Quarterbacks taken in the first round of the NFL Draft are often expected to start early in their rookie seasons. Over the past five seasons, an average of 5.8 rookie quarterbacks have started at least one game. Kenny Pickett was the only quarterback to be taken on the draft's opening night but other rookies carry expectations as well. Ten quarterbacks taken on Days 2 & 3 have started at least one game over the same time period.
After months of discussion regarding the weaknesses of the 2022 NFL Draft class, a few of them are now under the spotlight to contribute. Here are some paths to the rookie quarterback class making their debut in 2022:
Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett
Pittsburgh did not give Mitchell Trubisky a veteran contract where he needs to be on the field to justify the cost. Training camp should feature a healthy competition between Trubisky and Pickett. In the end, head coach Mike Tomlin will probably give the veteran the first opportunity to win the job and then bring the rookie along at his own pace. The opening portion of the schedule is not necessarily conducive to early success for a young quarterback; chief among those early opponents is Bill Belichick and his impressive history against rookie quarterbacks.
The most logical position for Pickett to be thrust into the starting lineup is Week 10 at home against the New Orleans Saints. The latter half of the schedule features a game against every team in the division, including the Ravens twice, as well as the Panthers and Falcons.