The Steelers will enter the 2024 offseason with a lot of questions to answer. Despite seemingly turning things around last off-season, this team was still a disappointing group. The offense was mediocre for most of the season and failed to produce. Even after Matt Canada was fired, the unit failed to amount to much in most weeks.
A big reason for this struggle has been the quarterback play. While his fans are resilient, Kenny Pickett hasn’t looked like a great pro through his first two seasons. While there is something to be said about developing a quarterback, the NFL has seen numerous young quarterbacks enter the game and succeed quickly. Pickett was an older and more experienced prospect on top of that, so the clock was ticking.
Even with his play slightly better before his ankle injury against the Cardinals, Pickett has failed to have even one game where you look at him and say “That is for sure our guy”, and that is limiting this team. With the season winding down, I wanted to do an early look at what the quarterback position could look like for the Steelers past this season.
Steelers could stick with Pickett
I’m starting this list with the most likely name to be the starter next season in Pickett. While his play has been below the bar, it isn’t unlike the Steelers to give their investments time to sink or swim. With him having two more seasons on his contract plus his fifth-year option, more than likely they roll with Pickett for at least the beginning of next year.
To his credit, he has shown some positive traits so far in his career. For some unknown reason, his play is elite when trailing in the fourth. While his arm strength is average, he does have some good accuracy on his deep passes.
The issues are where he is lacking. His accuracy on medium and shorter passes is poor, he can’t hold his own in the pocket and scrambles into pressure, and his ability to progress through reads is almost nonexistent. For a 20-year-old player with a year or two of college starts, that would be understandable. Pickett will be 26 next year, played five years in college, and still has these issues.
Worse yet, he doesn’t make the waw plays to make up for his deficiencies. Frankly, he doesn’t have the traits to make those jaw-dropping plays in any given week. While I’m not high on Pickett as a franchise guy, the odds still point to this team trying to give him more time. Even if there is another guy behind him pushing, Pickett is the most likely name to start next year.