2023 Offseason Questions: Where Will Kenny Pickett Rank Among AFC North QBs At End Of 2023 Season?

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: Where will Kenny Pickett rank among quarterbacks in the AFC North by the end of the 2023 season?

The conversation about future projections for second-year Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett has been interesting lately. On the one hand, you had multiple people coming out and saying that they believe Pickett is better than any of the quarterbacks coming out of this year’s class. On the other, you had people putting the Steelers low in their power rankings—and Pickett low on quarterback rankings, including behind multiple rookies.

But in the NFL, priority number one is taking care of the division. Pickett still has a lot of upside, but he is playing in a division in which all of the other starting quarterbacks are former Pro Bowlers, even an MVP in their midst, and another that very well have an MVP in his own future.

Remember, we’re basically talking about what the conversation will be a year from now. We’re not talking about where Pickett fits into the mix going into the 2023 season, but rather what you think things will look like when the season is over.

Given the Cincinnati Bengals’ great success over the past two years, I’m going to guess that Joe Burrow is going to be the consensus favorite atop the list, but things could get interesting after that. How many people, for example, believe Pickett will be the second-best quarterback in the AFC North by the end of the 2023 season, ahead of the Baltimore Ravens’ Lamar Jackson and the Cleveland Browns’ Deshaun Watson?

Pickett went 245-for-389 during his rookie season, completing 63 percent of his passes. He threw for 2404 yards with seven touchdowns and nine interceptions. But he posted a 7-5 record with four game-winning drives. He also rushed for another 237 yards with three touchdowns on the ground.

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