Whether or not you consider former Pittsburgh Panther Kenny Pickett the top quarterback in the 2022 NFL Draft, he’s bound to be off the board fairly early on the first night. There are at least five teams currently in desperate need of a quarterback. And regardless of where they’re scheduled to pick in the first round, they could always swing a trade to get their man.
In his latest mock draft, ESPN analyst Mel Kiper had Pickett going to the Pittsburgh Steelers, calling him a player who could turn out somewhere between Derek Carr and Andy Dalton. Pickett has also had top-30 visits with the Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons, and it’s not unusual to see him landing with Carolina in mock drafts.
One thing’s for sure, Pickett and Malik Willis are almost certain to be the first two signal callers picked this year. Any one of these teams would benefit from having either player on board. As for where Pickett lands, here’s what the odds say.
Carolina Panthers +150
Pittsburgh Steelers +350
New Orleans Saints +400
Seattle Seahawks +400
Atlanta Falcons +500
Philadelphia Eagles +2000
Washington Commanders +2500
Houston Texans +3000
Indianapolis Colts +4000
Detroit Lions +4000
The Panthers are the team that’s been most closely linked to Pickett, followed by the Steelers. Carolina picks sixth, while Pittsburgh isn’t scheduled to make their first-round choice until No. 20. But of all these teams, the Lions could most easily nab Pickett without having to make a deal since they’ve got the second spot.
Despite the continuous links between Pickett and the Steelers in mock drafts, the two best bets here are the Panthers or the Falcons. We’ll go with the Falcons taking Pickett. The Panthers could be more inclined to take Malik Willis if they have the shot to draft the first quarterback taken in the draft this year.
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