Maybe I'm too tied to the characterization of Picard in the novels. Picard in the novels had no interest in becoming admiral, quite explicitly.
He's an explorer at heart. Being tied to a desk would have been anathema to him.
He doesn't have to resemble Kirk to share Kirk's antipathy to becoming admiral.
As an admiral, he would still have a ship. Ross had one, Riker had one, and he could have one and be in charge of exploration. Just because he is an admiral doesn't mean that he has to stay at a desk on a star base or Earth.
Admirals CAN have ships (as you point out), but I don't think it works quite like you're suggesting.
In any event, the point is that Picard is demonstrated (arguably more in the novels, but even within the canon) to have an antipathy for this specific position. I do not argue that it's impossible that he would find himself in that role, and I'm certainly happy to see what explanation (if any) is offered in the new series.
But to deny that he would have resisted it seems, to me, to deny the character we've seen up to this point.
Edited by G.B.Blackrock, 24 May 2019 - 04:38 PM.