Kenny Pickett has helped his team turn their season around since the bye week, but the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback is a long shot to win OROY.
It was a rocky start for the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback. After Mitch Trubisky struggled to put up points against the Patriots and Browns, the six-year veteran was benched at halftime against a stingy Jets defense, and Kenny Pickett experienced a trial by fire.
From there, the rookie was asked to keep his team afloat against the most brutal schedule in the NFL with a stretch of games against the Bills, Buccaneers, Dolphins, and Eagles. Since this rough start, Pickett turned a corner following the Week 9 bye and his team has gone 6-2 over the last 8 games.
With just two rookies starting at the quarterback position in the NFL right now, we would have thought that this would have been enough for Pickett to be a legitimate contender for the Offensive Rookie of the Year award for the 2022 season. Apparently, it is not.
Gearing up for the final week of the regular season, Pickett has longshot odds to win the award. According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Pittsburgh’s rookie quarterback sits at just +1800 odds to become the Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Topping the list is Seahawks running back, Kenneth Walker III. At -140 odds, he’s the clear frontrunner for the award. He is currently followed by Jets WR Garrett Wilson (+205) and 49ers QB Brock Purdy (+450).
Should Steelers Kenny Pickett have better OPOY odds?
When you look at the names ahead of him on this list, it’s not hard to understand why someone else might win the Offensive Rookie of the Year award for the 2022 season. Kenneth Walker is very close to a 1000-yard rushing season and could earn double-digit rushing touchdowns following his last game of the season.
Meanwhile, rookie receiver Garrett Wilson already has over 1,000 receiving yards despite some incredibly shaky quarterback play from the New York Jets. It’s also hard not to come away impressed with what Brock Purdy has been able to do for the 49ers after being put on the spot. He already has 10 passing touchdowns and is averaging an impressive 8.0 yards per attempt.
Voters look at production when it comes to these awards, and Kenny Pickett doesn’t have a lot of it, despite earning 11 starts so far this season. While he may not win the Rookie of the Year award, that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been impressive in his own right.
Pickett has done about as much as you could expect from a rookie QB in the situation he was put into. Tomlin named him the starter after Mitch Trubisky struggled, and he would face a brutal stretch of games in his first-ever NFL action.
Pickett has yielded much better results as a starter for the Steelers this season despite a more difficult schedule than Trubisky faced. Not counting the loss to the Ravens (in which he threw just one pass before leaving with a concussion), Pickett has gone 6-1 since the bye.
While he doesn’t light up the stat sheet, he should get more respect among oddsmakers and award voters, as this is no easy feat. In back-to-back games, Pickett has mounted game-winning touchdown drives in primetime football.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
Regardless of whether or not Kenny Pickett wins the Offensive Rookie of the Year award, at least Pittsburgh Steelers fans can have some confidence in the improvements he has shown throughout the year. If he can make that second-year leap, we might just have a franchise quarterback on our hands.