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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That probably shouldn’t come as a big surprise. Trubisky, who signed the team to a two-year deal in the off-season, was expected to open the season as the team’s starter. Although the team fielded Pickett in the first round, he got third-rate reps during training camp.

The bigger shock is that Rudolph remains #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 made an impression in the NFL in a limited time. In 10 starts, he has thrown 16 touchdowns against 10 interceptions. The Steelers could have handed things over to Rudolph after Ben Roethlisberger retired, but the team chose to bring in Trubisky and pick a first round for another quarterback.

Pickett’s placement on the depth chart may be a disappointment to some, but early depth charts don’t mean much in the grand scheme of things. It’s still very early in training camp, and players can get up and down quite a bit once the games get going.

That Pickett is placed third on the depth map is not an indication that the Steelers think he is a failure. It probably speaks more about his inexperience in the NFL compared to Trubisky and Rudolph.

Kenny Pickett will likely play for Steelers in 2022

Pickett is unlikely to stay third on the depth chart for long. Rudolph’s roster spot may not be safe as the Steelers wanted to bring in off-season competition. If he struggles during the preseason, Rudolph could be knocked out, or at the very least relegated to third on the depth chart.

It looks like Trubisky will open the season as a starter, but he may not keep that job. Trubisky has put in solid numbers throughout his NFL career, throwing 64 touchdowns against 38 interceptions, but his performance left a lot to be desired. Despite those numbers, Trubisky didn’t get a chance to start last season, opting to back Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen.

There is a scenario where Trubisky lives up to his number 2 overall draft status and has an outstanding year with the Steelers. However, Trubisky is more likely to use average to mediocre grades, and the team eventually turns to Pickett.

Pickett’s placement on the team’s first official depth chart probably won’t change that timeline. He eventually gets his chance. That won’t change as he will be listed as the team’s third quarterback on the depth chart in early August.

Kenny Pickett starts at the bottom of the Steelers depth map. (Photo by Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)