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Ryan Leaf Welcomes Kenny Pickett into ‘Exclusive’ Club of Rookie QB Futility

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Steelers Kenny Pickett

Former San Diego Chargers quarterback and notable first-round draft pick bust Ryan Leaf welcomed Kenny Pickett into somewhat exclusive company on Tuesday.

Pickett has thrown just two touchdown passes through six games, and his two passing scores on 195 passing attempts makes Pickett the third rookie quarterback since the NFL merger to have a touchdown percentage of 1% or lower on his first 190 passes.

The others were Leaf, the No. 2 overall pick of the Chargers behind Peyton Manning in the 1998 NFL Draft, and Jimmy Clausen, who was the Carolina Panthers’ second-round pick out of Notre Dame in 2010. 

“Welcome to the club, Kenny, having such a low membership we have some pretty cool perks,” Leaf wrote on Twitter Tuesday. ‘We have a zoom every Tuesday night, will [be] nice to finally have a 3rd member, so tired of hearing about Jimmy’s ND glory days!!”

Leaf finished his entire rookie season with just the two touchdowns on 245 attempts and had a passer rating of 39. He went onto to become one of the NFL’s most notorious draft busts both because he washed out of the NFL after three seasons and because Manning, taken one pick earlier, became one of the greatest quarterbacks in league history.

Clausen started 10 games for the Panthers as a rookie and eventually threw a third touchdown, but no more, on 299 attempts. In 2011, the Panthers drafted Cam Newton in the first round and Clausen was relegated to backup duty. He played six games with the Chicago Bears in 2014-15 and three more with the Baltimore Ravens in 2015.

While Pickett has not had the passing success he’s been looking for, he has been able to impact the game with his legs. He has three rushing touchdowns so far, including the game-sealing score to beat the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

RELATED: Saunders: Kenny Pickett Taking Care of the Ball Biggest Factor for Steelers Win

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