Monday, May 29 2023

Quarterback Kenny Pickett is the present and future of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and newcomer Allen Robinson sees why.

The 29-year-old wideout told the Steelers’ official team website Thursday that Pickett’s drive makes him special.

“For a second-year quarterback he is definitely wise beyond his years,” Robinson said. “How he leads the charge. His work ethic day in and day out. Very focused. He is definitely beyond his years.

“I was impressed when I got here. Watching somebody from the outside looking in, you definitely see the talent. Once you actually get in the facility and are able to be around Kenny, you see why he is successful.”

Robinson also alluded to Pickett’s success in college at Pittsburgh as an omen for his NFL future.

The Steelers selected Pickett with the No. 20 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft and named him their starting quarterback by Week 5. Pickett finished his rookie season with 2,404 passing yards, seven passing touchdowns, nine interceptions and a 76.7 passer rating, while completing 63.0% of his passes. He also ran for 237 yards and three touchdowns.

Pickett and the Steelers picked up steam in the second half of the season, winning six of their last seven games to finish 9-8. The rookie quarterback threw just one interception over that span, though he missed one game due to a concussion.

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The Steelers acquired Robinson and the No. 251 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft from the Los Angeles Rams for the No. 234 pick in April. Robinson is coming off an underwhelming season with the Rams, which saw him total just 33 receptions for 339 yards and three touchdowns in what was a disastrous 5-12 Rams campaign. 

He spent the previous four seasons with the Chicago Bears (2018-21), which came after spending the first four seasons of his NFL career with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Across his nine-year career, Robinson has racked up three 1,000-plus-yard seasons (2015, 2019 and 2020), one Pro Bowl selection, and led the league with 14 receiving touchdowns in 2015.

Robinson joins a Steelers’ pass-catching core that includes wide receivers Diontae Johnson and George Pickens and tight end Pat Freiermuth.

As for the team’s second-year signal-caller, Robinson already sees Pickett as a leader.

“Leaders are born,” Robinson said. “It doesn’t take a lot of time for a guy who is a natural leader. I think anybody here can tell that from Kenny. I have been here a little over a month, and you can already tell his leadership, how he leads the charge day in and day out. For a second-year guy, that isn’t easy. For a guy to be able to take a bull by the horns like that, it’s pretty impressive.”

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Pittsburgh Steelers

Allen Robinson II

Kenny Pickett

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