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Kenny Pickett in the Best Situation to Succeed According to NFL.com

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Kenny Pickett

The Pittsburgh Steelers took Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett with the No. 20 overall pick in the 2022 NFL and Marc Ross of NFL.com thinks that is the best situation out of any player in the draft.

“Like Pitt product James Conner before him, Pickett has the luxury of not only staying in the same city but in the same facility as he transitions to the NFL,” wrote Ross. “This familiarity will allow Pickett to focus on football and competing for the Steelers’ QB1 job.

“Pittsburgh has the stability — from the coaching staff to the playmakers on both offense and defense — to help Pickett succeed no matter when he steps foot on the field. He has all the tools as an athletic passer to help the Steelers win games as a piece of the puzzle in Matt Canada’s offense. Perhaps most importantly, he has the confidence and moxie to win over the locker room and coaching staff.”

The sharing of practice facilities between the two teams is something that has been pointed out immensely by the national media since Pickett’s rise to stardom and the Steelers intentions to draft a quarterback came to light. It’s the focal point of a cool story, but is also relevant for the familiarity reasons that Ross wrote about. In fact, it’s something that Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin touched on in a recent interview with former Pittsburgh Steeler Ike Taylor on the latter’s web show.

“We knew so much beyond the tape because of proximity,” said Tomlin. “I watched that guy, sit on that patio, and watch us work for three or four years. This dude loves football, man. He’s not a clock-puncher. He’s always trying to get better. He’s very comfortable in his shoes …

“You can just tell that he’s a guy that’s really comfortable with that responsibility that comes with being a quarterback. That intangible quality. That thing that we’re all trying to measure, he has. And we were close enough together that we were able to confirm it. It wasn’t speculative.”

Ross also wrote about the weapons surrounding Pickett on the offense. The Steelers offense filled their holes at running back and tight end prior to last season with the drafting of Najee Harris and Pat Freiermouth. As for the wide receiver group, the team did lose a lot this off-season, but took two wide receivers in the first four rounds. Not to mention their top two wide receivers from last season, Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool, both return.

There’s talent at the skill positions surrounding the quarterback. Not to mention that the offense as a whole will be young around Pickett, possibly allowing them all to reach their primes at the same time. As of right now, there’s unlikely to be a single player on the Steelers starting offense that is older than 25 years old.

Any rawness and/or immaturity can be expected of such a young offense, their offense also contains a surprising amount of experience. The team returns eight starters from last season and a free agent signee in James Daniels is another expected starter with at least a year’s worth of starting experience. Really the only players with less than a year of starting experience who could be a full-season starter next year is  whichever rookie (George Pickens, wins the slot receiver job and Pickett himself.

Pickett is the favorite to start the most games in 2022 for the Steelers behind center, but he will still have to compete with veterans Mason Rudolph and Mitch Trubisky for the starting job.

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