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Kenny Pickett Draws Joe Burrow Comparison From Steelers WR Chase Claypool; Sites Ability For ‘Making Plays Happen’

Karl Roser / Pittsburgh Steelers

Kenny Pickett Draws Joe Burrow Comparison From Steelers WR Chase Claypool; Sites Ability For ‘Making Plays Happen’

The Pittsburgh Steelers are currently going through a rather large transition, as they are attempting to move on from future Hall of Fame quarterback Ben Roethlisberger this off-season. The team attempted to tackle this transition by taking multiple avenues, by adding both Mitch Trubisky in free agency and Kenny Pickett via the 2022 NFL Draft.

Now, many people around the league and also some within Steeler Nation believe that Trubisky will be the Week 1 starter and potentially even start the entire 2022 NFL season. Whether or not that happens, and whether or not Pickett will be ready at some point in 2022, is yet to be seen.

One player on the Steelers that will likely play a key role in one, or both, of those quarterbacks’ success is third year wide receiver, Chase Claypool.

Steelers Wide Receiver Chase Claypool

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver, Chase Claypool (#11) and retired quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger (#7), at Heinz Field. | Photo Credit: ESPN

Claypool himself is entering a bit of a ‘prove it’ season, as he has had two up and down seasons to start his career. After coming in flaming hot as a rookie, recording over 800 receiving yards and a combined 11 touchdowns, many thought Claypool was going to be the next great Steelers wide receiver. He unfortunately however, followed up his great rookie campaign with a very similar season statistically, but had more inconsistencies and didn’t appear to take the step forward that Steeler Nation was hoping he would.

Now, not all of the blame for the lack of improvement in 2021 can be put on Claypool’s shoulders. He was just one piece of an overall struggling Steelers offense that featured an aging quarterback and a struggling offensive line.

Heading into 2022, a lot of the offensive struggles are hoping to be improved upon. The Steelers put a strong focus on improving their offensive line in free agency by adding veteran interior offensive linemen James Daniels and Mason Cole, while also adding to the quarterback position like mentioned earlier.

These additions, specifically the addition of Pickett and what he can bring to the table, is something that Claypool highlighted while making an appearance on the I Am Athlete podcast earlier this week.


I Am Athlete episode with Steelers WR Chase Claypool talking about Kenny Pickett and more.


He emphasized Pickett’s mobility as something that could be very good for their offense, and overall, Claypool’s success. He even goes as far as drawing comparisons in division rival quarterback, Joe Burrow, who recently led the Cincinnati Bengals to the Super Bowl.

“He looks good. He’s mobile, he’s faster than people think, so that’s going to be new for us. And I think it’s going to create plays. You see so many of Ja’Marr’s [Chase] plays and Tee’s [Higgins] plays are from Joe leaving the pocket and making plays happen. And you know, we’re young, we’re versatile, we’re dynamic, so he’s going to add to that.”

A comparison to Burrow is definitely a lofty one, but not one that is completely out of left field when you begin think about it more in-depth.

Steelers' QB Kenny Pickett

Steelers’ QB Kenny Pickett makes a throw on the run at the teams OTAs this summer. Photo Credit: Karl Roser/Pittsburgh Steelers

Both Pickett and Burrow share some similarities with their play style and their college careers. Both of these quarterbacks are pocket passers that rely on good anticipation and accuracy down the field, with solid arm strength giving them the ability to make throws to all areas. They also share some underrated mobility which has been highlighted in games, even though Pickett’s example may have resulted in a rule change on a controversial fake slide

One knock on Pickett entering the NFL Draft is that he only had one season in which he sustained a high level of play, but that is also something that is a commonality between both him and Burrow. Neither one of them set the world on fire until their final collegiate season, which that one season resulted in Burrow going #1 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft and Pickett being a first round pick.

Even with the high praise and lofty comparison, when Claypool was asked to name which quarterback he would prefer to win the starting job, he smartly dodged the question by replying, “You know I can’t do that.”

Whoever ends up winning the starting quarterback job for the Steelers in 2022 will be set up for better success than Roethlisberger was in 2021. It is definitely an exciting possibility to think about the possibility of Pickett winning the job, but even with Trubisky, the Steelers offense should look a lot different next season.

 

Let us know below what you think about Claypool’s comments and if you think Pickett could have a Burrow-like impact below in the comments!

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I’ve been a freelance sports writer for several years, centered around football, baseball, basketball, and fantasy sports. I’m born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio and a diehard Steelers fan. I love sharing my thoughts and opinions on all things sports, especially when it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers. I also received my BS in Chemical Engineering from The Ohio State University in 2016, and have a career in Material Research and Development. Follow me on Twitter!

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