The 2022 NFL Draft kicks off in less than two months and one prospect that many teams will have their eye on is Pittsburgh Panthers quarterback Kenny Pickett. This year's class is relatively weak when it comes to QB talent, making the 23-year-old one of the hottest commodities.
Pickett had a terrific 2021 season with Pittsburgh, setting new career highs when it came to completions (334), passing yards (4,319) and touchdowns (42). That isn't even to mention his 98 rushing attempts for 233 yards and five TDs on the ground.
While several teams are interested in what he brings to the table, only one can draft him at the end of the day.
Here's a look at the three most likely NFL teams to draft Pickett in April.
Kenny Pickett NFL Draft
1. Carolina Panthers
Last offseason, the Carolina Panthers acquired QB Sam Darnold from the New York Jets, hoping that they could rebuild his confidence as a starting quarterback. It didn't work out at all and even though Darnold is still under contract in 2022, Carolina could be looking to the future. With the sixth overall pick, it makes perfect sense for the Panthers to pursue Pickett. He's an athletic playmaker who can not only throw the ball but get out of sticky situations with his legs. Panthers head coach Matt Rhule also tried to recruit Pickett when the former coached the Temple Owls, so there's already a connection there. If Carolina wants to move past Darnold soon, Pickett may be the way to go.
2. New York Giants
The New York Giants drafted Daniel Jones sixth overall in 2019, but his career hasn't panned out as hoped. While head coach Brian Daboll still seems to believe in him, that doesn't mean Jones will turn things around this year. If anything, Daboll may want a quarterback that he can trust to usher in his new era. With two top-10 picks this year, it's entirely possible that the Giants use one on Pickett. He likely has a higher ceiling (if he reaches his potential) than Jones at this point and provides the organization with a clean slate. Pickett also has similar skills to Josh Allen, who Daboll helped mould into a superstar during his time with the Buffalo Bills. The Giants can even keep Jones for the year to let Pickett develop more before he becomes the full-time starter in 2023.
3. Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos ran with Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock under center last season, yielding some underwhelming results. Bridgewater is now a free agent and although Lock is still under contract, he may have already reached his ceiling. While the Broncos are rumored to be pursuing Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, there's no guarantee that they'll land him. Besides, the cost to acquire a four-time NFL MVP is likely astronomical. The Broncos can save a lot of resources simply by using Pick No. 9 to draft Pickett. He may not turn them into an instant Super Bowl contender, but Denver has the tools to surround him with a capable offensive line and several talented weapons to target. He can also keep the Broncos more competitive in the long run as opposed to Rodgers, who possibly only has a few seasons left in him.
Sign up for FanDuel Sportsbook today and get your first bet risk free for up to $1,000!
Devon Platana is not a FanDuel employee. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.