Kenny Pickett Is QB1 in Former NFL GMs’ Rankings

Kenny Pickett, QB, Pitt
Kenny Pickett, QB, Pitt
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Draft - Quarterback is one of the most divisive positions in the 2022 NFL draft. The 33rd Team ranked the top 10 quarterback prospects including their full scouting reports which were designed by the systems former front office executives implemented in their draft processes.

1) Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh

Key Measurables:  6032, 217 lbs, 8.5-inch hands

Notable 2021 Stats: 42:7 TD:INTs, 67.2% completion

Best Trait: Anticipation

Player Comp: Matt Ryan

Background:

Redshirt senior who has started 49 of 52 career games, including all 13 in 2021 for an 11-2 record and a 32-20 career record. Three-star HS recruit from an athletic family – father was a DII All-American LB, mother and sister played collegiate soccer. As a true freshman, became first true freshman QB to start for Pitt since 2007 in the season finale, a win over #2 Miami where he was named ACC Rookie of the Week. Started every healthy game for the next four years.

Broke out in 2021, named the 2021 ACC POY and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award. Under HC Pat Narduzzi (seventh season) and OC/QBs Coach Mark Whipple (third season), player led pro-style tempo offense (27% under center) that started the Biletnikoff-winning WR and finished 4th for scoring, 11th for completion %, 7th for pass offense, 5th for pass TDs, and 8th for total offense.  

Projection:

Starting QB you can win with who flashes potential to win because of in a timing-based scheme pending development of pass progression. Precise QB with incredible anticipation and clean mechanics. Highly competitive and at his best through the air in scramble. Doesn’t consistently work through progression and lacks top-end arm strength.

Kenny Pickett Scouting Report

2) Malik Willis, Liberty

Key Measurables: 6004, 215 lbs

Notable 2021 Stats: 12.0 ADOT, 61.1% Completion, 1302 Rushing Yards

Best Trait: Mobility/Change of Direction

Player Comp: Raw Robert Griffin III

Background:

Redshirt Senior who has started 23 of 35 career games, including all 13 in 2021 for a 17-4 career record as a starter and 27-6 total record. Three-star athlete in HS who signed with Auburn and played sparingly behind Jarrett Stidham for two seasons before transferring to Liberty and sitting out the 2019 season due to transfer rules.

Opened the 2020 season as the starter and led the program to their first AP ranking as he was awarded the Dudley Award in both 2020 and 2021. Uncle, James Anderson, was an 11-year NFL vet as a LB. Under HC Hugh Freeze (third season), co-OC Maurice Harris (third season), and co-OC/QBs coach Kent Austin (third season), Willis led the country’s 25th scoring offense that sported the 27th-most yards per play. 

Projection:

Starting QB you can win because of pending development in a misdirection-based offense that emphasizes YAC. Highly-mobile passer who is accurate on underneath to intermediate throws, even on the run or off-platform. Needs significant mechanical refinement to increase consistency. Will miss reads, especially over the middle, and plays hero ball in clutch situations.

Malik Willis Scouting Report

3) Sam Howell, North Carolina

Key Measurables: 6015, 212 lbs, 21.5 years old

Notable 2021 Stats: 12.4 ADOT, 62.5% Completion, 828 Rushing Yards

Best Trait: Toughness/Quick Feet

Player Comp: Tyrod Taylor

Background:

Junior who has started all of his 37 career games, including 12 of 12 in 2021 with a 5-7 record and 20-17 career record. Four-star HS recruit and 2018 NC Gatorade POY who started all of his seven years in HS and college. The first true freshman to start a season-opening game for North Carolina. Named Freshman All-American, All-ACC Third Team, and ACC Rookie of the Year in 2019, All-ACC Second Team in 2020, and All-ACC Honorable Mention in 2021.

Graduated in 2.5 years. Under HC Mack Brown (third year) and OC/QBs Coach Phil Longo (third year), player led an RPO-heavy Air Raid offense that was 2021’s 19th-best scoring offense and 10th-total offense (including the 7th-most yards per play) despite losing most of prior season’s offensive talent in the draft. 

Projection:

Low-end starting QB you can win with pending a season of mechanical development and transition to a pro-style system. Highly-competitive, thick QB who has plus scrambling ability and has superb underneath accuracy and velocity. Height is an issue as is repeated contact as a runner. Needs to show the ability to be accurate deep. 

Sam Howell Scouting Report

Read the full list at The 33rd Team>>

Comments

4 comments, Last at 15 Apr 2022, 10:49am

1 Crum at 4?

Strong above Corral? 

Wow.

Cool DEriq mention! Finally! I would take the former WR on day three for every team with his unique athleticism!

2 Well, the QBase article has…

Well, the QBase article has a fairly small separation between everyone, so variation in order aren't that surprising. My guess would be QBase really likes mobility and this version isn't as down on the old fashioned pocket passer types. Once you get outside the top 2 it seems to vary alot. 

4 This really isn't a…

This really isn't a statistical model, as much as asking some former GMs and Scouts to rank the quarterbacks.  Qbase did have most of the main prospects clustered, but it hated Carson Strong almost as much as it hated Christian Hackenberg.