Guesser Mel Kiper, this year’s quarterback class is significantly better—so much so, in fact, that there are four better than last year’s best. That would be C.J. Stroud, Bryce Young, Anthony Richardson, and Will Levis. “Solidly five”, Kiper said.

Pickett was the only rookie quarterback to enter the starting lineup on a full-time basis last season, posting a 7-5 record with four game-winning drives. He completed 245 of 389 pass attempts for 2404 yards with seven touchdowns to nine interceptions, along with 237 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns.

His numbers taken in isolation are far from great, certainly, though they follow an upward trajectory over the course of the year. There is still plenty of meat on the bone, even if he was regarded as the most NFL-ready quarterback coming out of college last year.

Even if the Steelers were looking for a quarterback this year, however, it would not help them much, because the current class of quarterbacks is expected to be off the board extremely early—possibly with the top three gone in the first five picks. Stroud and Young are likely to go 1-2.

Of course, the real question that matters is which of these quarterbacks will be successful? Draft rankings only hold so much value, and can only tell you who a player is before entering the league. Who they become after is up to them.

To Top
error: Alert: Content is protected !!