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Kenny Pickett Named One of NFL’s Worst Quarterbacks

One analyst believes that Steelers QB Kenny Pickett is the second worst starting quarterback in the entire NFL.



Pittsburgh Steelers QB Kenny Pickett
Pittsburgh Steelers QB Kenny Pickett against the Buffalo Bills, Jan. 15, 2024 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Heading into this offseason, Kenny Pickett has much to prove to people inside and outside the Pittsburgh Steelers organization. He struggled in his first two seasons and did not stay healthy throughout those seasons, either. it has led to a lot of discussion about whether the team should move on. And many analysts are all the way out on Pickett.

Derrik Klassen of the 33rd Team ranked Kenny Pickett as the 31st-best quarterback in the NFL. He has players such as Aidan O’Connell above him, with Pickett being ranked only over Bailey Zappe in the final rankings.

“The Steelers were sold a bill of goods that Kenny Pickett would be their version of (Joe) Burrow. That simply has not come to be,” Klassen wrote. “At this stage, Pickett remains frenetic in the pocket and undisciplined in how he reads the field. Throws over the middle are completely absent from his game, and it’s clear he is only comfortable throwing quick game and vertical shots down the sideline. That’s not nearly enough of a formula to make for a good quarterback, considering his decision-making and iffy accuracy.”

There are rational reasons to believe that Pickett can be better than he has been. All but six quarters of his 25 career starts have had the much-maligned Matt Canada as his offensive coordinator and playcaller. The Steelers have been in the process of upgrading their offensive line, to mixed results over the last two seasons. 

Perhaps most importantly, Pickett has been good when the game has needed him to be the most. In those 25 starts, he has seven game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime. Half of his wins (his record as a starter is 14-10) have come via Pickett’s own heroics. 

When trailing with four minutes to play or less, Pickett has a 94.6 passer rating and has completed 71.2% of his attempts on a 9.1 yards-per-attempt average.

And it seems likely that the team will go out and look for competition, whether Mason Rudolph or someone else. As it stands right now, Pickett will get one more chance to prove he can be the guy, but it is going to have to be a drastic leap from his past two seasons at the helm.