Former NFL GM Mike Tannenbaum Bashes Kenny Pickett: Is He A Franchise QB??

Pittsburgh Steelers training camp is underway, marking the official start of their 2023 season. They enter with high hopes of improving on last season’s 9-8 record and returning to the playoffs.

Of course, much attention is focused on second-year quarterback Kenny Pickett who flashed plenty of promise during his rookie season.

However, not everyone shares the same optimism, as former NFL GM Mike Tannenbaum expressed doubts about Pickett’s capabilities.

During an appearance on ESPN’s Get Up, Tannenbaum discussed the upcoming season for various teams, including the Steelers. When asked about Pittsburgh’s playoff chances, Tannenbaum did not shy away from expressing his blunt opinion.

“Nope, despite Mike Tomlin’s greatness,” Tannenbaum stated firmly. “Kenny Pickett really struggled getting the ball downfield. He was second-worst in yards per pass attempt, and they have some really good receivers with Diontae Johnson, George Pickens, and they picked up Allen Robinson.”

“But when you’re going up against Lamar Jackson and Joe Burrow every week, you’ve got to be able to score points in chunks, and I just don’t think Kenny Pickett has that ability.”

Indeed, statistics from Pickett’s rookie season support Tannenbaum’s claims. The former Pitt Panther quarterback recorded a measly 6.2 yards per pass attempt, ranking him second-lowest among 33 qualified signal-callers, only ahead of Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals.

Furthermore, Pickett’s touchdown percentage rate was the worst in the league, managing to connect for scores on just 1.8% of his throws. To provide context, New York Jets QB Zach Wilson, who had the second-worst touchdown percentage, was significantly higher at 2.5%.

While Tannenbaum’s critique of Pickett may seem harsh, the statistics back up his assessment. However, there remains hope for improvement, as Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin is renowned for his ability to motivate players to perform at their best.

Pickett spent all offseason in Pittsburgh and seems determined to grow and develop into the best quarterback he can possibly be.

It’s obvious to most that Tannenbaum is way too harsh with his criticism. Pickett is young and should surely improve as time goes on.

Do you think Pickett can be a franchise quarterback?

Or do you think he has limitations so severe that he’ll never be a consistently reliable quarterback in the league?