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Ex-Steelers Player Compares Kenny Pickett to Tim Tebow



Steelers QB Kenny Pickett

Former Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett had a number of flaws in his two seasons in Pittsburgh, but the biggest issue was his inability to throw touchdown passes (kind of an important thing). His 13 passing touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 25 career games is the lowest touchdown percentage in NFL history (1.8%, minimum 500 pass attempts).

Pickett’s 13-13 touchdown-interception ratio is very Tim Tebow-like. Tebow recorded 17 touchdown passes in 16 career starts (35 games overall) in his NFL career.

Pickett-Tebow comparisons have been made before, but it was interesting to hear from former Steelers guard Ramon Foster. Foster thinks Pickett has hit his ceiling already and really doesn’t have any room to develop. Tebow had the same issue. He couldn’t adapt to the NFL game.

“I didn’t realize he had 49 starts in college,” Foster said on the Ramon Foster Show with Dejan Kovacevic of DK Pittsburgh Sports. “You know what I think it turned into? I think you wanted a guy that was — you was gonna be able to mold. Meaning he was still gonna be able to learn, but after watching his play and seeing how many starts he’s had, I think he might have just been [Tim] Tebow; stuck in his ways. Ain’t no way you can mold a guy that’s played that much, right, DK, in that short of time? Because his issues kept coming up.”

Pickett played 52 games (49 starts) at Pitt and he really didn’t dominate until his fifth year in 2021. Pickett’s late rise and rather old age of 24 entering the league was a concern for many talent evaluators.

The 2022 quarterback draft class was also one of the weakest in modern history. Pickett was the first quarterback selected in the draft at 20th overall. It was the latest into a draft that the first QB was taken since 1997, when Jim Druckenmiller was taken 26th by the San Francisco 49ers.

Pickett and Tebow were both great as college players. Tebow obviously had a more decorated career at Florida than Pickett, but the latter was considered more of an NFL caliber quarterback. That hasn’t flourished for Pickett yet, but maybe his career can get on track in Philadelphia as a backup to Jalen Hurts.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin revealed at the NFL owner’s meetings that Pickett wanted a changed of scenery following the Russell Wilson acquisition. The Steelers obliged and traded him cross-state to Philadelphia along with a 2024 fourth-round pick (No. 120 overall), in exchange for a 2024 third-round pick (No. 98 overall) and a pair of 2025 seventh-round picks.

On Tuesday, Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni discussed Pickett and what he would be asked to do with the team, which is purely a backup role.

“I’m really excited about the things he can do. I’m excited that we have a piece in place there. But his job is to be the backup, and his job is to support Jalen and help him in any way that he can and be ready to play if he needs to play,” Sirianni said.