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Is Kenny Pickett The Steelers' Starting QB In 2024? 2024 NFL Outlook

Kenny Pickett - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

The Pittsburgh Steelers used the No. 20 pick in the 2022 NFL draft to select Kenny Pickett as the successor to Ben Roethlisberger. Pickett opened his rookie season as the backup to Mitch Trubisky, but didn't sit on the bench for very long.

He took over for an injured Trubisky in Week 4 that season and went on to start 12 of Pittsburgh's final 13 games, throwing for 2,404 yards, seven touchdowns, and nine interceptions.

Pickett opened the 2023 campaign as the team's clear-cut starter, but things didn't go smoothly for the 25-year-old signal-caller. His performance in 2023 left much to be desired and opened the door for the Steelers to potentially kick the tires on upgrading the quarterback position. Could Pickett be replaced this offseason? Let's take a closer look.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers won two writing awards and received 12 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. A big congrats to our very own Byron Lindeque (Golf) and Jordan McAbee (NASCAR) for both winning Writer Of The Year awards! Be sure to follow RotoBaller's analysis and advice all year long, and win more. Win More With RotoBaller!

 

Kenny Pickett 2023 Season Review

Pickett reportedly had an excellent 2023 offseason, earning "glowing reviews" from teammates and Pittsburgh brass to go along with reports that he had improved his arm strength, something that had been considered one of the bigger flaws in his game.

Instead, Pickett mostly struggled again in 2023, throwing for just 2,070 yards, six touchdowns, and four interceptions over 12 starts. He had his season cut short by an ankle injury, which initially was only considered an issue that would hold him out for a few weeks.

Pickett ultimately underwent "tightrope" surgery to repair the issue with hopes of returning to the field faster. Despite the fact he was cleared to return to the field, the Steelers opted to roll with veteran Mason Rudolph to lead the offense in their Wild Card loss to the Buffalo Bills. To make matters worse for Pickett, rumors surfaced that the former first-round pick refused to serve as the team's No. 2 QB for that contest.

 

Steelers Offseason Rumors

The Steelers have been mentioned in multiple rumors as it relates to making a change at the quarterback position. Recently, DraftKings Sportsbook installed Pittsburgh as the odds-on favorite to be the new team for Justin Fields, who the Bears are expected to trade in the coming months.

In addition to Fields' name popping up, the Steelers have also been linked to Russell Wilson if the Broncos release him, which they are expected to do at some point in the coming months. Adding Wilson as a free agent might be a preferable option as opposed to giving up the draft-pick capital that it would take to land Fields.

Pittsburgh has also been mentioned as a team that could be interested in trading up in the 2024 NFL Draft. CBS Sports' Tom Fornelli recently completed a mock draft with the Steelers trading up to select Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy, who has been a fast riser in the early portion of the draft process.

 

Will Kenny Pickett Be The Steelers' Starting QB For The 2024 Season?

Mike Tomlin and the Steelers have sent mixed signals about the quarterback situation thus far this offseason, although they have no incentive to tip their hand to the rest of the league just yet. What we do know is that Tomlin told reporters in January that Pittsburgh's starting QB was already on the roster. The team then released former starter Mitch Trubisky in February.

While the Steelers aren't being upfront about their intentions, as the old saying goes, where there's smoke, there's fire.

After 25 NFL games, it doesn't appear that Pickett is going to develop into an elite quarterback who will allow Pittsburgh to go toe-to-toe with the heavyweights in the AFC, including Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, and Lamar Jackson. With just 13 touchdowns over Pickett's first two seasons, it would not be a surprise at all to see the Steelers open training camp with a new QB1 under center. Stay tuned.



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