The 2022 NFL Draft is exactly three weeks away, and one of the more exciting prospects in this year's draft is Pittsburgh's Kenny Pickett. Some mock drafts have him going into the top ten, some in the late teens, some in the 20s, to a team like the Pittsburgh Steelers, and some have him not going in the first round.
This year's quarterback draft class is considered weak, and it's a wildcard with who will be the first quarterback off the group selected.
Peter Schrager of Fox Sports and NFL Network gave an interesting take on who he thinks will select Pickett. Schrager believes that Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper's familiarity with Pitt will be enough to take Pickett.
“Kenny Pickett went to Pitt. David Tepper, the owner of the Carolina Panthers, is not only a Pitt graduate, but he is one of the biggest donors to Pitt. He has seen many people before you go one step further. Matt Ruhle, the head coach of the Carolina Panthers, he recruited Kenny Pickett out of high school. And there are photos all over the internet of Kenny Pickett at Temple, and the two of them together."
Schrager added that he doesn't believe Pickett is a top-10 prospect, but if a team picking in the top-10 were to select him, it would be the Panthers.
"Like there's a comfort and a familiarity there that I don't think exists with other teams. I don't think Kenny Pickett is a top 10 prospect in this draft. I think if he goes in the top ten, the Carolina Panthers are the team that would do it.”
Carolina was unable to acquire a star quarterback this off-season
In this off-season, the quarterback carousel went into full effect when the off-season began. Carolina, unfortunately, didn't acquire any of them. It started when Aaron Rodgers decided to stay put in Green Bay, signing a new contract extension with them.
Russell Wilson was traded from Seattle to Denver, and Carson Wentz was traded from the Colts to the Commanders. The Falcons moved former MVP Matt Ryan to the Colts, leaving the Panthers without a new quarterback. Carolina had inquired about a few quarterbacks this off-season but could not land one.
While the Panthers currently don't have a clear-cut franchise quarterback, it would make sense to use their first-round pick on one of the top prospects, such as Malik Willis or Kenny Pickett.