The Pittsburgh Steelers took a chance in the first round of the NFL Draft on a quarterback that has practiced right next door to them for years. This may have surprised some analysts who were worried that Pitt's Kenny Pickett didn't measure up in all the right areas.
Pickett's small hand size was a public source of concern heading into the draft, but Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert finally brought some logic into this situation by publicly stating what Steelers fans are all thinking.
"Can he throw the football? Absolutely. Did he have an excessive fumble rate? No, he didn’t. We just judge it on how he played.”- Colbert on Pickett's hand size
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Colbert spoke on the topic during an appearance on ProFootballTalk's PFTPM podcast and stressed that the team believes Pickett is "the most prepared coming out" of any QB in this class. The 23-year-old's hands measured at 8.5 inches at the combine, which is the smaller than any NFL starting QB.
Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin echoed Colbert's confidence and mentioned that seeing Pickett play in person helped him not buy into the scrutiny. Pickett handled the ball well on a rainy Thursday night against North Carolina and it only made Tomlin more of a fan of the hometown signal-caller.
All signs point to a legitimate battle for the Steelers starting gig going down during training camp as Pickett joins a group that includes Mitchell Trubisky, Mason Rudolph and seventh-round pick Chris Oladokun. Taking over for long-time starter Ben Roethlisberger after his retirement is no easy task.
It looks like Pickett's play will do the talking this summer instead of any measurements.
The Steelers will aim to earn their third consecutive playoff berth in 2022, but have a tough road ahead of them. Oddsmakers give them the worst odds odds to win the AFC North at +850, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.