📄: First Round: Kenny Pickett | 📸: Kenny Pickett in pictures | 📺: Tomlin's phone call to Pickett | | 📃 What to like about Pickett | 📺: And the pick is ... Kenny Pickett | 📺: College Highlights | 📄: What to like about: Kenny Pickett | 📺: Pickett's Reaction | 📺: Pick Announcement | 👕 Order No. 8 Kenny Pickett jersey
FIRST ROUND (20th overall)
Kenny Pickett, QB, Pitt
WHO HE IS: Pickett is a 6-foot-3, 217-pound native of Oakhurst, N.J. who returned to play a fifth season at Pitt in 2021, taking advantage of an additional season afforded to players by the NCAA due to COVID-19. Pickett initially committed to Temple as a three-star recruit coming out of high school but eventually wound up at Pitt. He comes from an athletic background. Dane Brugler of The Athletic noted Pickett's father (Ken) was an All-American linebacker at Shippensburg and his mother (Kasey) played soccer at Kutztown. Pickett graduated with a degree in marketing and is working toward his MBA. He's also engaged (Amy Paternoster).
WHAT HE'S DONE: Pickett played in 52 career games and started 49 at Pitt and left the Panthers in possession of several school records, including completions (1,045), passing yards (12,303) and passing touchdowns (81). He also rushed for 809 yards and 20 touchdowns in his Pitt career. Pickett led Pitt to the ACC Championship in 2021 when he threw for 4,319 yards and 42 touchdowns and was intercepted just seven times. Pickett finished third in the voting for the Heisman Trophy. "I had three average years, in my opinion, and then a solid season," Pickett assessed during an interview with the NFL Network at the Senior Bowl.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: "His football IQ, functional mobility and accuracy from various platforms are an impressive package. He projects as an immediate starter who can be an upgrade for several NFL teams." _ Brugler.
"He had the most consistent tape this year. It all came together for him in his final season at Pitt. He was healthy, I thought the accuracy was outstanding and I thought the play-making went to another level this year." _ NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah.
"I know how to win, that's the No. 1 thing in this game." _ Pickett, speaking to the NFL Network at the Senior Bowl.
WHERE HE FITS: That's to be determined now that Pickett, who was considered by many draft analysts to be the most NFL-ready QB in this year's draft class, has joined a quarterback's room that includes Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph. "We're going to have three young quarterbacks with different degrees of experience," Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert assessed. "Kenny, he'll be a rookie but he will be closer to being ready. Coach (head coach Mike Tomlin) will let that happen naturally. It's just a great option. It was a plus for (Pickett) to be coming in that ready-made mode."