Kenny Pickett is Going to Win Offensive Rookie of the Year
Pittsburgh Steelers fans rejoice. Kenny Pickett was officially named the team’s Week 5 starter earlier this week, ending four weeks of average and uninspiring play under center from Mitch Trubisky.
The Steelers went 1-3 with Trubisky as its starting quarterback and averaged just 278.8 total yards per game, which is 30th in the league. Trubisky had the league’s 31st worst passer rating (73.7), 28th worst completion percentage (59.5), and worst yards per attempt (5.6). He also had just 24 rushing yards through four games, which is good enough if your name is Tom Bady or Aaron Rodgers, but not Mitch Trubisky.
Kenny Pickett came into last Sunday’s game at halftime and scored a pair of rushing touchdowns, seemingly reinvigorating the deflated Steelers’ offense. He did, however, throw three interceptions, but that was largely a result of trying to do too much to get his team back into the game.
Trubisky wasn’t too thrilled with the decision either.
“It doesn’t matter what I think,” he told reporters after the game. (Coach Tomlin) did what he thought was best for the team. It’s a tough deal. It’s definitely not what I wanted. Not what I expected. But that’s part of it.”
Nonetheless, it’s now the Kenny Pickett era in Pittsburgh. And it’s a good time to consider betting the QB to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
Kenny Pickett Has Plenty of Weapons
As of right now, Kenny Pickett has the fifth-shortest odds to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year at +1000. The four favorites to win the award through Week 4 are Chris Olave (+500), Dameon Pierce (+650), Drake London (+700), and Romeo Doubs (+700).
Olave and London will be catching passes from backup-caliber quarterbacks for the rest of the season. Doubs at least has Aaron Rodgers throwing his way, but the veteran quarterback has been hesitant to trust his young wideouts.
Kenny Pickett, however, will be in the spotlight every snap and has a great chance to quickly move up the rookie rankings, especially with a solid wide receiver group including Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, and fellow rookie George Pickens, who has +1200 odds to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year. Kenny Pickett also has a great check-down option in running back Najee Harris.
The Other Contenders Have Been Inconsistent
Only two wide receivers – Ja’Marr Chase and Odell Beckham Jr. – have won the Offensive Rookie of the Year since 2010. In contrast, quarterbacks have won the award six times since then. Kenny Pickett just needs to have a solid season to put himself in contention.
Olave is ninth in the league with 335 receiving yards, but that’s boosted by a nine-catch, 147-yard performance against the Carolina Panthers in Week 3. He had just four catches for 67 yards with Andy Dalton under center in Week 4 and is unlikely to replicate his Week 3 performance.
As mentioned, Doubs and London have a tough road to improving their odds, although London may be used in more creative ways now with Cordarelle Patterson expected to miss at least four games.
Pierce, meanwhile, has produced games of 33, 69, 80, and 131 rushing yards. He’s clearly getting more comfortable, but won’t continue to produce at that level with a relatively weak Texas offensive line.