3 of the worst issues of Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan (left) instructs quarterback Kenny Pickett (8). Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan (left) instructs quarterback Kenny Pickett (8). Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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Pittsburgh Steelers quarterbacks Chris Oladokun (5) and Kenny Pickett (8) Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Steelers issue #1

His Ceiling

It is a universal truth that if you don’t have a great quarterback in the NFL, you aren’t going to win a Super Bowl. Quarterback is the most important position on the field. Sure, football is a team game, but an elite team and a bad quarterback will still result in a mediocre record. While I do believe Pickett can become an above-average starter, I struggle to see him ever cracking the top names at the position.

Pickett is accurate and can progress through his reads well. As highlighted above, he does have some issues in the pocket and with his overall arm strength, but he can still succeed in the NFL despite lacking those two things right now. They do limit his upside, as he will never be amongst the perceived elite of NFL quarterbacks due to him lacking those traits (specifically arm strength).

Had the Steelers needed a quarterback to come in from day one to compete, selecting Pickett would have made sense. He was the most pro-ready of the bunch despite lacking the ceiling that others in the class had. More than likely, we will see Pickett play sooner than later because of the fact that he is so pro-ready.

The issue is that the Steelers didn’t need a guy that can play right away. They signed Mitchell Trubisky this offseason, and he would have been a more than capable starter for a season. Add in the fact the roster still needs a few pieces before it can be considered elite and adding Pickett just doesn’t make sense. He will see the field sooner than the rest of this class, but there is a good chance another name in this class ends up being the better quarterback.

On his rookie deal, this won’t matter. The team can surround Pickett with elite talent for the first five years due to his contract being what it is. He will eventually want a big deal though, and we’ve seen what issues arise when you pay non-elite quarterbacks’ top money. Players like Derek Carr and Kirk Cousins, two names that I believe represent Pickett’s best-case scenario as a pro, have major deals in place that hamper their team. Pickett could cause a similar issue once his rookie deal is up.

On top of this, I believe Pickett is close to his ceiling as a player already. His only fixable issue that is a major concern is his pocket presence. That will help improve his game a little bit as will his accuracy getting a little better once he develops, but there isn’t a lot more he can improve upon. That is why he was seen as so pro-ready, but in turn, his ceiling is capped.

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All of this to say, I know a lot of fans are excited about the pick, but because of these three issues, I’m skeptical. Again, I hope I’m wrong, as I want nothing more than the Steelers to have landed their franchise quarterback. I’m just not convinced that Pickett will ever become much more than an above-average quarterback.