Kenny Pickett blatantly disrespected in Chris Simms' 2023 quarterback rankings

Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers
Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

Kenny Pickett knows that he still has a lot to prove. After a concerningly poor start to his NFL career that included 5 interceptions in his first four starts and saw his team average a dismal 11.5 points per game, the Pittsburgh Steelers rookie quarterback turned things around in the second half of the season.

Though his production, passer rating, and overall efficiency still left a lot to be desired, Pickett helped lead his team to a 7-2 record since the Week 9 bye last year. His performances included two come-back, game-winning drives against the Raiders and Ravens late in the season.

Despite the progress he made, not everyone is buying into the Kenny Pickett hype. Former NFL quarterback and current analyst Chris Simms is currently unavailing his top 40 NFL quarterbacks heading into the 2023 NFL season. Pickett landed at the 25th spot.

Simms has been releasing his list in backward order and it started with Desmond Ridder at number 40. Pickett slots just above a pair of 49ers quarterbacks in Brock Purdy and Sam Darnold as well as narrowly topping players like Andy Dalton, Tyler Huntley, and Davis Mills. Pickett and Purdy are the lone quarterbacks in a tier that Simms labeled 'Sophomore Supremes.'

Where should Kenny Pickett be ranked among NFL quarterbacks?

If this were strictly a ranking of the best quarterbacks from the 2022 season, it would be completely justifiable to have Kenny Pickett ranked this low. In fact, I wouldn't be opposed to having him even lower. The Steelers rookie QB from last season managed an insanely low 5.5 adjusted yards per attempt to pair with his 7 to 9 touchdown-to-interception ratio and 76.7 passer rating, per ESPN stats.

However, this list is a ranking of who Simms believes will be the best quarterbacks for the 2023 season. Even those hard on Pickett may agree that this seems a bit low. Based on what has been revealed so far, it's safe to assume that Simms has players like Mac Jones, Justin Fields, Ryan Tannehill, Russell Wilson, Jimmy Garoppolo, Kyler Murray, and Baker Mayfield all higher than Pickett (and possibly even some other surprise names that show up on the list).

Just counting down from the top of the list, it's probably more reasonable that Pickett will be somewhere between the 18th and 22nd-best quarterback in the NFL in 2023 (though all of this is subjective and there's no real way to measure this).

Next. 10 best players originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers. dark

Regardless of how low Chris Simms believes that Kenny Pickett will rank among NFL quarterbacks this year, Pittsburgh Steelers fans have plenty of reason to be excited for their potential franchise quarterback in year two. If he can take a step forward, he could grossly outplay his position on this top-40 quarterback list.