With the NFL season set to begin in five weeks, there are a few notable quarterback competitions underway.
Two involve rookies looking to establish themselves atop the depth chart, and all of them include veterans with aspirations to revitalize their careers.
Here’s a look at where the league’s ongoing QB competitions stand.
Kenny Pickett checks in at third on the Pittsburgh Steelers depth chart
The Steelers have released their first depth chart of the 2022 season. And while experience says not to put much stock into a team’s initial depth chart, it is worth noting that Pickett, Pittsburgh’s first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, is listed behind Mitchell Trubisky and Mason Rudolph, respectively.
Peter King of NBC Sports mentioned last weekend that the starting quarterback job is Trubisky’s to lose.
The Carolina Panthers are not ready to name QB1
Head coach Matt Rhule said he doesn’t plan on making any “major decisions” at any position until after the team’s first preseason game on Aug. 19 in New England.
Assumptions are he’s primarily referring to the QB competition between Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold.
“The Patriots week is a true litmus test for us,” Rhule told reporters after Saturday’s scrimmage. “That will really show us where guys are.”
Even after Carolina’s preseason opener, Rhule said he still may withhold a decision if neither QB has separated himself.
Marcus Mariota named the starter in Atlanta
The Atlanta Falcons signed Mariota to a two-year deal in the offseason after trading Matt Ryan to Indianapolis. A month later, they drafted Desmond Ridder 74th overall in the draft. That birthed a slight QB controversy, although Mariota looks to have already won the job.
“Obviously, we’ve got a plan for each of them. Marcus is the starter,” Falcons QBs coach Charles London said recently. “That’s how we’re going into this thing.”
Tabbing Mariota as QB1 isn’t a surprise given his experience in the league and the fact head coach Arthur Smith brought him in after the two worked together in Tennessee.
Gene Smith remains on top in Seattle
No, the Seahawks haven’t released a depth chart yet, but coach Pete Carroll recently confirmed that Smith is ahead of Drew Lock in the quarterback race.
Lock, in fact, has gotten almost no work with the first-team offense since arriving in Seattle in the spring.
“Geno continues to be on top,” Carroll said, via Pro Football Talk. “He’s ahead. He’s been in the lead for all the obvious reasons, and he’s holding onto it and doing a really good job of battling. Both guys are communicating beautifully, they’re learning well. We don’t have any issues with anything we’re trying to do.”
Smith has been with the Seahawks for the past three seasons. Last year, he started three games in place of an injured Russell Wilson. With Smith under center, Seattle struggled mightily on offense in losses to the Steelers and Saints, before breaking out in a win over the Jaguars.
Stay tuned for more QB competition updates.
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