Mason Rudolph

When the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted former Pitt Panthers quarterback Kenny Pickett with the No. 20 overall pick in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, many assumed the Heisman Trophy finalist would wind up as the team’s starting quarterback for the 2022-23 season. But it looks like he still has a long way to go if he’s going to win the starting job.

The Steelers released their first depth chart of the preseason on Friday evening, and Pickett was not listed as the starter or even the team’s second-string quarterback. The Steelers listed the former Pitt star as third on the depth chart, behind current first-team quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and second-teamer Mason Rudolph.

The news certainly had the NFL world buzzing, but few people seem to be ruling Pickett out of the competition yet.

It’s not exactly shocking that Pickett wasn’t listed as the team’s starter as both Trubisky and Rudolph offer much more experience than the rookie, but it still indicates that he has an uphill battle if he’s going to win the starting job ahead of the season opener. In fact, current odds overwhelmingly expect Trubsiky to be Pittsburgh’s starter of the season-opener, replacing former star Ben Roethlisberger.

We’re still a long way until the NFL regular season officially opens, but this is certainly a quarterback battle everyone’s going to keep an eye on this fall, even after the season starts.

[Pittsburgh Steelers]