I have Pickett as my second best QB in this class. It is a big jump from the ACC to the NFL, but I believe he can be developed into something special.
I understand why many analysts have Kenny Pickett as their QB1 in this draft.
If his production came in the SEC or even the B1G, I'd be right there. I posted monthly college QB rankings this past fall and I had him at #1 in September and October. He is a 4 year starter who has improved every year. His senior season was truly special.
He ended the year with 42 touchdown passes and only 7 interceptions after throwing the rock almost 500 times. That TD/INT ratio is 2nd in his class. Only Matt Corral and Cole Johnson (James Madison) had a better INT/pass attempt ratio. Pickett takes care of the ball. While he has room for improvement in managing the pocket, he did well protecting the football. Only 6% of his drop backs ended up with a sack or interception. 20% of Malik Willis' drop backs ended with a sack or a pick. I am a fan of Malik Willis, but it baffles me that the two are compared so consistently.
Pickett has a mild dual-threat element to his game as he ran for 10 touchdowns this year. He had 10+ rushes of over 9 yards. He is capable of scampering for a first down when he needs to.
Kenny Pickett is worth a first round pick in this year's draft. However, I am not sure that he, or any other QB in this class, is worth trading up too. I think the following teams are potential landing spots for Pickett.
Carolina has the 6th overall pick and we all recognize that their QB situation is not great. However, neither is their offensive line. Drafting a QB at 6th overall puts any other upgrades on hold til Day 3, as the Panthers' second pick is not until the 4th round. I do not think they will take a QB with the #6 pick, but the rumors are they are very interested in Kenny Pickett or Malik Willis. We will find out Thursday!
Atlanta's starting QB job is not necessarily locked down. I believe Marcus Mariota has something left in the tank, but putting a rookie quarterback in that locker room to team up with Kyle Pitts and whichever WR they are likely to draft in this year's deep receiver class. They also need some help on the offensive line, but they have the draft capital to do that as well. They may very well draft a QB at pick #8.
There is no way to understand what the Seahawks are doing this offseason. Picking a QB at #9 makes a lot of sense, as Geno Smith, Drew Lock, and Jacob Eason have done nothing to promote confidence that they are the next Russell Wilson. They have many needs and this draft is deep in many positions. If Pickett is still there at #9 he may be a wise choice, but that doesn't mean the Seahawks don't have other wise choices to make with that pick.
New Orleans has picks #16 and #19. They currently have their chips in on Jameis Winston. They may very well expect the best from their guy and look to add other assets with these picks. However, if Pickett is still there at pick #16, it will come down to how high the Saints are on him.
Despite making the playoffs in the final season of future Hall of Fame QB, Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh now finds themselves at the bottom of the offensive production list in the AFC North - especially at quarterback. They have the 20th pick in the draft this year, and Steelers Depot has the team picking a QB in their final mock draft. The rumor has been that they love Malik Willis. Many believe that he will be taken in the top 10. Many believe the same about Kenny Pickett. However, if Pickett falls out of the top 10, all eyes will turn to Pittsburgh. It would be a sweet reunion with the city where he spent his college career at the University of Pittsburgh. The plethora of young offensive weapons will be all the "welcome home" presents Pickett could ask for. It is clear the Steelers like Pickett's style of play, as recently signed Mitchell Trubisky is pretty similar.