Steelers Teammate Compares Kenny Pickett to Jalen Hurts
After a promising end to his rookie season, Kenny Pickett has some analysts on cloud nine with his expectations for his second season. That is especially true for those that watched closely down the stretch and saw Pickett grow as a player week over week.
NFL Network’s Adam Rank was asked who could have the ‘Jalen Hurts-like’ leap in 2023 at quarterback, and his answer was, of course, Pickett. According to Rank, he sees Pickett as a guy who showed strides over the season, and could be a guy who makes that leap as a result of the steady progression and guys around him.
“You know, I’m gonna go Kenny Pickett. How about that internet,” Rank said. “At the end of last season, he was one of the better quarterbacks. Obviously, the first couple of weeks, were not strong, not solid. You started to wonder if the Steelers made a mistake in picking him. But, over the last eight games he went 6-2, but the most important thing to me was that he started to limit the mistakes. [He] did not throw any interceptions. His touchdown to interception ratio was way better, 5-1 [and] they were winning games.”
Rank was not the only one to say that Pickett has the ability to do some things Hurts did. As someone who played with Hurts on offense, Isaac Seumalo has seen Pickett and Hurts now up close and personal. For Seumalo, many of their leadership and intangible traits reflect similarly to one another. That’s an intriguing thing to hear given the intangibles that the team cites all the time around Pickett.
“Like any team, we go as our QB goes,” Seumalo said. “You know, there are differences here and there but I think he’s done a great job leading us. One of the cool things is, you know I have a lot of respect for Jalen Hurts too as a baller, but they both fit this aspect of seeing eye-to-eye with everybody on the team regardless of where they come from or how they are. Kenny can talk to anyone at any time, and guys respect that.”
The Steelers are hoping for that breakout to come for Pickett to become their franchise quarterback. While the comparison to Hurts does not hold on the field, the leadership qualities are interesting. If the team can rally around Pickett and allow him to take the next step, then the 2022 NFL Draft will become a smashing success.