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Steelers' Kenny Pickett Says He Didn't Think He'd Walk In and Be Starting QB

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIMay 31, 2022

Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Pittsburgh Steelers rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett, who is currently working with the third string at offseason team activities, evidently has to earn the keys to the franchise.

However, the ex-Pitt star told reporters he wasn't expecting to be anointed the starter right away. ESPN's Brooke Pryor had more:

Brooke Pryor @bepryor

Kenny Pickett is still working with the third string in the second week of OTAs, but he's not surprised by the early pecking order: <br><br>"I didn’t think I was going to walk in and be the 1. It’s kind of what I was expecting, just come in here and earn everything I get."

The Steelers selected Pickett with the No. 20 overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft. He was the first quarterback taken and the only one to go in the first two rounds.

Pickett will presumably be QB1 someday, but that's Mitch Trubisky's spot right now.

The former Chicago Bear and Buffalo Bill, who went second overall in the 2017 NFL draft, signed a two-year, $14.3 millioncontractwith the Steelers this offseason.

He started for the Bears over the better part of four seasons (2017-2020) and had an up-and-down tenure in Chicago. The 27-year-old backed up Josh Allen in Buffalo in 2021.

Pittsburgh also still has Mason Rudolph, who is entering his fourth NFL season. The former Oklahoma State star started half the 2019 season for an injured Ben Roethlisberger and completed 62.2 percent of his passes with 13 touchdowns (nine interceptions).

Rookie Chris Oladokun rounds out the quarterback depth chart. The former South Dakota State star, who went in the seventh round of this year's draft, threw for 3,164 yards and 25 touchdowns in 2021.

Pickett's 2021 breakout season may foreshadow great NFL success. The ACC Player of the Year led Pitt to a conference title, an 11-3 record and a Peach Bowl appearance. Along the way, Pickett accounted for 47 touchdowns (42 passing, five rushing) and 4,319 passing yards.

For now, though, Pickett is taking a back seat to Trubisky as the Steelers look to improve upon a 9-7-1 season that ended with an AFC wild-card loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

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