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2022 NFL Draft Profile: Pittsburgh QB Kenny Pickett

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Player Profile

School: Pittsburgh Panthers

Recruiting Profile: Click Here

Position: QB

Height: 6030

Weight: 220

Year: 5th/SR

Jersey Number: 8

Offensive Scheme: Spread/West Coast

Offensive Coordinator: Mark Whipple

Games Reviewed: 2021 Clemson, 2021 Georgia Tech, 2021 Tennessee

Position Specific Critical Factors

Accuracy: (7) Very Good

The QB position requires good accuracy at all times. The prospect must have control of the football to place the ball in tight windows and with the appropriate leverage on his throws. When WR's are covered in the NFL, ball placement is paramount. The ability to throw a receiver open (anticipatory throwing) can separate a good prospect, from being an elite prospect. Making throws that are catchable and with IDEAL placement is mandatory.

Decision Making/Awareness: (6) Good

The ability to make smart decisions on the field, with good judgment, and poise in the pocket, is fundamental at the highest level of football. Possessing the ability to process quickly on the fly can separate a prospect from being good or elite. The prospect's intelligence, field vision, understanding of coverage, and reading defenses are all critical. The prospect's ability to not break down as pressure builds is a key factor. Possessing the ability to recognize pre-snap and post-snap coverage is another trait that is paramount.

Big Moments/Clutch: (7) Very Good

Late game, tight game, playing from behind while under pressure; does the prospect rise to the occasion in the close games against better competition? Can the prospect deliver big-time plays under pressure in critical situations? Does the QB maintain composer and focus in key moments?

Key Strengths

  • Mobility

  • Deep Accuracy/Ball Placement

  • Clutch

Key Weaknesses

  • Risk Taker

  • Post Snap Reads

Pass Game Summary

Kenny Pickett is a tough, gritty, determined player with good mobility and a knack to make something out of nothing. He shows he can be clutch in key moments and has shown an ability to be decisive as a passer. He can use some improvement with his anticipatory throws but has shown the ability to throw a receiver open. He can operate from under center or in the gun.

Pickett displays good pocket awareness and can escape keeping plays alive with his eyes always looking down the field; he is determined to make a play as a passer. Pickett does not have the strongest arm, but he does at times show he can get enough zip on his throws to beat coverage.

He does tend to take risks and will try to force throws, but in 2021 he has won more of those risk-taking battles than he has lost with a 40/7 TD to INT ratio (reg. season). Pickett displays an ability to make off-platform throws and has shown he can change his arm angle to make a difficult throw into a tight window if needed.

Run Game Summary

Pickett is a willing runner; he can work from the gun and is effective in the zone read and RPO game. He is a tough player who has a knack for taking off and picking up the easy yards after identifying defenders with their backs turned in man coverage. He picks up a lot of first downs in the run game from the QB position, he does show the ability to slide to avoid contact, but sometimes he will put his body at risk by diving for the extra yard.

Final Analysis

Kenny Pickett is a confident player who possesses the competitive nature you want to see from your QB. As a passer, Pickett does not have the strongest arm, but it's strong enough for the NFL. His mobility is an asset and something he tends to lean on more than needed, yet it has bailed the Pitt offense out in critical situations. At the NFL level, Pickett will need development as a passer, particularly his ability to recognize post-snap coverage. Overall, he is one of the top two or three QB's in the 2022 cycle.

Final Grade Analysis

Final Grade: (6.7) High Upside Potential

(6.9-6.7) Solid Starter Level

Ceiling Grade: (7) (Instant Impact Potential)

(9.0-7.0) High-End Starter

Floor Grade: (6.4) (Developmental Potential)

(6.6-6.5) Lower Level Starter


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