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Kyle Brandt: Kenny Pickett Can Jump Into Elite QB Tier in 2023



Steelers QB Kenny Pickett

Kenny Pickett came out of 2022 on a hot streak at the end of the season, helping the Steelers climb to a 9-8 record after starting the year at 3-7. A large part of that was his ability to make big throws in key situations, and more importantly, keep the turnovers drastically down. However, what does his 2023 lookout look like?

Kyle Brandt on NFL Network seems to be more optimistic than most. In fact, he thinks that Pickett can take a jump not just from being a promising rookie, but to the next level as an elite quarterback. That is a bold claim but Brandt backs it up with the reasoning that the weapons around him are solid and he believes in the Steelers philosophy as an organization. It is the environment for Brandt that provides optimism around Pickett.

“Guys, I like Kenny Pickett,” Brandt said on Good Morning Football. “And I know that they are not super sexy and it’s not this guy that guy and Burrow and Mahomes, but how cool would it be if in that crazy AFC quarterback spray, another challenge arose. You got Pickett to Pickens and I like what they did. Right now, if you Google Kenny Pickett, there’s nothing. There’s no Instagram post, there’s no tweets, there’s no cool thing about him working out with teammates. It’s Mike Tomlin saying they’re excited about his second year. It’s so Pittsburgh, it’s perfect. It was low key, workman-like, and I love how he finished the year. I love how he’s going to start next year… I like him, I like what Pittsburgh is doing very quietly.”

Pickett acquired a Jimmy Garoppolo comparison from one analyst on Friday, and now another saying that he could jump into the elite quarterback conversation. That’s tough water to completely string along for a guy with that many expectations on him in a critical year.

It’s going to take a massive leap for Pickett to make the jump, though. For some guys it takes until Year 3 to make the jump, and Pickett could follow that rule more than he follows the second-year leap. But if he gets better inside the pocket, this season could be interesting to watch for Pickett.

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