The Steelers and 49ers have some odd history heading into their Week 1 clash. Kenny Pickett was the first QB in the 2022 NFL Draft, and Brock Purdy was Mr. Irrelevant the same year. It creates a weird dichotomy, but given Purdy’s success that took the 49ers to the NFL Championship game, it is hard to argue with his resume. Still, most people would take Purdy over Pickett right now.
But on Get Up, former Ravens linebacker Bart Scott sees Kenny Pickett as a better quarterback than Purdy right now, suggesting that Purdy went to a better situation right away with the help of 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan to help prop him up. Scott believes the Steelers have built up their team to be like the Steelers of old, which will only help Pickett.
“That’s 100% right,” Scott said of the notion that Pickett is the better QB. “I just think that Brock Purdy went to a better situation, and Pittsburgh has quickly patched up the holes on the offensive line. You think about the Steelers and their skill positions, their number one first-round draft pick at running back, two premiere outside pass catchers, and also Freiermuth at tight end. This is the Pittsburgh Steelers of old, it’s that Ben Roethlisberger-type of personnel. They’re nasty on defense, and multiple on offense with guys that can make you pay on the outside.”
Scott picked San Francisco to win but seems to like what the Steelers have done. Last month, Scott did call out a weakness he perceived at quarterback for the Steelers, however. He does not have the Steelers going to the playoffs.
“I don’t know if they get into the playoffs, just because I think the other teams are ahead in the process and I think the weak link will eventually be the quarterback,” Scott said. “But listen, they’re going to be right there. We know Mike Tomlin doesn’t have losing seasons. We know if they’re going to do that, it’s because Pickett is a big part of their success.”
The panel was split on who would win the game, with two picking the Steelers and two picking the 49ers. The matchup could be volatile with the two young quarterbacks, as they can be prone to turnovers. Both thrust into starting roles in the middle of last season, Pickett and Purdy grew as players. It’s time to see who can make the biggest impression to start their second years.