Kenny Pickett
refer to caption
Pickett with the Pittsburgh Panthers in 2020
No. 8 – Pittsburgh Steelers
Position:Quarterback
Personal information
Born: (1998-06-06) June 6, 1998 (age 24)
Ocean Township, New Jersey
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:220 lb (100 kg)
Career information
High school:Ocean Township
College:Pittsburgh (2017–2021)
NFL Draft:2022 / Round: 1 / Pick: 20
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 14, 2022
Passing attempts:294
Passing completions:191
Completion percentage:65.0%
TDINT:4–8
Passing yards:1,797
Passer rating:75.1
Rushing yards:225
Rushing touchdowns:3
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Kenneth Shane Pickett (born June 6, 1998) is an American football quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at the University of Pittsburgh, where he won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award as a senior, and was selected by the Steelers in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Early years

Pickett was born on June 6, 1998, in the Oakhurst section of Ocean Township, New Jersey.[1] He attended Ocean Township High School.[2] Pickett led the Ocean Township Spartans to the New Jersey Central Group III semifinal game as a junior, leading his team to a 9–2 record.[1] 247Sports ranked Pickett as the No. 23 overall high school football player in New Jersey in his senior year.[3] During his career, he passed for 4,670 yards with 43 touchdowns and rushed for 873 yards and 17 touchdowns. He originally committed to play college football at Temple University, but changed his commitment to the University of Pittsburgh.[4]

College career

2017 season

See also: 2017 Pittsburgh Panthers football team

Pickett spent most of his true freshman season at Pittsburgh in 2017 as a backup to Max Browne and Ben DiNucci. He started his first career game in Pittsburgh's final game of the season against the second ranked Miami Hurricanes. During the team's upset victory, he completed 18 of 29 passes for 193 yards with a touchdown and also rushed for 60 yards and two touchdowns.[5] Overall for the season he completed 39 of 66 passes for 509 yards, one touchdown and one interception.[6][7]

2018 season

See also: 2018 Pittsburgh Panthers football team

Pickett returned as Pittsburgh's starter in 2018.[8][9] He started all 14 games, completing 180 of 310 passes for 1,969 yards, 12 touchdowns and six interceptions.[10] Pickett led Pittsburgh to their first ever ACC Coastal Division Championship in his first season as the full-time starter. [1]The Associated Press ranked the Panthers as high as the No. 24 team in the country at one point in the 2018 season.[11] The Panthers lost 14–13 to Stanford in the Sun Bowl.[12]

2019 season

See also: 2019 Pittsburgh Panthers football team

Pickett was again the starter in 2019, making 12 starts and missing one game due to injury. He completed 289 of 469 passes for 3,098 yards, 13 touchdowns and nine interceptions.[13] This was Pickett's first season with Mark Whipple acting as the offensive coordinator, who increased the amount of passes the offense threw each week. He led the Panthers to a 7–5 record heading into the postseason.[14] The Panthers were selected to the 2019 Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit and defeated Eastern Michigan 34–30. Pickett threw for 361 yards and three touchdowns, including a game winning touchdown to wide receiver Taysir Mack in the final minutes of the game.[15]

2020 season

See also: 2020 Pittsburgh Panthers football team

Pickett and the Panthers played in a shortened season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, going 6–5. Pickett played in nine games and threw for 2,408 yards and 13 touchdowns and nine interceptions in that stretch.[16] The Associated Press ranked the Panthers as high as the No. 21 team in the country at one point in the 2020 season.[11] Despite being eligible for a bowl game, the Panthers collectively opted out of participating in the postseason.[17]

2021 season

See also: 2021 Pittsburgh Panthers football team

The NCAA granted all 2020 fall athletes an extra year of eligibility, and Pickett used this option to return as the Panthers' starting quarterback in 2021.[18]

Pickett took advantage of his final year of eligibility and broke out as one of the nation’s top players. He recorded 4,319 yards and 42 touchdowns setting school records for single season yards and touchdowns as well as career yards and touchdowns.[19] Pickett was named a first-team All-American and was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy finishing in 3rd place.[20] Pittsburgh won the ACC Championship and finished 11–2 in games Pickett started, the school's best record since 1976.[21] He graduated with a bachelor's degree in marketing and enrolled at Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business.[1] In July of the same year Pickett was named the men's ACC Athlete of the Year across all sports, sharing honors with women's recipient Charlotte North of Boston College lacrosse.[22]

College statistics
Season Games Passing Rushing
GP GS Record Cmp Att Yds Pct TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg TD
2017 4 1 1–0 39 66 509 59.1 1 1 125.8 26 98 3.6 0
2018 14 14 7–7 180 310 1,969 58.1 12 6 120.3 117 220 1.9 3
2019 12 12 7–5 289 469 3,098 61.6 13 9 122.4 95 110 1.2 2
2020 9 9 6–3 203 332 2,408 61.1 13 9 129.6 81 145 1.8 8
2021 13 13 11–2 334 497 4,319 67.2 42 7 165.3 98 233 2.4 5
Career[23] 52 49 32–17 1,045 1,674 12,303 62.4 81 32 136.3 417 801 1.9 20

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Vertical jump Broad jump Wonderlic
6 ft 3+14 in
(1.91 m)
217 lb
(98 kg)
30+78 in
(0.78 m)
8+12 in
(0.22 m)
4.73 s 1.56 s 2.67 s 4.29 s 33.5 in
(0.85 m)
10 ft 1 in
(3.07 m)
17[24]
All values from NFL Combine[25][26][27]

Various journalists scrutinized Pickett prior to the draft for the size of his hands, measured at 8½ inches, believing it could make him more prone to fumbling the ball.[28] He was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round (20th overall) of the 2022 NFL Draft, the latest a quarterback was first taken in a draft since 1997.[29][30] On September 6, 2022, Pickett was named the backup quarterback for the Steelers behind starter Mitchell Trubisky.[31]

2022

See also: 2022 Pittsburgh Steelers season

Pickett made his NFL debut in the second half of a Week 4 loss against the New York Jets after starter Mitchell Trubisky was benched.[32] He completed 10 of 13 passes for 120 yards and rushed for two touchdowns, but threw three interceptions in the 24–20 loss. On his first career pass attempt, Pickett threw a deep ball to Chase Claypool that bounced off his hands and was intercepted by Jordan Whitehead. In his second drive, Pickett scrambled into the end zone for his first ever touchdown in his NFL career.[33] On October 4, 2022, Pickett was named the starter by head coach Mike Tomlin.[34] In his first career start against the Buffalo Bills, Pickett completed 34 of 51 passes for 327 yards and an interception in the 38-3 loss.[35] In Week 6 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Pickett threw his first touchdown pass to Najee Harris, but exited the game during the third quarter with a concussion.[36] The Steelers went on to defeat the Buccaneers 20–18, earning Pickett his first career win.[37]

NFL career statistics

Regular season

Year Team Games Passing Rushing Sacked Fumbles
GP GS Record Cmp Att Pct Yds Y/A Lng TD Int Rtg Att Yds Y/A Lng TD Sck Yds Fum Lost
2022 PIT 10 9 4–5 191 294 65.0 1,797 6.1 57 4 8 75.1 44 225 5.8 23 3 24 161 3 1
Career 10 9 4–5 191 294 65.0 1,797 6.1 57 4 8 75.1 44 225 5.8 23 3 24 161 3 1

References

  1. ^ a b c d "Kenny Pickett – Football – Pitt Panthers #H2P". Pitt Panthers Athletics. Retrieved March 15, 2022.
  2. ^ Edelson, Stephen (September 8, 2016). "HS Football: Pitt-bound QB Kenny Pickett now Ocean's leader". Asbury Park Press. Retrieved October 7, 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ "Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Panthers, Quarterback". 247Sports. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  4. ^ DiPaola, Jerry (June 4, 2016). "New Jersey QB Pickett commits to Pitt". TribLIVE.com. Retrieved October 7, 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ Meyer, Craig (November 24, 2017). "Pitt's freshman quarterback Kenny Pickett makes winning impression in first career start". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved October 7, 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ Edelson, Stephen (August 14, 2018). "Edelson: Ocean Township's Pickett looks to make history at Pitt". Asbury Park Press. Retrieved October 7, 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ Batko, Brian (April 13, 2018). "Kenny Pickett is the Conor McGregor of Pitt football. In his head, at least". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved October 7, 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ Berman, Mark (August 2, 2018). "ACC football 2018: Pittsburgh turns to QB Kenny Pickett". Roanoke Times. Retrieved October 7, 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. ^ "Kenny Pickett enters season firmly in charge at Pittsburgh". USA TODAY. Associated Press. August 9, 2018.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ McGonigal, John (July 10, 2019). "Pitt QB Kenny Pickett bonds with Peyton Manning at offseason camp". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved October 7, 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. ^ a b "Pitt Panthers Football Record By Year". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  12. ^ "Stanford Claims Fourth Sun Bowl Victory". sunbowl.org. December 31, 2018. Retrieved October 7, 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. ^ DiPaola, Jerry (September 16, 2020). "Pat Narduzzi labels Pitt's Kenny Pickett 'the most underrated quarterback in the country'". TribLIVE.com.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. ^ "2019 Pitt Panthers Schedule and Results". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved October 7, 2022.
  15. ^ "Quick Lane Bowl – Pitt vs Eastern Michigan Box Score, December 26, 2019". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved October 7, 2022.
  16. ^ "Kenny Pickett College Stats". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  17. ^ Wilson, Mike (December 11, 2020). "Pitt announces it will abstain from postseason play in 2020". Cardiac Hill. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  18. ^ Coppola, Dalton (June 24, 2021). "Kenny Pickett, preparing for final campaign, isn't ready to leave Pittsburgh just yet". The Pitt News. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  19. ^ "Pitt Panthers Passing". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved October 7, 2022.
  20. ^ "Kenny Pickett College Stats". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved October 7, 2022.
  21. ^ "Pitt Panthers Football Record By Year". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved October 7, 2022.
  22. ^ "Pitt's Pickett, Boston College's North Named ACC Athletes of the Year" (Press release). Atlantic Coast Conference. July 9, 2022. Retrieved July 14, 2022.
  23. ^ "Kenny Pickett College Stats". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved December 16, 2021.
  24. ^ "Wonderlic Scores for Seven of This Year's Top NFL QB Prospects Are Out". si.com. Retrieved October 22, 2022.
  25. ^ "Kenny Pickett Draft and Combine Prospect Profile". NFL.com. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  26. ^ "2022 Draft Scout Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh NFL Draft Scout College Football Profile". draftscout.com. Retrieved April 28, 2022.
  27. ^ "Kenny Pickett 2022 NFL Draft Profile". insider.espn.com. Retrieved October 22, 2022.
  28. ^ Legwold, Jeff (March 3, 2022). "Kenny Pickett's hands measure 8 1/2 inches, smaller than any QB currently in NFL". ESPN.com. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  29. ^ Varley, Teresa (April 28, 2022). "Steelers select Kenny Pickett in the first round". www.steelers.com. Retrieved April 29, 2022.
  30. ^ DeArdo, Bryan (August 28, 2022). "2022 NFL Draft: Steelers pick Kenny Pickett at No. 20 overall; the latest the first QB of the draft was taken in 25 years". CBS Sports. Retrieved April 29, 2022.
  31. ^ Patra, Kevin (September 6, 2022). "Steelers officially name Mitchell Trubisky Week 1 starter, Kenny Pickett to be QB2". NFL.com. Retrieved September 6, 2022.
  32. ^ Baca, Michael (October 2, 2022). "Mitchell Trubisky benched during Jets game, Kenny Pickett started in second half". NFL.com. Retrieved October 2, 2022.
  33. ^ Florio, Mike (October 3, 2022). "Kenny Pickett becomes first quarterback to rush for two touchdowns in his debut". ProFootballTalk. Retrieved October 7, 2022.
  34. ^ Pryor, Brooke (October 4, 2022). "Steelers, seeking 'spark,' promote Pickett to QB1". ESPN.com. Retrieved October 7, 2022.
  35. ^ Thompson, Stephen (October 9, 2022). "Bills Blowout Steelers in Kenny Pickett's First Start". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved October 9, 2022.
  36. ^ "Kenny Pickett Leaves Bucs Game After Hit to Head".
  37. ^ "Trubisky comes off bench as Steelers stun Brady, Bucs 20-18". ESPN. October 16, 2022. Retrieved October 19, 2022.