2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Pitt QB Kenny Pickett

Brian Lamb
Brian Lamb is the owner of NFL Draft Lounge and has covered the NFL Draft since 2011. Brian is also the owner of the Infinity Sports Network, which NFL Draft Lounge belongs to.

Who is the best quarterback in the 2022 NFL Draft class? It’s a question that draft analysts are all asking. With so much hype surrounding Oklahoma QB Spencer Rattler, NFL scouts are left scrambling now that Rattler has been replaced by Caleb Williams. Pitt QB Kenny Pickett, who we profiled earlier this year here, is seeing his NFL Draft stock rise each and every week. In this scouting report, I’ll breakdown how I feel like Kenny Pickett might have the same meteoric rise that Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow saw in 2019.

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Kenny Pickett 40 Time

Pitt QB Kenny Pickett is expected to post a 40 time in the 4.7 to 4.8 range. However, if you’ve ever watch film on Pickett, he seems to play much faster. He has the capabilities of outrunning most of the defensive front seven, but might struggle when racing against the secondary. Given that the NFL is bigger, faster, and stronger, I don’t see him having as much success with his legs. Regardless, he’s still an athletic quarterback that is quite capable of extending plays and picking up yardage after the pocket collapses.


Kenny Pickett Injury History

Last season in a game against Boston College, Kenny Pickett suffered an injury to his left ankle, which did require surgery. Pickett missed two games in 2020 against Miami and Notre Dame as he recovered. In addition to this injury, Pickett also left the 2021 game against Western Michigan early due to an undisclosed injury. Pitt would eventually go on to lose that game 44-41.


Kenny Pickett Scouting Report

  • Very Good Ability To Make Quick And Accurate Reads
  • Good Ability To Escape The Pocket And Extend Plays
  • Quick Release And Produces Good Torque On Throws
  • Accuracy On Throws Up The Middle Of The Field Varies
  • Adequate Ability To Sense Pressure In Pocket
  • Too Often Throws Low-Probability Balls

Kenny Pickett has the arm talent and abilities to become one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL. This season, Pickett has taken gigantic steps forward in his development. Pickett’s throwing mechanics features a quick release while still producing a good level of torque. As a result, he’s able to deliver throws across the hash and outside the numbers with good velocity. As opposed to some throws in 2020, Pickett has very good and consistent ball placement this season. He does a great job of throwing with anticipation and placing the ball away from the defender. When forced out of the pocket, he’s able to throw accurately up the field.

Kenny Pickett does a good job of escaping the pocket once it collapses and extending the play. Has a good level of athleticism that allows him to pickup 3 to 4 yards up the middle of the field. Additionally, he can reach his top end speed quite quickly, allowing him to beat most front seven defensive players. Furthermore, Pickett has the capabilities to deliver accurate throws with varied levels of touch.

While he has vastly improved this season, there are still some accuracy inconsistencies on film. Kenny Pickett is a gunslinger at heart and will, at times, try to force a pass into coverage. On throws down the middle of the field, accuracy can become an issue. Pressure from the front of the pocket can confuse him, forcing missed reads and inaccurate passes. Finally, he will need to speed up his progression through reads at the next level. Has tendency to stare down his receiver.


Kenny Pickett NFL Draft Projection

Kenny Pickett is expected to be one of the quarterbacks invited to the Reese’s Senior Bowl. As we’ve seen in the past, this can be a huge boost to a prospect’s draft stock. Frankly, I don’t expect anything different here. I currently have an early-second round grade on the Pitt quarterback.

Kenny Pickett is a pro-ready quarterback that’s capable of starting in the NFL today. However, it’s my opinion that sitting behind a veteran QB for 7-10 games would be a huge benefit for him long-term. The strides forward that Pickett has taken this season could be enough to propel him to QB 1 or QB 2. Furthermore, his abilities outside the pocket, while not on the same level as Sam Howell or Malik Willis, are above the league average in the NFL.

Washington could be an interesting fit. There’s certainly a need for a QB in the franchise, and they should be in the draft window for the second to third quarterback selected. Given the talent on the offensive side of the ball for Washington, Kenny Pickett would be more than capable of pushing the ball downfield on a consistent basis. However, if he begins to slide in the NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos or Pittsburgh Steelers could be potential fits given their current situations at the quarterback position.

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