The AFC North has a strong group of quarterbacks with Joe Burrow proving to be the best signal-caller in the division. How should the AFC North quarterbacks be ranked?
This time last year, it was difficult ranking the AFC North quarterbacks. We only had 10 games to evaluate Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow while Lamar Jackson continued to impress. Meanwhile, Ben Roethlisberger was clearly declining and Baker Mayfield was coming off the best year of his career.
Fast forward to present day and neither of those last two quarterbacks mentioned are in the division anymore. Roethlisberger retired and Mayfield was recently traded to the Panthers.
Mayfield’s trade was a result of the Browns giving up a tremendous haul of draft picks to trade for Deshaun Watson while also shelling out $230 million to the former first-round pick. Cleveland also signed Jacoby Brissett to be their backup and due to Watson’s legal issues and pending suspension, could be playing for the majority of the 2022 season.
As for Pittsburgh, they signed Mitchell Trubisky and were the only team to draft a quarterback in the first round, landing Kenny Pickett with the 20th overall pick. While Trubisky is probably the frontrunner to win the starting job, it’s not a guarantee that he starts for the Steelers in Week 1.
With that in mind, we’ll rank both Browns QB options and both Steelers QB options. Let’s start with the rookie.
All stats courtesy of ESPN
6. Kenny Pickett
Kenny Pickett came out of nowhere this past college football season but that season was all that it took to propel him into being a first-round pick. He was the only quarterback taken in the first two rounds. He played college ball at Pittsburgh and now is a member of the Steelers, meaning he didn’t even have to move.
Pickett threw for 4,319 yards, 42 touchdowns, and seven interceptions while rushing for 241 yards and five scores on the ground. There’s a solid chance that Pickett was simply a one-year wonder but he’s entering his pro career with a well-run franchise and they likely won’t throw him to the wolves until he’s ready.
Even still, we haven’t seen Pickett take an NFL snap yet so he’s the easy choice to rank at the bottom of the AFC North quarterback pool.