One NFL columnist is buying all the stock in Steelers QB Kenny Pickett

Steelers, Kenny Pickett
Steelers, Kenny Pickett / Michael Owens/GettyImages

It's incredibly reasonable to expect a second-year jump for nearly every former first-round quarterback, and Kenny Pickett is no exception. In his first NFL season, the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback was thrown to the wolves at halftime of Week 4 against the New York Jets and faced a brutal early-season slate that included daunting matchups against the Bills and Eagles.

As a result, Pickett led his team to just a 1-3 record in his first four starts while his offense managed to score just 11.5 points per game. This was accompanied by a dismal 5.5 yards per pass attempt, 5 interceptions, and a lackluster 71.8 passer rating. per ESPN stats.

Fortunately, things turned around for the better in the second half of the season. Pickett would miss time with a concussion late in the season. Not counting the first game against Baltimore where he threw just one pass before leaving the contest in the first quarter, Pickett led his team to a 6-1 record to close the season with a 5-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

Now one NFL columnist is buying all the Kenny Pickett stock. Recently, Adam Schein of wrote an article about the best bandwagons to hop on and the stock to buy. Pickett was 2nd on his list of 9 total teams, coaches, and players. Here's what he had to say:

""Entrenched as the starter and comfortable in Matt Canada's offense, Pickett is going to show off his smarts, athleticism, accuracy and ability to make plays when it matters most. He already showed special chemistry with fellow 2022 draftee George Pickens last season; in 2023, the Pickett-Pickens connection goes next level. And it definitely doesn't hurt that Pittsburgh remade Pickett's entire blind side up front, snagging LG Isaac Seumalo with a lucrative deal in free agency and LT Broderick Jones with the No. 14 overall pick in the draft. Maybe it's time for Ben Roethlisberger to start worrying about his legacy getting lost again ... Kidding, obviously. The Hall of Fame awaits Ben -- but I can't wait to see what's in store for Ken.""

Adam Schein, via

This is incredibly high praise from Schein, and he's certainly a believer in Kenny Pickett in year two. Only the Atlanta Falcons bandwagon was ahead of the Steelers quarterback on this list.

What could make Kenny Pickett breakout in 2023?

One of the main reasons why the fanbase was so split on Kenny Pickett as a prospect coming into the league was his lack of elite arm talent. Pickett was set to turn 24 years old just after the draft, but his arm was only average by NFL standards. The former Pitt quarterback was also a one-year-wonder with only one good statistical season coming in year five in the ACC.

Regardless of his age and average arm, Pickett has some traits that could prove Schein correct when predicting a second-year jump. The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback exuberates with moxie, competitive toughness, and the perfect leadership mentality for the position.

This can go a long way in the NFL. If Pickett's teammates love his leadership traits and confidence, they will be ready to run through a brick wall for him. Pickett certainly seems to bring that perfect football demeanor to the field every day.

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Obviously, Pickett has lots of improving to do when it comes to consistently creating big plays, moving the chains, and improving his conversion rate in the red zone. Still, it's not uncommon to see a sizeable second-year leap, and Adam Schein is buying all the stock right now in the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback.