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Steelers Kenny Pickett, George Pickens on Preseason All-Rookie Team



Steelers Rookie QB Kenny Pickett

Chad Reuter of released his 2022 Offensive All-Rookie Team on Monday and two Steelers appeared on his list, as Reuter had Steelers’ first-round pick Kenny Pickett as his All-Rookie quarterback and second-round pick George Pickens as one of two All-Rookie wide receivers.

In early May, oddsmakers had Kenny Pickett as the favorite to win Offensive Rookie of the Year. Since then, almost two months later, it seems like Pickett’s destined to be a backup in Year 1, as he got third-team reps in OTAs and minicamp. Reuter anticipates Pickett to start sooner rather than later, however.

“Pickett was the third-string quarterback in OTAs and minicamp, playing behind veterans Mitchell Trubisky and Mason Rudolph. That could be a very temporary placement for the rookie, though,” Reuter wrote. “I suspect that Pickett — the only quarterback selected in the first two rounds of this year’s draft — will take over the starting job before too long in 2022, leaning on his experience and athleticism to garner all-rookie honors.”

Pickett is 24 years old and was deemed the most “pro-ready” quarterback in the draft by Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert, so it’s not a far-fetched idea that Pickett will start at some point in 2022. Although, the safe bet is that Mitch Trubisky will be the starter in Week 1 when the Steelers take on the Bengals in Cincinnati. It’s pretty much Trubisky’s job to lose. One thing is for sure, if Trubisky struggles early on, the locals will be clamoring for Pickett to start at every turn.

As for Pickens, Reuter thinks the Georgia product is going to be the next great Steelers’ wide receiver.

“In his final draft before retiring as the Steelers’ general manager, Kevin Colbert once again landed a bargain receiver in the second round,” Reuter wrote. “Pickens is already impressing, showing off his skills during OTAs. Expect whoever lines up at quarterback for Pittsburgh to regularly lean on his speed and strong hands to make big plays downfield.”

If Pickens didn’t suffer an ACL injury during spring practice in March of 2021, he very well could have been the first receiver selected in this year’s draft. Instead, he was the 11th receiver picked.

On a recent podcast with Ross Tucker, NFL analyst Greg Cosell said Pickens was the best wideout in this year’s class.

“George Pickens, to me, based on purely tape, and I know there were other issues with George Pickens, which is why he was not a first-round pick, I thought overall that he was the best receiving prospect in this draft class, based solely on tape,” Cosell said.