Kenny Pickett

American football player (born 1998)

American football player
Kenny Pickett
refer to caption
Pickett in 2023
No. 7 – Philadelphia Eagles
Position:Quarterback
Personal information
Born: (1998-06-06) June 6, 1998 (age 26)
Ocean Township, New Jersey, U.S.
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:220 lb (100 kg)
Career information
High school:Ocean Township
(New Jersey)
College:Pittsburgh (2017–2021)
NFL draft:2022 / Round: 1 / Pick: 20
Career history
  • Pittsburgh Steelers (2022–2023)
  • Philadelphia Eagles (2024–present)
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 18, 2023
Passing attempts:713
Passing completions:446
Completion percentage:62.6%
TDINT:13–13
Passing yards:4,474
Passer rating:78.8
Player stats at PFR

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

Early life

Pickett was born in the Oakhurst section of Ocean Township, New Jersey.[1] He attended Ocean Township High School[2] and graduated in 2017. 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 high school 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

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]

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 Atlantic Coast Conference 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 the Stanford Cardinal in the Sun Bowl.[12]

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 the Eastern Michigan Eagles 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]

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]

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 with the Pittsburgh Panthers in 2020.

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]

Season Games Passing Rushing
GP GS Record Cmp Att Yds Pct TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg TD
Pittsburgh Panthers
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 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

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[23]
All values from NFL Combine[24][25][26]

Various journalists scrutinized Pickett prior to the draft for his relatively small hands, measured at 8½ inches, believing it could make him more prone to fumbling the ball.[27]

Pittsburgh Steelers

2022

Pickett 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, and the highest the Steelers selected a quarterback since drafting the then-recently retired Ben Roethlisberger in 2004;[28][29] the selection was announced by Steelers legend Franco Harris in one of his last public appearances with the team before his unexpected death on December 20, 2022.[30] With the starting quarterback position wide open following Roethlisberger's retirement, on September 6, 2022, Pickett was named the backup quarterback for the Steelers behind starter Mitchell Trubisky.[31]

Pickett made his NFL debut in the second half of a Week 4 loss against the New York Jets after 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 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]

In Week 14 against the Baltimore Ravens, Pickett once again suffered a concussion.[38] He was ruled out for Week 15 against the Carolina Panthers but started the following week against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 16.[39][40] In the game, he threw a game-winning 14-yard touchdown to George Pickens with under a minute left as the Steelers won 13–10.[41] In Week 17 against the Baltimore Ravens, Pickett threw a game-winning touchdown with under a minute left for the second consecutive game; a 10-yard pass to Najee Harris. The Steelers won 16–13, keeping their playoff hopes alive.[42] Pickett became the first rookie quarterback in NFL history to throw a game-winning touchdown in the final minute of the fourth quarter in two straight games.[43] He finished his rookie season with 2,404 passing yards, seven passing touchdowns, and nine interceptions to go along with three rushing touchdowns in 13 games.[44]

2023

In Week 3, Pickett completed 16 of 28 passes for 235 yards and 2 touchdown passes in a 23–18 road win over the Raiders. It was his first professional game with multiple touchdown passes.[45] A week later, he went 15 of 23 for 114 yards and an interception before sustaining a bone bruise late in the third quarter during their 30–6 road loss to the Texans.[46] During the team's 24–17 road victory over the Rams in Week 7, Pickett scored his first rushing touchdown of the season on a quarterback sneak.[47] In Week 8, during a 20–10 home loss to the Jaguars, Pickett suffered a rib injury late in the second quarter and did not return. However, Pickett started four days later against the Titans, leading the team to a 20–16 victory with a game-winning touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.[48] In Week 13, Pickett suffered a high ankle sprain and was ruled out for the remainder of the game. He underwent surgery to accelerate the healing process on his ankle.[49] In Week 18, he was listed as active for the first time since his injury, but was demoted to backup duties following the success of Mason Rudolph.[50]

Philadelphia Eagles

On March 16, 2024, Pickett was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles along with a 2024 fourth-round pick (No. 120; Jaylen Wright) in exchange for a 2024 third-round pick (No. 98; Payton Wilson) and two 2025 seventh-round picks following the free agent signing of Russell Wilson by the Steelers.[51]

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 SckY Fum Lost
2022 PIT 13 12 7–5 245 389 63.0 2,404 6.2 57 7 9 76.7 55 237 4.3 23 3 27 182 4 1
2023 PIT 12 12 7–5 201 324 62.0 2,070 6.4 72 6 4 81.4 42 54 1.3 11 1 23 173 2 0
Career 25 24 14–10 446 713 62.6 4,474 6.3 72 13 13 78.8 97 291 3.0 23 4 50 355 6 1

Personal life

Pickett married Amy Paternoster on June 24, 2023.[52]

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.
  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.
  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.
  6. ^ Edelson, Stephen (August 14, 2018). "Edelson: Ocean Township's Pickett looks to make history at Pitt". Asbury Park Press. Retrieved October 7, 2022.
  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.
  8. ^ Berman, Mark (August 2, 2018). "ACC football 2018: Pittsburgh turns to QB Kenny Pickett". Roanoke Times. Retrieved October 7, 2022.
  9. ^ "Kenny Pickett enters season firmly in charge at Pittsburgh". USA TODAY. Associated Press. August 9, 2018.
  10. ^ McGonigal, John (July 10, 2019). "Pitt QB Kenny Pickett bonds with Peyton Manning at offseason camp". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved October 7, 2022.
  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.
  13. ^ DiPaola, Jerry (September 16, 2020). "Pat Narduzzi labels Pitt's Kenny Pickett 'the most underrated quarterback in the country'". TribLIVE.com.
  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. ^ "Wonderlic Scores for Seven of This Year's Top NFL QB Prospects Are Out". si.com. April 25, 2022. Retrieved October 22, 2022.
  24. ^ "Kenny Pickett Draft and Combine Prospect Profile". NFL.com. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  25. ^ "2022 Draft Scout Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh NFL Draft Scout College Football Profile". draftscout.com. Retrieved April 28, 2022.
  26. ^ "Kenny Pickett 2022 NFL Draft Profile". insider.espn.com. Retrieved October 22, 2022.
  27. ^ 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.
  28. ^ Varley, Teresa (April 28, 2022). "Steelers select Kenny Pickett in the first round". Steelers.com. Retrieved April 29, 2022.
  29. ^ 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.
  30. ^ "'He Made it Even More Special:' Kenny Pickett Reflects on How Franco Harris Impacted His Draft Night". December 23, 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. ^ Strackbein, Noah (October 16, 2022). "Kenny Pickett Leaves Bucs Game After Hit to Head". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved July 24, 2023.
  37. ^ "Trubisky comes off bench as Steelers stun Brady, Bucs 20-18". ESPN.com. Associated Press. October 16, 2022. Retrieved October 19, 2022.
  38. ^ Camenker, Jacob (December 11, 2022). "Kenny Pickett injury update: Steelers QB ruled out with concussion after big hit vs. Ravens". Sporting News. Retrieved July 24, 2023.
  39. ^ Strackbein, Noah (December 17, 2022). "Steelers Rule Kenny Pickett Out for Panthers Game". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved July 24, 2023.
  40. ^ Pryor, Brooke (December 20, 2022). "Steelers QB Pickett expected to start vs. Raiders". ESPN.com. Retrieved July 24, 2023.
  41. ^ "Steelers honor Franco Harris by rallying past Raiders 13-10". ESPN.com. Associated Press. December 25, 2022. Retrieved January 2, 2023.
  42. ^ Thompson, Stephen (January 1, 2023). "Kenny Pickett's Game-Winning Drive Keeps Steelers Playoff Hopes Alive". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved January 2, 2023.
  43. ^ Patra, Kevin (January 2, 2023). "Steelers' Cameron Heyward on rookie QB Kenny Pickett: 'The kid's growing before our eyes'". NFL.com. Retrieved July 24, 2023.
  44. ^ "Kenny Pickett 2022 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved July 24, 2023.
  45. ^ DeArdo, Bryan (September 26, 2023). "Steelers overreactions, reality checks after Week 3 win: Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh's offense back on track?". cbssports.com. Retrieved December 5, 2023.
  46. ^ DeArdo, Bryan (October 1, 2023). "Steelers QB Kenny Pickett suffers knee injury vs. Texans, ruled out for rest of game". cbssports.com. Retrieved December 5, 2023.
  47. ^ "Steelers' Kenny Pickett: Solid numbers in Week 7 win". cbssports.com. October 22, 2023. Retrieved December 5, 2023.
  48. ^ "Steelers' Kenny Pickett: Leads game-winning drive Thursday". cbssports.com. November 3, 2023. Retrieved December 5, 2023.
  49. ^ Pryor, Brooke (December 4, 2023). "Steelers' Kenny Pickett has surgery for high ankle sprain". espn.com. Retrieved December 5, 2023.
  50. ^ Shook, Nick. "Steelers QB Mason Rudolph to start over healthy Kenny Pickett vs. Ravens". NFL.com. Retrieved January 6, 2024.
  51. ^ McPherson, Chris. "Eagles acquire Kenny Pickett in a trade with the Steelers". PhiladelphiaEagles.com. Retrieved March 16, 2024.
  52. ^ Alund, Natalie Neysa (June 28, 2023). "Steelers QB Kenny Pickett marries former Princeton soccer player Amy Paternoster". USAToday.com. Retrieved September 20, 2023.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kenny Pickett.
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