"That whole process, he was where I wanted to be in terms of the next level…first-round draft pick, doing a lot of great things. It was really cool to have that moment. It's definitely a great memory to have, my last memory that I had with him."
Haskins, who went to Pitt's Pro Day to check on how Pickett did, gave him advice that helped him get through a time this isn't always what it's made out to be. From the NFL Scouting Combine to Pro Days to just working out on their own, the side of draft prep the players see is much different that the highlights that are shown on television or shared on social media.
"It's definitely not what it's made out to be by people in the media and people from the outside looking in," said Pickett. "It's stressful and you don't have any control at all. All you could control is how well you performed at the Combine, the Pro Day, your interviews. My sole focus was doing the absolute best I could at all aspects of it.
"But on draft night, when you sit on the couch, you just hold your phone and there's nothing you can do. You're not going out there playing a game to go get drafted in the first round or anything. You're just sitting there, and you have to put trust in everything you've done up to that point. And then let the chips fall where they may."
And the chips, they fell just right for Pickett. As he watched team after team make their picks, with no quarterbacks selected yet, he kept holding his breath, just waiting. And then the call came.
"The Steelers were a team we saw would be an absolutely perfect fit," said Pickett. "When they started getting closer and closer, I just kept thinking that's where I was headed. My mom called it before the draft. She said she thought that's where I was going. I guess she had a better feel than any of us. Once we got closer to that point, we were really hoping it would be the Steelers."