The 2022 NFL Draft wasn’t the greatest for rookie quarterbacks.
However, Kenny Pickett came out of that draft in the best possible situation.
The rookie quarterback was the only QB selected in the first round when the Pittsburgh Steelers took him with the 20th pick.
But how is it he’s the QB in the best situation among rookie QBs in 2022?
The answer to that question is simple, despite the issues some feel he will face in Pittsburgh.
Pickett Gets More Money As A Rookie Because Of Him Going In The First Round
With Pickett going in the first round, he gets a higher contract offer than the rookie quarterbacks taken after him.
While it might not seem like much, it’s something that puts him in a much better spot than the other rookie QBs.
To give a comparison, Pickett has a four-year, $14 million contract, while rookie QB Malik Willis has a four-year $5.1 million contract.
The Malik Willis draft slide, financially.
If he went #6 to CAR:
4 yrs, $27.5M, fully guaranteed
Where he went, #86 to TEN:
4 yrs, $5.1M, $921k guaranteed
— Spotrac (@spotrac) May 1, 2022
Had Willis gone earlier, that contract deal would have been bigger than the one Pickett got.
So with Pickett getting that top spot pick, he’s financially in a better place than every other rookie QB.
Pickett Currently Isn’t Under Any Pressure To Start As Third-String QB
Only one rookie quarterback from the 2022 NFL Draft was a possible starting quarterback for this season.
With the QB situation in Pittsburgh, many thought Pickett would be the starter for them this season.
However, the team has him as a third-string QB, which he is fine with.
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:
"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."
— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) May 31, 2022
Pickett wants to earn that top spot, not have it handed to him.
This puts him in a magnificent spot, as he doesn’t have pressure on him to perform instantly.
But, if the team needs him, he will be ready to answer the call.
He Has Best Team Around Him Among Rookie QBs That Could Start In 2022
Of the three other rookie quarterbacks who could see a role as starter in 2022, Pickett has the best team around him.
Matt Corral of the Panthers, who maybe thought he would compete with Sam Darnold, now has to go against Baker Mayfield as well.
Desmond Ridder of the Falcons, who could start if Marcus Mariota doesn’t perform well as a starter, would inherit a train wreck of an offense.
The team’s 27th ranked offensive line didn’t improve and they are without Calvin Ridley for the season, leaving him with zero weapons.
Then there’s Sam Howell of the Washington Commanders, who could start if Carson Wentz gets hurt.
While the Commanders’ offensive line finished sixth in 2021, they lost Brandon Scherff.
That now leaves Pickett in a suitable spot with two good receivers, a talented running back, and a great defense.
However, the Steelers offensive line finished 26th last season.
While that might concern some, Pickett isn’t worried about it.
He’s got the surrounding tools to make up for the lackluster line.
So if they call his number, know that the talent around him gives him the edge over all other potential rookie starting QBs in 2022.