PITTSBURGH, PA — The Pittsburgh Steelers got “their guy” last year when they selected Kenny Pickett with the 20th pick in the NFL Draft. But during the pick, after the pick, and almost every week since, there’s been mixed reviews about the potential of Ben Roethlisberger’s successor.
For one NFL Network analyst, though, Pickett is about to enter a new level as a second-year pro. Kyle Brandt said on Good Morning Football that he is buying stock in Pickett now, and believes he’s got elite-level potential.
“There’s a team – and I swear they still exist – they don’t have a really glamorous draft pick, they weren’t in the playoffs last year, but I swear the Pittsburgh Steelers still exist,” Brandt said. “I don’t know if we’ve talked about them since December, I don’t know if we’ve talked to this guy but I’m into Kenny Pickett. I’m developing a sort of football crush on Kenny Pickett.”
Pickett didn’t have very flashy numbers as a rookie, throwing just seven touchdowns to nine interceptions. But after taking over in Week 4, he conducted four comeback wins and three game-winning drives, carrying the Steelers on a 7-2 run and 9-8 season.
“Kenny Pickett’s went on this sleepy little run, won his last five game that he started and finished, he threw one interception in his last eight games, he had two game-winning touchdown passes inside the final minute of the fourth quarter – the first rookie in history to do it.
“I like Kenny Pickett and I know it’s not super sexy and it’s not this guy and Burrow and Allen and Mahomes, but how cool would it be if out of that crazy AFC quarterback fray, another challenger arose and we’re like ‘Wow, Pickett’s really slinging it.’?” Brandt said. “I like what they did last year.”
Brandt believes Pickett could enter the elite status, which the Steelers are hoping for as they look at a future against Joe Burrow, Deshaun Watson and possibly Lamar Jackson.
“I like Pickett,” Brandt concluded “I like the way he’s going about his business. I like what Pittsburgh’s doing around him. No one’s talking about it but I like Pickett.”