Among the college quarterbacks at this week’s Reese’s Senior Bowl who is generating a lot of buzz is University of Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett.
In addition to impressing teammates and defensive players, he has been involved in conversations with several NFL teams.
Pitt’s Kenny Pickett was named top QB on the National team in a vote from defensive teammates at practice player-of-the-week awards ceremony today at 2022 Reese’s Senior Bowl. #TheDraftStartsInMobile pic.twitter.com/P71ztPm3KU
— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) February 4, 2022
The most noteworthy team who spoke to Pickett is the Pittsburgh Steelers who share Heinz Field with the Pickett’s Pitt Panthers.
For what it's worth: Kenny Pickett officially confirmed today he has met with the Steelers formally
— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) February 2, 2022
What Pickett Said
Pickett is not shying away from sharing his joy over a potential career with the Steelers.
“The possibility of getting drafted there, would be unbelievable. Pittsburgh’s really my second home.”
— Blitzburgh (@Blitz_Burgh) February 1, 2022
The Steelers Recently Drafted Another Pitt Player
Former Pitt running back James Connor was drafted by the Steelers in the 2017 NFL Draft.
He played four seasons with the Steelers before signing with the Arizona Cardinals for the 2021 season.
This means that the Steelers are not hesitant to draft locally if the player matches what they are looking for.
I'm so happy for James Connor, Pitt, and the Steelers. Incredible story and a genuine human being. #ProudDay
— Jeff Kupko (@jeffkupko) April 29, 2017
Steelers Need A Quarterback
It is not clear if the Steelers will go that route given the fact that the AFC Champion Cincinnati Bengals are their AFC North competitors, and the competition within the division is intense.
Dwayne Haskins is also on the Steelers roster so it is anyone’s guess at this point how the Steelers will attempt to fill future Hall of Famer and two-time Super Bowl Champion Ben Roethlisberger’s shoes.
What Pickett Offers
He is a smart and accomplished college quarterback.
Pickett won the 2021 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award which acknowledges football skills, leadership, and character.
At Pitt, he threw for over 12,300 yards and rushed for over 800 yards in 52 games.
He had 101 touchdowns, 81 passing and 20 rushing.
He came back for one more year and did this:
🏆 Johnny Unitas Award
🏆 ACC POY
🏆 ACC Offensive POY
🏆 ACC Pass TD Record (42)
🏆 Pitt Pass TD Record (42)
🏆 Pitt Total TD Record (47)
🏆 Pitt Pass Yds Record (4,319)
— ACC Network (@accnetwork) December 17, 2021
One thing we don’t know about Pickett is his hand measurements.
He declined that part of the process during the Senior Bowl this week.
Pickett cited his double jointedness which makes his thumb stick out in an odd direction.
He is reportedly doing specific exercises for it so that accurate measurements of his hands can be made at the NFL Combine in March.
Pitt QB Kenny Pickett didn’t have his hands measured here in Mobile, but he has a good reason: He’s double jointed, so his thumb naturally points an odd direction, and he’s doing extra exercises to get an accurate measurement at the combine in March. pic.twitter.com/KLMdraG9AC
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 31, 2022
Though finding out a prospective NFL quarterback’s hand size is a big deal, there is not any correlation between hand size and success in the NFL.
Pitt Coach Pat Narduzzi thinks the whole hand discussion is ridiculous.
About his former player, Narduzzi said:
“This kid doesn’t have a flaw. That’s what [scouts] do. It’s the same thing at the combine, they’re going to find something else to pick on him. It’s not going to be a factor.”
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow‘s hands measured at 9 inches at the 2020 NFL Combine.
Scouts prefer a quarterback’s hand size to be 9.5 inches or more, but it is clear that Burrow’s smaller hands are not limiting his game.
Watch Kenny Pickett and the other college players in the Reese’s Senior Bowl on Saturday, February 5, 2022, at 2:30 PM EST on NFL Network.