The Steelers just selected Kenny Pickett in the 2022 NFL Draft, and he is coming off a rocky rookie campaign, but one that showed flashes of a bright future.
Obviously tied to Pickett through his rookie deal at the minimum, when you select a quarterback in the first round, (all-be-it in the 20s) you give that player every chance imaginable to prove himself.
And while the Steelers will proclaim their enthusiasm behind Pickett publicly, it doesn’t mean you aren’t always looking at options behind the scenes. An upcoming visit proves just that.
Per Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, the Steelers are set to hold former University of Houston quarterback Clayton Tune to either a visit or a private workout in the coming days.
#Houston QB Clayton Tune will be visiting the #Saints tomorrow and the #Browns later this week, source said, and he has upcoming visits and/or workouts with the #Giants, #Steelers, #Bucs, #Rams and hometown #Texans. After the first 4 QBs, it’s wide open.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 4, 2023
Tune started four years for the Cougars, playing at a high level in the mid-majors, and becoming a considerable draft prospect.
The above clip displays his best qualities, including deep ball accuracy, pocket presence, and toughness to throw with bodies around him.
But Tune isn’t just a standard pocket quarterback, his play both on the field and in athletic testing will leave teams intrigued by his traits.
Clayton Tune. pic.twitter.com/aG1WxqyGWQ— Nick Penticoff (@NickPenticoff) March 29, 2023
Tune had a sneaky good workout at the NFL Scouting Combine, but it’s easy to be overshadowed by the top names, especially when Anthony Richardson put on the show he did.
Tune tipped the scales at nearly 6’3 and 220 pounds. Typical quarterback size in the NFL, he has no concerns there.
He also carries the weight well with an athletic frame that came to life in his testing.
Tune would record a 4.64 40-yard dash, 37.5 inch vertical, a 10.2 broad, 6.89 three-cone, and 4.25 short shuttle.
Those are capital e, elite numbers for a signal caller, with Tune recording the second-best athleticism score behind only the record-setting Anthony Richardson.
Tune also displayed a smooth stroke and easy drop, doing everything right while throwing against air, as all quarterbacks should during their on-field drills at the combine.
Now, don’t worry Steelers fans, the front office is likely just doing their due diligence when it comes to the draft, and potentially making a play at investing in the future of the backup quarterback position.
In my opinion, you would be hard-pressed to find a better comp to Tune than Pickett.
Two quarterbacks that like to move the pocket and have nearly identical body types and measurables, the Steelers may be looking at insurance should Pickett become injured.
Lastly, with the potential departure of Mason Rudolph, and Mitch Trubisky with 1 year left on his contract, the Steelers will need to solidify a solid backup for the future of the franchise without having to pay over rookie contract prices.