Kenny Pickett and Omar Khan headline a new era for the Pittsburgh Steelers as we kickoff the 2022 NFL regular season just three short months away. Former general manager, Kevin Colbert, helped draft the first rounder in Pickett as one of his parting gifts, and the jury is still out on whether or not the Heisman finalist can truly become the face of this franchise.
All off-season long, the talk of how the 2022 quarterback class is one of the “worst” in recent memory has flooded the NFL narrative, yet Colbert and co. still decided to roll their dice on the fifth-year senior from Pitt. Maybe the Rooney family didn’t want to make the same mistake of passing up on the hometown kid again, or maybe, just maybe, this front office believes that Pickett can be the perfect fit for this organization for years to come — despite what others may say.
Many believe, especially after signing free agent quarterback Mitch Trubisky to a two-year deal this off-season, that perhaps waiting until next year to draft a quarterback would’ve been the smarter option. The 2023 quarterback class is touted with names like C.J. Stroud (Ohio State University), and Bryce Young (Alabama), the latter being the early number one pick consensus among many pro analysts and fans alike. This class overall is said to be one of the most exciting to watch for in recent years.
So should the Steelers have waited a season to find their guy of the future? I’m here to tell you why first rounder Kenny Pickett now, is better than first rounder Bryce Young later (AND C.J. Stroud).
For one, it may be hard for some of Steeler Nation to acknowledge this, but this team is in “win-now” mode. Pickett has been widely advertised as being the most pro-ready quarterback by far of any who entered this year’s NFL Draft. He was selected that if need be, he could take over this team starting Week 1 in hopes of leading both an already promising run game, along with an elite defense, deep into the playoffs. His mobility and accuracy over the middle of the field was something that was lacking with this team in 2021, and something that just very well could be the difference in the Steelers getting over their recent playoff blunders. Why pass on a guy that can possibly give this to you right out the gate?
Secondly, and what should be the most obvious, there’s no guarantee that Young falls to the Steelers in next year’s draft. Why gamble when you had a sure thing already in 2022 with Pickett?
Now, one could say, the Steelers could just trade up to get him. Well ask yourself, what would you be willing to give up to get a top five pick? How about the first pick overall? How many picks would that take? How many players would that take? And which players would that take? With as much youth and potential that is already on this young offense, would you be willing to risk that away for an unproven quarterback who may or may not be the solution for years to come? We’ve seen teams trade up before for quarterbacks who have not panned out, despite the high draft pedigree. Is it really worth the risk?
Mind you, we do have a new GM in town with Khan, so who knows how aggressive he will show to be in upcoming years. But recent Steelers history tells us that trading into the top 5 is highly unlikely.
Lastly: injury. There’s also no guarantee that Young, Stroud, or any of the talented quarterbacks in next year’s draft class finish the season healthy. God forbid anything happens to any of these young men, but we all know how brutal this game can be when it comes to injuries.
Say the team did wait on “their guy” of 2023, but he ends up blowing out his knee the last game of the season. Then what? What’s the backup plan then? Again, another gamble, where when in 2022, you’ve already got a sure thing in Kenny Pickett.
So what do yinz think? Would you rather have waited one more year and still went for one of the QB’s in the 2023 draft class? Or are yinz already all aboard the Kenny Pickett train? Click to comment below!