Back in April, when the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted highly-touted quarterback Kenny Pickett with the 20th overall pick, he joined NFL legend Dan Marino as the only Pittsburgh signal-callers ever selected in the first round. And just one year after five passers were gone within the first 15 picks, the former Heisman Trophy finalist was the lone quarterback crossed off NFL draft boards on Day 1 in Las Vegas. Pickett was also the only quarterback taken in the first 73 picks.
Following the pick, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin explained to reporters that the franchise searched across the country for a new quarterback. And he found it amusing that they ended up "with a guy from next door," as Pickett played five seasons at Heinz Field. When training camp begins on July 27, the 24-year-old will compete for the starting job with Mitchell Trubisky, who signed a two-year free agent deal with Pittsburgh in March. But is Pickett going to take the field once the regular season arrives? Bryant McFadden harbors some doubts.
"I don't think so. And that's not necessarily a knock on Kenny Pickett. It's a lot for him to digest, as an NFL quarterback," the former Steelers cornerback told the Maggie and Perloff show with Zach Gelb on Thursday. "Understanding the offense, understanding how the game is going -- the flow of the game. I don't expect to see him start in Week 1. Now could he start throughout the season? Potentially, if things aren't going well with the offense and the flow of their QB. But right now? No, I don't expect to see him start in Week 1...
"Trubisky, based on where he was coming from in Chicago, it's night and day. It's like ordering Salisbury steak your entire life and then, eventually, you get a taste of Kobe steak... If Trubisky is starting 17 games, we're above .500 and in the playoffs. That means he's playing good football, we're scoring points, and we're winning ballgames... I'm okay with how Pittsburgh handled the QB room and tried to provide depth, competition. Right now, it's Trubisky's job to lose."
The entire NFL conversation between McFadden and Gelb can be accessed in the audio player above (conversation begins at 3:40 p.m. ET mark).