Steelers rookie grades: Kenny Pickett earns a below-average score in first season
Steelers Pickett still has a lot to prove
Initial Grade: D+
Final Grade: D+
Criteria: Below average starter
It was a very hot and cold rookie season for Kenny Pickett, and he left me wanting a lot more from him heading into year two. While the offense around him was far from perfect, he also struggled in a lot of the aspects of his game. His early performances featured far too many interceptions, but even after he cleaned that up, he still wasn’t doing enough as a quarterback.
The Steelers focused on the running game in the second half of the season, which was the biggest aid in Pickett’s play. He wasn’t counted on like before to constantly move the ball. In turn, he only threw one interception after the bye week. That said, he also only threw for over 200 yards twice in that span.
Add in a lot more accuracy issues than I thought we would see and it wasn’t a great first year for Pickett. The team needs to build around him aggressively in the offseason, and while I do expect to see improvements, Pickett didn’t show me enough in his rookie year. His grade reflects that, as I was left wanting a lot more from the team’s top draft pick.
The Steelers saw a lot of production from their rookie class, and they should continue to step up in year two. While there were some duds from this group, there were also a lot of pleasant surprises. Overall, this group did well despite the Steelers mediocre season