Former NFL running back LeSean McCoy helped former NFL players Pacman Jones and Brandon Marshall interview Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool on the latest episode of the ‘I Am Athlete Podcast’ and during that long interview the University of Pittsburgh product wanted to make his feelings known about rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett, the 20th overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft.
“Listen, I’ll say it like this, Joe Burrow, Kenny Pickett, I can’t see the difference,” McCoy bravely said. “The only thing I see, I see a guy that’s tough.”
McCoy did not stop there when it came to his praise of Pickett as he also went forward with a prediction for 2022 as to when he thinks the rookie quarterback will finally get on the field for the Steelers.
“He’s gonna be your starting quarterback,” McCoy told Claypool, specifically. “Not week one, not week two. Week six. Look, he’s gonna carry Pittsburgh. The tradition. Big Ben [Roethlisberger], he’s leaving it in his hands. I see that right now.”
That certainly is high praise from McCoy, but it’s not surprising one bit as Pickett is also a University of Pittsburgh product. McCoy obviously has bias working in his head as he’s basically had a front row seat watching Pickett play over the course of the last five seasons. Of course he’s going to be all in on Pickett right now and especially with him now playing for his hometown Steelers.
Let’s be honest here, however. While we all certainly hope that Pickett can ultimately become one of the NFL’s top quarterbacks, it’s a bit early to mention him in the same breath as Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, who had team in the Super Bowl last season. Let’s see how Pickett looks during training camp and the preseason before we make any more claims about what he may or may not become.
Personally, and probably just like McCoy, I look forward to watching many Pickett versus Burrow battles over the course of the next several years. The Steelers open their 2022 regular season on the road against the Bengals and as we sit here in late June, it certainly seems like new Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky will start that Week 1 game, not Pickett.
The Steelers and Bengals will play a second time in 2022 in Week 11 and that game will be a Sunday night matchup on NBC at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. If McCoy’s prediction winds up being correct, Pickett will be the Steelers starter for that second game against the Bengals. I bet McCoy will be at Heinz Field for that matchup.
Pickett, by the way, signed his rookie contract Thursday morning. There’s no word yet, however, on if Pickett will sign McCoy to be the president of his own fan club. That said, McCoy is very qualified for that job.
“I just think that, you know, in Pittsburgh, every like six to seven years, we get a dominant player,” McCoy said. “We don’t have enough time to go through all the names, right? You’re sitting with one of them right now. But listen, Pickett is the truth. If you watched his last year in college, he was going crazy.”