What if Pickett has a great season for the Steelers?
Rounding out every scenario is what we should all be hoping for: Pickett looks like a legitimate franchise quarterback. Sure, I could have him throwing for over 5000 yards and 35-plus scores but given the fact that this offense is being built around the ground game, that isn’t going to happen.
What could happen is that Pickett gets more and more comfortable as a pro. While a slower early season sees this team grind down teams, he takes steps forward every game and shows a lot of promise. By season’s end, he has a respectable stat line.
Most notably, Pickett is a consistent and efficient player throughout the entire season. He has a remarkably high completion percentage, taking what he is given but also taking chances when necessary. He has a healthy yards per game.
Where Pickett ends up really shining is his touchdown ratio. Again, borrowing some numbers for quarterbacks that seem like good comps, Pickett throws for 25 scores. His interception rate mimics what he did in the latter half of the season last year. His rushing is, again efficient and adds to his totals.
While these numbers don’t scream elite quarterback play, making a jump from his rookie year to this would be huge. The offense would still move through the ground game, but Pickett becomes more than just a game manager. He flashes some great ability in an offense designed to not rely on him.
After crunching these numbers and considering what I saw out of Pickett in his rookie season, I think his final numbers and play will be a mix of his average and above-average scenarios. Specifically, I think his touchdowns will favor the above-average line of 20 while his yards and efficiency elsewhere will be closer to the average ranking.
Pickett is entering an offense that doesn’t need him to be great to succeed. He needs to play clean and take what is given to him. I think he does that in his second year, even if there is still some lackluster elements to his game.