10. Kenny Pickett (Steelers) - Weeks 12 and 16
Another quarterback in the AFC North who will be getting his first full season as the start for his team is Kenny Pickett. In Pickett’s rookie season last year, he played a total of 13 games and started 12 of them. Everyone knew, and poor Steelers fans had to watch Mitch Trubisky, knowing he would eventually be benched.
Now it’s Pickett’s team. Trubisky signed a two-year contract before the 2022 season but he is going to be spending his second season playing back-up to Pickett, who had flashes of brilliance during his rookie season.
With a full year under his belt and more weapons at his disposal, Pickett could be a danger in the AFC North. The Steelers are never down for long, in large part to Coach Mike Tomlin. If Pickett is even serviceable and consistent, the Steelers will be fighting to win the North because the rest of the team is so strong.
Pickett sits at 10 on this list mainly because his sample size is small and it remains to be seen if he’ll become a good quarterback or end up a bust. My opinion is somewhere in the middle, but that still makes the Steelers very good.
9. Ryan Tannehill (Titans) - Week 4
One of the biggest pieces of drama in the draft was Will Levis falling out of the first round and he fell to the Titans at the 33rd overall pick. Clearly, the Titans do not think Malik Willis is their future. When they saw a top quarterback prospect fall to them, they seized the moment.
No one thinks Levis is going to seriously compete for the starting job, but it could be a Matt Flynn/Russell Wilson situation. Most likely is that Ryan Tannehill will still be the starter by Week 4 this season.
He’s been a decent quarterback for Tennessee over the last four seasons, but it’s clear that he has a ceiling and he has hit that ceiling. They have so much talent surrounding him, capped with one of the best running backs in the league.
However, even when they secured the number one seed in the AFC they couldn’t beat our boys. If you sack your opponent's quarterback nine times you should win that game. Tannehill could not rise to the occasion. He is not a quarterback to fear and his time in Tennessee is coming to an end.