NFL Hot Press: Many Sources Believe Pickett Will Be QB1

Many Sources Believe Pickett Will Be QB1

Updated Dec. 10, 2021
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

In recent years, there have been some quarterback prospects who rose from late-round or non-prospect status to being the top quarterback for their draft class and high first-round picks. Kyler Murray was expected to be playing professional baseball after being a first-round pick of the Oakland A’s, yet he became the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft after a huge season for Oklahoma. A year later, Joe Burrow went from being a projected late-round pick to No. 1 overall after a record-setting year for LSU. This trend looks poised to continue in 2022, with multiple team sources say they expect Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett to be the first quarterback selected in the 2022 NFL Draft. He could go high in the first round, even possibly as the No. 1-overall pick.

“I think Pickett will go No. 1 overall,” said an AFC director of college scouting. “He has the size, accuracy, arm talent, and enough mobility to go there. Plus, the character is very good.”

After the 2020 season, Pickett was given a late-round estimation if had decided to skip his senior year. He decided to return to Pittsburgh for 2021, which turned out to be a phenomenal decision. This season, Pickett has taken the Panthers program to new heights with their first ACC Championship, and he has surpassed Dan Marino as the program’s all-time leader in touchdown passes. Entering his bowl game, Pickett has completed 67 percent of his passes for 4,319 yards, 42 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He has five rushing touchdowns as well. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Pickett enters the next level with a lot of experience after being Pittsburgh’s starter since 2018. Like Joe Burrow, Pickett will be a 24-year old rookie in the NFL.

“I think Pickett will be the first quarterback drafted,” said an NFC national scout. “I don’t know if that’s No. 1 overall or not, but I think he’s the first quarterback off the board.”

Another AFC director of college scouting agreed with that assessment, “He’ll likely justify being the first quarterback off the board when it’s all said and done. Don’t know if that is No. 1 overall yet, still too early to say that.”

With the way quarterbacks rise in the leadup to NFL drafts, Pickett looks like a real candidate to be the first-overall pick this year. Right now, multiple NFL team sources are projecting him to be the first quarterback selected in the 2022 NFL Draft.