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Kenny Pickett Scouting Report: One Year Wonder? Or Future NFL Star?

In a little under one full football season, Pickett has risen from sixth-round pick to getting first-round buzz. What precipitated his rise up the boards? Is he for real or just a one-year wonder?

Background

Kenny Pickett was born on June 6th, 1998 to parents Ken and Kasey Pickett in Ocean Township, New Jersey. Pickett attended Ocean Township High School where he originally committed to Temple University as a three-star prospect but later changed his commitment to Pittsburgh University.

Best Trait: Reading the Field

Pickett is as advanced of a prospect in terms of the mental side of the game as I’ve seen in some time. No doubt this is in part due to his experience ( five years, 45 starts at the college level), but his attention to these details is what has led to his meteoric rise this year. Pickett not only routinely made it to the third or even fourth read in his progression, he also correctly resets his feet for each read. The Heisman candidate has demonstrated a knack for finding the open man, even if they aren’t open yet. In my study of his games this season it seemed almost routine for Pickett to find the correct read and throw the ball long before the target actually came open. That vision, anticipation, and the ability to throw an accurate pass to the correct read will help Pickett make an impact early in his NFL career.

Worst Trait: Arm Strength

If you watched any of Pickett’s games this probably isn’t a shock to you. Pickett is one of the more physically limited passers in this class, and although he’s been productive so far, I definitely have concerns about his ceiling at the next level. Several of Pickett’s deep balls against Tennessee and UMass were a bit under thrown or in other cases, he simply refused to throw the deep ball if something shorter was available. While throwing the ball 60+ yards isn’t necessary to be successful in the NFL, the windows are much tighter than they are against ACC opponents, so the ability to fit passes in those windows is imperative.

Pro Outlook:

Pickett is a physically limited and highly intelligent passer and probably what most would consider being low upside. His mental traits should get him on the field very early but it will require a coaching staff that will be able to work around his physical limitations. I see a lot of Mac Jones in his game and I think a coach that drafts him should be willing to scheme for him in a similar manner. A team that runs the ball well, uses a lot of screens and quick reads to get the ball out of Pickett’s hands quickly. The key difference between Mac and Pickett is that, while not Lamar Jackson, Pickett can definitely be a threat on the ground in certain situations.

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