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Kenny Pickett Continues to Impress During Eagles OTAs

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Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett.

Kenny Pickett turned 26 on Thursday, and it appears that he celebrated with a strong performance at the Philadelphia Eagles’ Organized Team Activities.

Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer highlighted Pickett’s continued progress throughout the Eagles’ OTAs, impressing with his work in the red zone with the second team offense.

“Quarterback Kenny Pickett and the second-unit offense had greater success in the red zone — or the Eagles’ second team defense fared worse — depending upon how it’s viewed,” McLane wrote.

“Pickett’s first pass to running back Kenneth Gainwell was dropped (he’s had a few of those this camp). But he hooked up with Joseph Ngata in the back of the end zone when the receiver lost cornerback Kelee Ringo. He then lofted a pass to rookie receiver Ainias Smith, who made a nice grab, just before the back line.”

It would appear that Pickett is firmly locked into the backup spot behind incumbent starter Jalen Hurts.

Pickett was traded to the Eagles on March 16, after spending two seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers (25 games, 24 starts). He was selected in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, and it was certainly a tumultuous tenure.

Pickett threw for 4,474 yards (62.6% completion) with 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in his 25 games as a Steeler, and while he wasn’t put in the best situation to succeed in the NFL, his lack of production was problematic. The Steelers couldn’t just run it back in 2024 with Pickett as the unquestioned starter. According to Pickett, it wasn’t as it seemed.

Regardless, Pickett never quite found his rhythm as a starter in the NFL — be it an offensive scheme, injuries or coaching decisions. In 11 games last season, he completed 201-of-324 pass attempts (62%) for 2,070 yards with six touchdowns and four interceptions — adding a rushing touchdown.

He completed 245-of-389 pass attempts (63%) for 2,404 yards with seven touchdowns and nine interceptions (adding 237 rushing yards and three more touchdowns on the ground) as a rookie. And while he did show flashes as a rookie, his progression — or lack thereof — last season was a problem. It felt like a decline.

But even through a disappointing tenure with the Steelers, Pickett reflected positively on his time in Pittsburgh.

“(I) gave everything I had there and loved all of my teammates and coaches that I came across — some absolutely great memories that I’ll take forever and lifelong friendships,” Pickett said. “And just talking to guys after it all went down, grateful that we had the time we had together.”

Former Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett.

Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett (8) attempts a pass against the North Carolina Tar Heels – November 11, 2021 David Hague/PSN

Pickett is happy to be in Philadelphia now, after having grown up in the area (albeit New York Giants territory in Ocean Township, N.J.), and it just so happens that he’s been watching the Eagles since he was a kid. Pickett’s dad Kenneth grew up in the area, and that fandom rubbed off. It’s, he said, a good reset.

Pickett is only a couple of seasons removed from a standout senior season at Pitt, and he should continue to hold down a spot in the NFL — either competing for a starting spot or as a backup.

With 4,319 yards and 42 touchdowns, to just seven interceptions, on 334-of-497 passing attempts (67 percent) as a senior, Pickett was one of the highest-rated passers in the nation, and he added 241 yards and five more touchdowns on the ground. He finished his Pitt career as the all-time leader in passing yards, completions, total offense, touchdowns responsible for and passing touchdowns. He’s thrown the most 300-yard passing games (16) and 400-yard passing games (five) and his 32 wins are the most as a Pitt starter.

Pickett completed 1,045-of-1,674 career passing attempts (just over 62 percent) for 12,303 yards and 81 touchdowns, to just 32 interceptions. He also added 809 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns in the run game in 52 career appearances (49 starts).

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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D200
D200
11 days ago

The Steelers did Pickett wrong

kevin
kevin
11 days ago

If the Steelers had a decent OL, things could’ve been different for Kenny. He never had more than 2 sec to throw the ball and even the running game struggled the last few years due to poor OL play. I’m glad they are finally addressing it.
H2P!

J Sutherland
J Sutherland
11 days ago

I will continue to root for Pickett as an Eagle. Now I have two PA teams for which to cheer. Steelers were a toxic locker-room last season, and it wasn’t Pickett’s fault. Watch as the Rooneys continue to clean house.

Section122
Section122
11 days ago

Best QB in OTA history.

Dixon
Dixon
11 days ago
Reply to  Section122

…and with a decent coordinator, o-line and a semblance of a running game, he might be a pretty good game day QB too.

Pittband
Pittband
11 days ago

Happy for him, left a great coach but a putrid organization.

Eli
Eli
11 days ago
Reply to  Pittband

I’m not sure I wouldn’t flip flop the words coach and organization in that sentence.

Steve
Steve
11 days ago

Better coaching in Philly – this is how a staff coaches up a player.

James Austin
James Austin
10 days ago

All of you raving about Pickett and how he’s looked in glorified gym class or (OTA’s) just remember that last year he had a near perfect preseason. Then the real games happened. Just saying 🤣

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