With regards to writing a sports activities column or internet hosting a sports activities speak present, there must be no simpler subject to formulate a sizzling take about than the native NFL franchise drafting a first-round quarterback for the primary time in 18 years.
So, right here’s mine because it pertains to the Pittsburgh Steelers drafting Pitt’s Kenny Pickett within the first spherical of the 2022 NFL draft: I don’t find it irresistible. However I do prefer it. I applaud the transfer greater than I disapprove of it.
That’s it. There you go.
Yeah. I’m disenchanted in me, too. Not precisely hot-takey on essentially the most simply hot-takeable debate in sports activities.
However my response is essentially tethered to who Pickett is as a quarterback. As a result of I are likely to agree with the plenty on Pickett’s profile getting into the NFL after a wildly profitable finish to his five-year Pitt profession.
He’s going to enter the NFL able to play early. He’s polished, sensible and bodily succesful. Worst-case state of affairs, he’s going to be common. Greatest-case state of affairs, he’s going to be excellent, but most likely not nice.
As Steelers coach Mike Tomlin stated, he’s bought a “excessive flooring” for certain. Is the “ceiling” excessive sufficient to be worthy of the No. 20 choose, although?
I’m lower than certain about that.
To be honest, Pickett vastly exceeded what I assumed his ceiling was going to be with the Panthers. Perhaps he’s bought one other degree within the NFL, too.
Once I posed that query to the brand new draftee Friday, he had an trustworthy response.
“I don’t know,” Pickett admitted. “I really feel like after I went again to Pitt, lots of people had been saying, ‘Why is he going again? How significantly better is he going to get? He’s been there for 4 years.’ I really feel like I proceed to enhance each offseason simply due to how arduous I work and obsess over the little issues of getting higher. There are many areas I can enhance. So, I don’t know what my ceiling shall be. We’ll have to seek out out in just a few years.”
After his professional day, Pickett did an interview on the NFL Community. Reporter Aditi Kinkhabwala instructed Pickett that she heard the next names as comps for what Pickett might find yourself being within the professionals: Matt Hasselbeck, Derek Carr, Andy Dalton.
“They’re all nice. You’re speaking about professionals,” Pickett stated Friday of that evaluation. “That’s why I stated, ‘There’s no slight I take for any comparability.’ I simply all the time attempt to enhance. If there’s one thing I can take from any individual’s sport, I’m all the time going to try this. … You’re all the time studying. You’re all the time evolving.”
These comps to Pickett appear near me. In addition they appear fairly according to my lack of a spirited emotional response to the acquisition of Pickett.
I hear the names Dalton, Hasselbeck and Carr, and I say, “Eh, fairly good. Not nice.”
Nonetheless, whereas that record might not be eye-popping to Steelers followers, the most effective of Matt Hasselbeck bought him to a few Professional Bowls and a Tremendous Bowl. One of the best of Carr has made three Professional Bowls and MVP consideration earlier than an damage in 2016. One of the best of Dalton helped lead the customarily star-crossed Bengals to 5 straight postseasons.
That wouldn’t be unhealthy in any respect for Steelers followers. Particularly if the Steelers can finally put a barely higher workforce round Pickett than these quarterbacks had.
Now, the worst from these guys could also be a part of the rationale why none of them has ever gained a Tremendous Bowl, which, as Tomlin typically reminds us, is “the usual” for the franchise.
Properly, apart from the previous 13 seasons, in fact.
Does Pickett finish that drought sometime? I wouldn’t rule it out. If his final 12 months at Pitt was extra of an awakening of what he may be versus the highest degree of what he might ever grow to be, Carr, Hasselbeck and Dalton can be flattered to be in comparison with him, as an alternative of the opposite manner round.
I’m simply cautious of assuming his abilities are translatable sufficient to the NFL for that to be the case.
What I’m extra certain of is he’s already the most effective quarterback on the workforce. I’m extra sure that he’s bought extra room to develop than Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph. The Steelers appear to really feel the identical manner. In any other case, they wouldn’t have drafted him within the first spherical with Rudolph on an extension and Trubisky just some weeks into his just lately signed two-year contract.
I’m additionally sure the workforce had the correct mindset to draft who they understand to be the most effective quarterback obtainable after they have a gap on their roster.
My extra reactionary opinion is about what Pickett’s presence says in regards to the Steelers and their strategy to easing out of the Ben Roethlisberger period. To me, it feels as if they’re blindly making it up as they go alongside.
The Steelers QBs higher be capable to throw passes as arduous because the Steelers entrance workplace is throwing totally different options on the quarterback downside.
It allowed Large Ben to return after 2020. However for only one extra 12 months. They prolonged Rudolph, however simply by way of ’22. They introduced Dwayne Haskins on board in Jan. ’21. Trubisky got here to phrases on March 14. Haskins bought a restricted free agent deal March 17. They drafted Pickett on Thursday.
Given the tragic demise of Haskins on April 9, the Steelers nonetheless would possibly usher in a fourth quarterback for coaching camp and even attempt to commerce Rudolph or Trubisky, relying on who that fourth physique is.
Regardless of the Steelers have been telling us about their plan of succession for Roethlisberger, it has confirmed to be unclear.
Hopefully, Pickett proves he’s worthy sufficient that they’ll not have to preserve attempting.
Tim Benz is a Tribune-Overview workers author. You may contact Tim at email@example.com or by way of Twitter. All tweets may very well be reposted. All emails are topic to publication until specified in any other case.
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