PITTSBURGH – It’s still unclear when figuring out who ends up winning the Steelers’ quarterback job, but don’t tell that to a couple of NFL analysts over at ESPN.
The country’s leading sports network recently published a column covering a ton of ground surrounding the aftermath of the 2022 NFL Draft. Part of the column was picking which rookies win Offensive Rookie of the Year and Defensive Rookie of the Year, among other topics.
And as it turns out, two analysts picked Kenny Pickett to be the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2022.
Mike Tannenbaum, a former NFL GM, and Seth Walder, ESPN‘s top analytics writer, were the two that selected Pickett. Other players chosen were Christian Watson, Treylon Burks, Garrett Wilson, and Kenneth Walker II.
Tannenbaum lists Pickett’s experience in a pro-style offense as the catalyst behind his decision and Walder wisely notes that quarterbacks don’t have to do as much as other positions in order to win the award. Meaning, if Pickett has even an adequate year, then he’s likely to take home the trophy.
Both pundits may want to slow their roll, however
Sure, it’s only May. This is peak time for way-too-early-predictions.
However, Pickett still has to actually win the Steelers’ starting job before he can be considered a candidate to win OROTY. Sure, the logic behind the selection checks out, but at the same time, Pickett isn’t in the same type of situation the aforementioned players are in.
The Packers will rely on Watson in a big way and he’s likely to be a Day 1 starter. The same goes with both Burks and Wilson. The Seahawks love to run the ball, so Kenneth Walker II will certainly get his fair share of opportunities. These guys don’t play a singular position like quarterback, e.g., you have to have multiple receivers on the field at the same time. There isn’t one only one receiver taking up all the snaps, like quarterback. The same goes with running back, to an extent.
Plus, the Steelers are in no rush to figure out the quarterback position. Mike Tomlin has been public with how he likes the group and how he expects Pickett, Mitch Trubisky, and Mason Rudolph to compete their butts off over the coming months. Rudolph has starting experience and multiple years of experience in Matt Canada’s offense and Trubisky is a former No. 2 overall draft pick who has over 55 games of NFL experience. There is absolutely no guarantee Pickett wins the job.
Either way, I think it’s safe to say the Steelers will be thrilled if these predictions turn out to be true.
Featured image via Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK