Commentary: Pickett Is Willing To Earn His QB1 Spot
There is nothing more admirable than a rookie (a first round rookie at that), willing to earn his way to the top.
During OTAs this week, first round pick Kenny Pickett was noted as taking third-team reps behind Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph. It would be easy for us to assume that since Pickett was the team's first round pick, he would naturally be the one to take first-team reps in practice. I believe it is important for us to remember that he is the least tenured quarterback on the Pittsburgh Steelers roster, aside from fellow draftee, Chris Oladokun.
Where much of the fanbase would take offense to the idea that a quarterback like Rudolph would be ahead of him, Pickett's mentality was one of a mature, self-aware athlete willing to earn first-team reps:
"I didn't think I was going to walk in and be the '1,' right? So, it's kind of what I was expecting in coming in here. Earn everything I get. Kind of how it goes in life and in the game, so I am excited to be here."
Though we are only in OTAs, his willingness to compete only bodes well when the true training camp begins in late July. This competitive mentality is part of why he reaped the success he did at the University of Pittsburgh. Pickett displayed an awareness that the role of QB1 is not going to be handed to him solely for being a first round pick.
Pickett may be able to outperform both Rudolph and Trubisky at that point. Until then, he is a third-string quarterback, and he's embracing that. Good on him.