PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – Dream, lie in bed at night thinking of scenarios, wish for the Steelers to lose-whatever it is that you think will land you a quarterback in the first round, forget it. There is no chance the Steelers will select a QB in the first round in 2023.
It doesn’t take an inside knowledge to figure it out, but know the people that we’ve talked to within the Steelers organization; they won’t be drafting a quarterback in the first round. Period.
If he stays healthy, Kenny Pickett will have 13 starts in his first year. That’s not enough time to evaluate your rookie quarterback under the best of circumstances. Let alone dealing with a rebuilt offensive line, struggles running the ball, questionable coordinating and trading a top three receiver. The Heisman finalist from last year has made mistakes, but he’s not alone in his first season.
Let’s compare the rookie years of some of the top 10 quarterbacks in passer rating in the 2022 season:
Kenny Pickett 6 starts, 2-4 record, 65% completion, 3 TD, 8 INT
Tua Tagovailoa 9 starts, 6-3 record, 64% completion, 11 TD, 5 INT
Geno Smith started 16 games, 8-8, 56% completion, 12 TD, 21 INT
Patrick Mahomes rookie season, played in one game with an interception
Jalen Hurts started four games, went 1-3, 52% completion, 6 TD, 4 INT
Joe Burrow started 10 games, 2-7-1 record, 65% completion, 13 TD, 5 INT
Josh Allen started 11 games, went 5-6 with a 53% completion with 10 TD to 12 INT
They aren’t going to give up on Kenny Pickett after starting three-quarters of a season.
While much talked about, there are no ‘can’t miss’ or franchise quarterbacks in this year’s draft. Here are almost everyone’s top 4 in 2023 Mock NFL Drafts:
Bryce Young, Alabama, is generally the highest rated QB. He has made some impressive throws, but has had multiple injuries and the question having the best talent in college football around him leading to his success.
Will Levis, Kentucky, they keep saying he will project better in the NFL. However, in the big coming out year for the 6’3” QB, he’s completed 66% of his passes for 17 TD and 10 INT.
CJ Stroud, Ohio State, I watched a lot of his games and he’s had some great seasons and amazing numbers. Is it really him or is he the next Troy Smith, Justin Fields to the NFL. He has the best receivers in the game and struggles with his mobility. Is he really can’t miss?
Hendon Hooker, Tennessee, you can’t just say it’s the system, he’s had a tremendous year. Unfortunately, an ACL tear brings the 2023 season into question, if not more.
With Steelers needs on the offensive line, corner, linebacker, safety, defensive line and wide receiver. Do you want to use your top pick on a quarterback, again?
The Steelers won’t. Too many other needs and not enough time evaluating the guy they thought a few months ago could be their franchise quarterback.
Dream of those Young, Stroud or Levis black and gold jerseys, but at some point, you will wake up.