Another day, another Kenny Pickett first round mock draft.
Mock draft season is in full swing with the college football season over and the NFL entering divisional playoffs this weekend, and a recently eliminated team looking for
an entire offense a new quarterback found one in PFF’s latest mock draft.
PFF’s Austin Gayle mocked Pickett to the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 20th selection in his mock draft, slotting him in as the fourth quarterback selected in the draft and Ben Roethlisberger’s eventual replacement.
✍️ @PFF_AustinGayle’s Mock Draft 📊
17. Chargers – LB Devin Lloyd
18. Saints – QB Desmond Ridder
19. Eagles – WR Jameson Williams
— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) January 18, 2022
Gayle pointed how Pickett’s status as a fifth-year senior and one of the older quarterbacks in the 2022 draft shouldn’t reduce his chances of being selected in the first round, writing:
“A consistent knock on Pickett will be that he’s a fifth-year senior and one of the older quarterback prospects in the 2022 class, but that shouldn’t keep him from being a top-20 pick in April’s draft. A finalist for the Heisman Trophy, Pickett completed 334-of-499 attempts for 4,308 yards, 42 touchdowns and seven interceptions this season. He earned a career-high 92.3 PFF grade that ranked top-five among all quarterbacks in 2021. His PFF passing grade from a clean pocket was also among the best in all of college football at 94.3.”
Pickett will likely be a Day One starter for an NFL team in September, barring any unfortunate circumstances, and if he winds up staying in Pittsburgh, his path to starting will lead to a camp battle with backup Mason Rudolph.
Whether the Steelers are looking for a veteran option to replace Big Ben or looking to the draft for a quarterback of the future is still up for debate, but Pickett would certainly shoulder the expectations of an entire city if he were to stay in Pittsburgh with the Steelers.
With the Senior Bowl, the NFL Combine, Pro Days and NFL teams making internal decisions in the weeks and months to come, a lot will happen between now and the 2022 NFL Draft in April, but Pickett is likely on the Steelers’ radar.