Kenny Pickett is expected to take a big leap forward in his second year at the helm for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Even with a stat line that didn’t blow anyone away in 2022 (10 total touchdowns, 9 interceptions), Pickett showed that he has a clutch factor to his game with multiple game-winning drives in the final month of the season.
Pickett’s ranking signifies a belief that, not only will he take a step forward, he’ll look like one of the best quarterbacks in football. Pickett is ranked ahead of quarterbacks like four-time MVP Aaron Rodgers, potential-phenom Anthony Richardson, and budding superstar Trevor Lawrence.
Kenny Pickett stat projections, 2023
The belief in Pickett is also a clear belief in the Steelers’ offense. While there are reasonable questions about offensive coordinator Matt Canada and his willingness, or lack thereof, to push the ball downfield, one would think the Steelers get more aggressive on offense in 2023. With a full offseason of knowing Pickett is their guy, combined with all of the talent at the skill positions and an upgraded offensive line, Pittsburgh has no reason to keep the training wheels on their quarterback.
While PFF sees Pickett throwing for roughly 3,700 yards, 23 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions, Draft Kings has taken a slightly more conservative approach with his potential statistical output. The sportsbook has their over/under for Pickett’s passing yards set at 3,300 and his passing touchdowns set at 18.5.
Pickett’s incoming totals likely lie somewhere in the middle of both projections. Pittsburgh will look to run the ball a healthy amount throughout the season, so don’t expect a huge season yards wise. I think the best possible projection is somewhere in the neighborhood of what his teammate Mitch Trubisky did in 2018 when he led the Chicago Bears to the NFC North title. Trubisky threw for just over 3,200 yards with 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. If Pickett is somewhere in that neighborhood, the Steelers will have a successful season. Could he pile on more yards? Absolutely, and I expect that number to hover somewhere between 3,500-3,700. The point being that Pickett should take a leap, and it could very well be what PFF projects.