1. Kenny Pickett, QB
As is the case with most teams, there is no player more important to the overall success of an NFL franchise than the starting quarterback. Last year, plenty of folks argued that Mitch Trubisky was the best man for the job to begin the 2022 season. This year, the competition isn't even close; it's Kenny Pickett by a mile.
Pickett started showing signs of a possible franchise quarterback in the second half of last year when he went 6-1 since the bye week (Pickett missed two games due to concussions). His impressive stretch included four 4th quarter comeback drives -- tying the single-season record of Ben Roethlisberger.
This summer, Pickett looked remarkable both at training camp and during the preseason. It certainly seems like he has the moxie, work ethic, accuracy, and the ability to extend the play that can make him a player who can take over games at times.
Obviously, Pickett still has a lot to prove. But even if he's not quite there yet in his second season, it's irrefutable that so much of a team's success lives and dies by the quarterback position. The 2023 season looks very promising for the Pittsburgh Steelers, but if Kenny Pickett were to get injured, this team would be back at square one with Trubisky at the helm.