Steelers first round pick Kenny Pickett listed as third QB on depth chart

Steelers first round pick Kenny Pickett listed as third QB on depth chart

The Pittsburgh Steelers released their first official depth chart on Friday, and fans hoping to see rookie Kenny Pickett take over immediately may be disappointed. Pickett is listed as the team’s third quarterback, behind both current starter Mitchell Trubisky and backup Mason Rudolph.

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It probably shouldn’t come as a big surprise. Trubisky, whom the team signed to a two-year deal in the offseason, was expected to open the season as the team’s starter. Although the team drafted Pickett in the first round, he has received third-string reps during training camp.

The bigger shock is that Rudolph remains No. 2 on the team’s depth chart. Rudolph, who was selected by the team in the third round of the 2018 NFL draft, has not impressed in limited time in the NFL. In 10 starts, he has thrown 16 touchdowns against 10 interceptions. The Steelers could have turned things over to Rudolph after Ben Roethlisberger retired, but the team opted to bring in Trubisky and use a first-round pick on another quarterback.

Pickett’s placement on the depth chart may come as a disappointment to some, but early depth charts don’t mean much in the grand scheme of things. It’s still extremely early in training camp, and players can rise and fall quite a bit once games start.

Pickett being placed third on the depth chart isn’t an indication that the Steelers think he’s a bust. That probably speaks more to his inexperience in the NFL compared to Trubisky and Rudolph.

Kenny Pickett will likely start games for the Steelers in 2022

Pickett is unlikely to remain third on the depth chart for long. Rudolph’s roster spot may not be secure considering the Steelers seemed to bring in competition during the season. If he struggles during the preseason, Rudolph could be cut, or at least demoted to third on the depth chart.

Trubisky looks set to open the season starting, but he may not keep that job. Trubisky has put up solid numbers during his NFL career, throwing for 64 touchdowns against 38 interceptions, but his performance has left a lot to be desired. Despite those numbers, Trubisky didn’t get a starting opportunity last season, opting instead to back up Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen.

It’s a scenario where Trubisky lives up to his No. 2 overall draft status and has an excellent year with the Steelers. However, Trubisky is more likely to put up average to middling numbers and the team will eventually turn to Pickett.

Pickett’s placement on the team’s first official depth chart likely doesn’t change that timeline. He gets the opportunity eventually. That won’t change because he’s listed as the team’s third quarterback on the depth chart in early August.

Kenny Pickett with the Steelers.

Kenny Pickett will start at the bottom of the Steelers’ depth chart. (Photo by Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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