After his rookie season, Steelers QB Kenny Pickett has been under the microscope for analysts for the last few months, but Madden 24 has released their ratings for quarterbacks, and it’s not too kind to Pickett. In fact, he is rated as one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the game.
Pickett chimes in at a 73 overall in the game, ranking 27th among quarterbacks in the game. That’s a harsh ranking for Pickett after finishing the year on a strong run. Ranking above him includes quarterbacks such as Mac Jones, while Pickett is tied with Brock Purdy and Texans rookie C.J. Stroud.
There are some positives for Pickett. He has 81 speed and a solid 87 throw power, giving him a stronger arm than most of those aforementioned guys above him. But Madden still has questions about his decision-making first and foremost. They are just Madden rankings, but it’s interesting that Pickett is tied with Stroud and trails Panthers rookie Bryce Young right off the bat in the game.
On Thursday, former Steelers safety Ryan Clark echoed a sentiment that Pickett has to show up in 2023 or he could be ousted after the season. It is the make or break year since Clark is not sure the Steelers will have as much patience with Pickett as most think he will.
“You had that grace period, that grace period is gone,” Clark said. “This team finished winning 6 of its last 7 games, and when you watch him have a comeback against the Las Vegas Raiders and the Baltimore Ravens, you expect to see more of that. Now, coming into the season knowing you’re the guy, you have to be ready to lead, you have to be ready on day one to show these guys you can lead them to the promised land. You also have to remember it was an extremely long time between Terry Bradshaw and Ben Roethlisberger. Pittsburgh Steelers fans, the organization, and Mike Tomlin isn’t prepared to wait that long. Those expectations are heaped onto Kenny Pickett and that first round draft stock.”
With stronger weapons and a good offensive line, Pickett does need to play well. There are questions at offensive coordinator that can hold him back, and not all progression is linear. But his development in 2023 will go a long way towards determining how bright the future is for the Steelers.